Individual, Transferable Skills’ Development on an Integrated Course on Engineering Design and Communication in an Engineering College in the Middle East

By Mary Ragnhild Hatakka and Michael Merrifield.

Published by The Organization Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Transferable skills are learned in education and then transferred to the work place. Employers place more and more emphasis on such skills when they employ graduate students. In engineering education several of them are also listed as program outcomes by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). The skills studied are technical communications, teamwork, knowledge and awareness of ethical issues and the impact of engineering design on the environment, as well as the professional skills of engineering design. This paper represents the first stage of a research project which investigates the extent to which the transferable skills are developed in an engineering college seeking ABET accreditation in the Middle East. In this first stage student perceptions of the importance and development of five skill sets were investigated by conducting a survey with senior design students. The results show that students understand the importance of technical communication and teamwork skills, but clearly underestimate the importance of skills such as engineering design, ethics and environmental awareness. Possible reasons and implications for teaching are discussed.

Keywords: Integrated Skills, Communications, Engineering Design, ABET

International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 9, Issue 6, pp.71-84. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.235MB).

Mary Ragnhild Hatakka

Lecturer, Core Programme, Freshman Communications, The Petroleum Institute, Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Communications lecturer at Freshman level in an engineering college in the United Arab Emirates. Prior experience teaching English for specific purposes, critical thinking and academic and technical writing (mainly to engineering students) in Egypt, Italy and Finland. Co-authored textbooks for English for technical purposes, published in Finland and presented a paper on critical thinking skills for engineering students at the 12th International Learning Conference in Granada, Spain in 2005 and International Conference on Knowledge, Culture and Change management in Prato in 2006. Current interests ownership of knowledge and teaching and learning content through English.

Michael Merrifield

Lecturer, Arts and Sciences Program, The Petroleum Institute, Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates


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