June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Communication skills are critical to engineers' success in both academia and industry. Nevertheless, a variety of factors keep engineering students from developing those skills while in school, leading to a skills gap between recent graduates' actual preparation and their expected performance. This gap can be especially pronounced with graduate students, yet relatively little research and innovation has targeted this key population. Here we present two initiatives to improve the communication skills of graduate students: a department-level "Communication Lab" using peer tutors, and a for-credit communication course. Each approach is analyzed for pedagogical advantages, resource intensiveness, and general utility to the department. We conclude that the Communication Lab model is an overall effective resource for reaching a large number of students in a way that is cost-effective per-student, pedagogically advantageous, and an efficient use of student time. With appropriate modifications, it may even supply some of the advantages that the communication course offered, namely explicit communication frameworks and peer feedback.
Hanson, A. J., & Lindahl, P., & Strasser, S. D., & Takemura, A. F., & Englund, D. R., & Goldstein, J. (2017, June), Technical Communication Instruction for Graduate Students: The Communication Lab vs, A Course Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/28932
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