A Good Start for Communication – Journal 1

It took me a lot of courage to choose this “Communicating Science” module since communicating with someone is not always easy, letting alone communicating in English as an international student. However, I was still enrolled in this class to make new friends, to immerse myself into a diversified environment, and most importantly to drag myself out of the lab. It is actually my first time to step into the New Classroom Building, and everybody is so quiet inside the classroom before the class. I took the PFP class last semester and had one Communicating Science free-trial in between, which gives me some clue for what is waiting for me in this module – a lot of fun accompanied with some physical movements. Still, the initial stretching totally surprised me with a bonus of sore shoulders. The rest of the class was both intense and casual: 3-min academic presentation in front the camera, played the “Yes” game, and mimic each other’s movements in a relay-race mode.

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(Source: Innovations in Science Communication and Engagement: Exploring How Better Training Can Improve Outcomes for Science and Society)

The most interesting game is the “Name and Gesture” game. Normally, it will be very difficult for me to remember a stranger’s name in just 15 mins. However, the first round of the game let us teach all classmates to pronounce your own name several times to help build an initial impression. During the second round, we need to combine our name with one hobby demonstrated through gesture one by one. All the rest people should mimic those moves while pronouncing the name. For the last round, instead of letting the person teaches us his/her name, we need to shout out the name and recall the gesture correctly for each other. After three rounds, not only do we remember the names, but also understand the hobby and personality of that person, which builds an emotional link between those two and helps strengthen the memory. This is definitely one perfect example of efficient communication by linking pronunciation, gesture, and observation together.

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(Click on the figure to be directed to the original source)

Though it’s a solid 3-h class, I actually had a great time and enjoyed talking with each other and speaking out my own feelings. My biggest challenge this week is to convey my research efficiently across the whole audience without using any technical terms and jargons. I’m definitely look forward to having my second class and explore more in communication.

1 Comment on “A Good Start for Communication – Journal 1

  1. Hi Shiqiang,
    Thanks for your thoughtful comments! I’m glad you noticed the name game taught you the names–I want to talk about that in class next week. We can help people learn complicated science-y things this way, too, by tying a movement to a concept. I’m glad you were courageous enough to take the class!

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