Masters


The NCA defines communication thoroughly.

Communication focuses on how people use messages to generate meaning within and across all kinds of contexts, cultures, channels and media (Association for Communication Administration, 1995).

Communication is learned. Most people are born with the physical ability to talk, but we must learn to speak well and communicate effectively. Speaking, listening, and our ability to understand verbal and nonverbal meanings are skills we develop in various ways.

Communication relates to all the ways we communicate, so it embraces a large body of knowledge. Communication includes both verbal and nonverbal messages as well as messages that are sent through electronic means like the phone, computer, radio and television.

Communication is a large and diverse field that includes inquiry by humanists, social scientists and critical and cultural studies scholars. A body of scholarship and theory, about all forms of human communication, is presented and explained in textbooks, electronic publications, and academic journals. In the journals, researchers report the results of studies that are the basis for an ever-expanding understanding of how we all communicate.

This definition is inclusive as it speaks broadly of how messages are sent verbally, nonverbally and using various means of communicating. The definition includes judgment in how it states we must learn to communicate. This definition does not include intentionality.

I do believe that communication requires intentionality. I believe that whether we realize it or not, everything that we communicate has an intention. It is like Postman’s belief that “embedded in every tool is an ideological bias, a predisposition to construct the world as one thing rather than another, to value one thing over another, to amplify one sense or skill or attitude more loudly than another” (Postman, 1992, p. 13).

The message needs to be received in order for communication to occur. I don’t believe that everyone a message is intended for needs to receive it, but at least one must in order for it to be communication.

Christian communication should be different in that it should always be spoken in love. 1 Corinthians 13:1 says, “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” (NIV)

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National Communication Association. (n.d.) Communication defined. Retrieved from http://www.natcom.org/Default.aspx?id=546

Postman, Neil. (1992). Technopoly: The surrender of culture to technology. New York, NY: Vintage.

What a week! I say that in a good way! I enjoyed learning about library research. I have very little experience, but I have always been intrigued by libraries and their unknown treasures. Now I get to learn how to find the treasure!

Professor Davis has been a great addition to this course, in my opinion. She is so friendly and helpful. She has the perfect librarian personality. I look forward to continuing to learn from her.

I have been struggling this week to get my work done. I thought that I was beginning to get a schedule down, but this week has proved that idea to be wrong.

I have struggled every step of the way this week. I believe that part of the problem is my kids being out of school so much. They had two days off for President’s Day and Ella was sick on Wednesday. This is just a continuation of the past several weeks. I am in a completely different frame of mind when they are (more…)

I usually just have a loose schedule in my head of assignments, a to-do list when things get crazy and my Google calendar for appointments.  To-do lists are what keep me sane.

Covey’s example of the man who needed to gain back his integrity inspires me. “Your integrity is at stake.” “So don’t make a promise and break it. Start smaller.” I need to take small steps to get a grip on my time.

I agree with Covey’s generation system. I am in generation two because I put appointments in my calendar and that helps me to plan for meetings and appointments.

What Covey says about those in the second generation is true of me. “Other people become interruptions or distractions that keep them from sticking to their schedule and carrying out their plans.” I get too task-oriented and end up criticizing those who are helping me. (more…)

This week has stretched me more than I thought possible. However, I’ve heard that those who bend do not break. I am happy that I did not break! In the past year I have made many strides, in many ways in my life. However, there are still so many ways that I can improve. God is leading me to the life of peace and happiness that he desires for me and I am grateful for His leading. It may not be easy, but it is very rewarding.
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In Online but off-topic, Paulus (2009) completed a study of the conversations that occur in groups, specifically during online learning, that are not strictly on-topic. These off-topic discussions were ones that included the logistics of completing tasks. They are still relevant to the learning environment, but are not discoursing on the subject matter.

She found that certain actions help to create a close group. These include grounding (group members finding common ground between themselves) and immediacy (behaviors that reduce distance between the members). More specifically, the grounding strategies used by the participants in her study, “included indicating responsiveness, taking responsibility and maintaining relationships.” (Paulus, 2009, p.242)

These ideas are well backed by other research and included in our Student Guide. Some online techniques that I would like to try to use are sending weekly updates on group projects (maybe even in video format) and sending friendly e-mails to get to know my peers better. I believe I need to continue to interact in a way that shows I value and depend on my peers by showing warmth, empathy, and my true personality. I can do this through typing out a prayer for the requests posted, being sympathetic when someone is struggling and asking questions before taking offense.

