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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Effective communication needed between professors, students

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By Annette Kirk/campus editor

Effective communication requires verbal and non-verbal connections between professors and students, a SE instructor said.

SE speech instructor Stephen Brown said he believes it is important for students and professors to connect so the professor can prepare form to teach students in the class.

“One of the key components of effective communication is setting the tone of the class on the first day,” he said.

After that, Brown said he believes each student should visit the professor during office hours to address concerns and get acquainted within the first two weeks of the class. This helps the student and professor to speak with each other over important school matters like grades or understanding assignments.

Brown said each TCC professor and instructor undergoes training a week before school to ensure they are equipped with all the necessities to understand their students, what is affecting them and how to communicate best with them. However, there can still be cracks.

SE student Blake Ingram said he feels that some professors focus more on getting all the information out rather than teaching and do not give students enough time to write down all the information.

“Sometimes, the professor gets distracted during the lesson as well,” Ingram said. “They’ll be talking about what they did over the weekend and then time runs in class and it is still up to us to know what should be on the test.”

Ingram stressed how a professor’s actions and distractions can impact students’ grades. When the professor does not care how the students learn and simply repeats what is on a slide, it does not work for interactive learners.

To ensure students do not feel like this, Brown keeps in touch with his nonverbal communication skills.

“Eye contact is very important when teaching with students,” Brown said. “I also try to know their vibe and how they are feeling and adjust to that.”

Brown makes sure his students get individual projects as well as group projects and has students present finished work. He also tries to make office hours available at all times.

NE student Austin Peake said professors have been on par with meeting his learning needs. However, he said when attempting to connect with professors, some shy away or do not adjust their teaching approach.

“I make sure I make eye contact with my professors and be involved in the classroom, but sometimes it doesn’t work,” Peake said. “I am not shy. I like making the connection. But I can only do so much.”

Some professors have strict rules. For instance, students have to call them doctor and write and speak formally to them which can be intimidating and makes it harder to approach that type of professor or to want to learn from them, Ingram said.

Non-verbal communication makes up the majority of effective communication and professors, students and others tend to forget that. It is important to make verbal and non-verbal connections. This means setting the tone, acknowledging facial expressions and reading body language, Brown said.

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