Tips for Effective Online Composition and Communication with Dr. Gary Burkholder

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1 Transcript Tips for Effective Online Composition and Communication with Dr. Gary Burkholder [ MUSIC ] HI, I WANT TO DISCUSS FOR YOU TODAY TIPS FOR EFFECTIVE ONLINE COMPOSITION AND COMMUNICATION. AS WALDEN STUDENTS, YOU RE GOING TO BE SPENDING MUCH OF YOUR COMMUNICATION TIME THROUGH E MAIL, AND ALSO, IF YOU RE IN A COURSE BASED PROGRAM, THROUGH COMPOSING IN YOUR ONLINE COURSES. BY THE END OF THIS SESSION WHAT YOU LL BE ABLE TO DO IS TO: IN SOME OF YOUR PREVIOUS WORK IN THIS COURSE, YOU VE GOTTEN AN INTRODUCTION TO SOME OF THESE PRINCIPLES. WHAT WE RE GOING TO DO IN THIS SESSION IS TO GIVE YOU SOME EXAMPLES OF HOW YOU CAN USE THESE IN YOUR OWN WRITING AND COMMUNICATION. ONE THING THAT WE COULD DO TO BEGIN WITH IS TO MAKE SURE THAT WE ALL UNDERSTAND WHAT COMMUNICATION IS. NOW A COUPLE OF THINGS ABOUT COMMUNICATION, ONE IS THAT IT HAPPENS THROUGH VERBAL AND NONVERBAL CUES. AND THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT BECAUSE IT S NOT ONLY ABOUT WHAT WE SAY, BUT ALSO THE BODY LANGUAGE AND THE INTONATION IN OUR VOICES THAT ALSO COMMUNICATE INFORMATION. AND COMMUNICATION IS ALSO EFFECTIVE DUE TO ESTABLISHED NORMS SHARED BY MEMBERS OF A CULTURE. THERE ARE SEVERAL EXAMPLES OF THIS. IF WE JUST THINK ABOUT LANGUAGE, WE HAVE A SET OF GRAMMATICAL RULES, WE PUT WORDS IN CERTAIN ORDER, AND WE KNOW THAT WITHIN OUR PARTICULAR CULTURE, WE UNDERSTAND THIS AND WE RE ABLE TO ESTABLISH MEANING WHEN WE RE TALKING TO SOMEBODY. ONE EXAMPLE THAT WE CAN THINK OF IS MOST PEOPLE ARE FAMILIAR WITH SIGN LANGUAGE. AND WHILE MANY OF US DON T KNOW SIGN LANGUAGE, THOSE WHO ARE IN THE DEAF COMMUNITY UNDERSTAND WHAT THE SIGNS MEAN AND CAN COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY USING THAT MEDIUM. THERE ARE FOUR PRIMARY MEANS OF ONLINE COMMUNICATION AT WALDEN. THIS INCLUDES ANY COMMUNICATION VIA E MAIL, POSTINGS TO THE DISCUSSION BOARD AND THIS IS PRIMARILY IF YOU RE IN COURSE BASED PROGRAMS, PARTICIPATION IN LISTSERVS, WHICH SERVES AS A FORMAT FOR DISCUSSIONS BETWEEN FACULTY AND STUDENTS AND MAY BE USED IN YOUR PROGRAM, AND ALSO, WHAT S BECOMING MORE POPULAR IS INSTANT MESSAGING, OR IM. THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF AN INITIAL POSTING IN ONE OF THE COURSES THAT I TAUGHT. WHAT I ASKED STUDENTS TO DO, AND YOU LL FIND THIS IN MANY OF YOUR COURSES, THE INSTRUCTOR WILL ASK YOU TO PROVIDE AN INITIAL POSTING THAT INTRODUCES YOURSELF TO THE CLASS, TELLING THE CLASS ABOUT WHO YOU ARE, AND SOME OF THE OBJECTIVES THAT YOU MIGHT HAVE FOR THE COURSE. WHAT I D LIKE YOU TO DO IS TO STOP AND JUST WRITE DOWN YOUR INITIAL IMPRESSIONS OF THIS