Soft Skills, Soft Skills, Soft Skills: Where Do We Teach Them in a 4 Year Environment?

Presenter: Kathy Winters, University of Tennessee Chattanooga As faculty, we are constantly being pressed from every direction to add this or add that to what we teach. How do we do it all? How can we teach it all? There is no question that our students must have soft skills and we must be able to teach those skills somewhere. The question is where and how? In our state, we have a limit on the number of hours our program can have. Our University has dictated the number of hours of general education and ABET has mandated the number of hours of Mathematics and Science that must be taken and, of course, the discipline courses. There simply is not any room for adding a course in soft skills. Given these limits what's a person to do? The only option is to add the soft skills to other classes. This presentation will discuss how adding soft skills to your capstone project can meet the need without adding hours. I will discuss my approach to incorporating soft skills into a capstone project.

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Soft Skills, Soft Skills, Soft Skills: Where Do We Teach Them in a 4 Year Environment?

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Presenter: Kathy Winters, University of Tennessee Chattanooga As faculty, we are constantly being pressed from every direction to add this or add that to what we teach. How do we do it all? How can we teach it all? There is no question that our students must have soft skills and we must be able to teach those skills somewhere. The question is where and how? In our state, we have a limit on the number of hours our program can have. Our University has dictated the number of hours of general education and ABET has mandated the number of hours of Mathematics and Science that must be taken and, of course, the discipline courses. There simply is not any room for adding a course in soft skills. Given these limits what's a person to do? The only option is to add the soft skills to other classes. This presentation will discuss how adding soft skills to your capstone project can meet the need without adding hours. I will discuss my approach to incorporating soft skills into a capstone project.
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Slide Content
  1. Soft Skills: Where Do We Teach Them in a    4-Year Environment

    Slide 1 - Soft Skills: Where Do We Teach Them in a 4-Year Environment

    • Kathy Winters
    • University of Tennessee, Chattanooga
  2. Outline

    Slide 2 - Outline

    • Introduction of University and College
    • Problem
    • Partial Solution
    • Course Design
    • Topics Covered
    • Topics Remaining
    • Advantages of This Approach
    • Disadvantages of This Approach
    • Discussion Time and Questions
    • 2
    • 2015 Cengage Learning Computing Conference
  3. University

    Slide 3 - University

    • Student Population – Almost 12,000
    • Located Near the Middle of Downtown Chattanooga
    • 100 Bachelor’s Degree Programs
    • 40 Master’s Degree Programs
    • 3 PhD Degree Programs
    • 2015 Cengage Learning Computing Conference
    • 3
  4. College

    Slide 4 - College

    • Engineering and Computer Science
    • College of Computer Science and Engineering
    • Bachelor Degree in Computer Science – 5 Concentrations
    • Software Systems
    • Information Security
    • Scientific Applications
    • STEM
    • Data Analytics
    • Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Engineering
    • Master’s Degree – 3 Concentrations
    • 2015 Cengage Learning Computing Conference
    • 4
  5. Problem

    Slide 5 - Problem

    • Students Need Soft Skills!
    • Time
    • 2015 Cengage Learning Computing Conference
    • 5
  6. Problem

    Slide 6 - Problem

    • State Requirement
    • 120 Hour Max Undergraduate Degree
    • 128 Hour Max for Engineering
    • ABET Accreditation Requirements
    • At Least 45 Hours of Computer Science
    • At Least 30 Hours of Math and Science
    • General Education
    • 41 Hours
    • Double Dipping Required to Meet Mandates
    • 2015 Cengage Learning Computing Conference
    • 6
  7. Problem

    Slide 7 - Problem

    • Minor Requirements
    • Business – 18 Hours
    • Mathematics – 27 Hours
    • Do the Math
    • No Room For Additional Course
    • Where Do We Put Soft Skills?
    • 2015 Cengage Learning Computing Conference
    • 7
  8. Soft Skills Definition

    Slide 8 - Soft Skills Definition

    • How We Interact With Other People!
    • 2015 Cengage Learning Computing Conference
    • 8
  9.  Top 10 Soft Skills for Job Hunters

    Slide 9 -  Top 10 Soft Skills for Job Hunters

    • 1. Strong Work Ethic
    • 2. Positive Attitude
    • 3. Good Communication Skills
    • 4. Time Management Abilities
    • 5. Problem-Solving Skills
    • 6. Acting as a Team Player
    • 7. Self-Confidence
    • 8. Ability to Accept and Learn From Criticism
    • 9. Flexibility/Adaptability
    • 10. Working Well Under Pressure
    • http://blog.cachinko.com/2011/08/17/should-you-include-soft-skills-on-your-resume/
    • 2015 Cengage Learning Computing Conference
    • 9
  10. Solution – Course Design

