Communication, Planning and Enabling Learning

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The approach I will take to research them will be; to spend time doing research in the LRC at Kingston Maurward College I have chosen to do this because there is a great deal of information readily available in the plethora of books listed in the library. The evidence I will produce to support my research will be the reference and bibliography listed on pages 11 and 12. The topic I have produced and written a session plan for was "the use of different resources" which is in Appendix A of this paper. The précis /Summary for my findings are in Appendix B of this paper. The second approach will be to access the internet. The internet although not completely fallible is a source of a great deal of knowledge which can be accessed very quickly. The internet allows the researcher to access journals from different Universities e.g. using MYBU to access literature at Bournemouth University. The evidence for my research of this method will be in the references in Appendix A and the précis/Summary in Appendix B (in the form of printed sections of web pages). My final approach will be to study the books I have purchased over the past 6 months such as Reflective Teaching by Andrew Pollard, Teaching today by Geoff Petty and Performance Management by Michael Armstrong and Angela Baron.

"If you don't know where you are going, it is difficult to select a suitable means for getting there". (Mager, 1955).

Assessment - "Assessment should not be something that is done to somebody. The learner must be involved and feel part of the process". (Thom, 2001).

Negotiating with Learners.

Negotiating with learners can be a daunting task; it can also be devastating for the teacher or the learner if approached in the wrong manor. The way in which a tutor or teacher presents this can either lead to the learner having great respect for the tutor or indeed a lack of respect.

Personalisation in FE is moving from good to excellent working in partnership with the learner to tailor their learning experience and pathways, according to their needs and personal objectives in a way which delivers success. (HMSO, 2006).

Traditionally, teachers have had control of what goes on in the classroom and students have surrendered their freedom of choice after making the initial decision to do the course. (HEFCE, 2004).

The ability of the teacher to negotiate is affected by:

1 The established view of education within the organisation; the established view of how the organisation operates

2 Personal factors which influence the extent to which the teacher feels comfortable

3 Negotiating with learners

4 The demands of the course which define the limits of what can be negotiated and to what extent

(McCarthy, 2002).

Areas of Negotiation

At some point the all-important question has to be addressed: what, precisely, can be

negotiated in the classroom, given the constraints established by consideration of the

issues outlined above? It is important to remember that the issue is never a straight choice between 'negotiable' and 'non-negotiable'. In all cases there has to be a range of negotiability, constrained in part by the organisation, the prevailing view of education and the personal capabilities of both the teacher and the learner. It is, nevertheless, possible to establish some degree of negotiation on:

1 Course content

2 Course process

3 Learning and teaching methodology

4 Method of assessment

5 Assessment process

6 Course evaluation

7 Control and discipline

This gets well away from the traditional view of the learner's role where his or her control is largely abandoned after making the initial choice of course of study. (McCarthy, 2002).

Initial Assessment

Assessment is the process of obtaining information about how much the student knows. (Clues and Charlton, 2007).

Initial assessment of learners' needs and preferred learning styles takes place before courses start. Once this has been completed and studied by the course tutor or the teacher then the Learners can be matched to the most suitable level and type of course.

Agreeing Goals and Actions

Negotiate learning goals

Learners are able to agree some or all of their learning goals in negotiation with tutors.

A supportive and respectful relationship between learner and practitioner enables the setting of agreed and achievable learning goals

Access to differentiated online resources can open up a more extensive and appropriate range of options for learners

Self-directed learning through online simulations and tutorials can build learners' confidence to take up formal learning opportunities

Learning matches learners' lifestyles

Inclusive Learning

The use of different delivery methods means that any tutor can branch out and deliver a session in many ways to suit the needs of the learner or the group.

Heinich et al. categorized instructional methods into the following ten categories (Heinich et al. 2002):

1 Presentation

2 Demonstration

3 Discussion

4 Drill-and-practice

5 Tutorial

6 Cooperative learning

7 Gaming

8 Simulation

9 Discovery

10 Problem solving

Studies suggest that young people have mixed feelings about their

experience of learning activities. When thinking about how

best to deliver these activities, bear in mind the following points drawn

from recent research findings:

1 Keep it fun

2 Make it active

3 Root it in experience

4 Frame it and connect it

5 Give it the right ethos

(better practice)

The Use of Different Resources

There should be no barriers to education. Teachers deserve access to the content, tools, resources, and people that can help them do their valuable work. This section was created with one goal in mind: to help our colleagues connect with the resources they need to play a vital role in their classrooms and communities. (Teach without borders, 2010).

The most influential recourse of modern times is the computer. This used in conjunction with a projector can be used to show power point shows or film clips. When linked to the internet can show live real time publications and media items.

Adapting Session Plans

Adapting session plans can be very difficult and need to be looked at in great detail so as not to lose the main aspect of the learning within it. The following adaption's can be made to session plans;

The presentation of the material Break assignments into segments of shorter tasks, Tell student what he/she should expect to learn and why.

Modifying the Environment Utilize technology (computers, tape recorders, calculators, etc.), Seat student in area free from distractions.

Modifying Time Demands Increase amount of time allowed to complete assignments/tests.

Modifying the Materials Visual Motor Integration Deficit, Visual Processing Delay/Deficit, Language processing Deficit and many more.

Mainstream Supports Encourage use of the Study Centre after school, Encourage student use of the Reading Lab.

(Thieman, 2000).