PERSON FROM WHAT IS WRITTEN. AND ALSO NOTE THE DIFFERENCE. I JUST READ THROUGH THE POSTING TO YOU. NOTE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HOW IT SOUNDS IF I AM SPEAKING TO YOU VERSUS HOW YOU MIGHT READ THIS WITHOUT ANY VOICE BEHIND IT. I D LIKE TO TALK ABOUT FIRST IMPRESSIONS. FIRST IMPRESSIONS ARE OFTEN BASED ON VERY LITTLE INFORMATION. WHAT WE FIND FROM THE LITERATURE IS THAT PEOPLE DECIDE ON SOMEBODY S PERSONALITY AND COME UP WITH AN ESTIMATION OF THAT PERSON BASED ON JUST THE FIRST FEW MINUTES OF CONTACT. ALSO, FIRST IMPRESSIONS ARE OFTEN LONG LASTING, EVEN WHEN ADDITIONAL INFORMATION SEEMS TO CONTRADICT THE IMPRESSION. PEOPLE TEND TO MAKE DECISIONS QUICKLY AND FILL IN MISSING INFORMATION ABOUT PEOPLE BASED ON WHAT THEY SEE. AND SO WHAT WE WANT TO TAKE AWAY FROM THIS IS THAT WHEN YOU GATHER A FIRST IMPRESSION FROM SOMEBODY,

2 THAT FIRST IMPRESSION IS PROBABLY GOING TO LAST. NOW WHAT YOU WANT TO DO IS YOU WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT WHEN YOU PRESENT YOURSELF IN THE CLASSROOM, PEOPLE CAN T SEE YOU, THAT YOU MAKE SURE THAT YOU PROVIDE THE IMPRESSION THAT YOU WANT OTHERS TO SEE ABOUT YOU. THERE ARE SEVERAL CHALLENGES TO ONLINE COMMUNICATION. FIRST IS THE ABSENCE OF NONVERBAL CUES. AND THIS IS THE INFORMATION THAT GETS PRESENTED TO US THAT DOESN T COME THROUGH WHAT WE SAY. WE VE BECOME ACCUSTOMED TO PICKING UP THESE CUES EVEN THOUGH WE MAY NOT BE AWARE OF IT. FOR EXAMPLE, WE TEND TO NOTICE WHEN PEOPLE, HOW THEY POSITION THEMSELVES TOWARDS US, IF THEY RE CLOSE TO US OR AWAY. WE ALSO LOOK AT THINGS LIKE DIRECT EYE CONTACT. WE LOOK AT FACIAL EXPRESSIONS TO DETERMINE WHETHER SOMEBODY IS ANGRY WITH US OR HAPPY WITH US. THIS KIND OF INFORMATION, ALTHOUGH WE RE NOT ALWAYS CONSCIOUSLY AWARE OF IT, PLAYS A VERY IMPORTANT ROLE IN HELPING US TO UNDERSTAND MEANING BEHIND WHAT IS BEING SAID. THE SECOND IS THE ABSENCE OF PARALANGUAGE. AND PARALANGUAGE JUST INCLUDES THINGS LIKE TONE OF A VOICE. AGAIN, THROUGH TONE OF VOICE WE CAN GET A SENSE OF HOW THE PERSON IS REACTING TO WHAT WE RE SAYING. ARE THEY PLEASED WITH US, ARE THEY ANGRY? WE USE THAT INFORMATION THAT ALSO DOES NOT COME ACROSS IN WRITTEN WORDS IN THE SAME WAY. THERE S ALSO A LACK OF A NATURAL INHIBITOR OF AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR. AND THIS IS DUE TO BEING IN THE PRESENCE OF PEOPLE. AND GENERALLY, THE THINGS THAT WE MIGHT WRITE WE SOMETIMES WOULD NOT WRITE IF WE WERE SAYING THE SAME THING TO THE PERSON. AND BEING IN THE PHYSICAL PRESENCE OF A PERSON TENDS TO INHIBIT BEHAVIOR THAT WOULD BE ANGRY OR MAKE US LOOK BAD TO THE OTHER PERSON. SO, WHEN WE RE COMMUNICATING IN AN ONLINE ENVIRONMENT, WE DON T HAVE THE BENEFIT OF HAVING THE PERSON THERE TO LOOK AT AND TALK