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Assessing oral communication skills in the final year engineering design project

Othman, Rohani (2016) Assessing oral communication skills in the final year engineering design project. PhD thesis, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Faculty of Education.

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Abstract

The ability to communicate effectively and to equip engineering students with the necessary professional skills for the workplace is one of the key outcomes required by undergraduate engineering programs in fulfilling the engineering accreditation standards set by the Engineering Accreditation Council (EAC). One method to facilitate communication skill development includes an emphasis on integrating communication into the engineering design course and implementing assessment practices to evaluate students’ achievement in the communication skills outcomes. The final year project II (FYP II) design course represents an ideal context for performance assessment of students’ communication skills. A mixed-methods approach was used. Quantitative data were obtained from the observation of students’ FYP II seminar presentation using rubric to gain inter-rater scores, questionnaire administered to the students and FYPII supervisors; as well as the analysis of the Course Assessment Summary Report (CASR) to determine students’ communication skills achievements with regard to the inter-rater scores and the achieved University’s Key Performance Index (KPI). Meanwhile, the qualitative data from interviews were used to gain in-depth information from students and FYP II supervisors. Results from observation of students’ FYP II seminar presentation showed different levels of competencies among the students. The inter-rater scores were compared to the results in CASR to identify any relationship between the scores and the KPI scores for the breakdown of the program outcome on the ability to communicate effectively. The inconsistency in the inter-rater scores to that of the achieved KPI suggested that the use of explicit direct assessment instrument such as the rubrics could provide further insights in the assessment of students’ acquired behavioral oral skills in the FYPII design course. The finding also revealed the emphasis by faculty on communication skills in the engineering design course was prominent in the coursework, lessons carried out and consultations with students. Results related to students’ and faculty’s perception on the English language oral communication skill attributes revealed that students were confident and perceived themselves highly in all attributes even though the faculty supervisors’ perception was only at a moderate or adequate level. In summary, all the research questions have been answered and recommendations for course improvement on the future of the oral presentation assessment tool, processes and communication skills instructions in the FYP II design course were presented.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:Thesis (Ph.D (Pengajaran Bahasa Inggeris Sebagai Bahasa Kedua)) - Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 2016; Supervisor : Assoc. Prof. Dr. Marlia Puteh
Subjects:L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
Divisions:Education
ID Code:78973
Deposited By: Widya Wahid
Deposited On:19 Sep 2018 13:21
Last Modified:19 Sep 2018 13:21

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