ERIC Number: ED408627
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Nov-24
Incorporating Experiential Learning in the Teaching of the Nonverbal Communication Course.
Eldred, Jean Parker
Active learning results in better comprehension and retention of course concepts than passive learning. Experiential exercises (EE's) are a valuable means of achieving the goals of active learning. Well conceived EE's require, among other things, that the student: (1) engage in the gathering of concept-related behavioral data; (2) write a report which analyzes and evaluates collected data from the experience; and (3) participate in a classroom discussion of the experience. Objections to the inclusion of experiential learning in courses concern lack of available classroom time, lack of perceived academic value of exercises, and demands for preparation and grading time. Among benefits accrued by students using EE's and written reports in the nonverbal communication course are personal experience with operation of principles and concepts in their everyday lives and active critical processing of academic nonverbal concepts and principles, resulting in enhanced student learning of nonverbal skills. Benefits accrued by teachers using EE's and written reports in this course include, among others: enhanced insight into the students' grasp of concepts; generation of examples personally relevant to students; and more active student participation. Some of the criteria for selecting and creating meaningful EE's are: specific, concrete identification of the conceptual learning goals the exercise should achieve; identification, modification, or creation of EE's which effectively produce the desired student learning goals; and creation of clear directions for conducting the EE to ensure students' understanding. (Contains 10 references; suggestions and examples of EE's are appended.) (CR)
Descriptors: Active Learning, Classroom Techniques, Educational Environment, Experiential Learning, Higher Education, Instructional Improvement, Learning Activities, Learning Experience, Learning Modalities, Learning Strategies, Nonverbal Communication, Student Needs, Student Participation, Teacher Attitudes
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (82nd, San Diego, CA, November 23-26, 1996).