The senior practicum is the final requirement for the B.S. degree. Projects will be directed towards the resolution of real and substantial problems provided by outside business and industry sponsors. The projects are to be developed by the student through an outside organization and supervised by the course instructor and a member of the sponsoring organization. Each student will undertake and subsequently resolve his/her problem and communicate the findings and recommendations via both written and oral presentation. This project provides an opportunity for the application of concepts and techniques learned in an applied setting.
Each project will stem from a problem within a business environment. It is your responsibility to find a project that meets the criteria applicable to this class. Each project must have, at a minimum, one sponsoring organization member who will be responsible for providing mentoring assistance, organizational guidance and written assignments critique. It is also highly recommended that the student solicit a faculty member to be a project sponsor. The responsibilities for the faculty member are the same as those of the sponsoring organization member. It is the responsibility of the student to select the sponsoring organization member and faculty project sponsor.
The following outcomes should be observed in the final project and presentation. It will be to your advantage to address these outcomes during your project and presentation. Leaders should be able to:
1. Acquire the basic and in-depth knowledge and skills required in their professions.
2. Apply and refine their technological knowledge and skills in leadership, critical thinking, problem solving, decision-making, teamwork processes, and project management to solve novel, ambiguous, and routine problems.
3. Integrate their knowledge of technological, social, organizational, and value systems to improve the creation and application of technological solutions.
4. Contribute to the improvement of their professions and society through the discovery, application, integration, and assessment of technological capability.
5. Anticipate and fulfill their need for new knowledge and capabilities as their disciplines progress.
6. Employ effective oral, written, graphic, and interpersonal modes of communication for expressing technical concepts to diverse audiences.
The course requirements consist of the following elements:
1. Project Identification (Not graded)
2. Project Proposal (Not graded)
3. 4371 Final Paper (Not Graded)
4. Weekly Report (5%)
5. Project Report Outline (10%)
6. Progress Report (20%)
7. Research Report (15%)
8. Final Report (35%)
9. Oral Presentation (15%)
1. Project Identification (Not Graded):
All projects will be undertaken in cooperation with the course instructor and a member of the organization sponsoring the project. It is the student’s responsibility to make contact with an outside organization to establish and/or determine an appropriate project. In those cases where the student is assigned a project at his or her place of work, the assignment MUST be outside the normal activities of the job -- in other words, the assignment MUST be outside the normal responsibilities of the student's job description. This is a short description ?" one to two paragraphs ?" of the project and it must be approved by the instructor. This assignment is due via Blackboard.
2. Project Proposal (Not Graded):
Once the project has been identified, a proposal must be written and submitted to the course instructor for final approval. This proposal represents a formal agreement between the parties and must be signed by the student and sponsor. The maximum length is two pages, not including cover page, and is due, via Blackboard.
3. TELS 4371 Final Paper (Not Graded):
Upon completion of the Project Proposal, each student will submit his/her completed paper from the Project and Proposal writing class. This assignment will be submitted via Blackboard.
4. Weekly Reports (5% of Final Grade):
Each student will generate a weekly report detailing the progress of their work. This report will be submitted by the close of business (COB) each Tuesday to the professor, and outside sponsor. This report MUST be in depth and not just a bulleted statement of work. See additional information concerning report submission which is posted in Blackboard.
The weekly report should contain descriptions of the activities, problems, progress, interviews, discussions, modifications, etc. that occur during the project development and implementation. The weekly report serves as your record of the events that occur during the project and will assist in the development of your final report. An important part of the weekly report is to reflect on the progress of the project and to determine what “lessons learned” occurred and what you would do differently if you had to repeat the project.
6. Project Report Outline (10% of Final Grade): Due Date: Oct.19th
An outline for the final report is required. A draft outline is acceptable. Major revisions to the outline after submission will require a major explanation. It is expected that the student will follow the submitted outline to complete his/her project. Your outline is due via Blackboard.
7. Progress Report (20% of final grade): Due Date: Oct.19th
Before submission of the report, the student is expected to have done a reasonable amount of background reading and survey work, references to which should be included. The maximum length is 20 pages, not including cover page, and is due, via Blackboard.
8. Research Report (15%): Due Date: Oct.21st
Research is an integral part of your project. It is imperative that you conduct and cite research that adds credibility to the project. Your report will detail the research that you have conducted to date and will discuss why the research that you have chosen is important to your project. Fifty-one percent of your research MUST come from current journals or books. While Internet web-sites can provide information, they cannot comprise the majority of your research.
