Creating a Progression of Writing, Speaking, and Teaming Learning Outcomes in Undergraduate Computer Science/Software Engineering Curricula

There are global concerns that communication (writing, speaking and teaming) skills of recent computer science/software engineering (CS/SE) graduates need improvement. This may be because instruction in communication is typically removed from the CS/SE curriculum, farmed out to courses focusing on general communication skills rather than those specific to CS/SE. However, it may be more effective to rely on the technical communication expertise of CS/SE faculty. We present preliminary results of a US National Science Foundation-funded project to design learning outcomes and teaching practices that will enable CS/SE faculty to integrate communication throughout their curricula. The approach is one of building a learning progression in communication based on genre theory and on the concept of exposing students to the appropriate responses to increasingly complex communication situations related to software development. The discussion begins with an analysis of a typical capstone course and then moves to analyses of lower-level courses.

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