    Slide 10 - Solution – Course Design

    • Incorporate the Skills in Capstone Project
    • Two Semester Course
    • First Semester
    • Study Basics of Software Engineering
    • Begin Major Project
    • Second Semester
    • Complete Major Project
    • Work as a Team
    • Instructor Serves as Contractor
    • Students are the Employees (Minions)
    • 2015 Cengage Learning Computing Conference
    • 10
  11. Partial Solutions – Skills Covered

    Slide 11 - Partial Solutions – Skills Covered

    • 3. Good Communication Skills
    • 4. Time Management Abilities
    • 5. Problem-Solving Skills
    • 6. Acting as a Team Player
    • 7. Self-Confidence
    • 8. Ability to Accept and Learn From Criticism
    • 9. Flexibility/Adaptability
    • 10. Working Well Under Pressure
    • 2015 Cengage Learning Computing Conference
    • 11
  12. Solution - 3. Good Communication Skills

    Slide 12 - Solution - 3. Good Communication Skills

    • Written:
    • Must Apply for Team
    • Resume and Cover Letter
    • Signed Requirement Document
    • Progress Reports
    • Documentation
    • Oral:
    • Monthly Progress Report in Front of Class
    • 2015 Cengage Learning Computing Conference
    • 12
  13. Solution - 4. Time Management Abilities

    Slide 13 - Solution - 4. Time Management Abilities

    • 40 % of Grade Depends Upon Completing Project
    • No Hard Deadlines Given – Simply Progress Reports
    • Must Develop Detailed Schedule
    • Activity
    • Responsible Person
    • Due Date
    • % Complete
    • Date Completed
    • Must Manage Their Time Table
    • 2015 Cengage Learning Computing Conference
    • 13
  14. Solution - 5. Problem-Solving Skills

    Slide 14 - Solution - 5. Problem-Solving Skills

    • Each Team Has Different Problem
    • Teams Must Find a Solution
    • Possible Solutions Discussed AFTER Student Developed
    • Solutions Must Meet Customer Needs
    • No Language Defined
    • Only Guidelines - Make Customer Happy
    • Student Decides Who Does What
    • 2015 Cengage Learning Computing Conference
    • 14
  15. Solution – 6. Acting as a Team Player

    Slide 15 - Solution – 6. Acting as a Team Player

    • Working in Teams of 3-4
    • Peer Reviews (Grade One Another)
    • Team Participation
    • Overall Effectiveness
    • Productivity
    • Cooperativeness
    • Timeliness
    • Quality
    • Part of Grade
    • Every 2 Weeks
    • 2015 Cengage Learning Computing Conference
    • 15
  16. Solution - 9. Flexibility/Adaptability

    Slide 16 - Solution - 9. Flexibility/Adaptability

    • Project Can Change on a Dime
    • Working With Industry
    • Not a Controlled Project
    • Some Handle Better than Others
    • 2015 Cengage Learning Computing Conference
    • 16
  17. Problem – May Not Solve

    Slide 17 - Problem – May Not Solve

    • 7. Self-Confidence
    • 8. Ability to Accept and Learn From Criticism
    • 10. Working Well Under Pressure
    • 2015 Cengage Learning Computing Conference
    • 17
  18. Solution – Topics Remaining

    Slide 18 - Solution – Topics Remaining

    • 1. Strong Work Ethic
    • 2. Positive Attitude
    • Interviewing Skills
    • Others
    • 2015 Cengage Learning Computing Conference
    • 18
  19. Advantage To This Approach

    Slide 19 - Advantage To This Approach

    • It Fits Within an Existing Class
    • Additional Credit Hours Not Required
    • Direct Contact With a Customer
    • Real Experience
    • Resume Builder
    • They Get To Practice Soft Skills in Real Live Situation
    • 2015 Cengage Learning Computing Conference
    • 19
  20. Disadvantages To This Approach

    Slide 20 - Disadvantages To This Approach

    • Instructor Time Intensive
    • Different Every Semester
    • Difficult to Grade
    • Working with Customer
    • Difficult to Form Compatible Groups
    • How to Deal with Dysfunctional Teams
    • How to Give Individual Grades
    • Perhaps Not Obvious Learning
    • 2015 Cengage Learning Computing Conference
    • 20
  21. Discussion Time

    Slide 21 - Discussion Time

    • Kathy Winters
    • University of Tennessee Chattanooga
    • Kathy-winters@utc.edu
    • 2015 Cengage Learning Computing Conference
    • 21