TO. AND THEN THE LAST ONE IS IT S VERY DIFFICULT TO ESTABLISH RELATIONSHIPS ONLINE. AGAIN, WE USE A LOT OF PHYSICAL CUES IN ORDER TO DECIDE WHETHER WE LIKE PEOPLE. AND A LOT OF THESE CUES ARE MISSING WHEN WE RE WRITING ONLINE. SO HERE ARE SOME TIPS FOR HOW TO ESTABLISH RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHER PEOPLE ONLINE. THE FIRST IS TO USE THE CLASS CAFE FOR INFORMAL CONVERSATION. MOST DISCUSSION BOARDS IN YOUR COURSES HAVE A CLASS CAFE SECTION WHERE YOU CAN GO AND YOU CAN TALK TO STUDENTS AND YOU CAN ASK QUESTIONS THAT AREN T RELATED TO THE COURSE. AND THIS IS ONE VERY POPULAR WAY FOR STUDENTS TO SHARE INFORMATION ABOUT THEMSELVES AND GET TO KNOW A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT WHAT THE STUDENTS ARE LIKE AND WHAT THEY DO. THE SECOND IS TO DEVELOP AN INTRODUCTION THAT FULLY DESCRIBES WHO YOU ARE. AND THESE ARE THE THINGS THAT YOU WANT TO WRITE ABOUT. WRITE ABOUT YOUR JOB AND COMMUNICATE PASSION ABOUT YOUR WORK, WRITE ABOUT YOUR FAMILY, TELL THE AUDIENCE THAT YOU RE WRITING TO ANYTHING THAT IS OF INTEREST TO YOU. FOR EXAMPLE, HOW MANY CHILDREN YOU HAVE, WHERE YOU LIVE. WHAT THAT DOES IS IT TENDS TO ESTABLISH A CONNECTION BETWEEN YOU AND OTHER PEOPLE IN THE CLASS. ALSO INCLUDE YOUR SCHOLARLY INTERESTS. AND THEN INCLUDE YOUR HOBBIES AS THEY MIGHT RELATE TO YOUR ACADEMIC PURSUITS. WHAT YOU RE DOING IN THIS INTRODUCTION IS YOU RE CREATING AND YOU RE CRAFTING A WRITTEN STATEMENT THAT DESCRIBES VERY CAREFULLY TO THE OTHER PEOPLE WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT YOU LIKE. AND RECOGNIZE THAT WHEN PEOPLE READ THESE KINDS OF WRITTEN WORK, THAT PEOPLE TEND TO FORMULATE PICTURES ABOUT WHO YOU ARE, WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE, ET CETERA. YOU WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT WHAT YOU RE WRITING CONVEYS AS CLOSELY AS POSSIBLE TO WHO YOU REALLY ARE AND HOW YOU WANT OTHER PEOPLE TO SEE YOU. IF YOU HAVE WEBSITES, INCLUDE PICTURES. SOME

3 PEOPLE FEEL MORE COMFORTABLE IF THEY PRESENT A PICTURE OF THEMSELVES SO THAT OTHERS CAN SEE WHAT THEY LOOK LIKE. AND THIS ACTUALLY CAN BE A WAY TO ESTABLISH A CONNECTION AND A RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHER PEOPLE. ANOTHER THING TO REMEMBER IS TO BE POSITIVE IN YOUR POSTINGS, IN YOUR COURSES, OR IN YOUR E MAILS, AND YOU WILL LIKELY ENGENDER SIMILAR RESPONSES. AND THERE IS A SAYING THAT "LIKE BEGETS LIKE." AND THERE S ACTUALLY PSYCHOLOGICAL RESEARCH THAT BACKS THIS UP THAT WHEN WE DO THINGS TO OTHER PEOPLE THAT ENGENDER FRIENDSHIP, THEN PEOPLE ARE MORE LIKELY TO RESPOND TO US IN THE SAME WAY. IMPRESSION MANAGEMENT. THESE ARE SOME TIPS THAT YOU CAN USE TO HELP MANAGE HOW YOU COME ACROSS TO OTHER PEOPLE IN YOUR ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION. THINK OF YOURSELF AS A PROFESSIONAL AND A SCHOLAR. AND IN ADDITION TO THAT, THINK OF THE PEOPLE THAT YOU RE WRITING TO AS PROFESSIONAL AND SCHOLARS, AS WELL. IF YOU DO THIS, WHAT THIS WILL HELP YOU WITH IS, AS YOU RE COMMUNICATING, IT WILL HELP YOU TO COMMUNICATE IN WAYS THAT ARE SIMILAR TO HOW YOU WOULD COMMUNICATE WITH PROFESSIONALS IN YOUR OWN ENVIRONMENT. ALWAYS DO SPELL AND GRAMMAR CHECKS. THIS IS VERY, VERY IMPORTANT BECAUSE IT REALLY CONVEYS AN IMPRESSION OF CARE AND ATTENTION WHEN YOU DO THIS. YOU DON T WANT A LOT OF SPELLING AND GRAMMAR ERRORS INSIDE OF YOUR COMMUNICATION. THERE S A COUPLE OF WAYS THAT YOU CAN DO THIS. THE FIRST IS, MOST E MAIL SOFTWARE PROGRAMS NOW HAVE SPELL AND GRAMMAR CHECK FEATURES SO MAKE SURE THAT YOU HAVE THAT TURNED ON, OR THAT YOU USE THAT ALL THE TIME. THE SECOND WAY YOU CAN DO IT IS TO COMPOSE WHAT YOU WANT TO SEND IN E MAIL OR POST ON A DISCUSSION BOARD IN YOUR WORD PROCESSING SOFTWARE. ALL WORD PROCESSING SOFTWARES COME WITH A SPELL AND GRAMMAR CHECK FEATURE. THIS WILL ALLOW YOU TO GO THROUGH, SPELL AND GRAMMAR CHECK, AND THEN YOU CAN COPY AND PASTE IT INTO YOUR E MAIL OR YOUR POSTING. AGAIN, IT CONVEYS AN IMPRESSION OF PROFESSIONALISM IF THIS IS DONE. USE "I" STATEMENTS. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. AND "I" STATEMENTS ARE A CENTRAL PART OF GOOD COMMUNICATION STRATEGY. WHAT THIS DOES IS THAT WHEN YOU USE "I" STATEMENTS, IT TENDS TO PUT THE ONUS OF THE COMMUNICATION AND THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE RECEPTION OF IT OF HOW IT S INTERPRETED ONTO YOU. AND YOU RE PUTTING THIS IN YOUR WORDS INSTEAD OF ACCUSING SOMEBODY OF DOING SOMETHING. SO SOMEBODY WRITES A POSTING OR AN TO YOU THAT IS, THAT YOU INTERPRET AS BEING ANGRY, IT IS MORE EFFECTIVE TO SAY SOMETHING SUCH AS, "I READ YOUR E MAIL, AND I FELT VERY ANGRY ABOUT THE TONE THAT YOU HAD CONVEYED IN YOUR E MAIL MESSAGE." THAT WOULD BE MUCH MORE EFFECTIVE THAN GOING AND ACCUSING THE OTHER PERSON BY SAYING SOMETHING LIKE, "YOU YELLED AT ME IN YOUR E MAIL." WHAT YOU WANT TO DO IS YOU WANT TO TAKE THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE COMMUNICATION. AND WHAT THAT DOES IS IT ALLOWS THE PERSON WHO IS READING YOUR POSTING OR YOUR E MAIL COMMUNICATION TO UNDERSTAND HOW THAT AFFECTED YOU. AND WHAT THAT DOES IS IT TENDS TO GET PEOPLE TO RESPOND BACK TO YOU IN WAYS THAT ARE POSITIVE. SO ALWAYS USE "I" STATEMENTS, RATHER THAN BEING ACCUSATORY IN YOUR RESPONSES. AND LASTLY, ANSWER ALL QUESTIONS DIRECTED TO YOU IN ONLINE COMMUNICATION, AND YOU WILL COMMUNICATE ATTENTIVENESS AND INTEREST. THIS IS VERY, VERY IMPORTANT. PEOPLE TAKE THE TIME TO COMPOSE COMMUNICATION TO SEND TO YOU, AND IF YOU GO THROUGH AND YOU READ THE COMMUNICATION VERY CAREFULLY, AND YOU MAKE SURE THAT YOU ANSWER AND ADDRESS ALL OF THE POINTS, THEN THE PERSON WHO YOU RE DIRECTING THAT TO GETS THE IMPRESSION THAT YOU HAVE ATTENDED TO THE MESSAGE, THAT YOU VALIDATE THEIR

