Technical Communications
Subject Code: LES1010
Aim of Subject: To develop and enhance effectiveness in the written and oral communications for academic and career purposes.
Learning Outcome of Subject: At the completion of the subject, students should be able to:
  • Explain the concepts of effective communication.
  • Apply effective communication skills in verbal & nonverbal communication.
  • Describe the concepts of information elements in structuring writing of a report or other communication documents in English.
  • Write and evaluate an efficient technical report and other communication documents.
  • Conduct effective oral presentations in English.
  • Articulate and put across their ideas spontaneously at a meeting or assembly of people in English.
  • Prioritize urgent work and collaborate as a responsible group member in group work.
Programme Outcomes:
  • Capability to communicate effectively(10%)
  • Understanding and commitment to professional and ethical responsibilities(10%)
  • Ability to work independently as well as with others in a team(10%)
  • Ability to be a multi-skilled engineer with good technical knowledge, management, leadership and entrepreneurship skills(10%)
  • Awareness of the social, cultural, global and environmental responsibilities as an engineer(50%)
  • Capability and enthusiasm for self-improvement through continuous professional development and life-long learning(10%)
Assessment Scheme:
  • Technical Report(15%)
  • Report Presentation(10%)
  • Mock Meeting(15%)
  • Final Exam(60%)
Teaching and Learning Activities: 42 hours (lectures)
Credit Hours: 3
Pre-Requisite: None
  • Judith Dwyer ( 1997 ) The Business Communication Handbook(4th ed. ), Australia, Prentice Hall.
  • Herta A. Murphy et al, ( 1997 ) Effective Business Communication ( 7th Ed. ), McGraw Hill .
  • Baden Eunson ( 1994 ) Writing and Presenting Reports, USA, John Wiley & Sons.
  • Stephen E. Lucas ( 1995 ) The Art of Public Speaking ( 5th Ed. ), USA, McGraw-Hill
  • Brian Howe ( 1992 ) Visitron - The Language of Meetings and Negotiations ( 6th Ed. ), Longman Group UK Ltd.
  • Nina O'Driscoll and A. Dilbeam ( 1992 ) Meetings and Discussions, UK, Longmans.
  • P.O'Connor, A. Dilbeam and F-Scott-Barrett ( 1992 ) Negotiating, UK, Longmans.
  • Milan D. Meeske ( 1998 ) Copyrighting for the Electronics Media ( 3rd Edition ), USA, ITP
  • Ron Ludlow and Fergus Panton ( 1992 ) The Essence of Effective Communication, UK, Prentice Hall.
  • A.D. Phillips & P.E. Sotiriou, (1996) Steps To Reading proficiency, Hienle & Hienle
  • David Beer and David Mcmurray (1997), A Guide to Writing as an Engineer, Wiley &Sons
  • Weissberg ,R. & Buker,S (1990) Writing Up Research, Prentice Hall, USA
  • Nanyang Tech.Univ. (1997) Technical Report Writing, Prentice Hall

Subject Contents

  • Introduction to Communications

  • Principles of effective communication in interpersonal and mass communication process. Verbal and non-verbal (proximics, kinestics, paralanguage including graphical and numerical communications).
  • Written Communication

  • Principles of technical writing /to write a technical report - appropriate genre, conventions ( information elements), styles and reader accessibility.
    Macro - level : - through different stages/parts of writing the report ; focus on information elements: analyses audience/readers, analyses purpose and writing situation , gathers/selects information (content schemata) and arranges/organises information in appropriate (chronological, spatial, time or process) sequence.
    Micro-level :- paragraph development using rhetorical functions like classification, definition, deductive and inductive arguments with grammatical appropriateness eg. transitional and cohesive devices .
  • Oral Communication

  • Public speaking skills, multi-media presentation skills with effective use of visual aids and statistical/technical information; to field questions in Q&A. Facilitator and participant skills in meetings. Negotiating skills of clarifying, amplifying and substantiating in interviews. Idea-generating skills in group collaborations. Awareness of other speaking situations : manuscript speaking and at meetings using spontaneous responses and articulation of thought.
  • Reading Skills

  • Effective reading skills - extracting main ideas and reading for specific information through speed-reading, chunk/cluster -reading and word-attack techniques of technical reading materials specific to their field eg Professional journals. To discuss or write the ideas extracted.
    Note : The above skills would be processed through writing job application letters, experimental research reports and documents such as press releases and memos etc.