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See the message design guide for more information on developing messages. Decide which communication channels will best reach the audience. It is effective to use a variety of channels, keeping in mind that there is no one perfect channel. There are four broad categories of channels:. Many communication strategies identify a lead channel and supporting channels.

Select a mix of channels that makes sense for the strategy, taking into consideration:. Typically, a communication strategy identifies the mix of channels that will be used, but does not go into great detail about how and when each channel will be used. A channel mix plan with more details can be developed later. With the approaches and channels selected, the team can outline activities that will lead to achieving the objectives. Activities should be specific and related to each channel. Some examples may include: developing a counseling guide, producing a radio serial drama, conducting community folk dramas, developing an app, designing a web site or holding community discussion groups.

For example, if the team chose to use a centerpiece approach with entertainment education as the core focus, they may have the following channels and activities:. The implementation plan details the who , what , when and how much of the communication strategy. It covers partner roles and responsibilities, activities, timeline and budget considerations.

To determine roles and responsibilities, first consider what competencies and skills are necessary to achieving the objectives and approaches outlined in the strategy for example, community mobilization, materials design or training. Then, ask which partners and staff have those competencies and determine who will be responsible for each area. Next, review the activities planned step 11 and compare them to partner and staff competencies. Assign responsibility for each activity. Then, establish a timeline for the activities, including key phases and links with other activities that fall outside the strategy.

Fill out the Roles and Responsibilities template. Look at the broad categories or competencies for the strategy. Brainstorm possible costs for each category. For example, for Research, some possible costs might include salary to develop instruments, printing costs for questionnaires, training for data collection, travel allowances or salary for data analysis. Estimate the amount of funding needed for each main category and create a draft budget using the Budget template. The budget created for the strategy must be flexible as needs and activities change.

Be sure to determine what resources partners will contribute. It is important to develop a monitoring and evaluation plan before the program begins. During the development of the strategy, create a draft plan that includes communication indicators, methods for monitoring and evaluation, and tools that will be used to track progress and evaluate effects. A smaller taskforce can detail and finalize the plan after all partners agree on the draft.


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Refer to the monitoring and evaluation plan guide for detailed instructions on developing a plan. Roles and Responsibilities Template. Sample Channel and Material Selection. Print PDF. SBC How-to Guides are short guides that provide step-by-step instructions on how to perform core social and behavior change tasks. From formative research through monitoring and evaluation, these guides cover each step of the SBC process, offer useful hints, and include important resources and references.

Skip to main content. Follow us on Twitter! Search form Search. How-to Guide. What is a communication strategy? Most communication strategies include the following elements: Brief summary of the situation analysis Audience segmentation Program theory to inform strategy development Communication objectives Approaches for achieving objectives Positioning for the desired change Benefits and messages to encourage desired change Communication channels to disseminate messages Implementation plan Monitoring and evaluation plan Budgets Many of the elements of the communication strategy have their own How-to Guide in this collection and should be reviewed during the development of the communication strategy.

Why develop a communication strategy? Who should develop a communication strategy? When should a communication strategy be developed? Learning Objectives After completing the activities in the communication strategy guide, the team will: Determine how their program wants to engage stakeholders and partners in strategy development Apply communication strategy best principles to develop their own strategy Identify roles and responsibilities for implementing their communication strategy Estimated Time Needed Developing a communication strategy can take from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the scope of the strategy and whether formative research has already been completed.

Step 2: Write a Brief Summary of Analyses. Step 3: Select a Theory.

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Step 4: Select Audiences. Step 5: Develop Communication Objectives. Step 6: Select Strategic Approaches. Step 7: Decide on Positioning. Step 9: Draft Key Message Points. Step Select Channels. Step Outline Activities. Step Develop an Implementation Plan. Step Draft a Budget. The Project Management Body of Knowledge PMBOK 5 defines the work-breakdown structure "A hierarchical decomposition of the total scope of work to be carried out by the project team to accomplish the project objectives and create the required deliverables.

A work-breakdown structure element may be a product , data , service , or any combination thereof. A WBS also provides the necessary framework for detailed cost estimating and control along with providing guidance for schedule development and control. WBS is a hierarchical and incremental decomposition of the project into phases, deliverables and work packages.

