Week 5 – Communication
In Effective communication in an online environment, Dr Bruce Johnson simply states, “Effectively communicating with students in an online classroom requires new techniques.” This is ,of course, easier said than done. It is the level of clarity in which we deliver the message that predetermines its effectiveness. Johnson points out that “all of the details within a message become important, including the tone of the message, the word choices used, and the mechanics of the message. ” The classroom teacher traditionally relies heavily upon face-to face delivery. Think of the last lesson plans you provided for the substitute, that were not followed because the sub &/or the students did not fully understand the directions. It seems clear when we read it, but the simplest piece left undefined can lead to misinterpretation. Which in turn leads to more questions and more time on the lesson than originally planned. In the online environment, both student and instructor rely “upon written communication as a primary means of delivering feedback and addressing the <students> developmental needs.” When this feedback and communication is personalized and completed in a timely manner it can build a strong communication channel. Close attention to content detail and specific word choice can make the difference between a positive or negative experience. As the classroom teacher moves into the online environment, we must focus on perfecting our written communication skills just as we have with oral communication in our face-to-face classroom.