What Did I Learn?

One of the very first things I learned in this class is that you shouldn’t judge a course by its name. “Advanced Theories of Communication,” does not sound like the most intriguing course, and I believe this is because of the word ‘theories.’ I assumed the class would be a sequence of different philosophers, their theories, and memorizing definitions, like other theory courses I have taken in the past. However, CMN3109 was nothing like that, of course we learned new concepts and looked at theories of different linguists, but it incorporated Twitter, a platform I have not used in a classroom setting, that made the class more interesting and kept me engaged.

In all honesty, I never liked participating verbally in class and I avoid talking in class unless I absolutely have to. When Professor Levy told us on the first day of class that we were encouraged to use Twitter to ask questions and participate in class discussions, I was relieved and curious to see how using Twitter would affect my learning.

The rest of this blog is dedicated to show a glimpse of what I have learned throughout the course and what my thoughts are on some of the class material. One of them being that there is no simple definition of ‘communication,’ and in fact the term depends on the context as it can embody different forms such as language, dialogue, symbols, or communication technology #UOAC.

Dialect, Truth & Knowledge

In the first few classes, we discussed the concepts of dialect, the search for truth and knowledge, and the role these play in our lives. One of the primary things I have taken away in this portion of the course is that language and communication has given us three important things, which are, meaning, truth, and power.

Professor Levy went through the different dimensions of dialect in relation to truth and knowledge: dialogue, inference, theoretical limits, and practical limits. As defined in class dialogue, “is the social condition of truth seeking. Openness, otherness, equality, suspension of power relations.”  Dialogue is an essential condition in order to elaborate truth; this has been reinforced throughout a number of lectures through the lenses of different philosophers.

The purpose of Plato’s ‘dialectic’ method discussed in class, is to examine our own assumptions, and basic knowledge to arrive at a greater truth, better assumptions and concepts.

Throughout the lectures surrounding this concept, I immediately thought of Jon Stuart Mill and the importance of free speech to obtain a higher truth.


Lev Vygotsky’s Theory of Cognitive Development

Professor Levy explained in one of his lectures Vygotsky’s theory of cognitive development. This theory was discovered when Vygotsky studied the process of children beginning to speak and think, he argued that language is natural and is not in the form of a discourse, but instead of a dialogue.untitledFor more detail or elaboration on Vygotsky’s theory and legacy, check out this blog post:https://blog.udemy.com/vygotskys-theory-of-cognitive-development/


So What?

I plan to apply what I learned in this class about the significance of dialogue in truth seeking and acquiring knowledge for the rest of my university career. I realize the importance of exchanging ideas and concepts to question what I think I know, or better understand information. The topics that I feel confident about in this class were the ones I tweeted more about, which got me thinking about my other courses. I tend to do better in classes that are more based on discussion, question periods, and open dialogue in comparison to traditional lectures where a professor is lecturing and going through a PowerPoint slide. Even though I don’t like to verbally participate in class , I am far more engaged when there is a dialogue going on versus a traditional lecture. Going forward, for my better education I plan on choosing courses (when possible) that fit a more discussion/dialogue-based teaching method.