Instructional Methods: What are the models of classroom communication?

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Chapter Eight

Communication in the Classroom

8 c ii). Discuss three (3)  models of classroom communication

  1. Unilateral communication (Action model)

This is the simplest form of communication and it involves a discrete event indicated by a speaker/teacher and terminated at a listener/student. Typical of this is a lecture given to an anonymous group of students. It is one-way process assuming an active speaker and a passive listener. There is no provision for feedback because the speaker talks to the receiver than with the receiver. It is authoritarian in nature and source- oriented (teacher centered), it is mechanistic, linear, passive and has a cause and effect relationship.

  1. Directive communication (Interaction model)

This form of communication like the above treats communication in the classroom as a static event.  Although it occurs face to face and the exchange is completed when the receiver indicates to the sender that the message has been understood there is no provision for an active response nor mutual influence and exchange. An example is when a teacher gives an assignment and students indicate that they have understood, or the teacher expounds some information and the learners agree that they have understood. When the teacher stops there instead of interacting further with them, then it means directive communication has occurred.

  1. Transactional communication (Transactional model)

This type of communication is receiver-oriented, the speaker speaks, the message is conveyed to the audience which listens and reacts accordingly. The communicator further reacts to the audiences’ response. There is a lot of interaction among participants. Unlike the first two where information is one way, information travels in all directions and it is inter-deterministic.

In the classroom, communication is interpersonal between the teacher and students and between students themselves. The diagram below illustrates this process:

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