Explain and evaluate how you use at least three appropriate communication strategies/theories to enhance teaching/learning experiences in your own subject specialism area. This assignment will discuss and evaluate how I communicate effectively with my learners to ensure their understanding. In particular I will focus on Shannon’s and Schramm model to illustrate how communication takes place and how the communication strategies I use within my own teaching, Q&A and body language, enhance learning. Communication is the process by which a person sends a message which is received by another person with the intention of the message being understood. In teaching this is what happens between the teacher and the learners. Messages can be sent in a variety of ways: through speech, written format or body language. One of the earliest models of communication theory was published by Shannon in 1948. The model shows how communication takes place, through the source, but also factors in how communication can go wrong (see appendix A). Shannon’s model describes how a message begins with the ‘source’, in this case, the teacher. The message is then transmitted through different means, for example the phone, an email or direct speech. This is known as the ‘encoder’ stage. The message will then be understood, known as the ‘decoder’. Eventually the message reaches its destination or ‘receiver’. In an ideal learning environment communication would pass through this process without any interruption. However, as noted in Shannon’s model, noise can act as a barrier to good communication and distort a message resulting in the intended communication being misinterpreted. A number of factors can influence this noise barrier in a teaching environment, such as poor classroom layout, the learners not being able to see or hear the teacher, or the teacher could be pitching the level of learning too high or low for the learners. This model is said to have ‘laid the foundation for different communication models we have today, and has greatly helped and enhanced the communication process in various fields’ (Tutorials Point, year unknown). Indeed, other theorists, Schramm (1954) have developed Shannon’s model further, taking into account factors such the type of relationship and the need for feedback between the sender and receiver of the message. In my subject specialism of Lycon Waxing the learners I teach are attending for a one day course and the noise barrier is significantly influenced firstly by the individual learners and secondly, their previous experience in the beauty industry. Each individual learner’s willingness to learn can differ greatly in the classroom. The learners attending the course may have paid for the course themselves generally meaning their motivation to succeed is high and open to communication. Other learners may have been sent by their employer. This can sometimes result in individuals being closed to learning. Through my own teaching experience I have learnt to accommodate all individual learners by keeping the ways I communicate varied. I keep the role of me acting as the sole facilitator to a minimum to avoid learners from switching off. I also provide frequent short demonstrations with the main emphasis being on the practical application and removal of the wax. In addition, there are practical sessions where all learners are involved, peer feedback, targeted Q&A and written feedback. This results in learners feeling more engaged and motivated to learn as interested is kept through the varied forms of communications. Previous experience in beauty industry will also act a noise barrier when delivering my course. More experience learners will pick up all communication with ease compared to other, less experienced, learners. To accommodate these different abilities I ensure that I pitch my teaching at the right level for all individuals in the group. The groups I teach are kept to a maximum of eight learners....
References: Reece, I. Walker, S (2008) Teaching, training and learning, a practical guide 6th edn. Tyne and Wear: Business Education Publishers Limited.
Rogers, J. (2007) Adults Learning 5th edn. Berkshire: Open University Press.
Ruland, T (date unknown) Good Body Language Improves Classroom Management. Available at: http://www.nea.org/tools/52227.htm (Accessed: 21st April 2014)
Tutorials Point (no date) Communication models. Available at: http://www.tutorialspoint.com/management_concepts/communication_models.htm (Accessed: 20th April 2014)
Unknown (no date) Osgood – Schramm Model of Communication: Available at: http://communicationtheory.org/osgood-schramm-model-of-communication/ (Accessed: 20th April 2014)
A. Shannon’s model
B. Schramm’s Model
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