Search | Directories | Reference Tools
UW Home > Discover UW > Student Guide > Course Catalog 

Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Kerrie L Kephart
HCDE 333
Seattle Campus

Advanced Technical Writing and Oral Presentation

Emphasizes the principles of written and oral communication for the engineering workplace. Designs solutions to professional communication problems: technical reports, proposals, correspondence, resumes, and oral presentations. Focuses on needs assessment and designing solutions that call for effective selection and integration of verbal and visual components. For engineering majors. Prerequisite: HCDE 231. Offered: AWSpS.

Class description

This course introduces engineering undergraduates to the fundamental communication processes associated with project management. Specifically, you will learn: (1) how to maximize interdisciplinary collaboration to complete a project, (2) how to prepare and deliver formal and informal oral presentations, and (3) how to adapt documentation to a mixed audience.

Engineers must consider the environmental, economic, and social impact of their work. As a result, sustainability will be the primary focus of the course project.

Student learning goals

Analyze a rhetorical situation and identify appropriate strategies based on the document’s or presentation’s purpose, audience, and context.

Navigate team dynamics to complete a quarter-long project.

Integrate text and visuals to clearly convey complex, technical information.

Revise documents for content, organization, and writing style.

Provide feedback to others on their writing, speaking, and teamwork abilities.

Perform professional formal and informal presentation skills, individually and as a team.

General method of instruction

Each class period will consist of lecture/discussion and activities designed to help you improve your collaboration and communication skills. You will practice your communication skills through completion of the writing and speaking assignments. You will also be responsible for providing constructive feedback to your peers.

Recommended preparation

HCDE 231.

Class assignments and grading

You will complete the following graded assignments: 1) Job Documents 2) Elevator Pitch 3) Team Working Agreement 4) Proposal – Written and Oral Presentation 5) Project Updates – White Board Talk and Memo 6) Poster Critique, Poster Pitch, and Poster 7) Portfolio 8) Team Evaluation

In addition, you will participate in the following activities during class: 1) Peer Review of Writing 2) Peer Evaluation of Presentations 3) Role Plays/Improvisations and Activities 4) Self and Peer Assessment of Team Participation

Each assignment is graded on a 4.0-scale and is weighted relative to the other assignments as a percentage of your total course grade.

The guidelines listed below are intended to help you interpret the final grade you receive on your assignments. The descriptions for each grade range, along with your instructor’s marginal notes and summary statements, should give you a clear understanding of your grade and provide you with valuable feedback you can use in completing future assignments.

3.9 – 4.0: Excellent – Rationale: If you submitted this document to a supervisor at work, it would make a very strong positive impression and would be considered ready to go out the door to a client with no changes. A 4.0 is truly exceptional work.

3.5 – 3.8: Very Good – Rationale: If you submitted this document to a supervisor at work, it would be considered a very good job and ready to go out the door after minor improvements.

3.0 – 3.4: Good – Rationale: If you submitted this document to a supervisor at work, it would be returned to you for revision. It would be considered a good start that needs further development and/or significant improvement before going out the door.

2.0 – 2.9: Adequate – Rationale: If you submitted this document to a supervisor at work, it would be considered a draft that includes some material that could be used in revision but that has significant problems that need attention before it is ready to go out the door.

<2.0: Does not fulfill the assignment – Rationale: If you submitted this document to a supervisor at work, it would be considered to not meet the specifications of the assigned task. There would be little material that could be salvaged for revision, and you would likely be asked to re-do the work.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information
Last Update by Kerrie L Kephart
Date: 05/08/2012