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Ena Bhattacharyya shares her extensive knowledge on the topic of new media communication skills

IGI Global Interview: Ena Bhattacharyya Shares Expertise

By Elizabeth Leber on May 2, 2017
Emerging Research TrendsDr. Ena Bhattacharyya
Bill Gates once said, " I'm a great believer that any tool that enhances communication has profound effects on how people can learn from each other, and how they can achieve the kinds of freedoms they're interested in." The spillover from the network and collaboration with academic practitioners in the communications field resulted in the idea of creating a book chapter on a common issue everyone was passionate about: communication. The book chapter then evolved into the IGI Global title New Media Communication Skills for Engineers and IT Professionals: Trans-National and Trans-Cultural Demands (indexed in Scopus), which is a scholarly publication edited by Dr. Arun Patil, Dr. Henk Eijkman and Dr. Ena Bhattacharyya, respectively from Deakin University (Australia), University of New South Wales (Australia) and Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (Malaysia).

This book compiles a broad and valuable insight on communication skills for engineers and IT professionals. Its 12 chapters of original and previously unpublished research articles provides an interesting and exciting peek into the communication demands expected of today’s engineers and information technology professionals immersed in multicultural global enterprises from around the globe. Many of the co-authors were pleased to know that there were shared sentiments, goals and aspirations to enhance and elevate communication skills, a less explored area of research in view of its oral speed in comparison to non-verbal skills studies where researchers can revert to written documentation for validation. Once spoken, it can never be recaptured.

Recently, Dr. Ena Bhattacharyya, coauthor and senior language and communication lecturer with the management and humanities department, took time to collaborate with IGI Global for a short interview to discuss the relevancy of this valuable title.

1. How is this research relevant?

With the considerable gaps between the teaching and assessment of communication skills in educational institutions and the expectations of engineering and IT industries and professional bodies, this book seeks to lessen the knowledge and practical divide on communication skills. It is a comprehensive scholarly guide to a broad range of traditional and new media communication skills, and it is an inclusive reference work for all stakeholders who find themselves in new trans-cultural workplaces that demands increasingly sophisticated communication skills from report writing for globally dispersed multi-cultural teams to rich, new media presentations using the latest digital communication technologies. It provides engineering and IT educators especially at tertiary levels with a valuable reference work that targets both the theory and practice of teaching sophisticated communication skills in professional courses in higher education. This book aims to address not only current gaps in practice, but it also seeks to link the new demands of global workplaces and their increased use of a new range of digital communication technologies to the effective learning and attainment of these skills by engineering and IT graduates. In doing so, and given the international nature of this issue, the book will focus on several important dimensions of communication skills
  • Takes current practices and future trends in communication strategies as the foundation for examining communication theories and practices
  • Outlines and gives examples of best practices in how these communication skills ought to be taught and assessed in tertiary professional programs in different parts of the world
  • Seeks also to provide a practical tools for graduates and current practitioners by highlighting and providing examples of good practices in a wide range of communication skills and tools
  • Recommends a number of actions designed to improve the capability of higher educational institutions/universities to produce graduates who possess more effective and higher quality communication skills
. These insights and practical strategies are timely as it will make a significant contribution to the current body of literature on soft skills requirements of engineering and IT professionals and in turn lessen the so-called academia-practitioner divide

2. What are controversial topics related to this research?

IGI Global Interview: Ena Bhattacharyya Shares Expertise Available literature on communication skills is very generic and tends to be aimed at higher education in general. The literature search shows there is a distinct need for a comprehensive resource for the learning of traditional as well as new 21st Century, new paradigm digital communication skills in either workplace or educational settings in engineering and technology. The book intends to corporate the views of a wide range of stakeholders; practitioners, educators, and students. The intention is to give readers comprehensive insights into the proficient use of a broad range of communication skills and tools critical for effective professional participation in the workplace and in the professional communities of engineering and IT practice. Among the highlighted controversial topics that accentuate the importance of communication skills in a broad perspective include:
  • Megatrends in engineering and technology education: a call for communicative imagination
  • Enculturation into engineering professional practice: using legitimate peripheral participation to develop communication skills in engineering students
  • Conceptual mapping, visualization and systems thinking in engineering
  • Multiple dimensions of media communication skills: new demands for transnational, trans-cultural knowledge exchange
3. What is your opinion on the controversial topics related to this research?

Provide a wider perspective on the impact communication has in our society globally from a transnational and transcultural perspective.

4. Do you have any additional points to highlight regarding this title?
  • It is a refreshing trans-national and trans-cultural guide for educators, graduates and practitioners
  • This book addresses the 21st century communication concerns for engineers and IT professionals
  • A useful read to gain knowledge and pedagogical innovations on global communication practices among engineering and IT professionals globally
  • The impact and significance of communication skills that permeates close collaboration among diverse communities of practice
  • Knowledge exchange on communication skills and practices across multi-dimensional teaching and learning practices
  • Communication enhances trans-national and trans-cultural boundaries

This title offers a comprehensive review and facts on communication skills learning/teaching as well as assessment practices around the globe. Practitioners, academics, students and researchers will find a rich resource for implementing best practices in communication skills, including how best to use, teach, assess and learn them.The topics covered include but are not limited to communicative competence, communication frameworks, conceptual mapping, engineering education technologies, linguistic and cultural skills, systems thinking, technical presentation anxiety, trans-cultural knowledge exchange, transnational knowledge exchange and visualization skills. The dissemination of the communication skills and demands among global practitioners is in line with IGI Global’s vision in facilitating academic excellence and disseminating innovative knowledge worldwide.

Many thanks to Dr. Bhattacharyya for her noteworthy contributions and for sharing her expertise in new media communications. To provide a review of this title, please email eleber@igi-global.com.
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Elizabeth Leber
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