Office of Assessment and Accreditation

General Education Council

Guidelines for a Speaking-Intensive Course

The following Guidelines provide a broad definition of the SI marker courses that will be offered to satisfy the General Education Core Requirement. Effective Fall 2002, students will be required to complete two speaking-intensive courses, one of which must be a requirement of the major, regardless of the prefix. The purpose of the Guidelines is to ensure that these courses will help each student develop the “ability to…speak clearly, coherently, and effectively, as well as to adapt modes of communication to one’s audience.”

1. A Speaking-Intensive course has two goals:
    a) to enhance subject area learning through active engagement in oral communication
    b) to improve a student’s ability in oral communication.

2. A Speaking-Intensive course treats speaking as a means of learning via one of a variety of oral contexts, including interpersonal communication, small group communication, and public communication (presentational speaking). The choice of oral context should be appropriate to the learning outcomes of the specific discipline.

3. A Speaking-Intensive course recognizes process and product by including both formal (graded) and informal (ungraded) assignments/learning activities.

4. A Speaking-Intensive course includes:
    a) instructing students in effective oral communication
    b) giving students informed feedback
    c) providing opportunities for students to apply what they have learned to subsequent oral communication activities

5. Assessment activities should be appropriate to each assignment and could include a variety of methods and products, emphasizing both quality and development of students’ skills. Students should be informed of the assessment criteria.

6. Assessment of oral communication should be sensitive to the effects of relevant physical, linguistic, and psychological disabilities on the assessment of competence (e.g., with appropriate aids in signal reception, a person with a hearing impairment can be a competent communication partner).

7. Because of the personal attention and guidance that students will receive in a Speaking- Intensive course, class size should be limited to 22-25 students unless additional resources (teaching assistants, release from other duties, etc.) are made available to the instructor. (NOTE: This cap was raised to 30 temporarily for AY 2009-10 because of the state budget crisis).

Note: Include the following SLOs verbatim on the course syllabus distributed to students. Please group SLOs under the heading “General Education Speaking Intensive Student Learning Outcome.”

General Education Speaking Intensive Student Learning Outcome:

Students will be able to speak in genres appropriate to the discipline(s) of the primary subject matter of the course.