Course syllabus


FSP011 Technical communication 3 lp1 HT21 (1.5 hp)

Course is offered by the Department of Communication and Learning in Science

Contact details

Examiner:      Anthony Norman  ( NOTE: Anthony is currently on reduced hours. If you have a message for him, please include Annamaria and Kathy on the email to ensure that your message is seen as soon as possible.

Instructors:    Annamaria Gabrielli (
                       Kathryn Strong Hansen (

Course purpose

The course Technical Communication 3 aims to prepare students of chemical engineering for the intensive communicative situation they meet in their work as engineers in Sweden or abroad. The overall aim of the course is that students establish a solid foundation for choosing effective communicative strategies in various discipline-specific contexts (both in speech and writing). The pedagogical cornerstone of the course is that students' learning is enhanced and improved through working with technical communication in integration with discipline courses.

An important personal learning goal in this course is that students appreciate the importance of effective documentation and communication, as well as their fundamental connection to learning both during and after education at Chalmers. Competence development goals aim at developing those written and oral competencies already established in earlier communication courses, as a way of increasing communication awareness, including form and style, as well as communication strategies. After the completed course, students will be able to present, report, and critically evaluate project and research work.

In essence, this 1.5 credit course complements the 1.5 credit course KBT241, so it is helpful for students to think of these two classes together as one 3.0 credit course


Changes to the schedule, including any location changes necessitated by changes in regulations from the Swedish health authorities, will be made via the Canvas announcements function and/or through an email to course participants. Make sure that you frequently check your emails for announcements of such changes.


Date and

Location  (room number) Obligatory sessions Purpose/activity To do for next session
30 August, 8:00-9:45

FL51 and FL52

See email/ announcement with location details.


If you miss this session, see this link for a compensation activity.

Introduction to course and project. Slides from this session.

  • In this session, the FSP011 and KBT241 teaching teams explain the project that forms the nucleus of this course. 
  • Participants will also form writing groups in or shortly after this session. 
  • Form writing groups.
  • Sign up to your writing group on this Canvas page.
  • Select a topic (or at very least narrow down to 2-3 possible choices)
  • Read the information provided on writing an outline.
6 September, 8:00-9:45 KD1

Mini-lecture: Critical reading

Workshop: constructing a report outline

Slides from this session.

  • In this session, students will be introduced to tools for critical reading. Also, writing groups should decide on a specific topic (if they have not done so already).
  • Participants will work on their outline. For instance, they might use this time to:
    • research their topic through the Chalmers Library online searching tools, finding possible report sources
    • sketch out ideas for different report sections
    • formulate possible goal/aim statement or thesis statement for the report
  • Continue researching for report, using the Chalmers Library materials.
  • We strongly suggest you write while you read (notes, questions, or even ideas for your report).
  • Work to assign tasks for report (see information about what is expected in the outline).
  • Review typical report sections in the Chalmers Writing Guide.
  • Bring your group's rough outline to the 13 September session.
13 September, 8:00-9:45 KD1

Workshop: peer reviewing the report outline

Slides from this session

  • In this session, participants will share their outline with another group for feedback/additional perspectives. Use this peer review sheet.
  • When that peer review is done, groups can complete their outline (or develop a plan for its completion).
  • Continue work on outline, ensuring that it is ready to be reviewed by KBT241 instructor on 20 September.
  • Compile list of questions for KBT241 instructor for tutorial next time.
  • Continue reading research literature for the report and taking notes.
  • If you have not already done so, read the description of the report assignment.
20 September, 8:00-9:45 KS41


If you miss this session, compensation work will be assigned.

Tutorial with Ann-Sofie or Per and FSP011 instructors


Instructor set 1

    • 8.45-9.00– Group A
    • 9.00-9.15 – Group B
    • 9:15-9:30—Group C
    • 9:30-9:45—Group D

Instructor set 2

    • 9.00-9.15 – Group E
    • 9:15-9:30—Group F
    • 9:30-9:45—Group G
  • Begin drafting the report.
  • If needed, continue researching topic via Chalmers Library.
  • Review the report criteria and bring any questions about them to the next session.
27 September, 8:00-9:45 KS41

Mini-lecture: the report criteria and how to use them

Workshop: structure and content development

Slides from this session

  • In this session, students will continue working on their report, paying particular attention to how they will structure that text.
  • Students should also review the report criteria thoroughly, taking the opportunity to ask any questions they have about the criteria.
4 October, 8:00-9:45 KS41

Mini-lecture: presentation technique (review of out-of-class materials) and the presentation criteria

Workshop: sentence structure, grammar, and style

Slides from this session

  • In this session, students will work with a section of their report draft to practice editing and proofreading techniques. However, work may also continue on structuring the report or adding to its content.
4 October, by 23:59 Canvas upload site Obligatory

First draft of report due

  • This draft will receive feedback from one of the FSP011 instructors.
  • Continue working on the presentation.
11 October, 8:30-9:45

Zoom (click for Zoom link)

Password: 850045

Opportunity for in-class feedback from FSP011 instructors on the presentation slides, and for a feedback on your report from Anne-Sofie or Per (bring your report draft and any content questions you have).

