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What Is Invitational Communication?

In initiating students into academic scholarship, we must encourage them to engage in rigorous inquiry and strong argumentation. In the Collaborative Research Model, we maintain our emphasis on inquiry and argumentation, but we do so within an ethical realm of “invitational communication” (also called “ethical communication”).

Invitational communication refers to “exchanges characterized by cooperative, responsive attempts to understand each other's points of view, ‘open-heartedness,’ and non-manipulative intent rather than efforts to win the argument or gain control over others, subjugating alternative points of view.” 1

Though you will want to emphasize the invitational communication climate at the onset of your Collaborative Research project, maintaining the climate will be an important feature of delivery throughout the entire process.

Invitational Communication As Conversation

In Turning to One Another, Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future, Margaret J. Wheatley describes an invitational communication climate when she tells us:

As you build the climate for invitational communication in your classroom, you can work with your students to articulate what the features of such communication climate are for your particular learning environment.

1Anne Colby and Thomas Ehrlich. “Undergraduate Education and the Development of Moral and Civic Responsibility.” Position Paper: The Communitarian Network.
2Margaret J. Wheatley. Turning to One Another, Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 2002. (p. xxx)

Written and Oral Deliverables Creating the Assessment Collaborative Deliberation Developing Learning Teams Learning Through Reflection Learning Outcomes Posing the Problem Generating Multiple Perspectives Making Informed Decisions Invitational Communication Climate