Published on December 2, 2021

Volume 64, Number 4, December 2021

Integrative Literature Review:

Elevator Pitch Assessment Model: A Systematization of Dimensions in Technology Entrepreneurship Presentations, by A. Margherita and D. Verrill

Creating a technology venture causes the entrepreneur to interact with different stakeholders and persuade them of the quality of the business idea. In such endeavors, entrepreneurial storytelling and business pitches are crucial to attract stakeholder interest and potential commitment. We conducted a systematic review of specialized literature on business venturing, entrepreneurship, and business communication, and we selected 40 research articles from which we have extracted concepts related to the quality and effectiveness of an elevator pitch. We analyzed and aggregated concepts to derive a taxonomy of evaluation dimensions. We identified four dimensions of evaluation of an elevator pitch and detail the dimensions by defining 19 evaluation items and associated key evidence to support assessment. We then applied the framework with three groups: business investors, potential entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurship students.

Research Articles:

The Critical Communication Challenges between Geographically Distributed Agile Development Teams: Empirical Findings, by Y. Alzoubi, and A. Gill

Although previous empirical studies have investigated communication challenges, we need to discover the most critical challenges for geographically distributed agile development (GDAD). We also need to discover how successful GDAD organizations deal with these challenges. Data were collected by interviewing 12 members of a three-team organization using distributed agile development in three countries: Australia, China, and India. Thematic analysis identified the communication challenges and the practices used to mitigate them. Our findings reveal that differences in cultures, time zones, spoken languages, and personal skills, and the efficiency and effectiveness of communication tools used are still critical to GDAD. The solutions to these challenges provided recently have not been sufficient, so more research on ways to lessen the impact of these challenges is needed.

“Better Communication Leads to a Higher Output?” An Analysis of Pair Communication on Pair Programming Productivity, by S. Choi

This study focused on how group communication affects pair programming productivity. It examined whether intra-pair communication in pair programming has a significant impact on the pair programming process and output. A pool of novice university programming students was deployed for the experiment. The Conversational Skills Rating Scale was used to categorize them into three cohorts based on their level of communication skill—”high-high,” “high-low,” and “low-low.” No significant difference was found among the three cohorts in terms of their pair programming code output. Additionally, the post-experiment questionnaire responses revealed no significant difference in compatibility and confidence levels but did show a significant difference in communication level. With all things being equal, a programmer’s high communication skill level doesn’t play a significant role in the programming output in a pair programming setting.

Privacy Rating: A User-Centered Approach for Visualizing Data Handling Practices of Online Services, by S. Barth, D. Ionita, M. D. T. de Jong, P. H. Hartel, and M. Junger

Many countries mandate transparency and consent when personal data are handled by online services. However, most users do not read or cannot understand privacy policies. To empower users to manage their online privacy responsibly, we developed Privacy Rating, a tool for mapping and visualizing the privacy of online services. The tool was subjected to user research focusing on usability, perceived usefulness, and effects on trust. Participants were exposed to a web site with either a positive or a negative privacy rating. The Privacy Rating appeared to be usable and useful for lay users and had a significant effect on users’ trust in the online service. Users indicated that they would like the visualization to become an established standard, preferably approved by an independent organization. We aim to bring this user-friendly privacy visualization tool to the market and make it a standard, ideally supported by a trustworthy organization.

User Perception of Data Breaches, by Z. Hassanzadeh, R. Biddle, and S. Marsen

A data breach is unauthorized access to personally identifiable information. These breaches are becoming more common and raise serious concerns for individuals and companies. We explored end-user understanding of internet data breaches by asking participants to draw their understanding of data breaches and then to answer some questions. We identified four patterns in the drawings: abstractions of attacks to gain administrator access, end-user access, backdoor access, or access using database server vulnerabilities. We found that participants had a basic mental model of how an internet data breach happens, but were significantly uncertain about system vulnerabilities, causes, consequences, prevention methods, and follow-up steps after a breach. End-user mental models of data breaches are basic and show gaps that emphasize the need for improved communication to increase user awareness and hold companies accountable.