9. Final Report (35% of Final Grade): Due Date: Nov 12st
The final report is the culmination of the project. It is a written account describing in detail the project's objectives, background, and solution. Discussion of how any problems encountered were overcome, together with a critical review of results and the approach adopted, should also be included. The maximum length is 60 pages, not including cover page. Three copies of the final report must be submitted: one via Blackboard, and two hard copies (bring hard copies to the oral presentation).
10. Oral Presentation (15% of Final Grade):
Students are required to give an oral presentation, which will include 1.) brief discussion of the project/problem, 2.) project objectives, 3.) difficulties encountered and their resolution, 4.) brief discussion of research, 5.) brief discussion of how course work led to the discovery of a solution, and 6.) the solution . Presentations will be of 10-15 minutes duration with approximately 5 minutes for questions. Oral presentations will take place during the last week of the semester (a schedule will be posted), and will be open to the College of Technology faculty, staff, students and guests.
It is expected that audiovisual presentations be an integral part of student presentations. Audiovisual presentations may be PowerPoint, website, or any other appropriate mode. Additional consideration will be given to students using non-traditional (i.e., PowerPoint) presentation modes. Students may bring their presentations on memory stick, floppy-disc, or CD that may then be loaded onto the provided laptop and connected to the classroom's audiovisual system. It is the responsibility of each student to set up and operate his or her presentation. Set-up time, if required, will be allowed prior to each presentation. If the project involved developing a product, that product may be demonstrated during the presentation.
Preparation of Reports
All reports must be written in English and printed on 8.5 X 11 inch paper. Reports should generally assume that the reader has no specialized knowledge of the particular topic under discussion; however, explanations should be kept concise. Points will be deducted for verbosity.
You MUST use the APA style guide and adhere to its specifications for your reports. Adequate margins should be employed so that nothing is lost in binding and/or photocopying. Figures, graphs, and tables must be reduced or formatted to fit within the established margins on an 8.5 X 11 inch sheet of paper. These materials should be integrated into the text where they are mentioned. All figures, graphs, and tables must be correctly referenced in the text and labeled correctly. Copies of copies are to be avoided. Consideration should be given to the logical arrangement of material, spelling, grammar, and general appearance. Laser-quality printing should be employed. Typefaces should be used in a consistent manner throughout. See additional information listed on the Home Page in Blackboard for complete information.
Assignment Date Due
Project Identification Aug. 28
Project Proposal Sept. 4
4371 Final Paper Sept. 14
Weekly Reports On-going
Research Lecture (Library) To Be Announced
Project Outline Oct. 19
Progress Report Oct. 19
Research Report Oct. 21
Final Report Nov. 12
Oral Presentation (Location To Be Announced) To Be Announced
Progress Report, Outline, and Research Report
The Progress Report is coming due and I know that some students have been asking about the preferred format. For the Progress Report I really don’t have a preferred format. I have placed a reference format in the Preparation of Reports (Templates) directory. If that is not to your liking, use your freshman English handbook, or the text that you used in 3363 or 4372 to determine an appropriate format. Remember though, this is professional. I am looking for professionalism in your report writing and in your abilities to research and find a good straightforward progress report format. There are plenty of them out there. If you have questions, come by to see me, call me, e-mail me, etc.
When you write your Progress Report think about what you’re reporting. You’re going to report on the progress that you’ve made to date. Keeping that in mind, here’s a suggested path that you might take:
• Tell me where you are within the total package.
• Tell me what you have been doing to date to get this far.
• Tell me where you’re going.
• Tell me what you have left to do in order to reach your goal.
• Tell me about the research that you have conducted thus far, and what additional research needs to be conducted, if any.
• Tell me how you’re incorporating the information that you’ve gained in your previous TELS classes into this project.
Additionally, the 3363 course uses the book by Lannon, John M. Technical Communication. This is his suggestion on what to include:
• How much has been accomplished to date?
• Is the project on schedule?
• If not, what went wrong?
• How was the problem corrected?
• How long will it take to get back on schedule?
• What else needs to be done?
• Have you encountered any unexpected developments?
• When do you anticipate completion? Or (on a long project) when do you anticipate completion of the next phase?
Another technical writing book by Van Alstyne, Judith S. Professional and Technical Writing Strategies suggests:
• A progress report covers:
• A review of the aims of the project, highlighting accomplishments or problems
• A summary or explanation of the work completed
• A summary or explanation of the work in progress
• A summary or explanation of future work
• An assessment of the progress
Progress reports are pretty straightforward. This isn’t rocket science. Virtually every technical reference that you read will have something like the above written. Too, if you follow the suggestions above, you’ve got between twelve to eighteen pages already. It’s not that tough if you plan and you outline. The key word here is plan.
