What do communication skills mean in the Construction discipline?

  • Rosalie Janet Goldsmith AALL
  • Sidney Newton
Keywords: communication skills, academic standards, construction discipline, threshold learning outcomes


The establishment of academic standards in a number of disciplines has been the focus of an ongoing Australian Communication has emerged as one of the key threshold learning outcomes in the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC)-funded project (2010-2011) which established academic standards in a number of disciplines in Australian higher education institutions. However, it is far from clear what is meant by the term “communication” in any of the disciplines, including the Construction discipline. This study examines the different understandings of communication skills in the Construction discipline that have emerged through thematic and concordance analysis of focus group discussions with the three major stakeholders in the discipline: faculty staff at several Australian universities, industry representatives, and students/recent graduates from Building & Construction degree programs. The findings show that each of the stakeholders has a different understanding of what communication encompasses, and that there are clear differences between the various higher education providers as to what communication is and how it can be developed in a degree program. The findings then beg the question: how are such skills to be taught and assessed in the context of the discipline?

Author Biographies

Rosalie Janet Goldsmith, AALL
Project Officer LTAS Building & construction Academic Standards Faculty of the Built Environment UNSW
Sidney Newton
Associate Professor Faculty of the Built Environment
How to Cite
GoldsmithR. J., & NewtonS. (2011). What do communication skills mean in the Construction discipline?. Journal of Academic Language and Learning, 5(2), A158-A168. Retrieved from https://journal.aall.org.au/index.php/jall/article/view/167