How Does a Student-Centered Course on Communication and Professional Skills Impact Students in the Long Run?

How Does a Student-Centered Course on Communication and Professional Skills Impact Students in the Long Run?

Abstract

This Full Paper in the Research-To-Practice Category presents a long-term study about the effects of a student-centered course on communication and professional skills on students’ thoughts, attitudes, and behavior. The course was offered at a European school of computer science as part of a Masters’ program. This paper shares the design and challenges of a longitudinal study - reaching ten years behind – and employing a mixed-methods approach. Besides presenting and interpreting the findings, we shed light on which features tend to stay on students’ minds and impact their way of being and acting in society. Moreover, we suggest implications for the design and practice in comparable courses to maximize constructive, sustainable effects, such as improved active listening, presentation skills, and openness to other perspectives. These are essential (not only) for computer science professionals. Our findings suggest that the course provided significant learning for the vast majority of respondents, including aspects such as presenting while keeping the other side in mind, managing one’s own stress, and becoming less shy to speak up. All in all, we aim to contribute an evidence-based source of motivation for instructors in technically focused curricula who hold a student-centered stance.

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Authors
  • Motschnig, Renate
  • Silber, Michael
  • Švábenský, Valdemar
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Shortfacts
Category
Paper in Conference Proceedings or in Workshop Proceedings (Paper)
Event Title
IEEE Frontiers in Education 2020 (online)
Divisions
Computer Science Didactics and Learning Research Center
Subjects
Informatik in Beziehung zu Mensch und Gesellschaft
Angewandte Informatik Sonstiges
Informatik Sonstiges
Event Location
Uppsala, Sweden
Event Type
Conference
Event Dates
21 - 24 Oct. 2020
Series Name
Proceedings of the 50th IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE ’20)
Date
24 October 2020
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