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How Can I Avoid Communication “Misfires” with Students?

Presenters: Jennifer Waldeck, Professor of Communication Studies, Chapman University

This course is worth 1 hour (0.1 CEU) of professional development. A certificate of completion can be printed once the program has been completed.


About this Course


The ways in which educators communicate with and treat students have a profound effect on their learning. Put another way, it's important that students like what their professors say and do. Studies have shown a causal link between students' positive attitudes toward courses and cognitive learning achievement.

Some teachers, however, sabotage this process. They may routinely, but inadvertently, communicate in disagreeable or antisocial ways that demotivate their students and work against learning.

Discover how to change the three teacher behaviors that college students dislike most in How Can I Avoid Communication “Misfires” with Students?


When students like their instructor, the positive classroom atmosphere increases their motivation and plays a causal role in learning. It also leads to higher teacher evaluations.

As a result of watching this program, you will:

  • Overcome the resistance that most faculty have to addressing their communication mistakes
  • Be on the lookout for the three primary demotivating and counterproductive behaviors
  • Practice competently the specific kinds of communication that can replace bad habits
  • Communicate with students in ways that demonstrate the fairness and equality of their teaching practices


The program presenter distills her extensive experience in this area into a tight, energetic presentation filled with ready-to-use strategies and illustrative examples.

You will learn communication techniques to help you navigate difficult situations with students—such as missed assignments, poor attendance, or late work—while keeping their motivation strong and their attitude about your class positive.

The presenter will explain how educators can manage to be likeable and approachable without sacrificing rigor or integrity.

This presentation covers how educators should behave toward their students in both online and in-person interactions. You will get practical recommendations on dealing with technology so you can let students use their devices in class without impeding your teaching style or the classroom discussion.

Even the best teachers may engage in unintentional or unavoidable communication misbehaviors. This video will help you recognize and neutralize them. Cutting down on the number of missteps can have a positive impact on student learning—and on what students communicate about you in their evaluations.


When students like their teachers and the culture of their classroom, they become more motivated and better learners. Being aware of the behaviors that promote this atmosphere can result in a rewarding educational experience for everyone.

How Can I Avoid Communication “Misfires” with Students? provides positive alternatives to common teacher behaviors that often negatively impact student performance.

In just 20 minutes, you will discover how to:

  • Use communication strategies that emphasize connectedness and caring along with rigor
  • Sharpen oral communication skills to engage students and avoid boring lectures
  • Avoid antagonizing students with unpopular assignments and activities
  • Refrain from appearing arrogant, detached, or superior
  • Substitute arbitrary rules with clear, constructive, and consistent policies
  • Communicate the relevance of the content you teach to students' lives and their futures
  • Avoid either overloading students with information or creating a "content lite" situation
  • Model the behavior you expect from your students

In a gradual and friendly presentation, the program mentor will offer examples of "bad behaviors" and provide alternative strategies. Practical, pertinent examples taken from today's classrooms will clearly illustrate the material covered.


The presenter will also provide sample documents and checklists to reinforce your understanding of the topic.


While almost any kind of educator can benefit from this presentation, faculty members who are new to this subject or possess an intermediate-level familiarity will find it especially helpful.