This module introduces the student to the soft skills required to be a successful engineering student. A foundation is established in this module to allow further development, in later modules, of the soft skills required to become a professional engineer. This includes communication skills, teamwork, ethics, self directed learning and proficiency in using industry standard productivity software.
Introduction to communications and soft skills for engineers
The soft skills required by professional engineers. Effective communication both as a communicator and as a receiver, active listening and note taking. The different possible media and modes of communication, their uses, advantages and disadvantages.
Technical writing for engineers
Structure layout and contents of technical documents. Revision of basic grammar and common mistakes. Technical writing style and techniques to communicate clearly in writing. How to structure sentences and avoid ambiguity in written communication. Formatting and the use of sections paragraphs to create a coherently structured document. Editing, proof reading assessing technical documents. How to conduct basic research and prepare for writing a report.
Oral presentation skills
How to prepare for an oral presentation. Effective presentation skills and how to communicate effectively within a group. Non-verbal communications. The appropriate and effective use of presentation tools.
Professional engineering codes of ethics, for example the IEEE code of ethics. Ethical case studies such as the Challenger disaster, the Ford Pinto case and the Tay bridge disaster. Ethical auditing in the project lifecycle. Critical thinking, decision making and ethical decision making. The impact of engineering achievements on society and the impact of engineering disasters resulting from bad ethical practices.
Teams and teamwork
Group dynamics and the social psychology of groups. How personal attributes can influence the behaviour of individuals in a group. The stages of group formation, the barriers to communication in a group and difficulties that may arise in teams. The composition of a team and its impact on effective team work. How to achieve effective team work.
Computer and IT skills
Productivity software tools used to create technical reports, presentations and graphical representation of complex data. Managing files, folders and disc space. Email, websites, web based communication and the appropriate usage of these media. Basic HTML and webpage development. Internet security awareness.
Learning to Learn/Self Directed Learning
Effective reading and note taking. Read, recall and review. How to prepare effectively for formal examinations. Techniques for time management, including creating a study timetable with specific goals and objectives. Studying in groups. How to effectively utilise the resources that the institute makes available to students and how they can be used in preparation for an exam. Concept generation i.e. mindmaps, brainstorming. Basic project management skills i.e. produce a project plan, time management, working effectively in a team, setting targets and meeting deadlines.
This module is delivered by face-to-face lectures, practical sessions, tutorials. Module incorporates peer learning and team collaborative activities. Use of online resources, directed reading and case studies.
|Module Content & Assessment