Document Type

Conference Proceeding


American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition

Publication Date



Salt Lake City, UT


Previous studies by the College of Engineering at Iowa State have shown that the workplace (e.g., internships) is perceived as one of the best places to assess and develop the competencies we have linked to our program student outcomes. The challenge we have undertaken is to craft educational experiences on campus that are more meaningful and that relate directly to workplace experiences. One effort has been a technical writing course, collaboratively developed with the Department of English, offered exclusively to students from the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering. We created a real-world case simulation of a biotechnology company, Omega Molecular, in which the students were employees. An on-line database provided company history, policies, memos, emails, and product data. “Employees” were charged with the task of developing technical reports in a virtual corporate environment that forced them to consider ethical and personnel issues. Students had the opportunity to develop and demonstrate these competencies which are linked to the ABET Criterion 3(g) communication outcome: communication, general knowledge, initiative, customer focus, and professional impact. This paper discusses the collaboration that took place to create the course, the infrastructure developed to deliver the course, student participation and learning, and an assessment of the student experience.


This proceeding is from Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition.

Copyright Owner

American Society for Engineering Education




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