  • Continue to revise the existing draft of the report to be ready for the 18 October peer review.
18 October, 8:30-9:45

Zoom (click for link)

No password is needed


If you miss this session, compensation work will be assigned.

Peer review (Powerpoint slides here)

  • Group A will peer review for group B
  • Group B will peer review for group C
  • Group C will peer review for group A
  • Groups D and F will peer review for each other
  • Groups E and G will peer review for each other
  • Using feedback from the peer review session, continue to revise report.
  • Complete, practice, and polish presentation.
20 October, 13:15-17:00 KS1 Obligatory

Final presentation & opposition (10 minutes for presentation, 10 minutes for opposition)

  • 13:15-14:30 – Groups A, B, and C
  • 14:45-15:30 – Groups D and F
  • 15:40 – 16:25 – Groups E and G
  • Hand in written peer assessment of report by end of day 20 Oct.
  • Using feedback from the opposition and audience, make final revisions to report.
4 November, by 23:59 Canvas upload site Obligatory

Final draft of report due

Course literature

Course literature is made available through Canvas (see the files in the various course modules as well as the master list of topics), as relevant, but students are also expected to find relevant literature to support their work on this course.

Course design

Technical communication 3 is the second course of the three Technical Communication courses delivered in English and it is integrated with a parallel chemistry course. Emphasis is placed on presenting and documenting research in order to develop understanding and knowledge for both the courses. Activities involve critical reading of research, presentation in speech and writing of a group project in the chemistry course, and assessment and discussion of each other's text in peer-response activities. The set-up of the joint project promotes working in project forms and prepares students for thesis work in English.

This course is not a heavy content course; it is aimed at facilitation, and involves structured activities to support the reading and writing process. Being active and engaging in the process is critical for successful learning outcomes. The course centers around an integrated project with KBT241, for which FSP011 provides support.

Changes made since the last occasion

A summary of changes made since the last occasion:

      • New instructors have been assigned on the course.
      • Instructions for all assignments/tasks have been clarified and streamlined.
      • The initial task has been changed to an outline so that it more directly helps groups plan their report.
      • Criteria for the final report and for the presentation have been revised to clarify expectations.
      • Navigation help and finding aids have been created for the course Canvas page.

Learning objectives 

Upon successful completion of this course, participants will be able to:

      • describe, analyze and discuss communicative strategies (in speech and writing) used in technical communication in order to increase awareness of how technical content is, or should be, structured.
      • evaluate and critically review relevant research.
      • present technical content both in speech and writing, where communicative strategies are successfully adjusted to the audience and the purpose of the presentation.
      • assess and evaluate technical presentations, both their own and others', as well as discuss and suggest relevant changes of communicative strategies for the improvement of such presentations.

        Study plan on Studieportalen

Examination form

The written report and the oral presentation have shared examination in both courses, but separate grading. Despite the separate grading, the technical content teacher and communication teachers discuss both pieces of assessment together during the assessment process. The final grade for Technical Communication 3 is given in the scale U, 3-5.

Final course grade

Your final grade for FSP011 is built on your final written report and final presentation/opposition. Each is worth 50% of the final grade, and all assigned tasks (writing of an outline, outline peer review, report peer review, uploading of presentation slides, and presentation opposition) must also be completed and assessed as passing.

      • If the final version of the written report receives a U, the student will have an opportunity to revise based on teacher feedback; however, if a revision is deemed to earn a passing mark, the report can only receive a 3.
      • If the final presentation receives a U, students will receive feedback and an opportunity to present again at a later session. However, if a repeated presentation is deemed to earn a passing mark, the presentation can only receive a 3.


Criteria ( for presentation and report) are important guidelines which help you not only understand how you will be assessed, but also help you during the writing process. Grading criteria for the report and for the presentation will be reviewed in class.


Course summary:

Date Details Due