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utrecht university

Communication skills in academia

Presenting research is a big part of academia. However, (PhD) students are not always highly skilled in this respect. There is often no money or time for classroom training. Scientists of Utrecht University and Technical University of Eindhoven, amongst others, gave input for a new training that has already been followed by hundreds of students. Students can train their own skills directly, and can practice with own texts. Their teachers or co-students give them feedback when requested. 

In the case of qualitative research, the communication skills of the student that is conducting an interview will decide the revenue of the conversation. These skills can be assessed and trained and the number of students training online is increasing rapidly. Students who work on a collaborative project can use these skills as well. By training giving feedback for example, students will quickly be able to work together well.

  • Presenting research

    A fascinated audience will be able to process information better.

  • Qualitative research

    The combination of a good atmosphere and sharp questions leads to a higher revenue.

  • Giving feedback

    Discuss current affairs and optimise collaborations.

I thought it was surprising to see what the students’ areas of improvement are. You can see that really well on the videos, so you can give specific feedback.
communication skills traintool
drs. Frans Kranenburg
Utrecht University

Skills for a succesful career

Preparation for a professional career is becoming a more and more important part of academic training. In the field of communication skills, students can lay an important foundation for the rest of their career. Students who present themselves or an idea with confidence have an important head start at the beginning of their career. In addition, networking and establishing relations in an unforced way is a skill that can be useful in many important situations.

  • Applying for jobs professionally

    Being confident and realistic to maximise the opportunities.

  • Personal pitch

    Presenting yourself in a confident and eloquent way.

  • Networking

    Establishing relations in a targeted yet relaxed manner.

Students are learning much more in comparison to the old system, so for that matter, the return is very high!
dr. Ilse van Liempt
Utrecht University
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Themes specific for the field

Discours may vary in every field. This can be assessed and trained on the basis of examples and models. Expert teachers develop the content in collaboration with us and possibly other teachers. This can be implemented as part of a course or as a programme in itself, to make students more aware and able. Examples of current training programs within a specific area are: 

  • Medicinal anamnesis

    In the pharmacy faculty

  • Orientation on didactic practice

    In the teacher training of the science faculty

  • Development psychopathology

    In the pedagogy faculty

It was really useful that I could practice a lot, so you can see what you are doing wrong. Now, I always know how to react.
Utrecht University
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Soft skills for academics and staff

Teaching, presenting research and everything in that discipline, like explaining as well as maintaining order, are typically teacher skills. If needed, this can be trained and tested in TrainTool with recognisable casuistry. On-screen teaching is relatively new. Through TrainTool teachers can not only record their e-lectures but also practice in a comfortable and uncontrolled manner, including autocue with their own text, moving towards a perfect studio recording. Other uses can train the maintenance and other staff, for example in management and collaborative skills: conducting a job interview, giving feedback, coping with hierarchy, good news and bad news interviews.

  • Presenting research

    Passing on technical and theoretical results to a diverse public.

  • Preparing e-lectures

    Moving towards a persuasive explanation that can be spread worldwide.

  • Management skills
    Conversations that go beyond citation scores and general motivation.