Interactive Teaching in Interpersonal Skills

Jørgen Erik Christensen, Markku Karhu, Cecillia Christensen

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    Engineers are very much part of the ongoing globalization and they are encountering problems of cross-disciplinary nature. Team working skills respecting other peoples’ qualifications are required so therefore interpersonal skills are becoming more and more important, including communications skills, leadership and awareness. Consequently, educational programs for teaching engineers should work with the fact that the capability of communicating with people with different background competences is important, nevertheless the engineering education has traditionally focused on technical skills rather than on personal development. In order to reform the B.Sc. courses to guide students to become better and more efficient engineers on all levels, the DTU (Technical University of Denmark) and Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences (Metropolia) modified their education according to the CDIO (conceive, design, implement and operate) approach in the autumn of 2008. The CDIO pedagogy encouraged to develop an interactive course in interpersonal skills, where the students have to take an active part in the exercises as well as involve themselves in the interactive communication process. The course consists of various exercises from which the participants will develop their awareness and knowledge of communication. It is the intention to give the students a personal understanding and idea of a different approach to communicating between people. The students evaluated the course, and the four key questions dealing with the quality of the course show a very high satisfaction with the instruction. The grades one and two (1 best/very much, 5 worst/very little) of the responses to these four questions are ranging on average from 69.5% to 88% (on a yearly basis). The positive responses indicate that the students are very satisfied with the course recognizing the need for education on international communication.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Civil Engineering and Architecture
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)206-219
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • Communication
    • Exercise
    • Interactive teaching
    • Interpersonal skills
    • Personal development


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