BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT
Because many engineering programs use capstone design courses and value strong communication abilities, authors sought to identify how student written communication skills changed because of industry-sponsored capstone design projects. A student exit survey was collected at the end of the capstone design course during faculty-led projects and projects led by practicing engineers in industry. These results led the researchers to subsequently evaluate two semesters of before-and-after writing samples using a rubric. Student surveys suggested a statistically significant increase in learning about professional issues, problem solving, and written/oral communication. Evaluation of student writing samples suggests that the students significantly improved their grammar/spelling and their organization of content during the course. These findings suggest that industry-sponsored projects help students recognize the relation between professionalism and correspondence that is organized and void of grammar and spelling errors.
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