June 17-19
Anaheim, CA

Fostering and Assessing Oral Communication in the Online Course

Tuesday June 19th, 2018 at 1:10 pm - 2:00 pm
Effective Practices

You know how to grade written discussions and how to write a good quiz, but what happens when you want to “hear” your students in an online environment. In some courses such as public speaking and world languages, oral communication is essential. In others, it’s an added layer to to engaging and mimicking face-to-face instruction. Come to this session to explore strategies to improve students’ oral communication skills, develop assignments, and create appropriate rubrics and feedback tools in the online course. Online classes can simulate many aspects of traditional face-to-face courses, but one of the most challenging elements to replicate is oral communication. In this session, a communication instructor and a world languages instructor will offer advice on how to best structure oral class components from setting up assignment descriptions to creating effective rubrics to tempering instructor expectation. The development of online public speaking has gone through many phases to account for both technological difficulties and problematic course design. The development of online Spanish language courses was actually stalled for years due to the challenges of fostering and assessing speaking skills in the online environment. The presenters will provide examples to show how course designers overcame those challenges. Both presenters will share a range of activities and rubrics to show unsuccessful as well as successful versions as course designs evolved. The session will also engage audience members through interactive exercising aimed at creating course and objective-specific improvements to their own classes and assignments. Compared to face-to-face classes, creating effective speaking assignments, providing students with clear expectations, and assessing oral communication can be time-consuming. Further, much of the available information is focused on improving technology and software which isn’t always possible given institutional constraints or student background. How can instructors find a balance between achieving effective oral presentations/assignments, providing appropriate feedback, and managing the technology that necessarily mediates all communication in the course in a timely fashion? This session will explore these questions, provide samples, and allow participants to share their experiences and ideas.

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