INTEGRATING COMMUNICATION INTO SENIOR ENGINEERING DESIGN COURSES AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA
Proceedings of the Canadian Engineering Education Association (CEEA)
In this paper, we will describe how we integrated communication into two capstone design courses in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Manitoba. We will first look briefly at how the stand-alone technical communication course (offered early in the curriculum) serves as a cornerstone because it introduces students to the various genres of engineering communication and emphasizes the importance of communication within the practice of engineering. Integrating communication into
... ication into courses like the Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering design course (MECH 4860) and the Electrical and Computer Engineering design course (ENG 4600) means that technical and communications specialists work together toward helping senior engineering design students achieve their goal: designing a solution to an industry-based problem and then presenting their design in written, graphical and oral form. To do so, communications specialists become partners in the delivery of the course and in the assessment process. At the same time, the technical specialists can focus on assessing the design itself. Together, we can then evaluate a design according to what engineers must do on the job: solve problems and communicate solutions. The rubrics used to assess written communications are also intended as ways to help students see how each design element (like "project specifications") is important to the "deliverable," the report to the client. Finally, we will conclude with some observations about this past year and indicate what we would like to do next year.