Students with a technology focus often express and demonstrate that they find it difficult to communicate their ideas and designs. Students in the Rochester Institute of Technology’s School of Interactive Games and Media are further challenged in that in order to be successful in their pursuit of a career in game design and development, they need to effectively convey their game ideas and design specifications while expressing the passion for the ideas that will convince others to climb on board and work on their projects. In this paper, we discuss the way we help our students develop these skills within a course structure. Through several course offerings, the faculty and students anecdotally noted that the students communication skills improved and their comfort in communication improved as well. In order to more accurately determine if this observed improvement was measurable, a survey of comfort with communication skills was created. The paper will present the results of an exploratory study using the instrument, which involved administering the survey to the students in the course as well as students in another course without a focus in development of these skills. The results from both sets of students were analyzed to determine if there was an increase in comfort with communication skills and to begin a process of validating this new instrument.

Date of creation, presentation, or exhibit



A. Decker and C. A. Egert, "Is this thing on? Determining comfort level with communication skills in a technical discipline," Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE), 2015. 32614 2015. IEEE, El Paso, TX, 2015, pp. 1-8. doi: 10.1109/FIE.2015.7344404 © 2015 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works.

Document Type

Conference Paper

Department, Program, or Center

School of Interactive Games and Media (GCCIS)


RIT – Main Campus