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Parkinson’s Law. Workers adjust their pace to the work available (If there’s less work, they’ll work more slowly…). Intended Message Perceived Message. Barriers to communication. Prior expectations ; different starting points (prior knowledge / experience ) Inaccurate inferences

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Parkinson’s Law

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Parkinson’s Law

Workers adjust their pace to the work available

(If there’s less work, they’ll work more slowly…)

Intended MessagePerceived Message

Barriers to communication

  • Prior expectations; different starting points (prior knowledge/experience)

  • Inaccurate inferences

  • Differing perceptions of words

  • Conflicting information

  • Noise

    • physical

    • emotional

Barriers to communication

  • Forgetfulness

  • Information overload

  • Haste in prepping message

  • Ignoring nonverbal cues

  • Close-mindedness; intolerance

  • Poor listening habits

  • Learning philosophy: “Ways of Knowing”

Ways of Knowing

  • Received knowers

  • Subjective knowers

  • Procedural knowers

  • Constructed knowers

Received Knowers

“Knowers who depend on listening and external authority for knowledge…”

  • rote-mode learning

  • learn from experts

  • information is right or wrong

Subjective Knowers

“Knowers who depend entirely on internal resources for valuing and knowing…”

  • experiential learning

  • knowledge is personal and private

  • feelings are important

  • often reject “expert” authority

Procedural Knowers

“Knowers who obtain knowledge by applying objective, logical, rational procedures…”

  • need to see evidence

  • reason and common sense valued highly

  • knowledge is impersonal

  • experts only as good as their arguments

Constructed Knowers

“Knowers who construct their own meaning. Knowledge is contextual; subjective and objective ways of knowing are integrated…”

  • complex, balanced approach

  • knowledge is constructed

  • value and integrate expert advice, feelings, personal experience, reason

Improving Communication as Senders

  • Know the audience

  • Adjust message to their prior knowledge, experience, readiness, literacy

  • Adjust to their way of knowing

    • establish expertise

    • provide hands-on activities

    • provide relevant examples

    • show logic

  • Personalize message

Improving Communication as Senders

  • Test: formative evaluation

  • Proofread!!

  • Get someone else to proofread!

    • Spellcheck, but don’t rely on spellcheck

      “The demonstrators were attached by vicious policy dogs…”

“I have a spelling checker,It came with my PC;It plainly marks four my revueMistakes I cannot sea.I’ve run this poem threw it,I’m sure your please too no,Its letter perfect in it’s weight,My checker tolled me sew.--Author unknownSource: Hope Health Letter, Sept. 1992

Writing for Low Literate Readers

  • Carefully craft your sentences, paragraphs

    • use simple words

    • active, not passive voice

    • be positive, not negative

    • use organizing strategies: headings, grouped information, highlighted info

Writing for Low Literate Readers

  • Watch your style

    • useful pictures


    • use text and white space purposefully

  • Stick to what is important

    • be concrete, not abstract

    • give examples

Use of Space

Active Learning

Actual experience

Simulations, role-playing

90% of say & do

Evaluate, analyze, create, design

Give a talk

Discussion participation

70% of say

See demo

Field trip, exhibits, videos

50% of hear & see

Demonstrate, apply, practice

View charts,


30% of see


Define, describe, list, explain

20% of hear


10% of read

T 16-1, p. 523

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