A Skill Critical to Success: Communication Much of the information that you receive while you attend college will be provided to you in the lecture format. Cultivating and improving your communication skills will assist you in understanding the lecture, taking accurate notes, participating in class discussions, and communicating with your instructors and peers.
The Differences Between Listening and Hearing Listening is a learned, voluntary activity just like driving a car, painting a picture, or playing the piano. Good listening takes practice, time, guidance, and active participation before you can become an active listener.
The Differences Between Listening and Hearing continued…. Hearing is not learned. It is automatic and involuntary. Just because we hear a sound does not guarantee that we know what the sound was, or from where it came from.
What does it mean? Listening with a purpose Different situations have different listening styles Listening objectively Open mind Listening constructively How can this be helpful to my life or education
Obstacles to Listening Prejudging Talking Bringing your emotions to the table
Types of Speaking Opportunities Addressing a class formally Delivering a carefully researched position Giving an extemporaneous speech about a topic you are handed just moments before Expressive reading through the dramatic works of others Group speaking projects: panel discussions or debate Asking questions in class
Public Speaking Need Not Be Scary Keep in mind… Anxiety usually decreases when you begin speaking. Link to anxiety issues Your listeners generally arent aware of your anxiety. Some anxiety can be beneficial. Practice makes perfect.
Good Speaking Following directions Selecting a topic of interest Choosing a title Rehearsing Opening Building Closing Handling audience response Evaluating your work
GUIDE Checklist Get your audiences attention You – dont forget yourself Ideas, Ideas, Ideas Develop an organizational structure Exit gracefully and memorably
Using Your Voice and Body Language Dont hide behind the lectern Make eye contact Pay attention to volume, pitch and speed of your voice Enunciate Consider your appearance
College Writing In almost every course you will take in college, you are going to be asked to present your understanding of the course using the written word in tests, essays etc. It is of paramount importance to your success at college that you master the skill of effective writing…
Writing: A Basic Skill That... allows you to get ideas on paper, even if you dont think you know the concepts. enables you to see relationships between ideas. requires you to organize your thoughts. inspires creativity. enables you to share your ideas. Good idea! Write it down for posterity.
Five Steps to Better Writing 1. Pre-write to generate ideas. Brainstorm, listing, free-writing 2. Organize your ideas in an outline or essay map 3. Write or draft to develop a structure for your ideas as you put them on paper. 4. Rewrite or revise to polish your work. 5. Proofread for errors, then submit it. Use your campus Writing Center or smartthinking.com for help with final drafts. Process those words!
Prewriting, Writing, & Rewriting Process Prewriting: The Idea Stage preparing to write by filling your mind with info from other sources Writing: The Beginning of Organizationexploratory writing becomes a rough explanatory draft Rewriting: The Polishing Stage polish your work until you consider it ready for your public
Prepare Before You Write Clarify your goal Define your purpose Select a topic Narrow your topic Develop a working thesis
Master the Library Become familiar with your librarys resources so you can locate information quickly. Take a tour with a librarian, and get to know someone who can help you find what you need. Your assignment may or may not specify which types of sources you can use. Most instructors prefer that you read original sources to support your ideas. They are also more impressed by journal articles that are peer reviewed critically analyzed by experts in the field.
Use the Internet Make use of the internet for your research projects, but do so with caution. Dont assume internet sources will be acceptable. Look for the following: Articles written by a recognized authority in the field. A site that is supported by a reputable host group. Articles that are peer reviewed. Most instructors still favor library research that will help you locate printed publications and peer-reviewed sources. However, cruising the net may help you narrow or broaden your topic.
Follow the Rules Good grammar and spelling are the essential elements of a successful paper. Instructors vary in how much they care about whether you follow specific guidelines (like those of the MLA or APA). Be clear as to the expectations of your instructor. Keep in mind that mistakes in spelling, grammar, and punctuation weaken the quality of formal writing.
Learn From Feedback Read feedback from your instructor carefully so you can learn things that will help you in future assignments. If youre faced with lots of red ink take some time to recover before trying to learn allow yourself to be disappointed return to it with the intention of learning If you only receive a grade, ask for more feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of your paper.
Exercise Your Creativity Consider a different slant for the project. Do something other than the typical approach. Create an engaging title. Use a thesaurus to expand your word choice. Add interesting quotations.
Stay on Course Dont procrastinate Start writing from day one Write a little each day Make an outline Consider your project as a series of small tasks that must be accomplished once over the course of a particular period of time. Avoid writers block Reward yourself
Understand Plagiarism Plagiarism is presenting someone elses words or ideas as your own. It is a serious academic offense. Instructors are very adept at noticing plagiarism, both intentional or careless. Always make a conscious effort to translate information into your own words and describe it based on your understanding. Also, many instructors frown on being given a paper you wrote for an assignment in a different class.
Tips for Becoming a Better Writer (and Thinker!) Write something every day. Dig for ideas and reject nothing at first. Read good writing. Practice, practice, practice!
Collaborative Learning Teams Learners learn from one another as well as from instructors Collaborative learning is by its very nature active – increase learning by involving you more actively Two heads are better than one – more ideas, alternatives, new perspectives, better solutions Smaller groups have better communication and better ideas Develop stronger bonds with fellow students Positive competition Leadership skills developed Learn to work with others
Making Learning Teams Productive Learning teams are more than study groups When forming – seek students who will contribute quality and diversity to the group Keep the group small (4-6) Hold individual team members personally accountable for their own learning and for contributing to the learning of teammates
The Many Uses of Learning Teams Note taking teams Immediately after class share notes Reading teams Compare highlighted or outlines notes Library research teams Locate and share information Team/instructor conferences Visit the instructor together to seek further information Team test results review Help identify sources of their mistakes and identify correct answers
Using Study Groups in Math & Science Compare lecture notes Teach each other Prepare for Tests Provide Makeup Notes Ask the Right Questions
Working with Your College Teachers Make it a point to attend class regularly and on time Save your cuts for emergencies Sit near the front and speak up See your instructor outside class when you need help Share one or more one minute papers with your instructor
If Things Go Wrong Between You and a Teacher Cant tolerate an instructor Get to know the teacher as a person – set up a meeting Check the drop/add date If the situation is not resolved and you cant drop see the department head Move up the chain if this does not work Never let a bad instructor deter you from college Disagree with grade Make an appointment with the instructor Never insist on a grade change Ask for clarification in incorrect answers Ask for a redo Sexual harassment or sexism See your department head (dean of students) if an instructor makes an inappropriate or threatening remarks
Roadways to Success by James C. Williamson, Debra A. McCandrew, and Charles T. Muse, Sr., Pearson Education Focus on College Success by Constance Staley, Wadsworth Cengage Learning References
Take the Quiz! To receive Tutor Training credit for your CRLA certification requirements, please complete the Quiz via the link below, and sign, print and bring the completed form to The Learning Center coordinator - Lee 204b COMMUNICATION QUIZ