Working Through Communication
Working Through Communication is a handbook for creating an active–learning tutorial at tertiary level. It is a multi–purpose book designed for use within a wide range of entry level communication courses in conjunction with more detailed texts. As an adjunct to lectures and texts it provides structured material and related writing and speaking exercises for interactive small–group tutorial sessions. Alternatively it can be used in distance education or flexible delivery courses where the student is provided with individual exercises and tasks to be undertaken at his or her own pace.
Key findings of adult learning suggest that involvement in planning and selection of learning materials motivates adult learners. Generally this is difficult to achieve when courses have to be planned well before the students come to the first class. However, Working through communication allows course co–ordinators and tutors to work with students in selecting reading, writing and interactive material to complement what is provided in lectures and textbooks. Students can be involved in planning their own learning, allowing lecturers and tutors to become facilitators in the learning process.
Although a “good” lecturer who can skilfully integrate visual aids, intriguing examples and an enthusiastic tone can often convey a great deal of information in a short time, this is not always the case and students attending lectures are often placed in the role of passive audience members. Greater involvement is possible in interactive and participatory learning settings where students learn best by interacting with one another via structured materials utilising information and ideas they have gained through lectures, through their reading of textbooks and through library research.
Tutorials provide opportunities for such interaction facilitated by academic staff. With this book, students and tutors can participate in planning the semester’s learning experiences and the order in which they will be done (depending on the list of lectures planned in the course, the assessment set, the background and interests of the students and other relevant factors).
Students and tutors can negotiate their program week by week, or they can spend part of the first or second tutorial deciding on a program for the entire semester.
Alternatively students may elect to have their tutors choose activities which best fit the nature of the particular course and its assessment requirements. The timetable at the back of the book allows tutorial work to be set for courses of up to 14 weeks.
Mary R. Power. Working Through Communication. , 1998.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/mary_power/13
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