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The Development Of A National Workshop To Teach Norwegian Ph.D. Students In Engineering And Science How To Communicate Research

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Conference

2009 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Communication and Collaboration

Tagged Division

Liberal Education

Page Count

18

Page Numbers

14.1197.1 - 14.1197.18

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/5605

Download Count

17

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Paper Authors

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Michael Alley Pennsylvania State University

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Michael Alley is an associate professor of engineering communication at Pennsylvania State University. He is the author of The Craft of Scientific Presentations (2002, Springer-Verlag). In addition, he regularly teaches presentation workshops at several research institutions in the United States and Europe. For the Norwegian national workshop discussed in this paper, he served as a lecturer for the formal classes and a principal instructor for the parallel critique sessions.

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Are Magnus Bruaset Simula Research Laboratory

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Are Magnus Bruaset holds a PhD in mathematical modeling from the University of Oslo. Since 2007, he has served as the assistant director of the Simula School of Research and Innovation. In addition, since late 2004, he has built up Simula’s research group in Computational Geosciences in close collaboration with StatoilHydro. He still leads this research group. Bruaset is also a professor at Department of Informatics, University of Oslo. For this national workshop, he served the lead organizer and as a principal instructor in the critique sessions.

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Melissa Marshall Pennsylvania State University

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Melissa Marshall is a lecturer with the Department of Communication Arts & Sciences at Pennsylvania State University, where she has been teaching since 2004. She has taught workshops on scientific presentations at the University of Illinois, Cornell University, the Center for Disease Control, and Laval University (in Quebec). For this Norwegian national workshop, she served as a lecturer for the formal classes and a principal instructor for the parallel critique sessions.

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Marianne M. Sundet Simula Research Laboratory

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Marianne M. Sundet holds a Master of Philosophy in Literature Studies and works as an advisor at Simula Research Laboratory. For the Norwegian national workshop discussed in this paper, she was instrumental in organizing the event, including design and dissemination of information to potential participants and the public.

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Sarah Zappe Pennsylvania State University

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Dr. Sarah Zappe is the Director of Assessment and Instructional Support in the Leonhard Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Education at Pennsylvania State University. Her background is in educational psychology with an emphasis on educational testing and assessment.

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

Development of a National Workshop to Teach Norwegian Ph.D. Students in Engineering and Science How to Communicate Research

Key Words: graduate students, international, communication

Abstract

To succeed, research engineers and scientists have to be able to communicate their work to both technical and non-technical audiences. Typically, graduate students in engineering and science do not receive formal instruction on the skills particular to communicating research. Instead, graduate students pick up these skills from their research advisors during the preparation of papers and presentations. Some universities do offer formal workshops, but these workshops usually have not been assessed by anyone outside the institution, do not provide individual feedback to the student, and try to address the needs of graduate students from all disciplines. To address these deficiencies, Simula Research Laboratory in Norway has collaborated with faculty from Pennsylvania State University to pilot a national workshop (given in English) for Norwegian Ph.D. students on communicating scientific research. Funded primarily by Norwegian industries, the 3-day workshop was divided into three segments: (1) making research presentations to a technical audience, (2) writing research papers and dissertations to technical audiences, and (3) making research presentations to general audiences. The first two segments, on making research presentations and writing research documents to technical audiences, were based on a workshop series that was developed at national laboratories in the U.S., taught to more than 1000 professionals and graduate students, and formally tested on more than 400 engineering and science graduate students at five different universities. The segment on research presentations to technical audiences called upon participants to prepare a 10-12 minute talk about their research, to submit slides for review before the workshop, to attend the formal class on research presentations during the workshop, to revise their presentations based on that class, and then to give and participate in critique sessions of these talks. The second segment on writing research documents called upon participants to prepare and submit a summary of their research before the workshop begins. This summary was used by participants for critiquing exercises during the formal part of the writing class. Moreover, common weaknesses of these summaries were emphasized during the formal class portion. The third segment, communicating research to the general public, had the goal of teaching participants how to give general audiences what Richard Feynman called an “honest” understanding of the work. The content for this segment arose from an examination of successful general audience presentations, given by well known figures such as Robert Ballard and Janine Benyus. This segment had its premiere at the national workshop.

Alley, M., & Bruaset, A. M., & Marshall, M., & Sundet, M. M., & Zappe, S. (2009, June), The Development Of A National Workshop To Teach Norwegian Ph.D. Students In Engineering And Science How To Communicate Research Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/5605

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