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Recommending And Implementing A General Model For Technical Communication Instruction In An Engineering Curriculum

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Technology, Communication, & Ethics

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.974.1 - 8.974.20



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Paper Authors

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Sageev Pneena

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Kathy Bernard

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Carol Romanowski

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

Session 3430

Recommending and Implementing a General Model for Technical Communication (TC) Instruction in an Engineering Curriculum

Pneena Sageev, Carol Romanowski, Kathy Bernard University at Buffalo, State University of New York, Buffalo, New York

Abstract In response to pressing industry demands, revolutionary new ABET* requirements, recommendations from professional engineering organizations, and suggestions from recent engineering graduates, we identify a general model for technical communication (TC) instruction. When flexibly implemented in an atmosphere of collaboration among engineering professors, technical communication specialists, industry advisors, university administrators, alumni, and other stakeholders, this robust model can consistently produce engineering graduates who have relevant, defined TC competencies. Further, the model does not stress an already overcrowded engineering curriculum. In fact, engineering professors who have integrated the model elements into engineering classes report a variety of benefits that include better organized lab reports, improved engineering solutions to case study problems, and more time to help students master engineering theory and practice.

*ABET: Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology

This article will cover the following six sections: 1. A Message from Recent Engineering Graduates in the Workplace: TC Skills are Crucial to Engineering Success 2. Background: Taking the Initiative 3. Challenge and Goal: Integrate Technical Communication Instruction and Practice into the Engineering Curriculum 4. General Model: Description and Discussion 5. Steps for Implementing a Communication-Intensive TC Engineering Program 6. Impacts and Conclusions: UB’s Experience; Your Experience

1. A Message from Recent Engineering Graduates in the Workplace: TC Skills Are Crucial to Engineering Success

Numerous industry surveys, managers’ comments, and academic studies agree: Although today’s fast-paced, competitive workplace requires engineers to convey technical information quickly to diverse audiences, many graduating engineers are inadequately equipped to meet this need.1, 2, 3 Results of our May 1999 survey of recent University at Buffalo (UB) engineering graduates, who had worked as engineers for three to five years, once again confirmed the crucial role communication plays in today’s engineering workplace.4 Respondents included those who had taken UB’s demanding, 3-credit elective course in technical communications or participated in

“Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education”

Pneena, S., & Bernard, K., & Romanowski, C. (2003, June), Recommending And Implementing A General Model For Technical Communication Instruction In An Engineering Curriculum Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12179

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