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An Experiential, Mobile-Device Driven Communications Exercise

with 4 comments

This past week in my undergraduate interpersonal communications course, I adapted the Bridge-It communications exercise to incorporate my students’ (most ages 17-20) mobile devices.  It combined some of my favorite instructional strategies:

Procedures

First. students were asked to line up in the classroom on a continuum from those who believed they had the best, most effective communication (verbal and listening) skills to those who thought they lacked those skills.  They counted off by three’s to form three groups.  The top three self-reported communicators were asked to be the communicators, the others were the builders.

Next, groups were moved to separate rooms, given the same set of building blocks and their task . . .

Build a three-dimensional structure using all the pieces provided.  All three structures need to be exact in dimension and in color patterns.  The communicators can use their cell phones via text and/or voice to communicate with the other groups.

No time limits were set.  When the teams believed they successfully completed the task, they could send pictures of their structures to one another.

Reflections

After the completion of the activity, reactions and reflections were posted on a Voicethread slide using an image taken during the activity and quickly uploaded to Voicethread.

Comments included:

I loved doing this project! It was fun to get to know the class and it was interesting to figure all of this out without being in the same room with one another. We all worked very well together after we figured out what we were doing.

The activity showed we all communicated very well. The best way we were going to build our structure was to communicate by one and to make sure we had everything in place. i learned that communicating with good instructions will make it successful.

This activity showed how well we can communicate with each other. I learned that we can communicate well if given proper instructions that are detailed and precise.

Follow-Up

Next class students will be shown video clips of their participation in the activity.  Since the topic is on nonverbal communication, they will be asked to text to Wifitti what the nonverbal behaviors they witnessed during each of the clips.

Written by Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D.

November 5, 2011 at 6:17 pm

4 Responses

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  1. I really enjoyed reading about this activity. I would like to try and adopt this for middle schoolers. Now I need to look at my curriculum and see where this could work. I love using cell phones in my classroom.

    Jeremy Hyler

    November 6, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    • Thanks, Jeremy. I have been thinking about extensions to this activity. I think it can be used for any lesson that requires any step-by-step procedure. If you try it, please let me know how it goes. I have used it also with High School students and they loved it.

      Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D.

      November 6, 2011 at 2:26 pm

  2. Can you tell me where you got those PVC pipes? I would love to add this to my team-building toolkit.

    Nicole

    January 6, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    • Home Depot🙂

      Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D.

      January 7, 2015 at 3:22 am


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