Keyboarding Online

Communication Models To Teach Your Students

Many students have trouble with communication. Whether it’s listening to your lecture, getting a point across, or being efficient with getting information, there’s plenty of room for improvement.

But there is a way to help students communicate more effectively and we’d like you to know about it. In fact, once you’ve used these communication models in your class, they’ll be able to interact better outside a classroom setting as well. With that in mind, let’s dive into it.


Communication Models To Teach Your Students


What Are The 3 Main Communication Models?

There are 3 main models when it comes to communication:

  • Linear
  • Interactive
  • Transactional

Each one has its place when it comes to communicating with one another. And none is necessarily better than the other. But certain models have a greater effect in the classroom, so we’ll be going over each one and showing you exactly how to use them yourself.


Linear Communication

This is the most basic model. It’s basically a conversation where you talk and the other person listens. Although this doesn’t seem helpful, that’s where you’d be wrong. Because what’s going on during, let’s say, a lecture? Well, one person is talking and other people are quietly listening.

Do you see where this is useful now? It’s in fact the most important one depending on the class you’re teaching. And this means you should make sure your students have a firm grasp of this communication model. Of course, just saying something like, “Okay class, let’s use the Linear Communication model now,” isn’t going to cut it for a young audience.

So here are some ideas:

  • Have a “signal” such as one finger up to indicate it’s time to quietly pay attention
  • Indicate Linear Communication moments with a phrase, such as, “Okay class, let’s listen to Johnny now”
  • Use a preset time for Linear Communication (e.g. “It’s 1:05, so it’s officially ‘quietly pay attention’ time, class”)


Interactive Communication

Students using interactive communication model

This is pretty much what you normally think of when it comes to communication. It’s a 2 person (or more) interaction with people going back and forth with each other. On paper, you’d expect people to intuitively understand how this process works. But things don’t always work out like this in real life.

I’m sure you’ve met people who forget the “back and forth” part of communication, and treat it like the linear model instead. And that means they just talk and talk without letting other people have a chance.

Well, if adults do this then it’s no surprise that young students do this as well. And considering how crucial interactive communication is to a person’s success in any field, it’s a good idea to help students master this as soon as possible.

So here’s a few ways you can do this:

  • When having a class discussion, purposely select other people to add their input (e.g. “Great input Jeff, now, I’d love to hear what Donna thinks about it, too”)
  • When speaking with a student who doesn’t let others speak, “interrupt” them and make it clear they should let others have a chance (“Just a second, Terry, I believe Mary has something to share as well”)
  • Make a point to halt your own communication to invite others to speak (“I don’t want to speak too much, so what do you think about this?”)


Transactional Communication

This type of communication is about efficiency. An example is when you buy something from a store – you give them money and they give you a product. It’s just as simple and clear-cut.

But sometimes the transaction is about information, such as in a class setting. And that’s where forethought is required on your student’s part. Why? Because they can’t easily ask for something if they’re 100% what they need. For instance, if they need help with their homework but can’t pin down where they’re struggling, it may be hard for them to get the help they require.

So what are some options for improving transactional communication? Here are some ideas:

  • Ask them simply, “What’s the one thing you need the most help with?” This will make them consciously choose where to focus
  • Have an FAQ (i.e. frequently asked questions) list regarding problems your students have. Then they can reference the list and improve efficiency with transactional communication
  • Have a “solutions first” rule in place. Basically, make them consider the solution they want or could implement (rather than just asking you how to fix a problem) in advance. This will improve both forethought and speed of communication


Communication Skills Help People Understand Each Other Better

In summary, many students have trouble with communication. But linear, interactive, and transactional models of communications can help those who are struggling to listen, communicate, and interact with others. So don’t wait to try out these tips today.

As a side note, if your students are also struggling with their typing skills, why not help them out with the tools at KeyboardingOnline? Typing skills are just as important as communication nowadays, so the sooner they master it, the better.