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48230 Engineering Communication

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2020 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Engineering: Professional Practice and Leadership
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:

Undergraduate

Result type: Grade and marks

Description

This subject develops students' professional engineering practice skills within the context of a real-life engineering project, through the Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Challenge. Students work in teams to create an appropriate design solution for a given problem as set out in the EWB Challenge Design Brief. While appreciating the central role of effective communication and teamwork in engineering practice, students develop an understanding of the social, cultural, economic and environmental responsibilities of a professional engineer. This subject is a starting point for students' ongoing professional development that they undertake throughout their studies and as a professional engineer in their career.

The skills introduced include understanding and applying principles and theories of human communication; researching the various discipline areas that inform the development of an engineering design solution; applying the engineering design process to identify, formulate and design a solution to solve a problem; written and oral communication for engineering contexts; expressing engineering concepts through visual communication; 'conversing' mathematically; and, leading and participating in team processes. This subject provides multiple formative assessment opportunities for students to receive feedback and develop their work before submitting a summative team assessment.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:

1. Apply the basic principles, theories and practice of communication in professional engineering contexts.
2. Find, evaluate, reference and document information sources, and conduct research to support decision making
3. Apply the engineering design process of problem identification, formulation and solution.
4. Consider social, cultural and environmental responsibilities of professional engineering practice.
5. Collaborate effectively in team processes, including self and peer evaluation
6. Reflect on personal and professional experiences to engage in independent development.

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the development of the following faculty Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs) and Engineers Australia (EA) Stage 1 competencies:

  • Self-management - Graduates must have capabilities for self-organisation, self-review, personal development and lifelong learning (D.0)
  • Communication and coordination - engineering practice involves the coordination of a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary activities to arrive at problem and design solutions (E.0)
  • Communicate effectively in ways appropriate to the discipline, audience and purpose, which is linked to EA Stage 1 Competency: 3.2 (E.1)
  • Work as an effective member or leader of diverse teams within a multilevel, multidisciplinary and multicultural setting, which is linked to EA Stage 1 Competencies: 2.4, 3.2, 3.6 (E.2)
  • Understand cross-cultural issues (regions and workplaces), which is linked to EA Stage 1 Competencies: 1.6, 3.1 (F.3)
  • Be aware of global perspectives (needs, rules/regulations, and specifications), which is linked to EA Stage 1 Competencies: 1.5, 1.6, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.6 (F.4)

Teaching and learning strategies

Timetabled lectures (3 x 60 minutes): The first lecture (Week 1) introduces the range of professional skills critical to engineering practice, and how you will be learning these skills through the EWB Challenge team design project throughout the subject. The second lecture (Week 2) provides key information about the Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Challenge, where a guest speaker from EWB outlines real-life engineering needs as identified from a community partner organisation, and possible Design Areas for which your team will develop an appropriate design solution. The third lecture (Week 3) introduces engineering design and team processes that your team will apply to your design project.

Weekly tutorials (3 hours): You will explore subject module topics in depth and work on your team’s EWB Challenge team project. Tutorial classes include problem solving, team-building, exploring scenarios, design and build activities, reflection and group discussion tasks. Activities support acquisition of professional engineering skills in a small group setting under the supervision of a tutor; these skills relate directly to your major team EWB Challenge project.

Weekly pre-class tasks: Each week a set of tasks is provided on UTSOnline which must be completed before tutorial classes. The tasks involve such activities as reading and notetaking, watching a video, completing a quiz, and other online exercises. Your responses to the pre-class tasks are used in-class to add depth to discussion and are an essential component to your contribution to the concepts covered throughout the subject.

Return of assignments: Most assessment in this subject is formative (meaning that each assessment builds into the next assessment where feedback can be used to improve your work for the next assessment). The objective of each assessment is to help you improve your professional engineering practice skills throughout the subject. All assessments are conducted in tutorial classes or are assignments submitted online through UTSOnline; therefore, no hard copies of assignments will be submitted with assignment feedback available online through UTSOnline.

