Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



© American Society for Engineering Education, 2016. This work in progress (WIP) paper describes the effectiveness of web publication as a communication tool for first year engineering students. Although the importance of generating a professionally written report has not diminished, web publication is quickly emerging as a necessary means of communicating for engineering students. In this digital age, an engineering education should have not neglect the importance of electronic communication and web based knowledge management. Web based publications provide several benefits compared to traditional portfolios: they allow students a means of enhancing visual/multimedia illustrations, provide students a means of developing project portfolios, as well as providing better data management, knowledge sharing, and easy access and the ability to share their own work. Freshman engineering students in "Introduction to Engineering and Design" were required to develop web pages for their term projects and to turn in URL links or html documents instead of conventional project reports. The quality of the students' reports was, measured against a rubric as a means of direct assessment along with student feedback obtained in the form of after-class surveys. When compared against the term reports from previous years' students, the overall quality of communication skills improved by 14% in the overall delivery. Visual communication became enhanced by 60%; however, writing skill and technical depth decreased by 24%. According to survey results, students favored web publication over conventional term report by 92% and felt that it is an effective way to deliver their projects. The results indicate that web publication could be an exciting and effective way to develop communication skills for the digital generation. Students still need training in the art and skill of technical writing.

Journal Title

ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings



First Department



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