IMPROVING ORAL COMMUNICATION SKILLS THROUGH ASSESSMENT TOOLS IN ECONOMICS FOR BUILDING ENGINEERING
In the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) Universities are responsible for training students so that they can develop efficiently a professional activity. Because of this, the bachelor degree should enable students to acquire the necessary skills.
At present, in the practice section of the course on Economics for the first year in Building Engineering, students choose a business in the construction industry and apply the criteria defined in class in order to analyze its feasibility. However, business success not only depends on the technical and economic feasibility of the project. The way chosen for communicating and presenting the business plan is crucial to get it funded.
For several years, we have observed students’ deficiencies in oral communication skills when presenting their business ideas.
Oral communication skills are considered critical both in the specific context of entrepreneurship and in the broader of the Building Engineering Degree. Hence, this work aims to enhance the acquisition of these skills as students develop their Business Plan.
The methodology has consisted in the design of a new working plan for the Business Plan in the practice section for Economics. On the one hand, specific learning objectives related to communication skills have been included in the Business Plan. On the other, a system for assessment has been designed with rubrics for each of the specific skill objectives, in two stages (intermediate and final). Furthermore, so that students know their progress in the acquisition of this competence, a feedback system has been developed.
Results show success in the second stage of assessment and implementation of this methodological innovation to acquire oral communication skills.