Tuesday 15 July 2014

Day 2 #BYOD4L Communicating by @suebecks

Image source: http://pixabay.com/en/megaphone-shout-action-call-scream-50092/

How do we communicate?

During last night's #BYOD4Lchat we were asked "What does communicating mean to you?" Thinking about this, there are opportunities to have conversations and to broadcast information. During a conversation it is hoped that all participants have an opportunity to contribute. A broadcast communication may not require interaction and serves simply to share information to a wide audience. However the way we do communicate can very often be more complex than this. We all know the good speakers who have kept us enthralled hanging on to every word and those we remember sending us to sleep, where a long one-sided conversation provides no opportunity to interact and join in the communication.

My answer to the first question during the chat made me first of all consider communication as both a monologue and dialogue.

Communication as Monologue vs Dialogue

A monologue is a speech delivered by one person, a prolonged talk or discourse by a single speaker, where as a dialogue involves two or more people. 

The Oxford English Dictionary defines:
Dialogue as “the conversation written for and spoken by actors on a stage” or “a conversation carried on between two or more persons.” It is a verbal exchange of ideas between people. 
Monologue as “a long speech by one actor in a play” or “a scene in a drama in which only one actor speaks.” 

Middle English: from Old French dialoge, via Latin from Greek dialogos, from dialegesthai 'converse with', from dia 'through' + legein 'speak'.

The Greek root word monologos translates to 'speaking alone'

Communication in the context of learning and teaching

  • The Lecture: historically seen as a monologue, however there are many ways in which we can engage our students using mobile devices. Apps such as Socrative and Twitter can provide opportunities to create quizzes/polls or assess understanding at any point.
  • Email: a useful way to send one message to many or an individual; or receive messages. However we all know the feeling of email overload and often we receive the same questions from students multiple times from different individuals. Creating a blog or wiki as a FAQ can help to reduce this. Asking students to check here first for answers, raising only new questions as needed. On the flip side how can we be sure students have read the messages we want them to? 
  • Feedback: often given as handwritten notes on the piece of work handed in providing no opportunity for the student to question. As online submission becomes more popular, the use of audio and screencasted video feedback can provide digital alternatives. Generic feedback shared to the cohort can also be useful. Where though do the students get the opportunity to interact with the feedback? How can we be sure it was understood if given at the end of a module?
These are just a few examples I've started to reflect upon and will continue to think how I can communicate better in these situations. 

Mapping communication interactions

Below is a NodeXL map showing the communication links between participant tweets where #BYOD4L was included in the message. It is a snapshot of one day. Social network analysis is an area I am very interested to explore in relation to Twitter particularly to see how interactions have taken place. Who interacted, what was said, how far did the interactions reach through RTs. What are the connections between those interacting. It is a fascinating area.
@byod4l OR #byod4l OR byodl4learning Twitter NodeXL SNA Map and Report for Tuesday, 15 July 2014 at

Twitter NodeXL SNA Map and Report for Tuesday, 15 July 2014 

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