Develop Communication Skills

It is a valuable skill to clearly and succinctly express ideas. Students benefit from a structured environment in which to learn and practice how to convey their thoughts through informal class discussions to formal oral and written assignments. Further, by speaking or writing information, students internalize content and check their understanding.

While there are often opportunities for students to practice either written or oral communication, there are far fewer instances in which this is explicitly a skill that is being taught. Having a framework demonstrating effective communication as well as a system for timely feedback is important. Further, by providing students an opportunity to speak or write, you force them to check their own understanding and allow them to teach their peers. Develop

Developing Communication Skills can be worked into a variety of activity types! Here are just a few examples:

 

Presentation: Presentations are an obvious opportunity to focus on communication skills. Students will have to speak on a class topic in front of their peers. Take this opportunity to teach effective slide design, talk organization/logic, and speaking techniques.

 

Research: Written research reports are a common assignment across secondary education classrooms. In addition to emphasizing research methods, emphasize the content and style of the final report. How should students structure the assignment? What tone and style is appropriate for the discipline and the type of report?

 

There are also ways to focus on Developing Communication Skills in unexpected activity types.

 

Case Study: A case study typically requires a leader to head the class discussion. Rather than having the instructor play this role, students can be assigned to lead provided they have feedback prior to their presentation to ensure they cover the required material. This provides students an additional opportunity to make a clear and effective presentation, convey key information, and manage their classmates feedback to formulate a final summary on the spot. Have groups of students rotate during the semester so each student has the opportunity to present at least once.

Coming soon!