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ERIC Number: EJ1064543
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 26
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 70
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0950-0693
Teaching Scientists to Communicate: Evidence-Based Assessment for Undergraduate Science Education
Mercer-Mapstone, Lucy; Kuchel, Louise
International Journal of Science Education, v37 n10 p1613-1638 2015
Communication skills are one of five nationally recognised learning outcomes for an Australian Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree. Previous evidence indicates that communication skills taught in Australian undergraduate science degrees are not developed sufficiently to meet the requirements of the modern-day workplace--a problem faced in the UK and USA also. Curriculum development in this area, however, hinges on first evaluating how communication skills are taught currently as a base from which to make effective changes. This study aimed to quantify the current standard of communication education within BSc degrees at Australian research-intensive universities. A detailed evidential baseline for not only "what" but also "how" communication skills are being taught was established. We quantified which communication skills were taught and assessed explicitly, implicitly, or were absent in a range of undergraduate science assessment tasks (n?=?35) from four research-intensive Australian universities. Results indicate that 10 of the 12 core science communication skills used for evaluation were absent from more than 50% of assessment tasks and 77.14% of all assessment tasks taught less than 5 core communication skills explicitly. The design of assessment tasks significantly affected whether communication skills were taught explicitly. Prominent trends were that communication skills in tasks aimed at non-scientific audiences were taught more explicitly than in tasks aimed at scientific audiences, and the majority of group and multimedia tasks taught communication elements more explicitly than individual, or written and oral tasks. Implications for science communication in the BSc and further research are discussed.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia