Developing and Assessing an Oral Communication General Education Requirement

Topics: Academic Planning, Academic Affairs

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Summary

Institutions develop oral communication general education requirements to comply with state mandates, accrediting body requirements, or university task force suggestions. This brief outlines how to develop and assess oral communication general education requirements and integrate additional speaking opportunities into existing coursework.

  • Key observations from our research:


    1. Contacts identify the following critical skill areas that oral communication general education requirements should address: presentation, discussion, interpersonal communication, organization, and listening.

    2. Most profiled institutions ask faculty to redesign existing coursework to incorporate oral communications into the general education curriculum.

    3. Communication department chairs, speaking center directors, and academic affairs administrators prepare faculty to teach oral communication intensive courses through workshops and trainings, individual consultations, and instructor meetings.

    4. Instructors leverage rubrics to evaluate students and assess oral communication programs.

    5. Budget restraints and a lack of commitment from academic leaders and faculty pose challenges to oral communication general education requirement sustainability.

    6. Budget restraints and a lack of commitment from academic leaders and faculty pose challenges to oral communication general education requirement sustainability.