ERIC Number: EJ1118857
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 36
Student Perceptions of Communication Skills in Undergraduate Science at an Australian Research-Intensive University
Mercer-Mapstone, Lucy D.; Matthews, Kelly E.
Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, v42 n1 p98-114 2017
Higher education institutions globally are acknowledging the need to teach communication skills. This study used the Science Student Skills Inventory to gain insight into how science students perceive the development of communication skills across the degree programme. Responses were obtained from 635 undergraduate students enrolled in a Bachelor of Science at an Australian research-intensive university. Students rated their perceptions of two communication skills, scientific writing and oral scientific communication, across the following indicators: importance of, and improvement in, developing communication skills; the extent to which communication skills were included and assessed in the degree; confidence in using communication skills; and belief of future use of communication skills. While the majority of students perceived both communication skills to be important and of use in the future, their perceptions of the extent to which those skills were included and assessed were less, with oral communication being included and assessed less than scientific writing skills. Significant differences among year levels were discerned for most indicators, signifying a lack of coherent opportunities for students to learn and develop these skills across year levels. Results are discussed through the lens of progressive development of complex learning outcomes, with suggested areas for curriculum development and future research.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Communication Skills, Student Attitudes, Research Universities, Undergraduate Students, Science Education, Speech Communication, Technical Writing, Relevance (Education), Skill Development, Cohort Analysis, Student Surveys, Likert Scales, Statistical Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia