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Opportunities To Teach Teamwork, Collaboration, And Interpersonal Communications In Mechanical Engineering Technology Courses

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.480.1 - 5.480.4

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Paper Authors

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Ed Gohmann

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

Session 3548

Opportunities to Teach Teamwork, Collaboration, and Interpersonal Communications in Mechanical Engineering Technology Courses

Ed Gohmann Purdue University School of Technology at New Albany

Employers of Engineering Technology graduates look for experience working together in teams, ability to collaborate on projects and the ability to effectively communicate technical matter in both oral and written forms. Opportunities to expose the students to these areas abound in the six associate degree MET courses taught by the author. Three of these courses have labs where the limitations of space and equipment force the students to work in teams and to engage in inter- team cooperation. Two courses have problem solving sessions which give the students experience in sharing solutions of technical problems and practice in presenting their findings both in writing and orally. The sixth course presents the opportunity to collaborate doing a feasibility study of a project and then writing a formal report of the semester long project. This paper details how these activities are accomplished.


Purdue programs are located in southern Indiana near Louisville Kentucky. This is a large metropolitan area; The Southern Indiana Chamber Of Commerce recently conducted a survey recently of area companies to determine what priority areas of training were needed in their workplace. 300 companies were sent the questionnaires, 30% responded. The data pertinent to this paper where as follows:

Interpersonal Communications 88%

Team Building 85%

Leadership 76%

Anecdotal data from various employment counselors reinforces these results plus the need for communication skills to advance to supervisory positions. ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) considers training in oral and written communication to be a necessary achievement of a college graduate. Thus collaboration, cooperation, interpersonal communication and teamwork are essential parts of the education of the Engineering Technology student.

First a few definitions from Webster’s Intercollegiate Dictionary.

Gohmann, E. (2000, June), Opportunities To Teach Teamwork, Collaboration, And Interpersonal Communications In Mechanical Engineering Technology Courses Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri.

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