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Communication Apprehension In U.K. Engineering Students: A Comparative Study

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Conference

2004 Annual Conference

Location

Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

International Engineering Education I

Page Count

10

Page Numbers

9.320.1 - 9.320.10

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/13655

Download Count

61

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Paper Authors

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Trevor Hassall

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Jose Arquero

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John Joyce

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Ian Robinson

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Michael Bramhall

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session Number:

COMMUNICATION APPREHENSION IN UK ENGINEERING STUDENTS; A COMPARATIVE STUDY

M. D. Bramhall1, I. M. Robinson1, T. Hassall2, J. Joyce2, J. L. Arquero3

Sheffield Hallam University: 1School of Engineering/ 2School of Business and Finance/ 3Universidad de Sevilla, Spain

Abstract

This study compares and contrasts the levels of communication apprehension of engineering, business, and accounting students. Employers consider graduates to be unprepared for employment and lacking vocational skills. A common demand from them is for the curriculum to include ‘communication skills’. Current thinking in communication has indicated a split between communication apprehension and communication development. There are indications that techniques aimed at the development of communication skills will not necessarily resolve communication apprehension. Therefore, in order for the effective development of communication skills to take place it is necessary to diminish the level of communication apprehension that an individual may feel. This study builds upon the work carried out evaluating communication apprehension in undergraduate accountancy students, by comparing accountancy students with engineering and business students. Parallels have been found with accounting students, another numerate discipline. Students in Business Studies (a less analytical discipline) appear not to have the same difficulties.

Introduction

There have been increasing calls for Higher Education to align its processes and products more closely with the needs of industry. Surveys of the opinions of employers in the UK such as those by Roizen and Jepson1 and Brennan and McGeever2 indicated that employers considered graduates to be unprepared for employment and lack vocational skills. A common demand from employers is for the curriculum to include ‘communication skills’, both as a specific skill in its own right and also because of the central role that communication skills could play in developing other desirable attributes.

Current thinking in communication has indicated a split between communication apprehension and communication development. The former is the fear of actually communicating whilst the latter is the ability to maintain and improve an individual’s performance. There are indications that techniques aimed at the development of communication skills will not resolve communication apprehension, and that if an individual has a high level of communication

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Hassall, T., & Arquero, J., & Joyce, J., & Robinson, I., & Bramhall, M. (2004, June), Communication Apprehension In U.K. Engineering Students: A Comparative Study Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/13655

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