It is a tree structure , which shows a subdivision of effort required to achieve an objective; for example a program , project , and contract. The work breakdown structure provides a common framework for the natural development of the overall planning and control of a contract and is the basis for dividing work into definable increments from which the statement of work can be developed and technical, schedule, cost, and labor hour reporting can be established.

A work breakdown structure permits summing of subordinate costs for tasks, materials, etc. For each element of the work breakdown structure, a description of the task to be performed is generated. The WBS is organized around the primary products of the project or planned outcomes instead of the work needed to produce the products planned actions. Since the planned outcomes are the desired ends of the project, they form a relatively stable set of categories in which the costs of the planned actions needed to achieve them can be collected.

In addition to its function in cost accounting, the WBS also helps map requirements from one level of system specification to another, for example, a cross reference matrix mapping functional requirements to high level or low level design documents. The WBS may be displayed horizontally in outline form, or vertically as a tree structure like an organization chart. The development of the WBS normally occurs at the start of a project and precedes detailed project and task planning.

PERT was introduced by the U. Navy in to support the development of its Polaris missile program. The document has been revised several times, most recently in In , the Project Management Institute PMI documented the expansion of these techniques across non-defense organizations. This ambiguity could result in duplicated work or miscommunications about responsibility and authority. Such overlap could also cause confusion regarding project cost accounting. The WBS Dictionary describes each component of the WBS with milestones , deliverables, activities, scope, and sometimes dates, resources , costs, quality.

If the work breakdown structure designer attempts to capture any action-oriented details in the WBS, the designer will likely include either too many actions or too few actions. This also ensures that the WBS is not overly prescriptive of methods, allowing for greater ingenuity and creative thinking on the part of the project participants. For new product development projects, the most common technique to ensure an outcome-oriented WBS is to use a product breakdown structure. If you are sincerely trying to keep up with the course reading but feel like you are in over your head, seek help.

Speak up in class, schedule a meeting with your instructor, or visit your university learning centre for assistance. Deal with the problem as early in the semester as you can. Instructors respect students who are proactive about their own learning. Most instructors will work hard to help students who make the effort to help themselves. Now that you have acquainted or reacquainted yourself with useful planning and comprehension strategies, your reading assignments may feel more manageable.

You know what you need to do to get your reading done and make sure you grasp the main points. However, the most successful students in are not only competent readers but active, engaged readers. Both will help you look at a text in depth and help prepare you for when you have to study to use the information on an exam. You should try them both and decide which works better for you. Everyone reads and retains or not information in different ways. However, applying the following four stages of reading whenever you pick up material will not only help you understand what you are reading, but will also increase the changes of your actually remembering what you have read.

While it may seem that this strategy of four reading stages takes a lot of time, it will become more natural for you as you continue applying it. Also, using these four stages will actually save you time because you will already have retained a lot, if not all, of the content, so when it is time to study for your exam, you will find that you already know the material. Effective academic reading and study seeks not only to gain an understanding of the facts, opinions, and beliefs presented in a text, but also of the biases, assumptions, and perspectives underlying the discussion.

The aim is to analyze, interpret, and evaluate the text, and then to draw logical inferences and conclusions. In order to do that, you need to think about the relevance of ideas to one another and about their usefulness to you personally, professionally, and academically. Again, this differs from our usual daily reading activities, where interest often determines what we choose to read rather than utility.

What happens when we are really not interested in what we are reading or seeing? Our eyes move down the page and our minds are elsewhere. We may read anywhere from one paragraph to several pages and suddenly realize we do not have the foggiest idea what we have just read. Clearly focusing our reading purpose on surveying, reading closely, being inquisitive, and reading critically, means we are reading for specific results: we read faster, know what we want, and read to get it.

Surveying quickly 2 to 10 minutes if it is a long chapter allows you to see the overall picture or gist of what the text is sharing with you. Some of the benefits of surveying are listed below:. For a text or chapter, look at introductions, summaries, chapter headings, bold print, and graphics to piece together the main theme and its development. Magazines, journals, books, chapters, sections of dense material, anything that allows for an overview. Close reading allows you to concentrate and make decisions now about what is relevant and what is not. Its main purpose is to help ensure that you understand what you are reading and to help you store information in a logical and organized way, so when you need to recall the information, it is easier for you to do so.

