Active listening: a term coined by Gerard Egan (1986) to stress that we need to listen to different things - words, non-verbal cues, 'sour notes' and the wide context. Egan suggests that communication is 8% words, 56% facial cues and 36% other non-verbal cues.
Candidate: refers to the person undertaking the Practice Learning Qualification.
Critical Incident Analysis: a focused, detailed, written account analysing and reflecting on a specific incident/interaction in practice.
Learner: refers to the student undergoing the practice learning experience.
Empathy: the capacity to positively convey (using verbal and non-verbal communication) an understanding of another person's feelings.
Evaluation: an appraisal of the positives and developmental requirements of a learner's practice.
Feedback: Doel et al (1996) suggest there are different stages in giving and receiving feedback.
Group communication: the variety of verbal & non-verbal means used among a number of people where the issues of power, differences, and rules of speaking are more complex than between two people.
Ground rules: an agreed series of statements between participants in a meeting or group designed to create a sense of safety and certainty in how each person will behave towards each other in the setting.
Non-verbal communication: facial expressions, eye-contact, posture & movements; clothing & artifacts, proximity & touch which are used in combination to convey thoughts & feelings (without words) to another person.
Para-language: how we speak - pitch, volume, sound, speed and to the ways words can have a number of meanings depending on context.
Phatic communication: the 'small talk' that lubricates all communication and is often used to start and to end interactions between people.
Politically correct language: a term (sometimes used in a derogatory way to undermine anti-oppressive practice) referring to language which aims to convey anti-oppressive values.
Practice learning experience/practice learning opportunity: in some settings this is also called a placement or a practicum, and it refers to the period of time a learner with a service delivery agency working directly & indirectly with service users.
Reflective diary: also known as a learning log or reflective journal, used by a learner to record their thoughts, feelings, concerns, questions and actions during a period of practice learning (or other educational experience)
Speaking: one of the processes, using words, used to convey meaning between human beings which is influenced by rules, power, culture and non-verbal cues.
Special communication: some situations of difference require additional or different measures in order to ensure meaning is conveyed and received accurately e.g. where English is a second language, where an individual has a learning difficulty, between an adult and a child
Supervision: the formal and informal time set aside by an educator for a learner to discuss, review and evaluate the learner's experience and progress in practice
Working agreement: sometimes called a 'contract', this is a written document which sets out the boundaries, roles, procedures for assessment and learning objectives/workload for a learner during a period of practice learning.
Written communication: agency records & reports, assignments, supervision notes, process recordings, and critical incident analyses are all written documents which are used for learning and assessment purposes during a period of practice learning.
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Ivanna Fernandez, Learning Technologist, Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services.
Billy Devine, Senior Designer, Learning Services, University of Strathclyde.