U3: Team Project


Overview  |  In Unit 3, students engage in a team project to learn effective collaboration strategies. In teams, students analyze the needs of a community, propose a project, and then write a set of instructions (option A) or a user guide (option B).

  • Option A: Student teams create a step-by-step guide to help other people accomplish a specific task and then post their instructions on the Internet and interact with the people who have read and/or used their instructions. Students may post their instructions to sites such as http://instructables.com or http://howto.wired.com/wiki/Main_Page or http://blog.makezine.com/projects/
  • Option B: Students identify a problem in their community that can be resolved with a user guide (for example, a user manual for the ECE campus lab to introduce new UMass Dartmouth engineering students to the equipment). Students use their technical communication skills to describe and document technical objects, processes, and ideas to meet the needs of specified users.

Assigned chapter readings:

  • Chapter 3: Teamwork
  • Chapter 8: Proposals
  • Chapter 12: Strategic planning, Being creative
  • Chapter 7: Instructions and documentation
  • Chapter 20: Preparing and giving presentations
  • Chapter 9: Activity reports


  • Proposal (2 pages, single-spaced)
  • Instructions or user guide (at least five steps, 10 pictures, and 1,000 words)
  • Activity report
  • Oral presentation (poster or electronic slide presentation)

Student work is evaluated on content, organization, style, mechanics, and design and their ability to create reader-based documents that include the type and amount of information the reader needs to know to take action and that organize and present the information so the reader can access it efficiently.


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