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Mapping the Future of Engineering Communication 2008 Survey
Funded by the Engineering Information Foundation

This survey collects information about how communication assignments (written and oral, formal and informal) are incorporated into engineering courses. The survey consists of 17 main questions, most of which are checkboxes. Estimated completion time is about 8-10 minutes.

The aggregate results of the survey will be shared with engineering faculty members who complete the survey and with engineering communication faculty who support them. In addition, this information may be used as part of a study on the ways in which engineering faculty incorporate communication assignments into their courses. Your individual information will not be reported.

Thank you very much for your participation!

Course Selection

Q1. Please provide the title and a brief description of a course you teach in which communication assignments play a substantial role.
Course Title:

Course Background

Q2. For the course selected above, please provide the general background information below:


        Course Level: Lower-Division (1st/2nd Yr)   Upper-Division (3rd/4th Yr)   Graduate  

        Student Mix: FR   SO   JR   SR   GR  
            (Est. Total=100%; e.g., 25 FR; 25 SO; 25 JR; 25 SR; 0 GR)

        Size (Typical Enrollment in This Course) :

        Type(s) of Teaching Staff Involved: (Mark all that apply)
          Tenured or tenure-track professor
          Adjunct professor or instructor
          Graduate instructor or teaching assistant

        Typical Number of Teaching Staff Involved:

        Grading: (Who grades most of the student work?)
          Tenured or tenure-track professor
          Adjunct professor or instructor
          Graduate instructor or teaching assistant

        Lab (Associated with this course?): Yes   No

Q3. Which of the following communication tasks do you assign to your students?
(Mark all that apply)
  Design proposal/report
  Essay responses on homework/tests
  Lab report
  Office communication (correspondence, e-mail, instant messenger, memos, etc.)
  Oral presentation
  Poster presentation
  Project documentation (progress, requirements, specifications, etc.)
  Visual communication (graphs, schematics, tables, etc.)
  Written responses to team/group work
  Other, please specify:

Q4. Why do you include the above selected communication tasks/assignments in this course?
(Mark all that apply)
  To assess student learning of course concepts
  To encourage critical thinking
  To fulfill accreditation requirements (ABET, AQIP, etc.)
  To help students learn course concepts
  To prepare students for professional practice
  Other, please specify:

Q5. What are the greatest challenges you encounter when incorporating communication tasks/assignments into your course? (Mark all that apply)
  Colleague/departmental resistance
  Difficulty of designing effective communication tasks/assignments
  Faculty workload demands (grading, commenting, etc.)
  Making room in a crowded syllabus
  Poor student performance on communication tasks/assignments
  Student resistance
  Student workload demands (planning, revision, writing, etc.)
  Other, please specify:

Course Assignment

For the following questions, please choose one communication assignment from the course you selected above. This assignment should be substantial (in terms of duration, effort, and/or scope) and reflect your objectives for incorporating communication assignments in your course.

Q6. Please provide the title and a brief description of this representative communication assignment below.

Q7. Do you ask students to do peer review as a part of this assignment?
Yes       No

Q8. Besides help provided by you (class lecture, Q&A, etc.,) what other resources do you provide to students to assist them with this assignment? (Mark all that apply)
  Article(s) on written, oral or other communication skills
  Departmental writing guide
  Instructor-created writing guide
  Communication handbook/textbook
  Other, please specify:

Q9. How do you evaluate student performance on this assignment? (Mark all that apply)
  Evaluation rubrics
  Letter grades
  Points or percentages
  Other, please specify:

Q10. In addition to the grade for the assignment, what kind(s) of written or verbal feedback do you provide to students on this assignment? (Mark all that apply)
  Evaluation rubrics
  Portfolio evaluation
  Verbal comments
  Written comments
  Other, please specify:

Collaboration Opportunities

Q11. How often do you collaborate with colleagues outside of your department about communication tasks in your course?
  Regularly   Occasionally   Seldom   Never

Influential Factors for Change

Q12. Please indicate your level of agreement with the following statement:
I have observed changes over the past several years in the practice of incorporating communication assignments in engineering courses.
    Strongly Agree   Agree   Neutral   Disagree   Strongly Disagree

Improvement Opportunities and Other

Q13. Which of the following would help you to incorporate communication assignments into your courses? (Mark all that apply)
  Best practices for encouraging student participation
  Reduced workload
  Support for designing effective communication assignments
  Support from Communication/English Departments
  Support from curriculum/program committees (institutional/departmental)
  Other, please specify below:

Q14. Please rank the following phrases with 1 being the most important criterion in defining the phrase "communicate effectively" for you.
  Depth and accuracy of content
  Grammatical/mechanical correctness
  Proper format
  Tailoring content to target audiences
  Other, please specify:

Q15. Please share any additional comments regarding this survey below.

Q16. Would you be interested in receiving a copy of the survey results?
Yes       No

Q17. Focus groups will be held at the Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE) Oct. 22-25, 2008 in Saratoga Springs, New York. Are you planning to attend the conference?
Yes       No