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Sue Whale: A Communications course for post grad business students

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Sue Whale
12 January 2013

Situation/ context Developing a post grad course for business students on communication. Participants are professionals, mostly working in business already, aged 35+, studying part time, geographically disperse The course would be fully online via the institutional LMS Change I would like to see: Development of a sense of community within the course, through collaborative work or discussion How to bring about the change: Use constructivist approach, build activities that require teamwork???

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Mark Johnstone
5:38am 14 January 2013

Hi Sue.

What language proficiencies do you assume for your target group? Are they native speakers, English language learners, second language students?

What do you mean by "communications" - is this primarily text or voice?


Sue Whale
5:53am 14 January 2013

Hi Mark, Most students in a typical cohort for this course are English speaking, some as a second language, but not the majority. I would see the course covering all manner of communications, written from formal reports, emails to social media, as well as oral. The context is a business degree, so applicable to organisational communications. Cheers Sue

Leah Hackleman-Good
2:47pm 14 January 2013

Sue, this sounds great. I've been doing some of that kind of work with a workforce development agency in my area (Ohio, USA) and am doing something similar with one of my research clients for its staff members. For that project, I've started a wiki to hold some sources and references (it's at that is definitely a work in progress, but I'd be interested in your feedback. 

The "trouble" with writing courses, as I have taught them, is that most of the time I feel that my best opportunity to support students is one on one, with their writing in front of us, brainstorming possibilities for revision. I've thought about teaching writing online, but that aspect to me is a barrier.

Tiffany Crosby
5:55pm 14 January 2013

I also teach a communications module as part of my company and wouldn't mind exploring the concept of an online course. I've wondered whether it's possible to overcome the obstacles inherent in teaching this type of skill in a virtual environment. I would being willing to be a part of this team.

Sue Whale
4:52am 15 January 2013

Hi Leah,

Thanks for the link - I'll have a look tonight after work (and provide feedback :)).

I think this is a challenging course to look at as communications platforms are changing so rapidly as well.



Sue Whale
4:57am 15 January 2013

Hi Tiffany,

I have been debating whether or not to join a team, as I am finding my workload demanding at the moment (why is it never quiet when I have other things I want to do). I'll try to post what I can and am happy to share ideas with you (and others), but would hate to let down a team by bailing mid course.

Re teaching this kind of course online, this is something we struggle with constantly. There is the view that students should be interacting, constructing knowledge and so on, but sooo many seem to want to just read the text book and sit the exam independently, despite surveys that suggest otherwise:



Andrew Chambers
1:56am 17 January 2013


I find this an interesting topic. I have a post grad study skills course aimed at business students (MBA and similar) that is open sourced that I am willing to contribute. However the topic is slightly different... Let me know if interested...



Sue Whale
2:20am 17 January 2013

Hi Andrew,

That would be super - I manage design and development of all units in the Business School, so we cover a range of topics. Your course sounds like it could fit in nicely.



Sue Whale
2:31am 17 January 2013

Hi Leah,

I have just got around to looking at the site you sent to me. It looks fantastic! I would love to be able to point students to some of these resources. I think it would also be handy for an academic skills resource.



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