Modeling Elements of Communication Online

Submitted by Cheri Hebert on

One learning objective for Com 100 is to have students explain the essential elements of communication using representative communication models. In a F2F setting this can be demonstrated easily by putting the essential elements of a model on the whiteboard and  having students stand by the elements such as the “sender” and “receiver” element. They next model the  elements in an interactive process.  This semester, I assigned students the same assignment,  to diagram a recent conversation they had using a model of communication. Their model had to include the 7 elements representing a real life interaction. However, in the online environment students found this assignment difficult and confusing. The average score for a class of 25 was 72%. Students did not understand the concept and I received scripted monologues of the elements instead of models. This semeseter I added a  visual example including an interaction as applied to a model.  The visual example increased their understanding, creativity and critical thinking skills. The average score of the assignment  this time was 93% for 25 students.

Completed Full Cycle
Course Number
Com 100
Assessment of the Month
Average: 4.9 (8 votes)


Roselyn Turner Thu, 10/17/2013 - 11:47am

Cheri, great job diagnosing the problem online students were having (using your experience as a F2F teacher).  Providing the appropriate modeling was prescriptive and it worked!  Congratulations!  And thank you for reminding your colleagues about the importance and power of modeling.

Polly Miller Fri, 10/18/2013 - 12:35pm


The strategies that you incorpoated support multiple learning styles. The alignment of the assignment objectives, assessment rubric, and visual instructional model facilitates student learning in the online environment. Great job! Thanks for sharing.

Erik Huntsinger Thu, 10/24/2013 - 3:22pm

Cheri, your CATS demonstrates the classic assessment model and how it can improve student learning.  You measured the student's success and were dissatisfied with your online student's results, created an intervention (the video), and then reassessed to see how effective it was.  Kudos!

Peter Turner Mon, 11/04/2013 - 1:58pm

Well done, Cheri! You followed the action research model of plan, implement, assess, and modify. I'm sure from your results you will continue to use this visual model!

Mark Matthews Tue, 11/12/2013 - 10:51am

Cheri, I like that you added the real-world scenario to the model for the students, thereby creating a familiar context. This makes all the difference in the world. Thanks for sharing.

Gary Kilduff Tue, 11/19/2013 - 12:27pm


Great sensitivity to learning styles and presentation format, a real impact on learning outcomes. Thanks for sharing.

Jennifer Copeland Sat, 01/25/2014 - 10:59am

Cheri,I really enjoyed the various student samples in this assignment. I think including this in our Master course would be fantastic!

Jen Copeland 

display_name_fallback Sat, 01/25/2014 - 10:59am

This is a great assessment. It is easy to implement and yet powerful as the students will see the concepts in real life. I plan to implement this in my Sociology class. Thank you!

Richard Fill Sat, 01/25/2014 - 11:05am

Working in assessment seminar...great idea and certainly visual support important..thanks.