Assessment of Communication Competencies in Engineering Design Projects

Gert W. Brinkman, Thea M. van der Geest

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Reforms in engineering education have caused a shift from the traditional stand-alone course in technical communication for Engineering students towards communication training integrated in courses and design projects that allows students to develop four layers of competence. This shift creates opportunities for realistic and situated learning, but offers challenges for assessment of communication competence at student, course and program levels. On the basis of a detailed definition of communicative competence, three formats for integrated communication training are described: Linked to design projects, integrated in design projects and integrated at program level. Assessment of communication competence in these formats is constrained by their characteristics with regard to student motivation, individual and group work, and situated learning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-82
Number of pages15
JournalTechnical communication quarterly
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • Business communication & presentation
  • Communication studies
  • Organizational communication


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