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ERIC Number: EJ1063823
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 15
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 30
ISSN: EISSN-1449-9789
Can We Teach Effective Listening? An Exploratory Study
Caspersz, Donella; Stasinska, Ania
Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice, v12 n4 Article 2 2015
Listening is not the same as hearing. While hearing is a physiological process, listening is a conscious process that requires us to be mentally attentive (Low & Sonntag, 2013). The obvious place for scholarship about listening is in communication studies. While interested in listening, the focus of this study is on effective listening. Thompson, Leintz, Nevers and Witkowski (2004, p. 240) describe effective listening as the "dynamic, interactive process of integrating appropriate listening attitudes, knowledge, and behaviours to achieve the selected goals of a listening event." Thus, effective listening is more than a cognitive process; to "hear" the listener must not only understand what is being said verbally, but also the non-verbal communication that informs what is said. This refers to the communication goals of both sender and listener, and the context framing the act of speech (Wolvin, 2013). In other words, understanding the contextual and "socially coded acoustic clues" that are embedded in the message (Swaffar & Bacon, 1993). When viewed this way, it is clear that listening is both an individual and shared process. The present study therefore makes two contributions. The first is to contribute to the gap in research about listening in a university setting by evaluating students' perceptions of whether a formal "listening" intervention using open space technology (OST) enhanced their understanding of a task. The second is to describe an intervention that can be used by others to foster effective listening by students. The authors conducted their intervention with undergraduate degree students in the Business School and School of Population Health during semester two, 2014. The paper begins with describing their research approach, findings, and a discussion about these. They conclude by considering the implications and limitations of the study.
University of Wollongong. Available from: Centre for Educational Development and Interactive Resources. Northfields Avenue, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia. Tel: +61-2-4221-3140; Fax: +61-2-4225-8312; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A