Video Mediated Communication (VMC) Fluency for Today's Engineering Student: You're on Camera

Alyson Grace Eggleston, Robert J. Rabb

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


This paper reports preliminary results showing improvements in engineering students' fluency in Video-Mediated Communication (VMC). VMC has been studied for over twenty-five years, and current industry practices are biasing toward a remote, connected, and agile workforce. The 2010 NSF Workshops on Communicating Science: Tools for Scientists and Engineers reports that traditional education and training typically do not prepare scientists and engineers to communicate effectively with industry, policymakers, and public stakeholders. Engineers are increasingly expected to communicate their results directly to the greater public. Engineers' clear communication with these audiences ensures continuity in critical operations during times of crisis. Today's engineering graduate must master effective communication skills to foster productive team dynamics, propose persuasive projects, provide valuable status updates to management, and affect change within his or her organization-all while video conferencing. VMC, an alternative to face-to-face communication that occurs over an information technology platform, is positioned to occupy a more central role in engineering curricula. Preliminary analysis of student performance traits over three semesters indicates that students can measurably improve their presentation skills and interactions with supervisors. Situated in a senior engineering design capstone course, results show that students' VMC fluency improved. When subjected to rubric-based intervention strategies and repeated exposure, engineering students gained enhanced audience awareness and practical knowledge. This study contributes to understanding how communication development emerges and is best fostered in engineering students. Key research impacts include a feature-based model of successful VMC interactions and recommended rubric-based best practices for curricular inclusion of VMC. As engineering students' academic and professional lives unfold increasingly online due to the globalization of labor, engineers will need to become fluent in using VMC to manage professional perceptions and mission. Given the growing national demand for engineers' innovations, the timing is ideal to study engineers' communicative capacity and the conditions and interventions that offer them the greatest support for communicative success.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jul 26 2021
Event2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference, ASEE 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Jul 26 2021Jul 29 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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