Student Experience

The Computer Science Junior Design Capstone interdisciplinary course series fulfills both computer science and technical communication student requirements. Both semesters of the course series are co-taught by both a Writing and Communications Program Postdoctoral Marion Brittain Fellow and a Computer Science Division of Computing Instruction Faculty member. Students are expected to work in teams of five with an external client on a project for two semesters under the guidance and curriculum provided by their instructors.

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CS 3311/LMC 3432:Project Design and Technical Communicaiton Strategies

This course is part 1 of a two-semester Junior Design capstone course sequence that includes a computer science and technical communication component. This semester teams will develop a software solution to a problem defined by a real-world client. In this part of the course series, you selected a project, interacted with the client, and prototyped the application.  Additionally, you practice and hone your abilities to analyze the technical needs of your project by researching the feasibility of several approaches and propose the one with which you felt was most optimal. The semester culminates in the development of a prototype and its demonstration in a formal presentation. Supporting deliverables that teams create include a project vision statement, user stories, and a usability/design support document. The series of deliverables students create will integrate written, oral, visual, electronic and nonverbal (WOVEN) rhetorical skills for various audiences, purposes, and contexts applicable to students’ professional experiences in the workplace. Every semester a section is offered for some student teams to partner with clients and projects affiliated with Serve-Learn-Sustain (SLS). In addition, course material may address design principles related to ecological, economic, and/or social sustainability.

CS3312/LMC3432: Project Implementation and Technical Communication Approaches

This course is part 2 of a two-semester Junior Design capstone course that includes a computer science and technical communication component. This semester, as you work toward building and delivering your project’s main deliverables, you will continue revising and refining the project’s goals, uses, and results through technical documentation. The course is organized by five three-week sprints.  These sprints are coding intensive, during which teams are expected to accomplish demonstrable progress in coding and implementing their product/system. The semester requires major technical documentation explaining the architectural and information components of the team’s product/system. Students will also be asked to participate in a team Retrospective twice during the semester. These Retrospectives are valuable processes through which a team works through an understanding of their work processes and identifies areas for improvement in subsequent sprints. Project Management is an important component of the course. Teams will be asked to carefully plan, document, and manage their workflow and collaboration in order to provide a quality project on time at the end of the semester.  Throughout the semester, you will be tracking and managing your work through weekly meeting minutes, status reports and Zenhub. A final expo presentation/demo and reflection will round out the deliverables for the course. 

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  • Relevant Articles:


Public Tech Comm: Preparing Students for Tech Expos – TECHStyle

On Teaching Computer Science: an Interview with Bob Waters

From First Year Comp to Tech Comm (and Beyond): an Interview with Dori Coblentz

Intersections of Tech Comm in the Tech Industry and Classroom

Debugging the Gender Gap: Questioning Stereotypes in the Tech Comm Classroom


Frequently Asked Questions:

Do I have to work with the same team for both semesters?

Ideally, you will work with the same team, client and project for both semesters. Although, when this is not possible, you will be assigned to a new team and project for the second semester based on the instructor’s discretion.

What if I have an internship or co-op and my team takes CS3312/LMC3431 without me?

If you are “orphaned” by your team, then you will be assigned a new team and project for the second semester. Please notify your instructors of your status the first day of class.

How do I get a permit to register for CS3312/LMC3432?

Please follow the registration permit instructions provided by the registrar. When registering, priority is given to those teams who will be completing the project together. Every member of the team must register for the same section of CS3312/LMC3431 in order to continue working on the project. 

How will I know which section is affiliated with SLS?

The SLS section of CS3311/LMC3432 is usually offered on M/W/F at 12:30 p.m. The status of this section should also be noted in the registration comments.