4 CONCERNS, AND THAT YOU HAVE CAREFULLY ADDRESSED ALL OF THE ISSUES THAT NEEDED TO BE ADDRESSED. HERE S AN EXAMPLE OF A REVISED INITIAL POSTING. I ADVISE YOU TO GO BACK AND COMPARE THIS TO THE ORIGINAL POSTING IF YOU LIKE, BUT THERE S A COUPLE OF THINGS THAT WE CAN NOTICE ABOUT THIS ONE. PROBABLY THE FIRST THING THAT STANDS OUT IS THIS ONE HAS BEEN CAREFULLY SPELL CHECKED. YOU LL FIND NO SPELLING AND GRAMMAR ERRORS IN HERE. AND IF WE LOOK AT THIS, THE WAY THAT SHE HAS PRESENTED HERSELF, SHE S GIVEN US A VERY CLEAR PICTURE OF WHAT SHE DOES PROFESSIONALLY, SHE TALKED ABOUT HER FAMILY, AND ALSO, SHE HAS REVEALED TO US SOME OF HER INSECURITIES ABOUT THE CLASS. AND WHAT WE HAVE HERE NOW IS WE HAVE AN IMPRESSION THAT IS CONVEYED TO THE OTHER READERS. THESE ARE ALL THINGS THAT SHE HAS EFFECTIVELY USED TO ESTABLISH A CONNECTION WITH OTHER PEOPLE IN THE COURSE. AND WHAT I WOULD SUGGEST IS THAT YOU SPEND SOME TIME CRAFTING AN INITIAL POSTING THAT YOU CAN USE IN YOUR COURSES AT WALDEN. MANY, MANY OF THE COURSES THAT YOU GO INTO ARE GOING TO REQUIRE YOU TO DO SOME KIND OF INITIAL POSTING EITHER IN THE CLASS CAFE OR IN YOUR DISCUSSION BOARD. AND IT S GOOD TO CRAFT SOMETHING AHEAD OF TIME THAT YOU CAN USE. IT S VERY MUCH LIKE CREATING A RESUME OR A CD THAT YOU WORK ON OVER AND OVER AGAIN UNTIL YOU GET IT JUST RIGHT, AND THEN YOU CAN USE IT FOR WHATEVER JOBS YOU APPLY FOR. I WANTED TO TALK ABOUT SOME TIPS ON EFFECTIVE E MAIL COMMUNICATION. FIRST IDENTIFY YOURSELF AND YOUR PURPOSE IN THE SUBJECT LINE. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR A COUPLE OF REASONS. FIRST, MANY TIMES, IF THERE IS NOTHING IN THE SUBJECT LINE, PEOPLE WILL DELETE YOUR MESSAGES BECAUSE THAT S AN INDICATION THAT THERE MAY BE A VIRUS IN THE MESSAGE. THE SECOND IS THAT FOR THOSE OF US WHO GET A LOT OF E MAIL COMMUNICATION AND TRAFFIC, IT S A WAY TO HELP US TO SORT THROUGH AND PRIORITIZE OUR E MAIL INBOX. SECOND, INCLUDE THE PREVIOUS MESSAGES IN ALL REPLIES. THIS IS ALSO VERY IMPORTANT. MAKE SURE THAT YOUR E MAIL SOFTWARE IS SET UP SO THAT WHEN YOU RESPOND TO SOMEBODY, ALL THE PREVIOUS E MAIL THREADS ARE INCLUDED. THIS HELPS SOMEBODY WHO GETS YOUR MESSAGE AND NEEDS TO GO BACK AND REFRESH THEIR MEMORY ON WHAT THE CONVERSATION IS ABOUT AND WHAT HAS TRANSPIRED. THIS WILL HELP THE READER TO BE ABLE TO GET A SENSE VERY QUICKLY AND THEN TO BETTER AND MORE EFFECTIVELY RESPOND TO YOUR E MAIL MESSAGE. USE SIGNATURE BLOCKS. SIGNATURE BLOCKS ARE JUST THE SIGNATURES THAT ARE AT THE BOTTOM