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Alternative Communication Format For Project Deliverables In Industrial Engineering
The importance of communication in the engineering classroom is well understood. Many undergraduate engineering courses aim to improve student communication by including written and oral communication assignments as part of the coursework and learning outcomes. Traditional deliverables for these types of assignments are written reports and oral presentations. In this paper, we present an alternative communication format, a design review panel, for use in these assignments. To prepare for the design review panel, students create a one-slide quad chart to describe their project that is given to a panel of experts. The students then answer questions from the panel. The purpose of this alternative format is to provide students with a more realistic experience with communicating results. Program alumni have reported that interactive discussions, such as the design review panel, are more common in practice as opposed to static PowerPoint-style presentations. Alumni have also reported the use of short and succinct written communication, often using graphical organization such as a quad chart. Instructor and student perspectives regarding the use of this alternative format in an industrial engineering course will be discussed. Finally, we will discuss how the design review panel could be used in a variety of engineering courses.