Characterizing Disciplinarity and Conventions in Engineering Resume Profiles, by C. Berdanier, M. McCall, and G. Fillenwarth

Resume preparation is a common activity in technical writing classes, but the use of resume profile and job-hunting sites require instructors and researchers to re-think common practices in teaching this genre. We compared engineering resume profiles from with a corpus of conventional engineering resumes using qualitative genre analysis and quantitative calculations of disciplinary discourse density. We also characterized stylistic and rhetorical conventions for resume profiles, and statistically compared these facets as a function of resume quality. Results determined that discursive strategies were significantly different between strong, moderate, and weak engineering resume profiles. Qualitative analysis captured differences in style and form that were also statistically linked with quality. Based on our results, we call for further investigation into resume profiles and reconsideration of current pedagogical approaches.

Information Design for Small Screens: Towards Smart Glass Use in Guidance for Industrial Maintenance, by H. Heinonen, S. Siltanen, and P. Ahola

Smart glasses and other extended reality (XR) solutions provide new ways of utilizing technical documentation with hands-busy tasks in the field. But scaling up the use of XR solutions in industry has been difficult due to the need to manually author content for each device and task. Therefore, authoring solutions and information design methods need to be developed to scale content automatically to different devices and applications. We authored maintenance instructions for small screens using DITA XML format, and a smart glass application was used in user tests to evaluate the delivery and usability of the information. Participants were enthusiastic about the use of smart glasses, and the instructions helped in performing tasks. The minimalist approach works best with instructions on small screens, and filtering information using DITA XML elements is an efficient way to scale information for different user needs.

Rediscovery of Developmental Research Articles in Electrical Engineering and Description of Their Macrostructure, by G. Rau

More than 30 years ago, Harmon distinguished developmental research articles (RAs), which propose a solution to a problem, from experimental RAs, but the developmental format has received little attention. I analyzed section headings, word count, and notable features of 75 RAs from 15 electrical engineering journals and compared them with both the Introduction-Process-Testing-Conclusion (IPTC) format and Harmon’s developmental structure. Only one article, a case study, followed the standard experimental Introduction-Methods-Results-Discussion (IMRD) format. Sixty-seven developmental RAs followed the IPTC format. Seven developmental RAs exhibited a hybrid format with the well-known IMRD section headings superimposed on an IPTC structure. Most electrical engineering articles are developmental and follow IPTC format. This finding can inform future genre analysis research and has pedagogical implications for teaching engineering writing.

Teaching Cases:

Designing STEM-Specific Student-Friendly Reading Content for the Engineering English Classroom, by D. John and G. S. Devi

Teachers of English for specific purposes (ESP) face challenges when helping engineering students to comprehend discipline-specific reading materials because these students have not been exposed to engineering reading materials at the secondary-school level. This study examines how to best create STEM-specific, student-friendly reading materials for engineering learners to make the transition from general topics to engineering topics comfortable. We substituted STEM-specific readings for those used in textbooks to improve our students’ receptivity to reading classes. We discuss reading as a skill, the level of reading comprehension needed in the engineering context, and its relevance to technical and professional communication. The study shows that STEM-specific, student-friendly reading materials fostered a positive attitude and improved comprehension.

Using Team-based Learning to Promote Engineering Students’ Performance and Self-efficacy in a Technical Writing Class, by S. Zha, S. Wu, and J. M. Estis

We infused peer leadership in team-based learning (TBL) in three technical writing sessions of an engineering lab class. Appointed student leaders in one class were responsible for initiating and sustaining discussions, asking each group member’s input, and seeking collective decisions on solutions. The other class used traditional TBL activities. We conducted non-parametric analyses to compare students’ technical writing skills and self-efficacy, as well as gender differences in the two classes. Students in the peer-led TBL class showed better technical writing skill retention than their counterparts in the traditional TBL class. A gender difference was identified in the traditional TBL class. However, we did not find any difference in students’ self-efficacy between the peer-led and traditional TBL sections, though both observed a significant improvement at the end. We suggest future studies with large sample sizes and equal distribution of female and male students.