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Student Communication Improvements during an Industry-Sponsored Civil Engineering Senior Design Course

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Conference

2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015

ISBN

978-0-692-50180-1

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Civil Engineering Division Technical Session 7

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count

17

Page Numbers

26.1412.1 - 26.1412.17

DOI

10.18260/p.24749

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/24749

Download Count

37

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Paper Authors

biography

Ryan Fries P.E. Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville

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Ryan Fries is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He earned his BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Delaware and his MS and PhD from Clemson University in South Carolina, where he is a licensed Professional Engineer.

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Brad Cross P.E. Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville

biography

Jianpeng Zhou Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville

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Dr. Jianpeng Zhou is Professor in Environmental Engineering and Chair of the Civil Engineering Department. He is a licensed Professional Engineer and a Board Certified Environmental Engineer with American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists. Dr. Zhou obtained his Ph.D. and M.A.Sc. degrees from the University of British Columbia, his M.Eng. and B.Eng. degrees from Tsinghua University, all in Environmental Engineering.

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Chad Verbais Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville

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Abstract

Many engineering programs use senior design courses to introduce students to real-worldprojects, and sometimes connect them with practicing engineers. Because strong communicationabilities are essential for practicing engineers and indicative of career advancement potential,engineering educators are increasing curriculum emphases on these skills. This multidisciplinarystudy sought to identify how an industry-sponsored senior design course improved studentcommunication abilities. Faculty from a Civil Engineering Department and their campusWriting Center participated in the study. The authors collected student exit surveys during ninesemesters of a senior design course; comparing student perceptions between faculty-led andindustry-sponsored projects. Additionally, two semesters of before-and-after writing sampleswere collected during industry-sponsored classes and were evaluated by faculty using a rubric.The student surveys suggested a statistically significant increase in learning about professionalissues, problem solving, and written/oral communication with industry-sponsored projects.Evaluation of student writing samples during these industry-sponsored projects suggests that thestudents significantly improved written communication skills, specifically in the areas ofgrammar/spelling and organization of content. These findings suggest that industry-sponsoredprojects help students recognize the relation between professionalism and organized and error-free written communication. 1

Fries, R., & Cross, B., & Zhou, J., & Verbais, C. (2015, June), Student Communication Improvements during an Industry-Sponsored Civil Engineering Senior Design Course Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24749

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: © 2015 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