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Students, particularly those in STEM and healthcare-related programs, should develop proficient interpersonal skills, including communication. To help students develop effective communication skills, instructors need to consider the value students give to learning these skills. The Student Attitudes Toward Communication Skills Survey (SATCSS) was developed to measure how undergraduate students value learning communication skills based on Expectancy-Value Theory across three modes of communication (verbal, written, non-verbal). The survey was given to students interested in healthcare professions and enrolled in an undergraduate anatomy and physiology course (n = 233) at a Midwest research active university. The survey showed evidence of validity, measuring two components: Value to Profession (attainment and utility value) and Value to Self (intrinsic value and cost). There was a significant difference in sub-scores among the four task values such that students thought that learning communication skills was important and relevant (high attainment and utility value) but not interesting (low intrinsic value) and costly. Students with high total scores valued communication skills across all four task values. As total value scores decreased, it was first due to students finding learning communication skills to be time prohibitive and then a lack of interest in learning communication skills. Based on these results, it is recommended that instructors incorporate communication skills training into content that is already part of their anatomy and physiology course to reduce time concerns. Additional recommendations include using reflective activities and humor to increase student interest.

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This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Cline, C., Santuzzi, A. M., Samonds, K. E., LaDue, N., & Bergan-Roller, H. E. (2021). Assessing How Students Value Learning Communication Skills in an Undergraduate Anatomy and Physiology Course. Anatomical Sciences Education, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. This article may not be enhanced, enriched or otherwise transformed into a derivative work, without express permission from Wiley or by statutory rights under applicable legislation. Copyright notices must not be removed, obscured or modified. The article must be linked to Wiley's version of record on Wiley Online Library and any embedding, framing or otherwise making available the article or pages thereof by third parties from platforms, services and websites other than Wiley Online Library must be prohibited.


Department of Biological Sciences




Anatomical Sciences Education

Available for download on Wednesday, October 19, 2022