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