Communication refers to the exchange of information with others. The skills and topics in this domain help students communicate their thoughts clearly and concisely in written and spoken formats across different personal and professional contexts. In addition, several skills cover topics that are not directly linked to the contents of the message but influence the effectiveness of the communication. This category also addresses strategies to help students overcome some of the challenges or roadblocks associated with communication.

What you’ll find on each skill page:

  • Overview and description
  • Importance and relevance to students’ academic lives
  • Strategies, Tips, and Activities for educators to embed in the curriculum

Active listening

Active listening is conscious, intentional, and connected listening that requires being fully present in the moment and listening without interruption or distraction.

Audience engagement

Audience engagement is an interactive process that involves the speaker using strategies to connect with an audience or users.

Audience identification

Audience identification involves determining the needs and expectations of a target audience to successfully deliver a message.

Difficult conversations

Difficult conversations are emotional, controversial, and high-stakes conversations that matter and need to be addressed.

Digital literacy

Digital literacy is knowing how to effectively use technology to find, evaluate, and create information.

Giving and receiving feedback

Feedback is the reciprocal exchange of ideas surrounding an experience, event, or task, and is commonly provided in relation to a standard.


Networking is the exchange of ideas and information to connect with people and build relationships.

Online communication

Online communication is connecting with others through various digital platforms for a variety of purposes.

Online professionalism

Online professionalism refers to the way we navigate and engage with others in online environments.

Outlining, drafting, and editing

Outlining, drafting, and editing are important components of the writing process and include both pre-writing and writing skills.

Public speaking

Public speaking is the act of talking in public, typically in the context of presenting to a larger group of people.

Reading comprehension

Reading comprehension is understanding and interpreting what one has read.

Summarizing and synthesizing

Summarizing involves expressing the main points, whereas synthesizing involves combining ideas to make something new.

Writer’s block

Writer’s block is a psychological inhibition that prevents a person from proceeding with a written task.