Although the written resume is one of the more important documents in a student's arsenal of employment materials, most business people are equally interested in how well applicants can "orally" present their experience and education. Students who can effectively present their resume not only exhibit strong communication skills in employment interviews but also can successfully network in non-interview settings. For instance, students may stumble upon an opportunity to discuss their credentials in conversations with individuals at a family wedding, at a child's soccer game, or in line at a movie. At any point, students should be prepared to promote their skills, support their assertions of job readiness and success, and demonstrate effective verbal and nonverbal communication skills in a short, succinct presentation. Such are the goals of the 2-minute commercial (2mC). This article describes an activity on persuasive presentation using skills of self-promotion. A list of references and suggested readings is included.
CoursesBasic Communication, Public Speaking, PersuasionObjectives
Students will make the transition from informative to persuasive speaking; students will learn an approach to organizing persuasive speeches.
Courses: Communication and Conflict, Intercultural Communication, Interpersonal Communication, Relational CommunicationObjectives: At the end of this teaching unit, students will be able to:Describe the elements of GPA;Construct verbal messages using GPA;Deliver verbal messages using GPA; andCreate shared meaning using GPA as a way of cultivating interpersonal relationships.
Courses: Persuasion, Rhetorical Criticism, Media Literacy, Gender CommunicationObjectives: In this Unit Activity, students will be able to identify common advertising appeals and critically interpret the cultural implications of those appeals through creating a parody advertisement.
Courses: Public Speaking, Hybrid Basic CourseObjectives: Students will realize the importance of invention and arrangement when developing speeches, use PowerPoint presentational aids, and manage communication apprehension.
CoursesJump to sectionCoursesObjectivesIntroduction and RationaleThe ActivityDebriefingAppraisalArgumentation, Computer Mediated Communication, Critical and Cultural Theory, Online Journalism, Persuasion, Public Opinion, Rhetoric and the InternetObjectivesJump to sectionCoursesObjectives
Introduction and RationaleThe ActivityDebriefingAppraisalStudents will recognize Habermas's public sphere theory and analyze public deliberation occurring within the online public sphere. After completing this unit activity, students will also be able to distinguish between civil and uncivil comments that people use in online forums. Finally, students will construct civil comments in an online public forum.
Objective: To demonstrate the connection between students' learning and the world beyond the classroom. Type of speech: Informative. Point value: 15% of course grade. Requirements: (a) References: 3 (1 of which must be an interview); (b) Length: 4-6 minutes; (c) Visual aid: No; (d) Outline: Yes; (e) Prerequisite reading: Chapters 3-6, 8, 9 (Trenholm, 2001); (f) Additional requirements: Students who select the second option may need to obtain signed permission from the organization. Connecting informative speaking to course concepts and concrete experience is not always an easy task. According to Staton and Tomlinson (2001), "service learning allows students to apply what they are learning from their instructors, peers, and readings to genuine tasks that occur outside the four walls of a classroom while simultaneously helping others" (p. 211). This service-learning project allows students the opportunity to learn reflectively while fostering involvement in the community in which they live. A list of references and suggested readings is included.
Course: An elementary school classroomObjectives: Students will: listen to the auctioneer closely to keep up with bidding;abide by turn-taking norms in order to participate in bidding for items;develop strategic thinking about communication in order to win the items they value most.
CoursesJump to sectionCoursesObjectivesIntroduction and RationaleThe ActivityDebriefingAppraisalPublic Speaking, Basic Course, Interpersonal Communication, Small Group CommunicationObjectivesJump to sectionCoursesObjectives
Introduction and RationaleThe ActivityDebriefingAppraisalThis assignment serves to meet the unit on organization and outlining skills, as students will pay it forward to three different individuals, organize their experiences into an outline, and then deliver it as a speech. Students will reflect on their experiences in small groups, and on paper, which will help to foster a sense of civic engagement.
Objective: Students will be able to apply the concepts of stories and rituals to an analysis of the ritual in ?Harvest Home,? gaining understanding of how stories and rituals affect and reflect family values, power structures and identities.
Course: Family Communication. Especially good for family communication taught online
Courses: Public Speaking, Business and Professional Communication, Persuasion, Interviewing, or any other skill-based oral communication courseObjectives: Students will become conscious of their own vocalized pauses in their verbal communication and will be able to remedy this common speech problem in this single-class activity.
Courses: A single-class activity for beginning communication research methods and research design coursesObjective: The concepts of experimental design, such as causality, confounding variables, time order, pretest and posttest designs, and so on, can be challenging to students and may seem abstract and daunting. Relating the concept to everyday, seemingly unrelated concepts and existing knowledge or schema through simulation, as well as with entertaining television programming, is one way to make research a more comfortable, approachable, and far less “stuffy” topic. This single-class activity attempts to illustrate this research design in an engaging manner.
CoursesJump to sectionCoursesObjectivesIntroduction and RationaleThe ActivityDebriefingAppraisalSmall Group Communication, Organizational Communication, or any course in which there is a small group componentObjectivesJump to sectionCoursesObjectives
Introduction and RationaleThe ActivityDebriefingAppraisalThis single class activity (1) illustrates the importance of interdependence in groups, (2) can be used to measure group productivity and performance, (3) can encourage groups to engage in group learning, and (4) can facilitate group cohesion for newly formed groups.
CourseJump to sectionCourseObjectiveIntroduction and RationaleThe ActivityDebriefingAppraisalSemester-long service-learning approach to advanced public speakingObjectiveJump to sectionCourseObjective
Introduction and RationaleThe ActivityDebriefingAppraisalUsing Critical Communication Pedagogy, this semester-long service-learning approach to public speaking requires students to apply public speaking concepts to a speech they develop and deliver to a specific community audience, examine their own biases, as well as explore and evaluate various strategies for adapting to their audience.
CoursesIntroduction to Organizational Communication, Introduction to Communication Studies, Communication TheoryObjectives
The purpose of this activity is to integrate McGregor's Theory X and Theory Y into a group application: design a syllabus that embodies either Theory X or Theory Y tenets. Students should be able to differentiate between Theory X and Theory Y, create a syllabus based on Theory X or Theory Y tenets, evaluate the different syllabi created by the class, and draw conclusions about organizational communication based on Theory X and Theory Y. Moreover, this activity will challenge student assumptions about ontology and epistemology, and the reasons they are in college. Students will theorize why professors employ certain pedagogical approaches.Time requiredSingle class: 35–45 minutes.
This activity describes a four-part project that has been developed and employed in sophomore- and senior-level undergraduate courses in international and/or intercultural communication. This project helps students understand how they communicate due to their immersion in US mainstream culture and American ethnic co-cultures and how others communicate with them based on their national and ethnic cultural origins. Course readings and discussion emphasize intercultural sensitivity, cross-cultural adaptability, empathy, and intercultural communication competence. A list of references and suggested readings is included.
CourseJournalism Research: Information GatheringObjective(s)Students will utilize critical-thinking skills and creativity to learn about research databases that are useful for finding information, particularly for journalism and telecommunications needs. Each pair will ultimately produce a screencast, that is, a video screen capture with audio narration, as a semester activity for this five-week course that (1) offers succinct background information about its assigned database, (2) explains database utility for students and scholars, (3) demonstrates focused searches with Boolean operators and special characters, and (4) evaluates sources from the search results for accuracy.
CoursesJump to sectionCoursesObjectivesIntroduction and RationaleThe ActivityDebriefingAppraisalInterpersonal Communication, Mass Communication, Gender Communication, Introductory CommunicationObjectivesJump to sectionCoursesObjectives
Introduction and RationaleThe ActivityDebriefingAppraisalStudents will analyze the various ways media can impact how people construct what it means to be in a romantic relationship. Students will apply Cultivation Theory to understand the development of gender role expectations, self, and relational images.
Courses: Organizational Communication, Communication Theory, Introduction to CommunicationObjective: To illustrate the manifestation of cultural markers, espoused values, and basic assumptions in a real organizational context using Schein's Model of Organizational Culture.
Course: Undergraduate Communication Research Methods
Objectives: This activity introduces students to data sets by demonstrating how individual answers form data for classroom analysis. Students learn the process of variable operationalization, measures of central tendency, and data dispersion. This activity transforms the idea of “data” from an abstract concept to a concrete one by engaging students in an empirical learning activity.
Objective: To gain practice with public speaking. Type of speech: Impromptu. Point value: 5% of course grade. Requirements: (a) References: 0; (b) Length: 1-2 minutes; (c) Visual aid: No; (d) Outline: No; (e) Prerequisite reading: None; (f) Additional requirements: None. This assignment offers students an opportunity to speak on a familiar (and ideally fun) topic. The objectives of this assignment are threefold: (1) to identify students' collective strengths and weaknesses with public speaking, (2) to lessen students' speech anxiety, and (3) to improve students' listening skills. A list of references and suggested readings is included.