It is a necessary and critical strategy for academic reading for the following reasons:. Survey for overall structure; read, annotating main theme, key points, and essential detail; summarize the important ideas and their development. Any reading that requires 80 percent comprehension and retention of main points and supporting detail. Inquiry reading tends to be what we do with material we are naturally interested in. We usually do not notice we are doing this because we enjoy learning and thinking about it.

Discovery reading is another term that describes this type of reading. Some of its benefits to the study process include:. Increased focus : By asking interpretative questions, determining relevance, and searching for your answers, you are involved and less likely to be bored or distracted. Stimulation of creativity : This involvement will raise new questions for you and inspire further research.

Matching instructor expectations : Instructors are usually seeking deeper understanding as well as basic memory of concepts. Increase the volume and depth in questions while reading informational, interpretative, analytical, synthesizing, and evaluating kinds of questions. Critical reading is necessary in order to determine the salience or key points of the concepts presented, their relevance, and the accuracy of arguments. When you read critically, you become even more deeply involved with the material, which will allow you to make better judgments about what is the more important information.

People often read reactively to material—especially debate, controversy, and politics. When readers react, they bring a wealth of personal experience and opinion to the concept to which they are reacting. But critical reading requires thinking—as you would expect—critically about the material. Critical thinking relies on reason, evidence, and open mindedness and recognizes the biases, assumptions, and motives of both the writer and the reader. Your memory of facts and concepts will be enhanced by surveying and close reading. Interpretation, relevance, application, and evaluation of presented facts and concepts require deeper questioning and involvement.

Inquiry and critical reading are more applicable at these stages. We will be discussing this in the next section: SQ3R. Another strategy you can use to become a more active, engaged reader is SQ3R, which is a step-by-step process to follow before, during, and after reading.

You could use SQ3R for a variety of reading purposes:. This is not a new or unfamiliar process; SQ3R is only a new name. It describes surveying various resources e. Before you read, first survey or preview the text. However, surveying does not stop there. Flip through the text and look for any pictures, charts or graphs, the table of contents, index, and glossary.

Scan the preface and introduction to each chapter Skim a few paragraphs. Preview any boldfaced or italicized vocabulary terms. This will help you form a first impression of the material and determine the appropriateness of the material. The final stage of surveying occurs once you have identified which chapters are relevant. Quickly look at any headings as well as the introduction and conclusion to the chapter to confirm the relevance of the information. Sometimes, this survey step alone may be enough because you may need only a general familiarization with the material.

This is also when you will discover whether or not you want to look at the book more deeply. If you keep the question of why you are reading the material in mind, it will help you focus because you will be actively engaged in the information you are consuming. Also, if there are any visual aids, you will want to examine what they are showing as they probably represent important ideas. Next, start brainstorming questions about the text. What do you expect to learn from the reading? You may find that some questions come to mind immediately based on your initial survey or based on previous readings and class discussions.

If not, try using headings and subheadings in the text to formulate questions. For instance, if one heading in your textbook is Conditional Sentence and another is Conditional Release , you might ask yourself these questions:. Although some of your questions may be simple factual questions, try to come up with a few that are more open ended. Asking in-depth questions will help you stay more engaged as you read. Once you have your questions in mind, you can move to the next step of actively reading to see if you can come up with an answer. The next step is simple: read. As you read, notice whether your first impressions of the text were correct.

Also, look for answers to your earlier questions and begin forming new ones. Continue to revise your impressions and questions as you read. While you are reading, pause occasionally to recite or record important points. Put the book aside for a moment and recite aloud the main points of the section or any important answers you found there. You might also record ideas by jotting down a few brief notes in addition to, or instead of, reciting aloud.

Either way, the physical act of articulating information makes you more likely to remember it. Try to use your own words as much as possible, but if you find an important quote, you can identify it as well.

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If there are any diagrams, makes notes from memory on what information they are giving. Then look back at the diagrams to make sure you were accurate. Repeat this questioning, reading, and reciting process for the rest of the chapter. As you work your way through, occasionally pause and really think about what you have read; it is easy to work through a section or chapter and realize that you have not actually absorbed any of the material.

Once you have looked at the whole chapter, try to put each section into the context of the bigger picture. Ask yourself if you have really answered each question you set out with and if you have been accurate in your answers. To make sure that you really remember the information, review your notes again after about one week and then again three or four weeks later. Also, if the textbook includes review questions or your instructor has provided a study guide, use these tools to guide your review.

