Student perceptions of communication skills in undergraduate science at an Australian research-intensive university

Mercer-Mapstone, Lucy D. and Matthews, Kelly E. (2015) Student perceptions of communication skills in undergraduate science at an Australian research-intensive university. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 42 1: 98-114. doi:10.1080/02602938.2015.1084492


Author Mercer-Mapstone, Lucy D.
Matthews, Kelly E.
Title Student perceptions of communication skills in undergraduate science at an Australian research-intensive university
Journal name Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0260-2938
1469-297X
Publication date 2015-09-07
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/02602938.2015.1084492
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 42
Issue 1
Start page 98
End page 114
Total pages 17
Place of publication Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Language eng
Abstract 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.
Keyword Science communciation
Scientific writing
Oral communication
Student perceptions
Graduate learning outcomes
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation Publications
Sustainable Minerals Institute Publications
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 8 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 16 Sep 2015, 19:37:33 EST by Kelly Matthews on behalf of Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation