Designing a Speech Course for Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Variations are to ask each student to write their own sheet or to have small groups do so. (22) Value Lines: Students line up according to how strongly they agree or disagree with a proposition or how strongly they value something. This gives a visual reading of the continuum of feelings in the group. Next, sort students into heterogeneous groups for discussion by grouping one from either end with two from the middle. Ask students to listen to differing viewpoints in their groups and to fairly paraphrase opposing positions.

23) Forced Debate: Ask all students who agree with a proposition to sit on one side of the room and all opposed on the other side. Hanging signs describing the propositions helps. It is important that they physically take a position and that the opposing sides face each other. After they have sorted themselves out, switch the signs and force them to argue for the position with which they disagree.

24) Role Playing: Ask several students to take on the roles of participants in the situations being studied, characters from a novel, historical figures, representatives of political or theoretical positions, science foundation grant evaluators, etc. To reduce the students' fear, you might allow them some choice as to how involved they get, asking for volunteers for major roles and allowing some roles to be played by groups of students. You might also give them some time to prepare: a few days outside of class to research their roles, 15 minutes to confer in small groups, or five minutes to refresh their memories. Also, the definition of the roles and their goals must be clear and concrete.

25) Student Self-Evaluation: Have the students write a brief evaluation of their learning. After an essay (or project) have them answer the following: Now that you have finished your essay [or project], please answer the following questions. There are no right or wrong answers; I am interested in your analysis of your experience writing this essay [or doing this project]. 1. What problems did you face during the writing of this essay? 2. What solutions did you find for those problems? 3. What do you think are the strengths of this essay [project]? 4. What alternative plans for this essay [project] did you consider? Why did you reject them? 5. Imagine you had more time to write this essay [work on this project]. What would you do if you were to continue working on it?

26) Slides, overheads, pictures; Video clips; Music or sound: Use a brief selection of a medium to provide a shared example or experience as a basis for discussion or analysis. Follow these guidelines for active viewing or listening

27) Pre-viewing or listening: Introduce the video/film/sound by providing an overview of its content, a rationale of how it relates to the current topic being studied, and a reason students need to know about it. Direct student attention to specific aspects of the presentation by asking them questions to answer following the presentation.

28) Viewing or listening: You do not need to show all of a video or film, nor to play an entire song; just the relevant parts, for best use of class time and greatest impact. It may also be useful to stop the presentation at appropriate points for discussion or clarification.

29) Post-viewing or listening: Follow-up a video or film with an activity that allows students to respond to or extend ideas presented. Discussions, short writing assignments, or application exercises, for example, will reinforce the concepts and increase learning from classroom audio-visuals. (Middendorf and Kalish, 2007)


The work of Bridget Smyser relates that there are 'ten things a teacher can do to spice up a lecture' as follows: (1) Start the lecture with a demonstration that students will be asked to explain in writing at the end of the class; (2) Stop the lecture after 15 minutes and give the students a problem to work on in pairs; (3) Bring in a physical prop to hand around; (4) Stop the lecture in the middle to ask questions. If the students don't have any, ask them questions that test understanding; (5) Do an activity that involves the students physically. One example is to give every student a paper clip and have them bend it until it breaks. This illustrates fatigue loading in a very concrete way; (6) Have students turn in 'minute papers' at the end of class stating one thing they learned and one unanswered question. Then READ the responses and act on them; (7) Give a short quiz in the middle of lecture, and go over the answers immediately afterward; (8) Get out from behind the podium! Walk around as much as possible, and interact with as many students as possible; (9) Use computer simulations, video clips, pictures, graphs - anything that appeals to the visual mode of learning. Remember, a picture is worth 1000 words!; (10) Have everyone stand and stretch in the middle of lecture. At least it wakes them up! (Smyser, 2006)


The work of Sherwyn Morreale entitled: "The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Communication Studies and Communication Scholarship in the Process of Teaching and Learning" states that "the communication discipline enjoys distinct advantages when engaging in the scholarship of teaching and learning. Because communication is central to teaching, communication scholars have longstanding interesting both in teaching their own field and in the role of communication in instruction more generally. Despite these advantages, the nature of communication itself can present challenges to scholarly examination, and as in other disciplines, the study of teaching and learning in communication is often relegated to second-tier status and not sufficiently rewarded." (2001) it is noted in the work of Huber (1999) that "although many disciplines work with a traditional set of teaching practices, they have not yet developed a critical discourse with which to study these practices." (Morreale, 2001) Morreale states: "Perhaps because communication processes are so central to teaching, the discourse of communication scholars has historically included discussion of the basic communication concepts to teaching and learning." (2001) Morreale relates that Staton-Spicer and Wulff (1984) in a "comprehensive review and synthesis of research...identified over 186 empirical studies published from 1874 to 1982 in communication journals. Those empirical studies, plus the many that have been produced since 1982, reflect a strong tradition of scholarly discourse about both communication education and curricula and instructional communication issues as they apply to multiple disciplines." (2001) Morreale additionally relates: "Scholarly discourse about teaching and learning in the discipline continues today in popular publications like Communication Education, the Basic Communication Course Annual, and the Communication Teacher. These publications address such topics as teaching the basic communication course, teaching interpersonal and small group communication, reducing communication apprehension, public speaking and methods of providing criticism of student speeches, and teaching organizational, health, and political communication." (2001) According to Morreale: "Instructional communication continues to expand its focus and impact. With increasing globalization and diversity both in and outside of college classrooms, for example, a rich strand of scholarship and discourse has emerged that examines the intercultural dynamics of classroom interaction. In addition, as the possibilities for using technology in teaching and learning have grown, we have begun to investigate how technologies are radically redefining the quality of educational interaction across disciplines, for both good and ill. Beyond research, many scholars in the discipline have led campus efforts to broaden the impact of what we know about instructional communication. Besides the large number of communication faculty who have formal roles in faculty development throughout academia, many regularly serve as teaching consultants participating in communication across -- the curriculum initiatives on their campuses and presenting workshops on communication instruction to their colleagues and teaching assistants from various disciplines. The tradition of discourse about teaching and learning has led communication scholars to suggest that, 'the improvement of speaking and listening skills is both a concern of the total educational community and an area in which the communication discipline is uniquely qualified to make important contributions'."(2001)

It is additionally stated by Morreale: "...we treat communication as a complex, transactional process. We see teaching and learning as shared construction of meaning with students as active participants in contexts defined by multiple goals. At a minimum, communication defines the identities of the participants (teacher and students), their relationships (and their particular instrumental goals (e.g., information sharing, social support, persuasion), to name a few. The success of efforts to learn always depends on the identities and relationships of the participants." (2001) Communication is, according to Morreale (2001): "...directly relevant to the newly minted and critical form of the scholarship of teaching with its focus on learning. Linking large bodies of our "basic" research to the scholarship of teaching and learning is…

Sources Used in Document:


Andrews, P.H. (1985). Basic Public Speaking. New York: Harper and Row.

Baird, J.E. (1974). The Effects of "Previews" and "Reviews" upon Audience Comprehension of Expository Speeches of Varying Quality and Complexity. Central States Speech Journal. 25, 119127.

Beatty, M.J. (1988). Situational and Predispositional Correlates of Public Speaking Anxiety. Communication Education. 37, 28-39.

Bernhardt, D. Workshop on Public Speaking, University of California at Berkeley, Aug.1989.

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