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An active discussion is the key to an interesting and engaging online course

Health Science

An active discussion is the key to an interesting and engaging online course. Discussion in this course is designed to simulate a classroom discussion. As others join in the discussion, you should read what has already been posted and continue on with the discussion from there.

The modules in this course are one week in length. Time goes quickly, so remember to post early! Get in the habit of checking the discussions as often as you can to see what others have posted and to respond. The earlier in the week that you begin posting, the deeper the conversation and learning will be. Rather than everyone posting a mini-paper and then responding to other posts, we’re going to go through the questions together as a group. I will assist you in moving through the questions.

The first question is opinion and/or experience based so that you can begin the discussion immediately without having completed all of your readings. You must apply your assigned readings to subsequent questions.

As we have read this week, understanding communication styles is important to improving your own communication. For this discussion we will take a closer look at the styles of communication and identify opportunities to communicate better with each group.

First, let’s start with a question based on your experiences, the icebreaker activity, and/or opinion:

  • When two people experience a breakdown in communication, whose responsibility is it to repair the communications? Consider this in our general everyday conversations and also from the context of interacting with a health provider (e.g. doctor, nurse, pharmacist, lab technician, or other allied health professional….)

Now applying what you’ve learned from the readings, let’s go through the rest of the discussion together, one question at a time.

  • In looking at the Four Styles of Communication (Links to an external site.), does one communication style work better than others in the health care environment? Do people in certain styles have to work harder in communicating with coworkers, supervisors, and/or patients? How so?
  • These styles tend to work well in planned conversations or meetings, but in health settings, that is not always an option. How do we apply what we have learned about these styles in the quick interactions, such as a phone call, blood pressure check, pharmacy pick-up, flu shot, or even the more pressured situations like emergency room visits or first responder situations? How can we apply these in written communications?
  • Looking back at our conversation on communication styles so far this week, how might people’s communication styles and cultures intersect or complement one another? How might they diverge? Please provide examples.


This discussion will be graded using a rubric. Please review this rubric prior to beginning the discussion. You can view the rubric by clicking on "Discussion Rubric" on the Course Rubrics page within the Start Here module. All discussions combined are worth 30% of your final course grade.

Consult the Discussion Posting Guide for information about writing your discussion posts. It is recommended that you write your post in a document first. Check your work and correct any spelling or grammatical errors. When you are ready to make your initial post, click on "Reply." Then copy/paste the text into the message field, and click “Post Reply.” 

To respond to a peer, click “Reply” beneath her or his post and continue as with an initial post.


Participation in this discussion assesses the following outcomes:

  • Describe and simulate different styles of communication. (CO1)
  • Evaluate the impacts of different communication styles on the effectiveness of your message. (CO1)
  • Investigate the role of culture in communication and use of varying communication styles. (CO1)
  • Examine your own strengths and weaknesses related to your communication style. (CO1)

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