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Use of a Comprehensive Simulation in Technical Management Courses

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

General Topics in Graduate Education

Tagged Division

Graduate Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.1407.1 - 25.1407.8



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Paper Authors

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Allan W. Bjerkaas Johns Hopkins University


Mary L. Fletcher Johns Hopkins University

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Mary Laurette (Laurie) Fletcher received her B.S. degree in software data management from the University of Maryland and her M.S. in technical management from the Johns Hopkins University Whiting School of Engineering. She has more than 25 years of experience in software data management, technical publications and communications, and proposal management. Her particular areas of expertise include her understanding of the business relationship and contracting between private industry and the U.S. government, and the acquisition and management of Small Business Innovative Research programs.

Ms. Fletcher is the Vice President of Fraser Technical Consulting, where her responsibilities include services specializing in software data management, proposal management, and technical publications. She was previously employed by Solipsys Corporation (now Raytheon Solipsys) where she held the following positions: Data Management Group Supervisor, Assistant Program Manager for DD(X), and Corporate Proposal Manager.

Ms. Fletcher is a member of the following organizations: American Association of Engineering Education, American Society for Engineering Management, Society of Technical Communications, Women in Engineering ProActive Network, Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Wyoming Geological Association, and the Tate Geological Museum Advisory Board. She is also an instructor for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Casper College in the subject of the “History of Mysteries”.

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Use  of  a  Comprehensive  Simulation  in  Technical  Management  Courses  Many   educators   think   that   a   key   way   to   learn   to   be   a   technical   manager   is   to   actually   learn  from   experience   while   doing   the   work.   This   on-­‐the-­‐job   learning   experience   can   be  approximated  by  immersing  the  students  in  a  semester-­‐long  simulation  in  each  class  they  take.   This   simulation   paradigm   has   been   employed   in   the   Technical   Management  introductory   courses   at   The   Johns   Hopkins   University   for   more   than   a   decade.   Recently,  this   concept   has   been   introduced   into   a   higher-­‐level   Communications   in   Technical  Organizations  course  in  the  program.  This  paper  will  describe  the  specific  components  of  the  simulation,  including  some  details  about  the  fictitious  company  used  in  the  simulation  and   the   way   that   the   student   experiences   something   very   close   to   the   “real”   world   in   the  online   course   experience   by   completing   writing,   presentation,   and   other   communication  assignments  at  several  levels  of  responsibility  within  the  company.    

Bjerkaas, A. W., & Fletcher, M. L. (2012, June), Use of a Comprehensive Simulation in Technical Management Courses Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--22164

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