Improving Technical Communication with a Cue Awareness Intervention using Poster Presentations

Parker, Alcwyn, Lewis, Gareth and Scott, Michael (2019) Improving Technical Communication with a Cue Awareness Intervention using Poster Presentations. In: Proceedings of the Computing Education Practice Conference, 9th January 2020, Durham, UK. (Submitted)

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Abstract / Summary

It is critical that graduates be able to articulate their designs and solutions, a capability typically assessed at interview. However, some computing graduates struggle to do so, both in writing and in face-to-face contexts. Developing competence typically requires scaffolding across the curriculum. To this end, assessed poster presentations were introduced into the undergraduate Computing curriculum at Falmouth University in 2015. Each presentation followed the conclusion of each stage's practical programming project. However, the first cohort did not perform as expected. This paper describes action research conducted across the following three academic years through to 2018-19. Analyses show that although students do improve over time ($d = 1.41$), progress is slow. An intervention targeting cue awareness, use of technical notation, and parsimony had a positive impact ($d=0.73$). However, sustaining engagement was critical to its success. This shows that instruction on cue awareness, formative feedback on notation and parsimony, as well as repetition will develop students' technical communication skills. As such, conducting poster presentations at the conclusion of software development projects is recommended but subject to the need to sustain engagement.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Computer Science, Information & General Works
Education
Courses by Department: The Games Academy > Computing for Games
Depositing User: Michael Scott
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2019 16:08
Last Modified: 09 Jan 2020 01:38
URI: http://repository.falmouth.ac.uk/id/eprint/3748

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