June 12, 2005
June 12, 2005
June 15, 2005
10.783.1 - 10.783.11
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
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