Communication: Easy to screw up and hard to get right
I’m wandering over to Unleaded: Fuel for Writers this week with a post on communication:
For the last few weeks I’ve been taking a free philosophy course over at Coursea. I’ve never taken the subject before, and I thought it would be useful for my writing. This week, though, I dropped it because of bad communication.
The lectures started out interesting, but I got to the second one and I couldn’t connect to the material. I’d look at the answers to the test questions that I’d gotten wrong and didn’t understand why I’d gotten them wrong. It was a tough lecture because nearly everyone did poorly on the test, so I thought it was me versus the material.
The professor promised the next lecture would be easier, but I found the same issue. Then I got the test, and there were questions about information not in the lectures.
I wasn’t the only one who noticed this. More than 20 people commented on the missing information, and everyone else was curiously silent on the quiz. One person drove by and said, “Oh, all the answers are there. You just have to study really, really carefully.” If you don’t mention a widget in the lecture and it’s a question on the test, how is it there?
But that was only person who deigned to comment. Though the professor answered questions in other threads, he ignored the ones about the missing information. That communicated something I don’t think he intended. I wasn’t concerned about passing the tests — not if I got an understanding of the material. I’m a poor test taker and can get answers wrong that I know. But this told me that I wasn’t going to learn anything, so it immediately because not a good use of time. I dropped the class (I’ll be taking the Introduction to Philosophy later on).
I always think about things like this when it comes to writing. It’s a harder than it looks to communicate well … Read the rest on Unleaded: Fuel for Writers.