Active/Collaborative Learning Student Teams Integrating Technology Effectively Women and Minorities Assessment and Evaluation EC2000 Emerging Technology Foundation Coalition Curricula Concept Inventories
Introduction to Effective Communication

Multidisciplinary teams are the vehicle through which much of modern engineering is accomplished. Engineering graduates are expected to function effectively on multidisciplinary teams. [EC 2000] Communication, listening and speaking, is the core of the abilities required to function on teams. Therefore, faculty members are seeking ways to help students improve their communication skills. This document is intended to provide faculty members with material and activities with which they might work with their students. The document has three parts.

How might communication occur?
In the first part, information on how effective communication occurs is presented. The first part of the document addresses the following questions:

  • What is interpersonal communication?
  • What is intrateam communication?
  • Why learn more about interpersonal and intrateam communication?
  • How might I understand effective communication? The sender-message-channel-receiver (SMCR) model is presented as a way to help understand mechanisms underlying effective communication.
How might interpersonal/intrateam communication be improved?
After laying a foundation for better understanding of how effective communication occurs and of where possibilities for communication breakdowns might occur, then attention shifts to the skills required to perform effective communication. So the second part of the document addresses the following questions:
  • How might I improve my ability to listen?
  • Why and how might I balance inquiry and advocacy?
  • How might I offer constructive feedback and constructive criticism?
How might different groups use this document?
Finally, suggestions for how individual students, student teams, and faculty members might apply the material in this document are offered.

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