The ability to communicate effectively is an essential skill in all aspects of life. The usual methods of communication – speaking, reading and writing – receive considerable attention and learning time during all stages of education. For engineers, these skills are of no less importance, but there are further complications with the need to also convey technical information such as scale, perspective and standards of working.
The drive towards greater use of information and communication technology (ICT) is very much a part of modern life and this again is certainly the case for engineering. The engineering industry is in the front line of working towards paperless communication methods, for example the electronic transfer of data from the concept designer straight to the point of manufacture.
This unit will give a foundation for employment in a wide range of engineering disciplines (for example manufacturing, maintenance, communications technology), in addition to giving a foundation for further study. It aims to develop learners’ ability to communicate using a diverse range of methods. These include visual methods, such as drawing and sketching, and computer-based methods, such as two-dimensional (2D) computer-aided design (CAD) and graphical illustration packages. It will also develop learners’ ability to write and speak in a framework of technology-based activities, using relevant and accurate technical language appropriate to the task and the audience.
The unit will introduce learners to a variety of skills and techniques to obtain and use information, for example the presentation of technical reports, business and technical data and the use of visual aids for presentations. Learners will consider how to make best use of ICT in technological settings that are relevant to their programme of study or area of employment.
On completion of this unit a learner should:
- Be able to interpret and use engineering sketches/circuit/network diagrams to communicate technical information
- Be able to use verbal and written communication skills in engineering settings
- Be able to obtain and use engineering information
- Be able to use information and communication technology (ICT) to present information in engineering settings.