Course syllabus


FSP011 Technical communication 3 lp1 HT19 (1.5 hp)

The course is offered by the department of Communication and Learning in Science

Contact details

Examiner: Magnus Gustafsson (

Teacher/lecturer: Charlie Keeling (

Your first contact for the course will be Charlie, both in the classroom, and via email for e.g. questions about coursework, content, issues, assignments.

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.


Schedule (link to course schedule in TimeEdit)


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, which FSP011 provides support for.

You can find a detailed project description here.

A timeline/syllabus of course activities can be seen at the bottom of this page. Detailed descriptions of each session can be found in the calendar.

For each session, there is information regarding what we expect you to do beforehand, as well as a description of active, in-class activities, so that you can better plan and structure your group's process during the course. Please pay attention to that detail, and be active in communicating with your group.

Course literature

Course literature is made available through Canvas, where relevant.

Learning objectives and syllabus

Learning objectives:

  • describe, analyse 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.

Link to the syllabus on Studieportalen. Study plan

Examination form

The project report and the oral presentation have shared examination in both courses, but separate grading. Despite the separate grading, the technical content teacher and communication teacher 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.

Your final grade is built on your final report and final presentation grades.

- If the final version of the report receives a U, the student will have an opportunity to revise based on teacher feedback; however after revision 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 the students can only receive a 3 for the repeat presentation.

See here for a more detailed breakdown of grading


Criteria are important guidelines which help you not only understand how you will be assessed, but also help you during the writing process.

- Report criteria can be seen in the assignment hand ins. For example, here's the hand in for version 1 of the report, under which you can see criteria and grading breakdown. Make sure you're aware of them!

- Presentation criteria will be used by students to peer review their opposing group's presentation, as well as by teachers to assess your presentations, and give you feedback. Presentation criteria can be found here.

Changes made since the last occasion

Booked a room with computers for week 2 and 3 (freed up content to use space and time for more supported writing/hands-on work).

Another session in computer room added in week 8, to allow students more opportunity for feedback, discussion, and working with their text.

Some content tweaked to free up more time for activities in the classroom (planning, writing, working with feedback, ...)

Rough plan deadline set earlier for quick teacher feedback; peer review of plan follows up a week after.

Clearer articulation of in-class activities, and the process approach. Use of Canvas calendar.

Added detail to report description.

Shift to Canvas, and re-organization / structuring of information for clearer communication.

Some additional resources added (to free up time; for further support)

Course summary (short version)

Each course session has a calendar entry, which you can view below, or via the more detailed view in your calendar (select the course to display it).

Please read the details there for each session. There is a summary of the session, expected preparation before the class, as well as details of the hands-on activities you will have time for in class (so you can plan in groups; so you have a sense of the purpose of each session, and how we fulfill that purpose).

See below for detailed course summary, including assignment deadlines. You can click an item, which will take you to the calendar, where you get further detail.

Course summary:

Date Details