ESP838 - Communication Skills for IT Professionals

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-07-20 12:29:41.176
Last review date 2018-07-20 12:29:59.767

Subject Title
Communication Skills for IT Professionals

Subject Description
This course teaches students how to better communicate in the field of information technology.  Students will refine their communication skills through practice in a variety of authentic situations.  The focus is to increase both accuracy and fluency to effectively interact with co-workers and IT professionals.  Strategies to enhance oral communication as well as tips on writing clear, easily understood documentation including reports are taught. This course also offers a review of grammar and punctuation.

Credit Status
Non Credit

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

  1. effectively interact with the general public and IT professionals;
  2. effectively give advice and make suggestions in regards to client options;
  3. provide detailed complex information in order to coordinate team work;
  4. analyze or express opinions about the workplace;
  5. express, clarify, and elaborate instructions/information to clients, co-workers, superiors;
  6. use and understand a variety of sentence structures and an expanded vocabulary of common idiomatic language and acronyms used in a health care setting;
  7. effectively carry on, take, and understand brief phone messages;
  8. demonstrate/identify comprehension of main and supporting details;
  9. write grammatically correct and accurate incident, accident, and patient care reports;
  10. further develop oral and listening skills required to ensure professional competence
  11. Identify and categorize grammatical errors in terms of global and local errors.
  12. understand Canadian cultural perspectives, standards and norms

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.

Topic Outline
1.    Writing:
•          Outlines – organization and sequencing
•          Writing summaries of short readings and presentations using their own words
•          Reports- organization and sequencing
•          Coherence, unity , Clarity, Accuracy
2.  Speaking:
Techniques to enhance detection (listening) and production (speaking) skills:
•          Provide a description
•          Ask for/give information
•          Give instructions
•          Explain and clarify
•          Ask for clarification
3.   Reading: 
•          Outlining case study scenarios
•          Paraphrasing,
4.  Listening:
•          Understand sufficient vocabulary, idioms and colloquial expressions to follow detailed stories/scenarios
•          Understand directions given on the phone
•          Understand messages left on voice mail or on a recording
•          Take detailed phone messages for others and accurately convey them orally
5. Vocabulary Development in the context of reading, writing, and speaking:
•          IT terminology as appropriate
•          IT terminology abbreviations
6. Grammar/ Mechanics (Editing)
Connectors and transitions: Addition/Contrast, Concession, Choice/Alternative: Result/Purpose, Cause, Condition, Time, Restatement
Past and present forms of modals (ability, advice, necessity, possibility/deduction)
Reported speech
Parts of speech (in the context of editing word from errors)
Determiners (articles, quantifiers)
Sentence Structure (word order)
7.         Sentence Mechanics
•                Punctuation
•                Spelling
•                Capitalization

Mode of Instruction
In this course, the instructor guides students through the writing process by exploring the basic components of various styles of writing.  Students apply the principles of writing and editing in writing exercises, assignments and readings. The instructor also helps students to identify their own grammar weaknesses and to select and apply self-editing strategies to master these weaknesses.  The instructor may use the following teaching modes: 
*          lectures
*          question and answer techniques 
*          classroom discussion 
*          pair/group work 
*          project work

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online ( or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation
Students must get a mark of 60% or higher in order to get a satisfactory grade in this subject. The final grade is based on: 
No final exam is required.   Assignments should be a combination of written and oral activities.  Perhaps pursue a portfolio approach with written assignments.  At least 1 presentation – could be individual or group.

Approved by: Fiona Bain-greenwood