South Hills Community News Release
STATE COLLEGE — Second-year Engineering Technology (ET) and Information Technology (IT) students at South Hills School of Business & Technology's Main Campus in State College were assigned a visual technical writing mid-term project that required them to create a set of assembly instructions for a LEGO® brick building project. The purpose of this assignment was to help students to improve their communication skills by requiring them to present concise instructions to their audience in a clear and easily understandable way.
Students began by imagining they were working for a fictitious company that required them to use electronic slideshows to produce assembly instructions. ET and IT students worked in teams to design and construct a “real-world item” using a minimum of 15 LEGO bricks. Then they were tasked with developing step-by-step assembly instructions for the item, creating graphics to show how to build their project, and inserting the graphics into a slideshow.
Their writing skills were tested when, upon completion of the assignment, the ET and IT students were required to present their projects to an audience comprised of South Hills faculty, staff, and fellow students. LEGO bricks and instructions were provided to audience members, who were asked to assemble the objects based on the instructions in each electronic slideshow. Participants provided feedback to the students on how easy or difficult it was to follow their instructions from beginning to end. Through audience comments and observing the challenges participants faced putting the items together, the students learned valuable lessons on how to communicate more clearly which will help improve their technical writing skills.