University of Technology Sydney

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 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 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

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the development of the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs):

  • Historically and Culturally Informed about Indigenous Knowledge Systems: FEIT graduates are culturally and historically well informed, able to co-design projects as respectful professionals when working in and with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. (A.1)
  • Design Oriented: FEIT graduates apply problem solving, design and decision-making methodologies to develop components, systems and processes to meet specified requirements. (C.1)
  • Collaborative and Communicative: FEIT graduates work as an effective member or leader of diverse teams, communicating effectively and operating within cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural contexts in the workplace. (E.1)
  • Reflective: FEIT graduates critically self-review their performance to improve themselves, their teams, and the broader community and society. (F.1)

Teaching and learning strategies

Each week students are expected to prepare for tutorials by completing a set of online pre-class tasks provided on UTSOnline. The tasks involve such activities as reading and notetaking, watching a video, completing a quiz, and other online exercises. Responses to the pre-class tasks are used in-class to add depth to discussion and are an essential component to the concepts covered throughout the subject.

During tutorials, students will build on the pre-class tasks to learn new skills. These skills will be practiced in class and are designed to be relevant to the tasks involved in the EWB Challenge team project. Areas of learning in tutorial classes include problem solving, team building, exploring scenarios, design and build activities, reflection and group discussion. 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.

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: Narrative Reflections

Intent:

This is an individual assessment designed to encourage you to reflect in different ways on your individual learning goals for this subject and professional engineering skills and capabilities to be developed in this subject and your course.

Objective(s):

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

1 and 5

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs):

E.1 and F.1

Type: Reflection
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 25%
Length:

a) 6-minute paired conversation with a peer (3 minutes each)

b) 500-word written reflection and 3-5 min video

Assessment task 2: 2a: Individual Background Research Summary

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):

A.1 and E.1

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

500 words

Assessment task 3: 2b: EWB Challenge Team Proposal

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 social, cultural and environmental impacts of the design solution on the community.

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):

A.1, C.1 and E.1

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

2000 words (excluding title page, table of contents, reference list, appendices)

Assessment task 4: 3a: EWB Challenge Team Report

Intent:

This is a team assessment task that documents and communicates your team’s design solution to a professional standard in an engineering report.

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):

A.1, C.1 and E.1

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

5000 words (excluding title page, executive summary, table of contents, reference list and appendices)

Assessment task 5: 3b: 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 an audience of your peers.

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):

A.1, C.1 and E.1

Type: Presentation
Groupwork: Group, group and individually assessed
Weight: 20%
Length:

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

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., & Male. S. (2019). Engineering your future: An Australasian guide (4th ed.). Melbourne: Wiley. Earlier editions do not contain the required information.

Eunson, B. (2015). Communicating in the 21st century (4th ed.). Melbourne: Wiley. Available through UTS library, FLP and online sellers.

References

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 work.

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 are expected to use UTSOnline to access:

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