In this episode of Trending in Education, we speak with Michael Strawser, an associate professor of communication at the University of Central Florida. He provides insights and practical tips on delivering effective instructional communication.
Strawser explains how the field of instructional communication examines how communication impacts learning in all instructional contexts. He notes that clear communication is key for instructing audiences amidst our cluttered media landscape. Strawser aims to diminish student emails by proactively addressing their questions through clear assignment instructions and weekly overview videos.
Building rapport and relationships with students can help remove barriers to learning, Strawser says. He suggests simple rapport-building techniques like using student names in emails and following up on personal anecdotes they share. Strawser also cautions against assumptions that younger generations are inherently tech-savvy. He cites a survey where managers felt Gen Z lacked technical literacy, expecting social media fluency to translate to workplace software.
Strawser believes we need increased focus on tech, media and AI literacy so audiences can navigate information sources wisely. He advocates adaptability regarding new technologies, urging educators to avoid simply adopting gadgets without tying them to good pedagogy. As instructors, Strawser concludes we should remember teaching is only part of our identity. Finding balance helps us approach instruction with humanity, clarity and care for the whole student.