OPELA: An aim of this subject is to help you develop academic and professional language and communication skills in order to succeed at university and in the workplace. To determine your current academic language proficiency, you are required to complete an online language screening task, OPELA. If you receive a Basic grade for OPELA, you must attend additional Language Development Tutorials (each week from weeks 3 to 12) in order to pass the subject. The development of these tutorials is a new university-wide initiative designed to provide personalised support and enhance students’ English language skills. They will focus on developing your communication skills (reading, writing, speaking, listening) and your independent learning skills, which will help you to prepare for the subject assessment tasks and for professional workplace communication tasks.

Content (topics)

  • Engineering design process
  • Finding, evaluating and referencing information
  • Academic integrity
  • Professional engineering documentation
  • Effective written, visual and oral communication
  • Teamwork processes and participation
  • Reflective thinking and writing

Assessment

Assessment task 1: Peer Assessment of Individual Learning Goals

Intent:

To help you to identify your individual learning goals for this subject and professional engineering skills and capabilities to be developed, this individual assessment task allows you to share with a peer through an informal verbal conversation your motivations and goals for becoming a professional engineer.

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses the following subject learning objectives (SLOs):

1 and 6

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following course intended learning outcomes (CILOs):

D.0 and E.0

Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 5%
Length:

Maximum 10-minute paired conversation with a peer (5 minutes each).

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Pre-class talking notes prepared 25 6 D.0
Clear identification of learning goals 25 1, 6 D.0, E.0
Clear understanding of Graduate Attributes 25 1 E.0
Clarity of oral communication 25 1 E.0
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 2: Online Reflective Learning Journal

Intent:

To help you record and reflect on your progress with individual learning goals and professional engineering skills and capabilities to be developed in this subject. You can adapt your learning goals as needed.

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses the following subject learning objectives (SLOs):

1 and 6

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following course intended learning outcomes (CILOs):

D.0 and E.0

Type: Journal
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 20%
Length:

One journal entry per week, including pre-class, in-class and reflection; Week 12 final reflective journal entry of approximately 1000 words.

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Detailed recollection of experiences 25 6 D.0
Analysis and reflection of experiences 25 6 D.0
Consideration of future needs and actions 25 6 D.0
Completeness of information, quality and clarity of expression 25 1 E.0
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 3: Individual Background Research Summary (Formative)

Intent:

To create an effective team design solution, it is essential that each team member is familiar with the social, environmental, economic and cultural context of the community for which your team will create a design solution. This individual assessment task will allow you to develop your research skills and information literacy (finding, evaluating and referencing information), and acquire knowledge relevant to the team project.

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses the following subject learning objectives (SLOs):

1, 2 and 4

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following course intended learning outcomes (CILOs):

E.0, F.3 and F.4

Type: Project
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 15%
Length:

500 words

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Credibility and relevance of sources 10 2 E.0
Analysis and synthesis of information 20 1, 2 E.0
Correct referencing 20 2 E.0
Completeness of information; and quality and clarity of expression 10 1 E.0
Quality of structure and format 10 1 E.0
Appropriate research and background content in relation to the context 30 1, 4 F.3, F.4
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 4: Individual Background Research Presentation (Formative)

Intent:

In most professional engineering environments you will be required to present your ideas, progress and supporting information in a variety of ways to different audiences. This is an individual assessment task that builds your oral presentation skills. You will present your key findings in your individual background research summary to your team, and contribute your ideas and research results to developing your team’s design solution.

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses the following subject learning objectives (SLOs):

1, 2 and 5

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following course intended learning outcomes (CILOs):

E.0, F.3 and F.4

Type: Project
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 10%
Length:

5-minute oral presentation

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Content based on research and relevant to context 20 2, 5 E.0, F.3, F.4
Structure of presentation 15 1 E.0
Correct referencing 5 2 E.0
Body language and voice delivery of presentation 20 1 E.0
Visual presentation aids 20 1 E.0
Audience engagement 20 1 E.0
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 5: EWB Challenge Team Proposal (Formative)

Intent:

This is a team assessment task that builds your skills in communicating your team’s design solution in a written proposal document. The proposal should demonstrate understanding and application of the engineering design process, decision-making processes and consideration of broader impacts of the design solution on the community.

