While communicating with students I use a variety of communication methods, the most common being Verbal. Verbal communication is good for providing feedback as it is instant but it may not be heard by the student, especially if the student has hearing difficulties. Teachers must be careful when providing verbal feedback as both positive and negative feedback can embarrass students when they are with their peers. There are many other negatives to verbal communication that could occur, such as communicating with jargon or acronyms that learners do not understand, providing too much information that is difficult to absorb in a short period and students not understanding as English is not their native language or they struggle with the English language.
“Non-verbal cues form an extremely important aspect of the communication process” (Gould & Roffey-Barentsen, 2014, p. 139) 55 percent of meaning conveyed is achieved through the use of body language, according to (Mehrabian, 1972). Body language can also be used to control behaviour; it is common for me to acknowledge a minor behaviour infringement with a disapproving look in the students’ direction. If this doesn’t provide the response I require I will escalate to another communication method such as verbal. It is important to consider the diverse cultures around the world; (Rayudu, 2010) says an innocent gesture in one culture may be offensive in another.
All students I teach have an organisation provided email account that they access on a regular basis. This is considered the most effective method of contacting a lecturer while a student is not physically within the building. It is common for students to inform me via email that they will not be attending due to illness. I would utilise email to inform students of teaching related information, such as closure, staff illness, change of room, etc. I also provide written feedback via email so that students can read the feedback at their own time and pace. Maintaining a record of email communication can be useful in the event evidence is required of comments made. Email has some negatives, such as some attachments are blocked without notification, as a result either party in the communication will not be informed that the email has not reached its destination. It is also common for students to forget to check their email on a regular basis as they have their own personal email accounts, resulting in missed communication. A similar but less formal method of communication is social media, it is far less common for students to miss this form of communication, however, it can be seen as blurring the lines between student and lecturer due to being in a social environment. Social media is also not suitable for any communication that should be confidential as the message could be displayed to the students’ peers.