English Digital Storytelling (DS) Projects for Teaching Professional and Technical Communication: Developing Entrepreneurial Thinking in a COVID-2019 Landscape

Debopriyo Roy, Professor
University of Aizu, Japan


Dr. Debopriyo Roy is a full professor of English at the Center for Language Research, the University of Aizu specialising in technical and professional communication practices. He teaches innovative professional and technical communication courses on technology and society, industry 4.0, smart cities, information design and usability. He has published extensively in premier journals and conference proceedings, and worked in leadership roles in both IEEE and ACM chapters, and is currently working on multiple partner university collaborations. His recent Kakenhi projects deal with 3D printing, designing entrepreneurial digital storytelling projects to prepare students for the job market, and machine learning in applied linguistics.


The COVID-19 landscape provides an unique opportunity for computer science (CS) majors to learn about the redefined impact of disruptive technologies in the market that will likely influence how we conduct our businesses in years to come, and in turn shape our workplace and residential environment. However, regular CS courses are expectedly not always focused on such global understanding, and therefore not providing much opportunity for students to develop an overall macro understanding of how serious realignment is happening in the technology market with the advent of COVID-19. This is where the language courses on professional and technical communication adds value for CS majors. This presentation will showcase the pedagogical value and curriculum design of an elective soft-hard CLIL based professional and technical communication course on entrepreneurship and innovation using assignments based on digital storytelling. The course content could be focused on contact tracing apps, virtual therapy and mental health apps, 3D printing, RFID technology, shifting focus of different industries, video calling/streaming, Stanford’s design for extreme affordability program, drones to monitor social distancing, telehealth/telemedicine, use of drones, AI and big data to fight COVID-19. The presentation will further highlight student perceptions about the communications assignments in the course.