Interpersonal skills in Canadian engineering : understanding professional needs and curricula
Wilson, Mandi K
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The engineering profession’s need for communication skills is acknowledged by the Washington Accord in relation to academic elements. This pragmatic study sought to better understand the issues through a broader examination of engineering and culture, interpersonal skills, and communication education and it’s fit in engineering education in Canada. Guided by the Situation Cognitive Theory, surveys of engineers, learning outcomes and assignments in communication course outlines of incorporated communication courses in Bachelor of Engineering programs in Canada were thematically analyzed, guided by Grounded Theory. These analyses were compared to find possible enhancements or gaps in current curricula. Results found the already strong teamwork content would be enhanced by incorporating conflict management, leadership and professionalism. Enhancing the situated communication tasks in courses would also benefit from the addition or strengthening rhetoric and persuasion content
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