ELEC ENG 7057 - Engineering Communication & Critical Thinking

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2020

Engineering Communication and Critical Thinking provides strategies and practice in developing skills to enable students with English as an additional language to maximize their capacity to learn and to interact effectively in an English speaking academic and professional environment. This course explores communication in a cross cultural setting, and provides strategies for effective academic and professional writing and seminar presentations. Workshops provide information about and practice in locating, analysing and evaluating appropriate sources of information, and consider differences in style and format of documents written for different purposes. The course provides the opportunity to develop skills for professional speaking in a variety of settings.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ELEC ENG 7057
    Course Engineering Communication & Critical Thinking
    Coordinating Unit School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assessment Assignments
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Ms Catherine Irving

    Course Co-ordinator: Ms Catherine Irving
    Email: catherine.irving@adelaide.edu.au
    Office: Ingkarni Wardl level 3 room 3.45
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

    1 Understand the role of high level communication skills in professional engineering and research practice.
    2 Understand the effects of cultural background on communication idioms.
    3 Communicate effectively in English in multi-cultural professional and academic contexts.
    4 Present, effectively, complex engineering information in a seminar format.
    5 Analyse and critically evaluate information obtained from diverse sources.
    6 Evaluate engineering solutions, taking into account environmental and societal impact.
    7 Initiate and make original and informed contributions to group discussions.
    8 Contribute to and, when necessary, lead engineering team meetings.

    The above course learning outcomes are aligned with the Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competency Standard for the Professional Engineer.
    The course is designed to develop the following Elements of Competency: 1.3   1.4   1.5   1.6   2.1   2.2   2.3   2.4   3.1   3.2   3.3   3.4   3.5   3.6   

    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    4, 5, 6, 7
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    6, 7, 8
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    2, 8, 9, 10
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Students are expected to own and use a dictionary and a grammar book suitable for their level. If you do not already have these, some options follow. Check for more recent editions.

    Macquarie Dictionary, 2005, Yallop, C (ed), 4th edn, Macquarie Library, North Ryde, N.S.W

    Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, 2005, 7th edn, OUP, Oxford.

    Grammar Books
    Alexander, LG 1990, Longman English grammar practice, Longman, Harlow.
    Hewings, M 2005, Advanced grammar in use, 2nd edn, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
    Murphy, R. 2007, Essential grammar in use, 3rd edn, Cambridge University Press Melbourne.
    Murphy, R 2004, English grammar in use, 3rd edn, Cambridge University Press, Sydney.
    Peters, P 1995, The Cambridge Australian English style guide, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
    Raimes, A 1990, Grammar troublespots: an editing guide for students, 2nd edn, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
    Swan, M 2005, Practical English Usage, 3rd edn, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
    Recommended Resources
    Beer, D & McMurrey, D 2005, A guide to writing as an engineer, 2nd edn, John Wiley and Sons, Hoboken.
    Cargill, M & O'Connor, P 2009, Writing scientific research articles: strategy and steps, Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester, UK.
    Copi, IM & Cohen, C 1998, Introduction to logic, 10th edn, Prentice-Hall International, London.
    Eunson, B 2005 or 2006, Communicating in the 21st Century, John Wiley and Sons, Milton.
    Girle, RA 2008, Introduction to logic, 2nd edn, Pearson Education, Rosedale.
    Hart, H 2005, Introduction to engineering communication, Pearson Education, Inc. Upper Saddle River.
    Huckin, T & Olsen, LA 1991, Technical writing and professional communication for nonnative speakers of English, 2nd edn, McGraw-Hill, Inc., New York.
    Ingre, D 2008, Engineering communication: a practical guide to workplace communications for engineers, Thompson, Toronto.
    Mohan, T, McGregor, H, Saunders, S & Archee, R 2008, Communicating as professionals,Thomson, Southbank.
    Munson, R and Black, A 2007, The Elements of reasoning, 5th edn, Thomson, Belmont.
    Penrose, AM & Katz, SB 2004, Writing in the sciences: exploring conventions of scientific discourse, 2nd edn, Pearson Education, New York.
    Rudinow, J & Barry, VE 1994, Invitation to critical thinking, 3rd edn, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, Fort Worth. 
    Swales, J & Feak, C 1994, Academic writing for graduate students, University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor.
    Weissberg, R & Buker, S 1990 Writing up research, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs.
    Online Learning
    An extensive range of resources is available through MyUni. Students are expected to check their email and MyUni dailyfor information, announcements, resources and learning tasks.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Classes (Project Classes and Workshops) and lectures are the primary means of delivery in this task-based course.To learn successfully in this course, students need to interact with each other in English in classes and listen to and absorb material in lectures. Thus, students are required to attend and actively participate in both classes and lectures. Through discussion, negotiation and other formative tasks during classes, students have the opportunity to develop and hone their English language and critical thinking skills. Written and oral assessment tasks provide opportunities for students to expand and refine their communication skills in English.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Contact time per week:
    Lecture: 1 hour
    Project class: 2 hours
    2 hours

