Asee peer logo

Integrating Communications Into Team Taught Senior Design Courses

Download Paper |


2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Communication Skills in Aerospace Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.783.1 - 10.783.11



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

James Helbling

author page

Patric McElwain

author page

Angela Beck

author page

Ron Madler

author page

David Lanning

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

INTEGRATING COMMUNICATIONS INTO TEAM-TAUGHT SENIOR DESIGN COURSES Jim Helbling, David Lanning, and Ron Madler, Department of Aerospace Engineering, Angela Beck and Patric McElwain, Department of Humanities/Communications

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott, Arizona

Abstract Effective communication is universally recognized as one of the most important traits of an outstanding graduate. The Aerospace Engineering Department at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is team-teaching several courses with the Humanities and Communications Department faculty to better prepare the engineering graduate for effective technical communication. This collaboration began in the spring of 2003 with the laboratory for the Materials Science course and now exists in the senior capstone design courses.

For the Materials Science with Laboratory course, a supplemental COM course was offered in parallel to the lab in order to help students write and edit their lab reports. This served as an effective means to help the students turn in better reports and also helped the faculty learn how to collaborate between departments. An Engineering Style Manual was one of the early products of collaboration between the Aerospace Engineering and Humanities and Communications departments.

Due to the writing and presentation intensive nature of the senior capstone design sequences, the extension of this collaboration to the design courses was natural. While the students at first were hesitant to utilize the Communications faculty, they quickly realized that those faculty were a resource to help them write and present more effectively, and that their grade was improved as a result. As the team-teaching relationship has evolved, the quality of the students’ reports has also improved.

This paper discusses the evolution of the collaboration between the Aerospace Engineering and Humanities and Communications departments. The benefits and challenges associated with this cross-college team-teaching are discussed along with effective means of addressing the challenges. While this requires a significant investment in time, the improved communication skills of the student and the enhanced inter-departmental coordination are worthwhile and notable.

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright© 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Helbling, J., & McElwain, P., & Beck, A., & Madler, R., & Lanning, D. (2005, June), Integrating Communications Into Team Taught Senior Design Courses Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15607

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2005 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015