Friday, February 3, 2012

Professional Communication Skills in "ACTION"

Cassandra Kilgore is a Speech Communication Application teacher at Bryan High School and enjoys infusing technology projects into classroom lessons.  Cassandra has also participated in a recent Teacher, Teamwork, and Technology (T3) grant.  The lesson below showcases students taking the learning into their own hands and developing original presentations for a specific audience.  I was honored to be invited and able to attend on presentation day; students were proud to share the final product and the content delivered was clear and concise. This lesson could be easily integrated into any secondary classroom and any subject area. 

"Essentially, students have produced a training video about Professional Communication Skills, demonstrating scenarios showing how "not-to do it;" stating the rules; and then rewinding the scene to illustrate corrections from their original sketch. The kids have worked VERY HARD on their productions and are super excited about showing them off! This experience has been so much fun for them (and ME!)." 

Lesson Description/Overview:
The class was divided up into 4 teams, each of which were responsible for researching and teaching the class about a particular aspect of Professional Communication/Interview Skills.  For your reference, here are the teams and their respective responsibilities:

TEAM 1:  Telephone Communication (cold calls/follow-ups).
TEAM 2:  Interview Presentation (attire/posture/attitude).
TEAM 3:  Q&A Style and Language (technical answers, grammar, small talk).
TEAM 4:  Professional Experience Discussion  (application/resume/work experience/education)

Materials/Resources: Notebook paper, pencils, video camera, iMovie software, flashdrive to save videos, projector, survey instrument for peers to evaluate their group members' productivity.

  1. Break out class into four groups.  Each group must have at least one person who already has a strong familiarity with the iMovie program. (An iMovie tutorial could be inserted at this point in lesson, if needed.)
  2. Each team will select one area of Professional Communication emphasis which they will address in their video, providing recorded and narrated scenario demonstrations of "what NOT to do," pointing out what rule was broken, and then rewinding the scene with corrections and demonstrating how "to do it CORRECTLY."
  3.  Students will write scripts/outlines for their perspective scenarios and narrations.  
  4.  Select group members will perform in and narrate the scenario skits, while other selected members will provide technical and behind-the-scenes support, which will make the filming process possible.  (ie: directing; producing; staging set scenes; filming, editing, sound/mic work, music bed selections, etc.)
  5. The students will work together within the iMovie software program to compose, edit, and produce a video movie which will teach classmates about their assigned objectives in the Professional Communication area of the Speech Communication Application curriculum.  
  6. On PRESENTATION DAY, students who did not have a speaking role on camera will stand before the class (live audience) to introduce their group members, preview their team's topic of study, and begin the video.

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