I would love to also get together with my classmates and make use of that offline scaffolding technique. I live about 3 hours away, but I might be able to drive down if my schedule permits on the chosen day. I would love to meet face to face. I am not good at putting faces and posts together and would do much better meeting people in person.

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Paulus, T.. (2009). Online but off-topic: negotiating common ground in small learning groups. Instructional Science, 37(3), 227-245.  Retrieved February 8, 2011, from ProQuest Education Journals. (Document ID: 1894674491).

White, K.W., & Baker, J.B. (Eds.) (2003). The student guide to successful online learning: A handbook of tips, strategies and techniques. Allyn & Bacon, Publishers.

Week 2 of this journey has been a learning experience. I am pleased, but also frustrated. I am enjoying my learning, but also having difficulty keeping up with the reading. I seem to be fine reading the texts, but everyone’s post and comments on the blogs, even, are overwhelming to me. I read so slowly, especially on the monitor!

I have learned so much about learners this week. I think that the information on learner styles and learner behaviors will not only help me to learn in this class, but also help me in teaching others through Sunday school and even while preaching. Incorporating all kinds of learning should help my congregants to retain more information. I can also encourage them to learn how they learn and how they can make the most of every learning situation. I am looking forward to seeing what we come up with as a group for a final list of factors effecting success in online learning.

I also really enjoy our live session with Quentin Schultze. I really like how he turned Eat, Pray Love into Listen, Laugh, Love. I wish I were able to take the course, but I wanted to take COM605 even more, so I will not get to hear all of his thoughts on this subject. Even the texts sound wonderful. I may have to read Truth to Tell by Newbigin anyway (1991). Schultze’s ideas are stimulating and I am looking forward to attending Forum 4:15.

I took a look at the article on blogs titled, “Blogs: A Disruptive Technology Coming of Age?” I think that every technology has a life span. I can understand questioning if blogs are near the end of their life span. According to the 2007 State of the Blogosphere done by Technorati, there were 70 million blogs (Sifry, 2007). According to BlogPulse, there are over 155 million as I write this. We have to assume that of these numbers, many of them are splogs (spam blogs) and inactive blogs. Even, so, we can see that the numbers are increasing. The downfall of anything can come very swiftly, but I do not think that blogs are in any immediate danger.

Rather, I think that they have matured to an age where they are not just a fad to be part of, but a way to convey a person’s thoughts and opinions to the world or even just those with like interests. Kling states, “I sketched a model of blogs in which blogging serves as a filtering mechanism in the dissemination of information. The model is built on assumptions that make blogging very efficient. To the extent that those assumptions mirror reality, then blogging is not a fad. On the contrary, it could have a lot more potential for growth.” (2002) I believe that there is still plenty of room to grow.

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BlogPulse Stats. (n.d.). In BlogPulse. Retrieved February 4, 2011, from http://blogpulse.com/

David, S. (2007, April). The State of the Live Web. In Sifry’s alerts: David Sifry’s musings. Retrieved February 4, 2011, from http://www.sifry.com/alerts/archives/000493.html

Kling, A. (2002, June 21). Is blogging a fad?. In Corante: Tech news. filtered daily. Retrieved February 4, 2011, from http://www.corante.com/bottomline/articles/20020621-875.shtml

Long, P. D. (2002, November 26). Blogs: A distruptive technology coming of age?. In Campus Technology. Retrieved February 4, 2011, from http://campustechnology.com/Articles/2002/09/Blogs-A-Disruptive-Technology-Coming-of-Age.aspx

Newbigin, L. (1991). Truth to tell: The gospel as public truth. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdman’s.

I am a visual learner, more non-verbal than verbal. I love doodling while learning and using color to assist myself in bringing a “mental picture” of the information to mind.

I was recently introduced to Praying in Color. Before practicing this, I would try to pray, but fail to concentrate for more than 5 minutes and give up or fall asleep.  Now I keep my hands busy with coloring and am able to focus my mind on God.

I also try to doodle or take notes during sermons. While doing something else, I am able to focus my mind better. This must be partly due to my kinesthetic bent, as well. Writing helps my brain to remember important facts without even looking back at my notes in many cases.

I think that having the strong styles that I do will help me immensely in this program. There will be very little auditory information in most cases. It seems that most information will be gleaned from reading (which I can highlight in many pretty colors), writing in response and reflection, and other media that will include PowerPoint presentations.

There are, however, the weekly podcasts to consider. I have already found myself starting to lose attention during these podcast even when they have been so short. I will have to make (and I have been) a concerted effort at those times, to focus on what is being said. After learning and confirming what I have from this inventory, I know taking notes or even doodling while listening to the podcasts and any other auditory lesson information is beneficial.

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