Communication in Engineering Education: A New Way of Looking at Integrated Learning Activities and Forms of Communication

Communication in Engineering Education: A New Way of Looking at Integrated Learning Activities and Forms of Communication

I. Klasén (2011).  Communication in Engineering Education: A New Way of Looking at Integrated Learning Activities and Forms of Communication. 8.

A new analysis and development model has been designed to make the discussion about ‘integrated communication in engineering education’ more multifaceted. The model includes the two main principles of communication in education – communicate to learn and learning to communicate, and new dimensions of how learning in communication is integrated in subject courses. Active and passive integration are two opposite ways of handling integration of communication skills training in subject courses.

By including this approach in the discussion about integrated learning activates and combining them with the two main principles, a model of communication aspects in education can be drawn out. The objective of the model is to more clearly and more multifacetedly point out different types of situations and learning activities where the students are given the opportunity to, in one way or another, develop their skills and abilities in work life communication.

The model has been the subject of a pilot study at the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden. In the study teachers from the bachelor level were interviewed about their thoughts on integration of communication in engineering education. In the analysis the model was a base in identifying in what sense communication was integrated and in what area the integration was weak.

The results of the evaluation of integrated communication in subject courses will also be discussed in the light of the teachers’ willingness to make changes in their courses. The conclusion from this study is that the teachers need to rethink in what way they are integrating communication in subject courses. On course level the model of integrated communication can be used to inspire to a broader use of different types of teaching and learning activities do develop communication skills without making a major change in the way the course is carried out. 

Authors (New): 
Ida Klasén
KTH Royal Institute of Technology,Sweden
Integrated communication
passive integration
active integration
Engineering education
learning activities
informal communication
formal communication
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