Active Listening

Active listening involves listening with all senses, paying attention to the speaker and listening to understand. Participants with strong active listening skills ask questions to clarify information and paraphrase the message to demonstrate understanding.


Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness or unease. While everyone experiences anxiety at times, some individuals may find that their anxiety seriously impacts their lives and ability to learn. Some participants may experience anxiety only in specific learning situations, such as Math Anxiety.

Math anxiety:

  • Zelazny, A.,  Bean, C., David, S., & Bruton, A., (n.d.). Who is afraid of math? what is math anxiety? and what can you do about it? Frontiers for Young Minds.  https://kids.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/frym.2017.00057 
  • Barroso, C., Ganley, C.M., McGraw, A.L., Geer, E.A., Hart, S.A., and Daucourt, M.C. (2021). A meta-analysis of the relation between math anxiety and math achievement. Psychological Bulletin, 147(2), 134-168.


Bias is a disproportionate weight in favor of or against an idea, person or thing, usually in a way that is closed-minded, prejudicial or unfair.

Communication and Cognitive Bias

Assessment Bias


Non-verbal communication is the transfer of information through body language, facial expressions and gestures. The ability to understand and use nonverbal communication can help you connect with others, express what you really mean, navigate challenging situations, and build better relationships.

Problem-based Learning

Problem-based learning  (PBL) is a learner-centered approach in which participants learn about a subject by working in groups to solve an open-ended problem.

Research on Teaching Communication

Communication skills help participants’ ability to receive, understand, consider, and share information and ideas through speaking, listening, and interacting with others.

The following links include research data and evidence to support the instruction of communication.

  • Al-Elq, A. H. (2010). Simulation-based medical teaching and learning. Journal of Family and Community Medicine, 17(1), 35-40. https://doi.org/10.4103/1319-1683.68787 (login required).
  • Baile, W. F., & Blatner, A. (2014). Teaching Communication Skills: Using Action Methods to Enhance Role-play in Problem-based Learning. Simulation in Healthcare, 9(4), 220-227. https://doi.org/10.1097/SIH.0000000000000019 (login required).
  • Blackmore, A., Kasfiki, E. V., & Purva, M. (2018). Simulation-based education to improve communication skills: A systematic review and identification of current best practice. BMJ Simulation and Technology Enhanced Learning, 4(4). https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjstel-2017-000220 (login required).
  • Grognet, A., & Van Duzer, C. (2002). Listening Skills in the Workplace. Spring Institute for International Studies, ATTN: ELT/TA Project, 1610 Emerson Street, Denver, CO 80218. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED468604 
  • King, A., & Hoppe, R. B. (2013). “Best Practice” for Patient-Centered Communication: A Narrative Review. Journal of Graduate Medical Education, 5(3), 385-393. https://doi.org/10.4300/JGME-D-13-00072.1 (login required).
  • Lee, J., Kim, H., Kim, K. H., Jung, D., Jowsey, T., & Webster, C. S. (2020). Effective virtual patient simulators for medical communication training: A systematic review. Medical Education, 54(9), 786-795. https://doi.org/10.1111/medu.14152 (login required).
  • Martin-Raugh, M. P., Williams, K. M., & Lentini, J. (2020). The Malleability of Workplace-Relevant Noncognitive Constructs: Empirical Evidence From 39 Meta-Analyses and Reviews. ETS Research Report Series, 2020(1), 1-25. https://doi.org/10.1002/ets2.12306 (login required).
  • Metusalem, R., Belenky, D., & DiCerbo, K. (2017). Skills for today: What we know about teaching and assessing communication. Pearson. https://www.pearson.com/content/dam/one-dot-com/one-dot-com/global/Files/efficacy-and-research/skills-for-today/Communication-FullReport.pdf
  • Ruetz, N. (1997). Effective Communication. Improving Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening Skills in the Workplace. Instructor’s Guide. Workplace Education. Project ALERT. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED424385 (login required).
  • SRDC. (2021). Research Report to Support the Launch of Skills for Success: Structure, Evidence and Recommendations. Final draft report.
  • Thompson, J. (2020). Measuring student success skills: A review of the literature on complex communication. Center for Assessment. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED607786.pdf


Role-play is a technique that allows participants to immediately apply what they have learned in theory to a real-world situation within the confines of the classroom.  This allows participants to think more critically about complex subjects and to see situations from a different perspective.


Training Partner

Training partners include individuals and groups who are involved in and/or impacted by training programs, such as participants, funders, training organizations, employers, instructors, supervisors, mentors, peers and community members.  The competency framework uses the term training partners to avoid negative associations with the term stakeholders.

Scroll to top