EPICS Design Notebook and Overview
The PowerPoints in this section were created as a three part workshop for EPICS students in a study abroad program. These materials cover the three primary types of writing EPICS students are expected to complete: a design notebook, a project charter, and travel writing.
The Design Notebook PowerPoint stress the importance of reliable, relevant and consistent documentation as the key to successful design notebooks and professional practice in general, as well as the basic guidelines of the assignment (in handout form).
The Project Charter PowerPoint, as well, covers the EPICS assignment guidelines. Additionally, it covers professional standards for such documents and offers guidelines for group writing.
The final PowerPoint briefly covers Travel Writing.
Additional materials including further guidelines and a conciseness exercise are also included.
A design notebook is used to record information acquired and ideas developed during the design process. It demonstrates individual accomplishments and work completed on a project. However, although the design notebook can provide details and information related to the project for future teams, the Project (Design) Documentation should be the primary source of the project information. Relevant information from the design notebooks should also be contained in the Project (Design) Documentation.
Design notebook contents: What goes in the design notebook?
- Record your work on the project, including brainstorming, sketches, calculations, designs, and action items.
- Record project meetings, including team sessions and working group (subgroup) sessions. Include agendas, major discussion items, and action items that result from the meeting.
- Record relevant information and discussions from EPICS lectures.
- Record contact information (name, phone number, email, address — whatever is relevant) for people with whom you consult about the project. Record information about conversations with the project partner. Record outcomes from all relevant conversations, including phone and email conversations.
- Use the design notebook to keep detailed records of library and patent searches and to record relevant URLs resulting from WWW searches.
- For software, describe the work done and give the location where the software can be found.
- If documents are too big to insert, note what they contain and where they can be found.
- Include important information that your team has compiled that pertains to the project.
- Include conclusions and recommendations.
- Include enough narrative to explain what is being done; make entries readable by other people in your discipline. How is the information relevant?
Why keep a design notebook?
- The design notebook documents your effort on a project. For EPICS projects, it is the principal evidence of your individual effort and is therefore an important factor in your course grade.
- Design notebooks may be used in patent and legal evaluations.
- The design notebook is a useful resource for preparing reports.
- Since EPICS projects span several semesters/years, the design notebook helps you recall things from one semester to the next.
Design notebook format
- Put your name, phone number, and email address on the front cover.
- Recommended: Pre-number the pages in the notebook.
- Use ink. Write legibly.
- Date all entries.
- Recommended: Sign each page. This is relevant for patents.
- Tape or staple documents (e.g., handouts, meeting agendas) into the notebook.
- Record directly into the notebook; do not make notes on other pieces of paper and transcribe them into the notebook later. (Exception: computer printouts)
- Include narrative to describe sketches, diagrams, plots, and equations.
EPICS: Project Charter
Guidelines for EPICS Project Charters
Project Charter Elements:
- Cover Page Include your project title, partner organization(s), and the names of the team members and contact information (e.g., email addresses).
- DescriptionDescribe and summarize what you or your team will be doing and the motivation for the project. This short summary will allow all those involved or affected by the project to understand what is needed. Include the needs of the community that you are addressing.
- ObjectivesList the project objectives. Why are you doing the project? What will you or your team achieve? What issues is your team addressing that would not be addressed otherwise? What are the problems you are solving with this community partner?
- Outcomes or deliverablesWhat are going to be the project results? When the project is finished, what will be left behind by you and your team? Be specific. When you have achieved these outcomes, everyone should understand you have completed the project.
- Duration When will the project be started, and when will it meet the objectives and deliver the outcomes?
- Community PartnersWith whom are you serving on this project? Who will benefit from the project? Who will receive the project outcomes or deliverables?
- Stakeholders Who will be affected by your project other than your customer? Who has a vital interest in the project's success? Stakeholders are other who will need to be kept informed of the project's progress, outcomes, and results.
Why Write and Present a Project Charter?
- To articulate the objectives of and motivation for your project
- To demonstrate your understanding of the larger issues and context of your project
- To serve as a communication tool between your team and your project partner
EPICS: Travel Writing
This powerpoint provides information on Travel Writing.