You will want to record information in a more detailed format than you used during reading, such as in an outline or a list. As you review the material, reflect on what you learned.

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Did anything surprise you, upset you, or make you think? Did you find yourself strongly agreeing or disagreeing with any points in the text? What topics would you like to explore further? Jot down your reflections in your notes. Instructors sometimes require students to write brief response papers or maintain a reading journal. Use these assignments to help you reflect on what you read. From memory, jot down the key ideas discussed in the section you just read. If you need it, use a separate piece of paper. Look back through the text and check your memory with what you jotted down.

How did you do? Choose one section from the chapter and write a summary from memory of what you learned from that section. Now review that section. Identity what corresponds and what you omitted. How are you doing? When you read that section, did you consciously intend to remember it? Although this process may seem time-consuming, you will find that it will actually save time.

Because you have a question in mind while reading, you have more of a purpose while looking for the important information. The notes you take will also be more organized and concise because you are focused, and this will save you time when it comes to writing essays. Also, since you have reviewed throughout the process, you will not need to spend as much time reviewing for exams because it is already stored in your memory.

Choose another text that that you have been assigned to read for a class. Use the SQ3R process to complete the reading. Keep in mind that you may need to spread the reading over more than one session, especially if the text is long. Be sure to complete all the steps involved. Then, reflect on how helpful you found this process. On a scale of 1 to 10, how useful did you find it? How does it compare with other study techniques you have used? The SQ3R process encompasses a number of valuable active reading strategies: previewing a text, making predictions, asking and answering questions, and summarizing.

You can use the following additional strategies to further deepen your understanding of what you read. As Crystal began her first semester of elementary education courses, she occasionally felt lost in a sea of new terms and theories about teaching and child development. She found that it helped to relate the reading to her personal observations of her son and other kids she knew.

Many courses require students to participate in interactive online components, such as a discussion forum, a page on a social networking site, or a class blog. These tools are a great way to reinforce learning. Do not be afraid to be the student who starts the discussion. Remember that when you interact with other students and teachers online, you need to project a mature, professional image.

Active reading can benefit you in ways that go beyond just earning good grades. By practising these strategies, you will find yourself more interested in your courses and better able to relate your academic work to the rest of your life. Being an interested, engaged student also helps you form lasting connections with your instructors and with other students that can be personally and professionally valuable.

In short, it helps you get the most out of your education. Writing assignments at the post-secondary level serve a different purpose than the typical writing assignments you completed in high school. In high school, teachers generally focus on teaching you to write in a variety of modes and formats, including personal writing, expository writing, research papers, creative writing, and writing short answers and essays for exams.

Over time, these assignments help you build a foundation of writing skills. Now, however, your instructors will expect you to already have that foundation. Your composition courses will focus on writing for its own sake, helping you make the transition to higher-level writing assignments. However, in most of your other courses, writing assignments serve a different purpose. In those courses, you may use writing as one tool among many for learning how to think about a particular academic discipline.

Additionally, certain assignments teach you how to meet the expectations for professional writing in a given field. Depending on the class, you might be asked to write a lab report, a case study, a literary analysis, a business plan, or an account of a personal interview. You will need to learn and follow the standard conventions for those types of written products.

Finally, personal and creative writing assignments are less common at the post-secondary level than in high school. College and university courses emphasize expository writing—writing that explains or informs. Often expository writing assignments will incorporate outside research, too. Some classes will also require persuasive writing assignments in which you state and support your position on an issue.

Your instructors will hold you to a higher standard when it comes to supporting your ideas with reasons and evidence. It includes minor, less formal assignments as well as major ones. Which specific assignments you will be given will depend on the courses you take and the learning objectives developed by your instructors. Problem-solution paper Presents a problem, explains its causes, and proposes and explains a solution For an emergency management course, a student presents a plan for implementing a crisis communications strategy.

Case study or case analysis Investigates a particular person, group, or event in depth for the purpose of drawing a larger conclusion from the analysis For a health science course, a student writes a case study demonstrating the successful treatment of a patient experiencing congestive heart failure. Laboratory report Presents a laboratory experiment, including the hypothesis, methods of data collection, results, and conclusions For a psychology course, a group of students presents the results of an experiment in which they explored whether sleep deprivation produced memory deficits in lab rats.