You should be taking the initiative to find the resources if you don’t know how to complete a given task. The reason that you do the research is because we, your instructors, aren’t going to be there when your boss is giving you a project to complete, with a deadline, and s/he wants to see what you are going to present, yesterday. We’re not gong to be there to show you the way; you will need to find it on your own and it’s better that you learn, now, how to perform these types of tasks rather than looking like someone who doesn’t have a clue. When you are in a quandary about what to do, go out and find at least three different reference materials. In reviewing the material , if you find that all three are in agreement about how to proceed, then that is the way to go. If you find that two out of three agree, you might go back and get a fourth reference. If three out of the four agree, go with the three in agreement; the other may have been an anomaly. If you find that all three disagree about how to proceed, use one that you feel most comfortable with and proceed.
With regard to the upcoming outline that’s also due, if you don’t already know how to complete an outline for a paper, look it up in your freshman English handbook, or go to the Writing Center on campus. This outline IS NOT a project task list. It is an outline for your final report. I am looking for a good draft outline. How detailed should it be? I’ll leave that up to you, but I think that it should be detailed enough to let the instructor know that you are not blowing smoke when it comes to reading the final paper. I know that you still have plenty to write, but I am interested in assuring that you have a roadmap to get you to your final destination. There may be some revisions between the draft and the final paper, however, I do not expect to see every section revised from the outline that you will have turned in and your completed project. Significant revision tells me that you have waited until the last minute to throw something together in the hopes that you will get a passing grade. I didn’t fall off the turnip truck yesterday, folks. I read quite well, and I can spot differences within a paper. The only type of grade you’ll get with something that is thrown together is one that assures that you will be back again next semester. You don’t want to test my mettle on this, I assure you.
For the Research Report you need to write a report about your research. Give an introduction about the project then go into the research that you have conducted and why that research has been important to your project. Talk about each one of your resources ?" perhaps an abstract concerning each one. You may want to discuss the trials and tribulations in conducting your research and the challenges that you faced. Then, I want you to tie the research, that you found pertinent, together. Re-read the previous line. Be certain that you include why the information that you found is pertinent, moreover, why it is the best material that you found. This is part of critical thinking, and why you pick and choose certain materials over others.
Project Identification (This is my submission)
August 28th 2010
Assignment: Project Identification
My current employer is a contractor for National Aeronautics
and Space Administration (NASA) at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston and Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California. Currently, our AMES team at the Central Travel Office (CTO) in California has no means of validating the precise date or time a travel request is initiated or process by our preparer.
Because our AMES team lacks the ability of capturing historical data, our monthly metric submitted to NASA is scrutinize. My intent with this project is to assist my employer in developing and implementing a system that will eliminate any doubt as to how we meet our monthly metric.
(This is my project Proposal Submission)
ABC Services has been in business since September of 1993, providing business driven solutions to both government and small and medium-sized businesses (ABC Services, 2003). In 2008, the National Aeronautics
and Space Administration (NASA) Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California awarded ABC a five years financial Services Support contract valued at twenty nine million dollars. Under the current contract term, ABC is responsible for providing services in the following areas:
1. Resources Management
2. Financial Management
3. Program Analysis and Controls
4. Business Information Services
5. Special Financial Analysis
6. Central Travel Office (CTO) (NASA Press, 2008)
The Central Travel Office (CTO) handles all NASA Ames employees (including contractors) travel requests and as part of ABC contractual agreement, there is a forty-eight hours turnaround time to process and complete all travel requests sent to the CTO. Currently, ABC does not have a system in place that validate when a request is made. Secondly, there is no standard format in place for submitting a travel request. Third, there is no accountability for tracking a request within a given timeframe and finally, lack the ability of accurately measuring its monthly metrics.
The Project To Be Studied
Without a doubt, the current NASA and ABC CTO processing methodology have no way of accurately validating whether or not ABC fulfills its monthly metrics.
The focus of the proposal is to assist ABC in identifying and implementing an automated system that would manage all travel requests sent to the CTO.
By the end of the proposed solution, ABC CTO will be able to:
1) Provide a centralized location (via a web address) where everyone can initiate a travel request
2) Process all travel request within the designated time allowed (48hours window)
3) Produce an accurate account of all monthly metrics
4) Provide NASA Ames with a summary report of all travel request made and process within our system.
This project will require the following software and human resources:
1) SQL Server
2) Database, Software and Web Developer
3) Network and System Administrator
***Look at your project. Ask yourself, what am I missing? Where are the holes in my project? That is what any good leader will be looking for in a presentation. While you may have addressed some of the material as for providing a solution, have you addressed what your competition has done? Have you addressed a SWOT analysis? Have you constructed an Ishikawa (fishbone) diagram? These are just a couple of points for you all to consider.********
I have also done the project schedule I can send you so everything will fit it...
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