As a single class or unit activity, the aims of this activity are to expand students' repertoires of message options, sensitize them to multiple goals, and increase awareness of others' evaluations of message options.
Courses: Fundamentals of Communication, Interpersonal Communication, Nonverbal Communication, Performance of Everyday LifeObjectives: (1) Create a space of/for silence in which students can experience and test theories that undergird the importance of silence in communication and in culture. (2) Point out the existence of communities of silence in everyday life and in popular culture. (3) Profile theorists of silence in communication, including Braithwaite and Jaworski, and apply their ideas.
Course: This activity was used in an upper-level, undergraduate, special topics course entitled “Issues in Mobile Communication.” However, the activity could also be used in undergraduate courses relating to mediated communication, interpersonal communication and communication theoryObjectives: The purpose of this activity is to increase students’ awareness of how norms for mobile communication technology use are established
Courses: Intercultural Communication, Interracial Communication, Gender and CommunicationObjective: In this multiple-day discussion activity, students will be able to apply academic knowledge about social identity to their own lives, and analyze its relevance to various issues of culture and communication.
Course: Instructional CommunicationObjectives: The purpose of this activity is to help teachers develop the ability to engage in objective assessment of student behavior, and to differentiate that from subjective assessment
Assessment is an increasingly important part of communication pedagogy, not just for periodic accreditation reviews but for ongoing justifications for resources and course design. This project relates the story of how another college at our university prompted us to prove that our Science Writing and Presentation course really delivered what it was supposed to deliver. Our resulting assessment allowed us to maintain control over the course and how it would be measured, along with providing us with data we are leveraging to demonstrate student learning outcomes while maintaining and even extending the impact of our course and attracting increased instructional resources.
Higher education has placed an increasingly greater value on assessment. The Learning Loss Scale may be an appropriate tool to assess learning across disciplines. In this paper, we review the culture of assessment, conceptualizations of cognitive learning, the Learning Loss Scale, and a theoretical explanation, and then we test this measure to evaluate the appropriateness of the scale for cognitive learning assessment in communication and beyond. We examine the Learning Loss Scale through two studies that illustrate validity concerns of previous findings by showing either a smaller or no relationship between the scale scores and performative cognitive learning measures.
This assessment explored community partners' perceptions of service learning in a required communication course. Semi-structured interviews revealed that community partners believed that students were providing needed and valuable service, students were learning about the community, and students were learning through their application of course skills in an applied context. However, community partners also felt that students were unaware of or did not care what they should be learning, that faculty contact was rare or nonexistent, and that community feedback opportunities were rare and undervalued by faculty. Results suggest specific improvements necessary in service learning assignment design.
CoursesMulticulturalism and Media, Intercultural Communication, Study Abroad programs, any course that deals with cultural difference and attempts to create some form of intercultural awareness and understanding. This is a semester-long activity.Objectives
Students will identify social markers of cultural difference in their own environment or abroad by creating their own photographic portfolio and analyzing it critically.Students will compare the photographic images they captured with media stereotypes of a different culture in order to build criteria for understanding and criticizing visual representations.Students will process awareness of self and of their intercultural experiences by writing a photo-essay to accompany their photo project.At the end of the activity, students will have a better understanding of how creating visual images of places, cultural products, and people may help to limit or stimulate a better understanding of cultures different to one's own.
Courses: Interpersonal Communication, Nonverbal Communication, Professional Communication, Interviewing, Organizational Communication Objectives: The goal of the activity is for students to gain self-awareness related to the ways in which humans (consciously or not) alter their self-presentation depending upon the context, thereby maintaining different “faces” (Goffman, 1967). Also, this activity aims to highlight effectiveness related to different modes of nonverbal communication in different settings.
The purpose of an integrated instructional approach is to improve students' understanding of course concepts both in theory and practice. In this case, this approach prepares students to perform efficaciously as a cohesive group when they tackle this major course activity, Select, Analyze, and Report (SAR). SAR requires students to select a film or television series of their choice that clearly depicts group communication concepts, analyze how the concepts they choose are demonstrated in the film or television series selected, and report their findings during a group presentation at the end of the semester. SAR's purposes are to reinforce the significance of the information and skills students have attained while working on preliminary exercises throughout the semester and to assess students' comprehensive understanding of group communication.