Integrating Functional Skills into their subject area (language, literacy, maths, ITC)

Functional skills are essential to all our lives, which is why they are a key part of the Government's changes to 14-19 and adult education in England. Teaching and learning of functional skills can be through a range of models, from discrete lessons to fully contextualised teaching and learning. It is expected that in the long term, functional skills will remain the responsibility of core subject teachers but will be reinforced throughout the rest of the curriculum in every lesson.

Functional Skills qualifications in English, mathematics and ICT are being developed to support and enhance the ability of individuals to operate confidently, effectively and independently in life, further education and employment. The acquisition of functional skills proficiency by learners of all ages is central to the government's skills agenda and this was reinforced by the recent publication of Lord Leitch's report on economic prosperity and skills. (Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, 2007).

The key consideration for the introduction of functional English is the potential impact on curriculum content. There is a concern that this will require a reduction in content, particularly in relation to literature and the study of texts. Early analysis from the awarding body reports suggest that currently the English curriculum and consequent assessment for GCSE may be overburdened with non functional repetitive elements relating to literary writing and the analysis of texts. It has been suggested that by refocusing the emphasis towards functional writing and associated activity it would be possible to 'make room' for functional skills without significant disruption. It is acknowledged, however, that further work is needed in this area. (Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, 2007).

Following a series of discussions over the period of the trials with subject specialists and advisers, it is clear that a number of issues remain for further consideration. Awarding bodies and centres welcome the process approach developed in the standards but require further exemplification to ensure consistent approaches to assessment design and are concerned to ensure that the application of skills through assessment approaches is demonstrated effectively.

(Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, 2007).

The mathematics trials indicated that the assessments were generally found to be too difficult. This was attributed to a number of potential factors, including the reading and literacy demands of pre-release materials. It will be important to ensure that there is a detailed evaluation throughout the trial period to establish whether teaching and learning and assessment design are effectively achieving the required outcomes for functional mathematics. (Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, 2007).

The preferred approach is that adopted by awarding bodies and the regulatory authorities for other national high status examinations such as GCSE.

The reports indicated that further work would be needed in preparing teachers for delivering functional mathematics and preparing learners for assessment in functional mathematics. (Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, 2007).

It is clear that the introduction of functional skills in ICT is less problematic in relation to curriculum and assessment than the other subjects. The current short course GCSE is closely aligned to the functional skills standards and it is therefore recommended that this assessment could form the basis of the functional skills qualification. A number of reports suggest that a stand-alone functional skills qualification in ICT should be available to all candidates and with some further consideration this may well be one and the same as the short course GCSE, and could replace it. If this qualification became the functional skills qualification, it would be suitable and available to all learners. In Wales there is a concern that functional skills are not graded and that if it were to replace the short course GCSE this would mean that some candidates could not access the equivalent of a 'C' grade in GCSE. This will need further review with colleagues in Wales. (Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, 2007).


Nonverbal Communication (NVC) is usually understood as the process of communication through sending and receiving wordless messages. i.e., language is not the only source of communication. However, much of the study of nonverbal communication has focused on face-to-face interaction, where it can be classified into three principal areas: environmental conditions where communication takes place, the physical characteristics of the communicators, and behaviors of communicators during interaction. Knapp & Hall, 2002, p.7

G. W. Porter divides non-verbal communication into four broad categories:

Physical. This is the personal type of communication. It includes facial expressions, tone of voice, sense of touch, sense of smell, and body motions.

Aesthetic. This is the type of communication that takes place through creative expressions: playing instrumental music, dancing, painting and sculpturing.

Signs. This is the mechanical type of communication, which includes the use of signal flags, the 21-gun salute, horns, and sirens.

Symbolic. This is the type of communication that makes use of religious, status, or ego-building symbols.

Our concern here will be with what Porter has called the physical method of non-verbal communication. (Porter, 2010).

People vary in their ability to send and receive nonverbal communication. Thus, on average, to a moderate degree, women are better at nonverbal communication than are men. (Hall, 1978).

Verbal Communication

Verbal Communication is the spoken, oral, and unwritten way of communicating. It makes use of words, vocabulary, numbers and symbols and is organized in sentences.


Barrier - physical or nonphysical obstacles or hindrances that can slow or stop communication. (CDCP, 2010).

The Disability Discrimination Act has a vital role to play in dismantling barriers and delivering equality of opportunity for disabled people in higher education. Initiatives to recognise diversity within the student population and to understand the continuum of learner differences will help institutions to recognise and reduce barriers to learning for disabled people. However, some barriers to learning may still persist, either because they are outside the control of institutions or because they are a feature of a person's impairment. (The OU, 2006).

"Schools supported by local education authorities and others should actively seek to remove the barriers to learning and participation that can hinder or exclude pupils with special educational needs". (DfES, 2001a).

Tutors need to ensure that the learning objectives are relevant and appropriate for the pupil. Tutors need to avoid pupils becoming dependant and believing that they can only succeed with support, this undermines their self esteem. They need to be able to work with their peers and have the opportunity to work alone.


Negotiating with learners can be a daunting task. At some point the all-important question has to be addressed: what, precisely, can be negotiated in the classroom, given the constraints established by consideration of the issues outlined in this paper. Initial assessment is fundamental to setting a base from which to teach. Learners are able to agree some or all of their learning goals in negotiation with tutors. The use of different delivery methods means that any tutor can branch out and deliver a session in many ways to suit the needs of the learner or the group. Teachers deserve access to the content, tools, resources, and people that can help them do their valuable work. Teachers and professional tutors need to work in partnership to respond to pupils' diverse needs. This can be achieved through careful school and curriculum planning which anticipates potential barriers to learning and the creative use of access strategies to overcome any difficulties.


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