Communication in a project based learning design course

William Riddell, Maria Simone, Stephanie Farrell, Peter Mark Jansson

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Sophomores in the College of Engineering at Rowan University take a two-semester sequence where they are taught design and communication in a project-based-learning setting. In the fall and spring semesters, communication instruction focuses on technical writing and public speaking, respectively. The fall semester has developed into a highlyintegrated technical writing and design course, allowing students to comprehend how writing informs the design process as much as the designing informs the writing. Like writing, public speaking is an essential aspect of engineering practice. However, integrating public speaking and design has proven significantly more challenging than integrating writing and design. Even when public speaking deliverables are directly tied to a design project, students often feel that the presentation is an afterthought. Indeed, in many cases the design is completed (or a significant milestone is reached) before the presentation is prepared. Thus, public speaking is often associated with design, but not as an integral part of designing. In this course, students give several mid-semester presentations as part of an ongoing design project, where they are given feedback by engineering faculty and their peers. As a result of this feedback, many students have come to realize that this form of communication is an important part of design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2008
Event2008 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Pittsburg, PA, United States
Duration: Jun 22 2008Jun 24 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Communication in a project based learning design course'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this