Jolinda Ramsey – San Antonio College
Jolinda is a faculty member in the speech communication department at San Antonio College.
On a course level, communication skills are addressed through the support and teaching of the student learning outcomes. Some courses are more specific with written, oral, or visual.
This one is pretty easy, since I teach Speech Communication courses. However, since most students are terrified of speaking publicly, it is important to use application of the concepts in order for them to be introduced and begin to develop a level of mastery. For example, on the second day of class in my Speech 1321: Business and Professional Communication class, students are assigned an impromptu speech. They are given the same thesis statement: There are three reasons why I would be a great team member. We go over a basic structure of the 1-2 minute speech and they have 10 minutes to prepare using a note-card. Then I ask for volunteers and we begin the speeches! The students of course are terrified, but by immediately getting them in front of an audience and sharing information they already know, they are able to open up more for what is to come in the course. We then bring this assignment full circle, when we cover interviewing and discuss ways in which they can “promote” those characteristics better than what they did at the beginning of the term with the impromptu speech. Overall, it is a great assessment to be able to determine the growth of oral communication skills from the beginning to the end of the term, using the communication concepts covered in the course.
- The solution is application of the concepts and to use a more semi-flipped classroom approach, with the addition of using iPads for instruction and presentations. First, application only happens if the concepts are covered more in-depth outside of the classroom. This allows us to come to class, review the concepts, and then engage in activity and assessment. For example, I utilize the use of our round tables to engage students to work in groups. I bring in a tub full of matchbox cars, dump them on tables and tell each group they are now the new owners of a car dealership that will be opening in 10 minutes, and I will be the first customer! Once the car lots are arranged, students use an app on the iPad that helps them “outline” the car lot into more detail. We then go from group to group projecting the outlines from the iPads. They engage in the oral communication process without really knowing it, all the while learning about organization and outlining. I am a firm believer in developing assessments that allow students to be creative and active!
- Due to the large class enrollment (28 students in face to face) a change had to made in how these skills were taught in the classroom. Again, the use of the semi-flipped classroom proved effective. It was also necessary to be aware of how communication skills have changed due to heavy use of technology. By incorporating the instructional use of the iPads, I have developed new ways to deliver the concepts to students.