Development of Communication Skills Using an Embedded Approach for the Evolving Professional

By Annetta Kit Lam Tsang.

Published by The Learner Collection

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

Effective communication is paramount to many practitioners and professionals. Deficiencies in communication skills may significantly impede on student engagement and retention, academic performance and work-readiness upon graduation. This study aims to explore and discuss an embedded approach in developing competence and confidence in professional communication for first year undergraduate students through peer mentoring and professional communication workshops including “confidence in drama” workshop and “professional communication workshops”. Data was collected via student questionnaires, student online reflections and interviews with facilitators and mentors. Overall, students, facilitators and mentors support an embedded approach for the development of professional communication skills which deliberately aligned with core objectives of the curriculum. Students also reported that the variety of different workshops and sessions was important for accommodating different learning styles and different communication deficits as well as enhance student interest and engagement. Confidence and competence in professional communication were perceived to have improved among students. Moreover, students and facilitators felt that in improving professional communication skills among students, the transition from first year to second year should occur more smoothly.

Keywords: Communication Skills, Professional Communication, Confidence in Communication, Effective Communication, Evolving Professional

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp.203-222. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 840.826KB).

Dr. Annetta Kit Lam Tsang

Program Coordinator - Oral Health, Senior Lecturer - School of Dentistry, School of Dentistry, Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Annetta Tsang is currently a teaching-focussed Senior Lecturer in the School of Dentistry and Coordinator for the Undergraduate Paediatric Dentistry program at The University of Queensland. She is also a practising dentist with a passion for prevention of oral diseases, an area in which she completed her PhD in 2003. Annetta’s other qualifications are: BDSc (Hons), GCClinDent, GCEd (HE) and MScMed. Currently, Annetta is exploring the evolving professional (EP)) concept as a framework for student engagement and professional development, curriculum design and SoTL. In addition to the EP concept, Annetta is also interested in collaborative learning, reflective learning and community-integrated learning. Since becoming a teaching-focussed academic in July 2008, Annetta has pursued the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) and presented her research at a number of teaching and learning conferences as well as publishing in refereed SoTL and dental education journals. In November 2009, Annetta was awarded a UQ Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning.


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