Instructor support program for communication education

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Introduction

 At the Fukuoka Institute of Technology's Department of Electrical Engineering, there are a large number of freshmen entering our university who have graduated from technical schools in addition to regular high schools. As a result of their diverse educational background, we began in 2003 to hold regular classes from the freshman year to bridge the gap in standards among the different high school physics and mathematics curriculums. However, because the average level of understanding has been declining overall, it has become difficult for students to understand specialty subjects at the high school level. The reduced curriculum is often sited as one of the factors, but another factor that can be seen as influencing this is the slide in communication ability. When a teacher asks if there is anything the students don't understand, more and more of today's students are replying that they're not even sure of what they don't know. There are growing numbers of students who can't even grasp the general idea of trigonometry or complex numbers.

  Communication is not merely the skill of exchanging opinions. To communicate effectively, it is first and foremost necessary to organize one's thoughts. When a person is unable to organize knowledge, he/she cannot draw for him/herself a clear line between what is understood and what isn't. Furthermore, their ideas cannot be conveyed clearly to others. For this reason, students end up saying, "I don't know what I don't know."

  With this background, the Data Processing Communication interdisciplinary course, a new curriculum beginning with the freshman class of 2007, was established at the Fukuoka Institute of Technology. In addition to the information science subjects utilizing computers, classes have been conducted to foster the ability to communicate.

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