The communication process is vital to effective learning within a classroom environment. Classroom instruction that produces positive results acknowledges the need for a liberal use of nonverbal cues, student involvement and team communication.
Whether by means of direct or indirect communication, instructors must convey instruction to students within a classroom. When lecturing or describing assignments, a teacher must gauge the comfort level of each of his students with his communication style. For example, if he explicitly defines rules and regulations associated with classwork, he may help students to be clearly aware of their boundaries, but may also lead them to feel micromanaged. In actual practice, communication within the classroom tends to be a happy compromise between both extremes, being neither exclusively direct or indirect in nature.
Student involvement during classroom discussions typically fosters a healthy communication process. Students should be coaxed to participate in the classroom, despite the fact that many students are reticent to voice their opinions. The solicitation of participation serves multiple purposes. Students observe that their questions are worthy of being answered, can freely exchange ideas with one another and can build confidence as they express themselves in public. Often, instructors can quickly identify weak areas of student understanding when they are invited to speak up during a class session.
Verbal and Nonverbal Communication
Communication within a classroom context relies just as heavily on written instruction, body language and implicit expectancies as it does on verbal cues. Douglas A. Parker, author of "Confident Communication: Speaking Tips for Educators," advises that two-thirds of an instructor's message is contained in his nonverbal language. Educators should devote attention to the use of appropriate gestures, facial expressions and constructive use of physical space when teaching a class of students.
Acquisition of essential learning concepts is reinforced when students are encouraged to incorporate team communication skills within the classroom. Group work allows students to advance a division of responsibilities as well as to provide one another with peer support. Educators should monitor teams as they operate within a classroom, helping students to establish consensus regarding their approach to the material being studied.
In order to assess student mastery of concepts touched upon during classroom instruction, an educator should compel his students to demonstrate their knowledge through written or oral tests. Written tests are familiar to students, who undergo a battery of standardized tests from grade school until they are deeply entrenched within their university years. Oral tests, by contrast, are more sparingly used and may permit educators to detect learning disabilities in children.
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