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses the following subject learning objectives (SLOs):

1, 2, 3 and 4

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following course intended learning outcomes (CILOs):

D.0, E.0, E.1, F.3 and F.4

Type: Project
Groupwork: Group, individually assessed
Weight: 10%
Length:

Maximum 5 pages (excluding title page, table of contents, reference list, appendices)

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Succinct plan of action 10 1, 3, 4 D.0, E.0
Content based on research and relevant to context 30 1, 2, 3 F.3, F.4
Application of engineering design process 10 3 E.0
Application of engineering decision-making 5 2, 3 E.0
Design solution appropriate to the community context 15 1, 4 F.3, F.4
Quality of structure and formatting 10 1 E.0
Completeness of information, quality and clarity of expression 10 1 E.0
Correct referencing 10 2 E.1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 6: EWB Challenge Team Report

Intent:

This is a team assessment task that documents your team’s design solution and application of your skills in a range of professional capabilities, including engineering design, decision making, communication, project management and teamwork.

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses the following subject learning objectives (SLOs):

1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following course intended learning outcomes (CILOs):

D.0, E.1, E.2, F.3 and F.4

Type: Project
Groupwork: Group, individually assessed
Weight: 25%
Length:

Maximum 20 pages in total (excluding title page, executive summary, table of contents, reference list and appendices)

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Clear and informative Executive Summary 5 1 E.1
Insightful team reflection 5 5, 6 D.0, E.2
Introduction: provides relevant background context, clear problem definition and scope 20 1, 2 E.1
Body: design solution presented with justified decision-making, design criteria, costings and implementation plan 20 1, 2, 3, 4 E.1, F.3, F.4
Conclusion: succinctly summarises key points of the report 10 1 E.1
Design solution appropriate to the community context 10 1, 4 F.3, F.4
Quality of structure and formatting 10 1 E.1
Completeness of information, quality and clarity of expression 10 1 E.1
Correct referencing 10 2 E.1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 7: EWB Challenge Team Presentation

Intent:

This is a team assessment task that builds your skills in oral presentation and teamwork. Your team will communicate a cohesive summary of your design solution for the EWB Challenge to your class, where each team member must present.

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses the following subject learning objectives (SLOs):

1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following course intended learning outcomes (CILOs):

E.0, F.3 and F.4

Type: Presentation
Groupwork: Group, group and individually assessed
Weight: 15%
Length:

Maximum 20-minute presentation, at least 3-minute presentation per team member.

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Content: based on research and relevant to context with level of technicality suited to the audience/purpose. 25 1, 2, 3, 4 E.0, F.3, F.4
Individual: structure of presentation 10 1 E.0
Individual: body language and voice delivery of presentation 10 1 E.0
Correct referencing 15 2 E.0
Visual presentation aids 15 1, 5 E.0
Audience engagement 10 1, 5 E.0
Cohesive team presentation 15 1, 5 E.0
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Minimum requirements

In order to pass the subject, a student must achieve an overall mark of 50% or more.

It is a requirement of this subject that all students complete OPELA. Students who received a Basic grade in the OPELA test are required to attend 80% of the Language Development Tutorials in order to pass the subject. Please see the UTS Student Rules Section 3.8.

Recommended texts

Dowling, D., Hadgraft, R., Carew, A., McCarthy, T., Hargreaves, D., & Baillie, C. (2015). Engineering your future: An Australasian guide. 3rd ed. Melbourne: Wiley. Earlier editions do not contain the required information.

Eunson, B. (2005). Communicating in the 21st century. Melbourne: Wiley. Available through UTS library, FLP and Coop Bookshop.

References

Some recommended readings for this subject and other readings, internet sites and resources will be listed on UTSOnline.

An important objective of this subject is to ensure that you are capable of finding and sharing relevant information on a variety of topics, so we will expect you to be resourceful (and ethical) in searching and retrieving information for your communication assignments.

Other resources

UTSOnline

UTSOnline is a web-based communication package that can be accessed from most web browsers from inside or outside the university. All online materials and programs required to complete the subject are available under 48230 Engineering Communication. Students will need to login using their UTS ID and password.

Students will be expected to use UTSOnline to access:

  • Weekly pre-class tasks and online materials
  • Submission of assessment tasks
  • Weekly announcements for the subject
  • Self and peer evaluation software
  • 'Learning resources' for in-class activities, team project, and self-study
  • Information and marking guides (rubrics) for assessment tasks