    Students are expected to spend a minimum of four hours per week actively following up material and tasks presented in lectures, project classes, workshops and online through MyUni.
    Learning Activities Summary
    This course consists of a series of lectures and workshops.The teaching topics will be drawn from the following:

    Professional competencies of engineers and the role of communication
    Complex systems in everyday language
    Presenting a business case
    System requirements and synthetic languages
    Formal engineering reviews
    Teamwork skills, peer review and reflective practice
    Critical thinking and argument development
    Professional writing
    Academic writing

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Due to the current COVID-19 situation modified arrangements have been made to assessments to facilitate remote learning and teaching. Assessment details provided here reflect recent updates.
    Assessment Task Weighting (%) Individual/ Group Formative/ Summative
    Due (week)*
    Hurdle criteria Learning outcomes
    1 Preliminary paper (linked to Assignment 6) 14 Individual Formative/Summative Week 4 1. 2. 3. 6. 7.
    2 Video presentation 14 Individual Summative Week 5 or 6 1. 2. 3. 4. 6. 7.
    3 Engineering report  20 Individual Summative Week 8 1. 2. 3. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 
    4 Engineering review via Zoom 15 Group Summative Week 10 1. 2. 3. 5. 7. 8. 9. 10.
    5 Reflections 10 Individual Formative/Summative Weeks 9,11 1. 2. 3. 5. 9.
    6 Sustainability Position Paper 20 Group Summative Week 13 40% 1. 2. 3. 5. 6. 7. 
    Quizzes/Tasks 7 Individual/Group Formative/Summative As on MyUni 1. 2. 3. 5. 6. 8. 9. 10.
    Total 100

    * The specific due date for each assessment task will be available on MyUni.
    This assessment breakdown is registered as an exemption to the University's Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy. The exemption is related to the Procedures clause(s): 1. a. i

    Assessment Related Requirements
    The assessment regime is intended to be broadly representative of the professional work environment. For this reason, and because students will work in teams, students are expected to attend all classes and workshops.

    Assessment Detail
    Details of assessment tasks will be provided during the course. There will be a mix of group and individual assessment.

    Written assignments are submitted electronically. Selected assignments must be submitted electronically to the Turnitin plagiarism software. Late submissions are not accepted without the prior approval of the Course Co-ordinator. By submitting an assignment via MyUni students are agreeing to the following statement:

    'I declare that all material in this assessment is my own work, except where there is clear acknowledgement and reference to the work of others. I have read the University of Adelaide's Academic Honesty Policy. I give permission for any assessed assignments to be reproduced and submitted to other academic staff for the purposes of assessment and to be copied, submitted and retained in a form suitable for electronic checking of plagiarism.'
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

    Student feedback in Semester 1 2019 indicated that some students considered more instruction and time were needed to develop presentation skills to enable them to present at Masters level.  We addressed this issue by rearranging the course timetable to give more time to presentation skill development, with the aim of achieving the Engineers Australia Stage 1 competency standard upon graduation from the Master of Engineering program.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.