Courses: Instructional Communication or any course in which communication pedagogy is addressedObjectives: First, students of instructional communication will learn about hegemony in the classroom. Second, students will analyze the pedagogical behavior of a cinematic teacher in the movie Half Nelson. Through this analysis, students will gain a heightened awareness of hegemony and will identify avenues for praxis.
Courses: First-year Experience, Intercultural Community Building, and Introductory CommunicationObjective: Students develop a sense of community through this assignment by discussing personally relevant topics via the shared experience enabled by the social media tools Twitter and Paper.li.
Courses: Organizational Communication, Business and Professional Communication, Communication TechnologiesObjectives: Students will identify and evaluate the differences between videoconferencing and face-to-face communication. Students will also understand the issues that people in organizations encounter when using such technology.
Courses: Critical Ethnography, Rhetorical CriticismObjective: Students will examine the limits of classical liberalism, expand their understandings of marginality and justice, and interrogate colorblind communication.
CoursesSocial Media, Crisis Communication, PR Writing, Strategic Communication Cases, PR Principles, Organizational CommunicationObjectives
In this realistic online crisis unit, students practice: responding to fast-paced information on multiple social media channels; coordinating and making team decisions; and creating effective responses. These skills are required for entry-level positions such as digital specialists and community managers, which include a high degree of public visibility and responsibility.
Courses: Public Speaking, Persuasion, Advanced Persuasion, Communication TheoryObjective: Students will use communication theory and critical listening activities to demonstrate how listeners cognitively process persuasive messages.
CoursesIntroduction to Rhetoric, Rhetoric of the Western World, Rhetorical TheoryObjective
Students will be able to apply rhetorical theory effectively and critically from specific theorists throughout history to modern-day issues.
Courses6–12 or College, Public Speaking, Introduction to CommunicationObjective
Students will be persuaded of the strategic advantage in using recognizable patterns of organization to help audiences make sense of and retain information in their informative speeches.
Courses: This exercise can be applied to any course or discipline, particularly those that utilize public speaking techniques, interviewing skills, or media Objectives: • Students will identify key concepts from course readings and deliver verbal responses to the instructor's question, photo, and/or video example. • Students will learn to effectively communicate and organize ideas around the course readings. • Students will engage with technology that will enhance the in-class learning experience. • Students will produce competent communication dialogue and discussion in an asynchronous online format.
Courses: Introduction to Communication, Gender and Communication, Rhetoric and Criticism, Intercultural Communication, Organizational Communication Objectives: Students will develop a basic understanding of how femininity and masculinity are distinct, constructed, and culturally enforced. Students will investigate how gender roles are reinforced by children's games and toys.
Courses: Organizational Communication (assignment can be adapted easily for other theory courses, such as Interpersonal Communication, Rhetorical Theory, Communication Theory, or Persuasion)Objectives: Students who successfully complete this assignment will be able to analyze critically and describe creatively an organizational concept or theory.
CoursesJump to sectionCoursesObjectivesIntroduction and Rationale:The ActivityDebriefingAppraisalIntercultural Communication, Study Abroad, Interpersonal Communication, Organizational Communication, Communication TheoryObjectivesJump to sectionCoursesObjectives
Introduction and Rationale:The ActivityDebriefingAppraisal(1) To demonstrate an understanding of expectancy violations theory; (2) to apply theory concepts to exploring personal expectations and their impact on communication and outcomes; and (3) to utilize the perspective gained to plan for successful communication.
Course: Public SpeakingObjectives: To meet course objectives related to informative, persuasive, and group presentations. To introduce students to aspects of communities, including university, city, regional, and/or vocational communities, through the informative speech assignment. To introduce students to controversial issues from one of their communities through the persuasive speech assignment. To provide students with the opportunity to learn about and serve the local community, while gaining meaningful group experiences through the group presentation assignment. To provide students with opportunities to learn research skills.
CoursesAny gender and communication course or courses with a gender unitObjectives
The objective of this activity is to engage students in mediated gender experiences in order to examine the differences and complexities of gender and its related concepts. Specifically, students will be able to distinguish sex and gender, transgender and transsexual, and sexuality and gender; identify and clarify common misperceptions about various lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans (gender or sexual), queer people (LGBTQ); and promote civil discourse.