OF E MAIL MESSAGES. YOU MAY RECOGNIZE THESE BECAUSE SOMETIMES PEOPLE WILL PUT QUOTATION MARKS ABOVE THEIR NAMES. AND WHAT THIS DOES IS IT ENSURES THAT NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS, THAT THE PERSON WHO S READING YOUR E MAIL MESSAGE CAN ALWAYS QUICKLY DETERMINE WHO THE SENDER WAS, IN CASE FOR SOME REASON, YOU DIDN T IDENTIFY YOURSELF IN THE SUBJECT LINE, IT S SOMEWHERE IN THE E MAIL MESSAGE. AS DISCUSSED BEFORE, USE SPELL AND GRAMMAR CHECK. AGAIN, IT HELPS TO MAKE SURE THAT YOUR E MAIL COMMUNICATION HAS THE APPEARANCE OF BEING PROFESSIONAL. AND THEN WATCH YOUR TONE. AND I CALL THIS SELF CENSORING. SOMETIMES IT S VERY EASY WHEN YOU RE COMMUNICATING IN YOUR E MAIL TO SAY THINGS THAT YOU MIGHT NOT SAY TO SOMEBODY IF YOU WERE STANDING THERE IN PERSON. REVIEW ALL E MAIL THREADS BEFORE JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS. THIS IS VERY, VERY IMPORTANT. WHEN YOU DON T HAVE THE PERSON THERE TO LOOK AT AND TO SPEAK WITH, A LOT OF TIMES YOU RE MISSING SOME OF THE CONTEXT THAT YOU NEED TO MAKE DECISIONS. THAT S WHY THESE E MAIL THREADS ARE SO IMPORTANT TO GO THROUGH AND READ, TO CAREFULLY FOLLOW BACK WHAT S TRANSPIRED IN THE PAST, BEFORE MAKING A CONCLUSION ABOUT THE E MAIL

5 MESSAGE. AND THEN RESPOND AND EXPECT RESPONSES WITHIN 48 HOURS. THIS IS A WALDEN EXPECTATION. FACULTY AND STUDENTS ALIKE SHOULD EXPECT TO BE ABLE TO GET A RESPONSE WITHIN TWO DAYS. HERE S AN EXAMPLE OF A POORLY CONSTRUCTED E MAIL. THIS IS THE GENERAL CONSTRUCTION OF WHAT AN E MAIL MESSAGE WOULD LOOK LIKE. THERE S A "FROM" LINE, A "TO" LINE, IN THIS CASE, THE STUDENT ADDRESSED IT TO THE FACULTY CHAIR. THE SUBJECT LINE, WHICH IN THIS CASE IS EMPTY, AND THEN THE MESSAGE, WHICH READS, "TELL YOU, DR. XXXX TO STOP BEING NASTY, THIS LETTER IS UNCALLED FOR BUT NOT A SURPRISE FROM THOSE WHO CANNOT HANDLE THE TRUTH. THERE ARE SOME THINGS TO NOTE IN THIS E MAIL MESSAGE THAT MAKE IT A POOR E MAIL MESSAGE AND DOESN T COMMUNICATE THE INFORMATION THAT YOU MIGHT WANT IT TO COMMUNICATE, OR THAT THE STUDENT MIGHT HAVE WANTED TO COMMUNICATE. IN THIS CASE, THE SUBJECT LINE IS EMPTY. AGAIN, WITH AN EMPTY SUBJECT LINE, YOU RUN THE RISK OF HAVING THIS DELETED. THIS HAS NOT BEEN SPELL OR GRAMMAR CHECKED. AND AS A MATTER OF FACT, THIS IS SO POORLY WRITTEN THAT IT S HARD TO UNDERSTAND EXACTLY WHAT THE SITUATION IS. AND THIS IS AN ACTUAL E MAIL MESSAGE THAT I RECEIVED AT ONE TIME, AND I DIDN T CHANGE ANYTHING IN THIS. THE LAST THING IS TO GO BACK UP TO THE "TO" LINE, AND WE SEE THAT IT S DIRECTED TO THE FACULTY CHAIR OF THAT PROGRAM. ALTHOUGH THE CONTENT OF THE E MAIL IS ABOUT A PROFESSOR THAT THE STUDENT HAD HAD. WE LL GO BACK AND TALK ABOUT THIS WHEN WE GO BACK AND LOOK AT WHAT AN IMPROVED VERSION OF