Chapter 4 Communication Skills
4.5 Chapter Review and Activities
The importance of good communication skills cannot be over-emphasized. They are relevant in all situations whether educational, personal, or work situations. Think about practising good strategies for communication and keep checking yourself. It is not uncommon to start thinking you are finally getting good at it, and then make a huge faux pas. Reviewing strategies for active listening, asking effective questions, and implementing effective teamwork are needed regularly.
Exercise: Communication Skills
- List two things you should do before the class to prepare yourself for active listening.
- Where should you sit in the classroom? Why?
- What are some of the ways instructors signal important material?
- Name the 5 Ws and H.
- List two characteristics of effective teamwork that you could improve upon and integrate into your next group assignment.
- In all interactive learning situations, apply the basic principles of active listening.
- Focus on what is being said, confirm that you heard the right message, ask for any clarification you need, watch for nonverbal messages, listen for requests, and demonstrate non-verbal listening.
- Specific strategies are helpful for listening well in a lecture hall.
- Be ready to compensate if your instructor speaks too fast, has a heavy accent that makes understanding difficult for you, or speaks too softly.
- Active listening involves understanding (receiving) and communicating understanding (conveying.) The listener understands the speaker and the speaker feels understood.
- Don’t be shy about asking questions. Asking questions is easier when you are prepared and positioned for success.
- Using the 5 Ws and H (who, what, when, where, why, and how?) is always a good springboard for asking questions and testing understanding.
- Bloom’s Taxonomy describes an increasingly complex level of understanding of concepts. Questions can require higher levels of critical thinking as they move up the levels on the pyramid of Bloom’s scale.
- There are distinct characteristics of efficient teams that make group work productive.
- Look for opportunities to work in teams and practice good teamwork skills.
- Many of the key takeaways and exercise questions were adapted from “Are you really listening?” in University Success by N. Mahoney, B. Klassen, and M. D’Eon. Adapted by Mary Shier. CC BY-NC-SA.