Essential Studies Communication Course Approval

Learning Outcome and Criteria

Oregon Tech students will communicate effectively orally and in writing

Definition
Communication is the creation, development, and expression of ideas. The Communication ESLO differentiates between oral and written communication. The two forms of communication operate much the same but differ in the criterion Style and Delivery because of their differing forms of expression. Both forms of communication involve purposeful presentation designed to increase knowledge, to foster understanding, or to promote change in attitudes, values, beliefs, or behaviors.

Criteria for Communication Assessment

  • Purpose: Focus and connections made in presentation of evidence.
  • Audience: Adjustments in presentation made for differing levels of knowledge and expertise among listeners and readers.
  • Evidence: Support provided by research and disciplinary knowledge.
  • Genre and Disciplinary Conventions: Adjustments in structure and order made for various fields and forms of presentation.
  • Style and Delivery:
    • Oral Communication: Techniques including posture, gesture, eye contact, and vocal expressiveness.
    • Written Communication: Control of syntax and mechanics, as well as craft in choices of phrasing, vocabulary, and structure.
  • Visual Communication: Support provided by visual presentation integrated with oral and written content.
  • Justification: Self-assessment and support of choices made in communication.

Required Information for Essential Studies Approval

During the current implementation phase of Essential Studies, we are seeking Essential Studies Course Approval applications for courses at the Foundation and Essential Practice levels (Processes for Program-Integrated Practice, ESSE, and Capstone courses may differ, and will be further defined as we move forward.)

In order to ease the transition to Essential Studies, and provide predictability for students, departments, and programs, GEAC is soliciting Foundation and Essential Practice course approval applications only from courses that fulfill requirements in the prior general education framework. In a few limited cases, to build out course lists, ESLO committees may reach out to invite particular faculty and departments to submit applications.

For the Foundational level in the Communication outcome, specific courses have already been identified; only Essential Practice courses in the Communication outcome are currently being solicited.

To submit a course, provide the following information:

  1. A CPC New Course Request or Course Change form, if needed. (Note: An existing course with no changes to course title, description, credits or prerequisites does not require submission to CPC; rather submit items 2-4 directly to GEAC, by emailing them to Nellie Stewart. If CPC changes are required, attached the documents below to your CPC submission.)
  2. A Essential Studies Course Approval Form (see link at right) with chair and dean signatures
  3. A detailed course syllabus that includes (a) course outcomes, (b) identification of appropriate ESLO(s). (Note: Make sure that the activities of the course integrate the outcomes as listed in the syllabus.)
  4. An assignment requiring student work appropriate for proficiency assessment in the identified ESLO.

Following submission for Essential Studies approval, a course undergoes a review process involving GEAC and the associated ESLO committee.

Approval Criteria for Communication Courses

Foundation Courses


Essential Practice Courses

Courses at the essential practice level call for a substantial amount of writing and academic research. These courses will address each of the Communication ESLO criteria beyond the foundational level. Essential Practice courses must include both speech and writing (either academic or technical writing).

These courses should be designed to help students advance in the following skills: integrate visuals with text, research and document research, write with style, and analyze and adapt to different audiences. In order to meet the Essential Practice criteria, one course project must be a minimum of ten pages (approx. 3000 words). The course must also address some public speaking skills and require an oral presentation of some type.

Program-Integrated Practice Courses

Oral Communication
Students write and present at least one speech with the following qualities:

  • Individually written and presented.
  • Analytical/persuasive focus.
  • Suggested length: at least 5 minutes.
  • Research: incorporation of academic-quality sources.
  • Visuals: incorporation of visual communication.
  • Course enrollment: suggested course enrollment cap at a manageable level to allow instructor to provide substantive and thorough feedback (20 students).
  • Course prerequisites must include SPE 111: Public Speaking.

In order to enhance student mastery of speaking skills, class time over the course of the term should be dedicated to some speech instruction. Dedicated class time could include guest lectures from communication faculty, directed activities, discussion of examples of public speaking in the major field, guided peer feedback on student speeches using shared rubrics, and short in-class speeches that are used as a way to better understand class content.

A percentage of the course grade must come from the assessment of the quality of the oral presentation. A significant percentage of the grade for the “formal” speech must be focused on the quality (delivery) of the speech as it enhances the content of the speech

Written Communication
Students write at least one academic essay or technical document with the following qualities:

  • Individually written.
  • Academic/technical/appropriate to major focus.
  • Suggested length: minimum of 1,250 words (~5 pages, double-spaced).
  • Research: incorporation of academic (peer-reviewed) sources or industry-standard sources.
  • Visuals: incorporation of visual communication.
  • Course enrollment: suggested course enrollment cap at a manageable level to allow instructor to provide substantive and thorough feedback (20 students).
  • Course prerequisites should include college-level courses with a WRI-prefix, as defined by the major program.

In order to enhance student mastery of writing, class time over the course of the term should be dedicated to some instruction in standards for writing in the major field. Dedicated class time could include guest lectures from communication faculty, directed activities focused on genres in the major field, discussion of examples of research or professional writing in the major field, guided peer feedback on student writing using shared rubrics, and short in-class writings that are then discussed as a way to better understand class content.

A significant percentage of the term grade must be dedicated to writing. The document grade should combine assessment of writing quality along with the quality of the information presented.

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COM ESLO Committee:

  • Matt Search, Chair
  • Aja Bettencourt-McCarthy
  • Caroline Doty
  • Roger Lindgren
  • Matt Schnackenberg
  • Christopher Syrnyk
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