THIS MIGHT LOOK LIKE WHEN WE RE USING GOOD EFFECTIVE E MAIL COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES. HERE S AN IMPROVED VERSION OF THAT SAME E MAIL. I VE ADJUSTED SEVERAL OF THE PORTIONS OF THIS TO SHOW YOU WHAT IT WOULD LOOK LIKE IF IT WAS MORE EFFECTIVELY WRITTEN. AS YOU NOTICE, IN THIS CASE, IN THE SUBJECT LINE, THE STUDENT S NAME IS WRITTEN DOWN IN THERE, AND ALSO A BRIEF SUMMARY ABOUT WHAT THE COMMUNICATION IS ABOUT. ALSO INSIDE OF THE BODY, WE CAN LOOK, AND I WILL READ THIS. THE FIRST THING THAT YOU PROBABLY NOTICED ABOUT THIS IS THE USE OF "I" STATEMENTS THAT WE DISCUSSED EARLIER. IN THIS CASE HERE, JOHN JAMES HAS CONVEYED TO THE INSTRUCTOR THAT HE FELT UPSET BY THE COMMUNICATION THAT WAS SENT TO HIM. AND WHAT THIS DOES AGAIN IS BY USING THE "I" STATEMENTS, IT S GOING TO INVITE A COMMUNICATION BACK FROM THE INSTRUCTOR THAT WILL PROBABLY BE MORE POSITIVE AND MORE CONSTRUCTIVE. AND ALSO, NOTICE IN THE "TO" LINE, IT S ADDRESSED NOW TO THE TEACHER, OR THE PROFESSOR, RATHER THAN THE FACULTY CHAIR. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE WANT YOU TO DO AT WALDEN IS TO ALWAYS TRY TO RESOLVE ISSUES WITH THE FACULTY MEMBERS FIRST. AND THIS IS A VERY APPROPRIATE CASE TO TAKE THE FIRST STEP, LET THE FACULTY MEMBER KNOW THAT YOU WERE UPSET BY THE MESSAGE BEFORE YOU TAKE IT UP TO A FACULTY CHAIR OR TO THE DEAN LEVEL. AND THEN AT THE VERY BOTTOM, JOHN JAMES HAS SIGNED HIS NAME IN A SIGNATURE BLOCK. TO SUMMARIZE, HERE S AN INTRODUCTORY POSTING CHECKLIST. AND USE THIS CHECKLIST TO HELP GUIDE YOU ON WHAT YOU SHOULD BE LOOKING FOR BEFORE YOU SUBMIT YOUR POSTINGS TO THE DISCUSSION BOARD. IF YOU FOLLOW EACH OF THESE TIPS, AS YOU RE WRITING YOUR POSTINGS, YOU WILL LIKELY SUBMIT THE POSTING TO THE DISCUSSION BOARD THAT YOU WANT TO AND WILL CONVEY THE IMPRESSION THAT YOU MOST WANT TO CONVEY TO THE CLASS. FOR E MAIL COMMUNICATION: I VE TALKED TO YOU ABOUT SOME EFFECTIVE STRATEGIES FOR COMMUNICATION AND FOR POSTING IN YOUR ONLINE COURSES. I WOULD ENCOURAGE YOU TO USE THE CHECKLISTS THAT ARE PROVIDED, SO THAT YOU CAN GO THROUGH AND CHECK YOUR POSTINGS AND YOUR E MAIL COMMUNICATION BEFORE YOU SEND IT TO INSURE THAT

6 WHAT YOU RE SAYING AND THE TONE THAT YOU RE USING IS THE TONE THAT YOU WANT. AGAIN, IT S ABOUT IMPRESSION MANAGEMENT. MAKE SURE THAT THE IMPRESSION THAT YOU RE CONVEYING IS THE ONE THAT YOU WANT. PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT. WE UNDERSTAND THAT THE FIRST POSTS THAT YOU MAKE MAY BE AWKWARD, AND SOME OF YOU ARE NOT USED TO COMMUNICATING BY E MAIL. BUT AGAIN, USE THE CHECKLIST, AND PRACTICE, AND IN NO TIME AT ALL, YOU WILL FIND THAT YOU WILL BECOME AN EFFECTIVE ONLINE COMMUNICATOR.

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