Feedback! Not Bad…. :)

A course on learning how to communicate, I never thought I would take such a class. I’ve always found myself involved in different groups, clubs, and sport teams where I have been the one in charge. I’ve noticed how my peers always seemed to look at me when they looked for leadership. This has given me confidence on my ability to communicate, but I now see how at times I have been mislead by this sense of confidence (too much “holding my own ground” I guess). There is always room to improve (on pretty much everything). Learning how to communicate in this online environment has had its benefits but its faults as well. 

As it has been mentioned above, we all started the class like we would start any other, with the simple intention of getting a good grade. Of course the subject seemed interesting (and it is), but my focus was to get in and out with a good grade. I see now how all these concepts have changed (some more than in others) the way we all communicate with each other and how we communicate in our everyday lives. We seem to be more attentive, caring, and careful when responding to each other.  Having these conversations in a classroom would have been much different because of the “image” that we all tend to protect when speaking “face to face”. I’ve noticed how students in classrooms really don’t pay much attention to each other’s comments or ignore them, there isn’t a sense to “hold your ground” and possibly embarrass yourself. We are also not very “open to the openness” of others in a classroom environment.  Sadly, students just want to go to class, get credit for it, and pass it (hopefully with a good grade). This online environment, along with the “open” conversations that we all have, has allowed us to really try these new communication concepts without having to worry about looking bad or embarrassing ourselves (especially with our Fake Names).

So what isn’t working? I would have to say the understanding of some of these concepts. I agree with what Memphisburns mentions above “There are a few concepts in this course that are, more or less, abstract – if not conceptually then certainly in practice.”  Even when the lectures are online, giving us the opportunity to read them as many times as we like, sometimes I need it in a different “wording” in order to fully understand the concept. Reading confusing material over and over is not helping me understand it and can be frustrating at times. This is when a “face to face” conversation with the professor or classmates can be beneficial.

Overall, I would have to say that I have been surprised by the level of writing that I have seen in the class. It seems like most of us are taking these different concepts at a personal level when we write about them, which is good for a “real” conversation (expressing the tension of “holding you own ground”). I feel that what we have learned so far has made us aware of the tension of “being open to the openness of others”. For example learning how to listen in a successful manner, “nexting”, and being aware of the stereotypes that we all practice without knowing it, has made our communications encounters less selfish than what they would have been when we started this course.

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