Writing at Work Part of managing your education is communicating well with others at your institution. For instance, you might need to email your instructor to request an office appointment or explain why you will need to miss a class. You might need to contact administrators with questions about your tuition or financial aid.

Later, you might ask instructors to write recommendations on your behalf. Treat these documents as professional communications. Address the recipient politely; state your question, problem, or request clearly; and use a formal, respectful tone. Doing so helps you make a positive impression and get a quicker response. Post-secondary-level reading and writing assignments differ from high school assignments, not only in quantity but also in quality.

Managing reading assignments successfully requires you to plan and manage your time, set a purpose for reading, practise effective comprehension strategies, and use active reading strategies to deepen your understanding of the text. Post-secondary writing assignments place greater emphasis on learning to think critically about a particular discipline and less emphasis on personal and creative writing. By now you have a general idea of what to expect from your courses. At the beginning of the semester, your workload is relatively light. This is the perfect time to brush up on your study skills and establish good habits.

When the demands on your time and energy become more intense, you will have a system in place for handling them. This section covers specific strategies for managing your time effectively. You will also learn about different note-taking systems that you can use to organize and record information efficiently. As you work through this section, remember that every student is different. The strategies presented here are tried-and-true techniques that work well for many people.

However, you may need to adapt them to develop a system that works well for you personally. If your friend swears by her smartphone, but you hate having to carry extra electronic gadgets around, then using a smartphone will not be the best organizational strategy for you.

Read with an open mind, and consider what techniques have been effective or ineffective for you in the past. Which habits from your high school years or your work life could help you succeed now? Which habits might get in your way? What changes might you need to make? To succeed in your post-secondary education—or any situation where you must master new concepts and skills—it helps to know what makes you tick. For decades, educational researchers and organizational psychologists have examined how people take in and assimilate new information, how some people learn differently than others, and what conditions make students and workers most productive.

Here are just a few questions to think about:. Most people have one channel that works best for them when it comes to taking in new information. Knowing yours can help you develop strategies for studying, time management, and note taking that work especially well for you. To begin identifying your learning style, think about how you would go about the process of assembling a piece of furniture. Which of these options sounds most like you? You would carefully look over the diagrams in the assembly manual first so you could picture each step in the process.

You would silently read the directions through, step by step, and then look at the diagrams afterward. You would read the directions aloud under your breath. Having someone explain the steps to you would also help. You would start putting the pieces together and figure out the process through trial and error, consulting the directions as you worked. Now read the following explanations of each option in the list above. Again, think about whether each description sounds like you. Your learning style does not completely define you as a student.

Auditory learners can comprehend a flow chart, and kinesthetic learners can sit still long enough to read a book. However, if you do have one dominant learning style, you can work with it to get the most out of your classes and study time. Use coloured pens, highlighters, or the review feature of your word processing program to revise and edit writing. Verbal Use the instructional features in course texts—summaries, chapter review questions, glossaries, and so on—to aid your studying.

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Use informal writing techniques, such as brainstorming, freewriting, blogging, or posting on a class discussion forum to generate ideas for writing assignments. Reread and take notes on your writing to help you revise and edit. If possible, obtain an audiobook version of important course texts.

Talk through your ideas with other students when studying or when preparing for a writing assignment. Read your writing aloud to help you draft, revise, and edit. Kinesthetic When you read or study, use techniques that will keep your hands in motion, such as highlighting or taking notes. Use self-stick notes to record ideas for writing. These notes can be physically reorganized easily to help you determine how to shape your paper.

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Take breaks during studying to stand, stretch, or move around. Tip The material presented here about learning styles is just the tip of the iceberg. There are numerous other variations in how people learn. Some people like to act on information right away while others reflect on it first. Some people excel at mastering details and understanding concrete, tried-and-true ideas while others enjoy exploring abstract theories and innovative, even impractical, ideas.

In university or college, you have increased freedom to structure your time as you please. With that freedom comes increased responsibility. High school teachers often take it upon themselves to track down students who miss class or forget assignments. Your instructors now, however, expect you to take full responsibility for managing yourself and getting your work done on time. At the beginning of the semester, establish a weekly routine for when you will study and write.