November 2002 Supersedes all previous printings
Oral Communication (ORC) (Foundation Studies)
Oral Communication: A course that incorporates specific instruction, practice, and feedback to develop oral communication competence and confidence.
- An oral communication course must provide explicit instruction in effective oral communication through assigned readings, lectures, class discussions, and/or other instructional features of the course.
- An oral communication course must emphasize speaking and listening as principal and integral means of learning. The course must provide several opportunities for students to practice their oral skills in course assignments, and it must provide students with specific feedback on the development of these skills.
- Oral communication courses may emphasize any of the modes of communication, including presentations, small group debates or discussions, and/or one-on-one communication.
1. The process of approving and monitoring the ORC attribute is slightly different from that of most other GE attributes. Instructors who wish to attach the ORC attribute to a course should, upon the first offering of that course with ORC, go through the usual process of proposing the course attribute to the GEC. Upon approval by the GEC the instructor of the course, whether the original proposer of the attribute or a new instructor, is thereafter free to teach the course either with or without the ORC attribute, in consultation with the department chair. Instructors should notify their department chairs of their intention, and the department chairs should in turn notify the registrar in writing as part of the information they submit for publication in the Class and Lab Schedule. The intent of this unique procedure is to enable a course taught at different times by different instructors, as well as multiple sections of a single course taught concurrently, to carry, or not to carry, the ORC attribute, depending on the wishes of the instructors and the needs of the department. Consequently, courses having the same course number may at times be taught with, sometimes without, the ORC attribute.
The oral communication requirement is intended to help students achieve a level of oral communication competence appropriate to the generally educated student. Thus, oral communication instruction should introduce strategies that improve students? effectiveness as speakers and listeners. Instructors may choose the modes of instruction that best support their overall course objectives.
2. Course assignments providing opportunities to practice speaking skills may take a variety of forms: individual presentations; debates; student-led discussions; group presentations; and individual interviews. In order to develop understanding, skill, and confidence, oral communication courses should include a minimum of three opportunities to practice oral skills. While these assignments may vary, in order to emphasize development, they should comprise a coherent sequence.
As in the case with speaking assignments, the means of providing feedback to students may take a variety of forms, such as individual conferences, written comments on assignments, in-class discussion, oral or written peer-evaluation, and self-evaluation.
Courses that offer explicit instruction, three or more opportunities for practice, and specific feedback will provide students at least the equivalent of one-quarter credit of oral communication education. This component, however, is integrated with the principal content of the course, so that students are simultaneously "learning to communicate" and "communicating to learn."