Back to Table of Contents for the On Course I Workshop

1. Strategy: Professor Rogers’ Trial (Case Study)

Application: Critical Reading and Speech

Educator: Rachel Hoover, Coordinator, Academic Skills Development, Frostburg State University, MD

Implementation: Use “Professor Rogers’ Trial” to help students learn the three main components of arguments as well as the role they play in group projects.  First, “popcorn read” the case study. Then have students separate into groups based on who they chose as most responsible for the group’s grade of D. Next, introduce their assignment: “Next week, your group will present an argument in support of the person you chose as most responsible.” Next, introduce and explain the three main parts of an argument: 1) Conclusion, 2) Premises, and 3) Assumptions. Also, explain the qualities of a “good argument” (e.g., appealing to intellect rather than pure emotion and the importance of utilizing facts to support opinions). Give groups some time to work in class, but also require that each group meet out of class as well. Use a rubric to score the group presentations about which character they thought was most responsible for the group’s grade of D. Provide feedback on the overall strengths of the group presentation as well as areas needing improvement. Brainstorm how to address areas needing improvement. Finally, have each student write a confidential journal entry to assess group participation. The first part of the entry requires students to reflect on their own role in their group, describing which character (Anthony, Sylvia, or Donald) from the case study they most behaved like…or (if they claim not to have behaved like one of the case study characters), they should describe how they did behave. In the second part of the journal entry, they list their group members and compare/contrast them to the characters in the case study.

2. Strategy: Jigsaw

Application: Introduction to Speech

Educator: No Name Provided

Implementation: Have students get into groups of three. Each student chooses to become the group’s expert in one of the three parts of a public speech: 1) Introduction, 2) Body, or 3) Conclusion. To complete Step A of the Jigsaw, tell students about the resources and time they have available to become their group’s expert. For example, available resources could be homework reading in their course text and a video of professional speakers; available time could be 48 hours until the next class meeting. In Step B, have the three expert groups meet to plan how to teach their method to their home group members. Additionally, each expert group creates a rubric to be used to evaluate student speeches. The instructor reviews these rubrics for appropriateness (revising where necessary). In Step C, experts return to their home groups, teach their part of a speech (Introduction, Body or Conclusions) and explain the rubric that will be used to evaluate every student’s speech. The instructor answers questions about the rubric and has students practice using the rubric by showing a video of a student speech from a past semester.

3. Strategy: The Late Paper and Fork in the Road

Application: Interpersonal Communication

Educator: Lance Lockwood, Faculty, Speech Communication, Santa Ana College, CA

Implementation: Each semester my students write a detailed research paper. Using the “Late Paper” case study, I stress the importance of responsibility not only with writing research papers and getting them in on time, but also the importance of doing well on all assignments in school and in life. Afterwards, I introduce the Fork in the Road of Life chart and discuss the differences between Choices of Successful Students vs Struggling Students.

4. Strategy: Success Team Constitution

Application: Speech Course or Any Course in which Students Give Presentations

Educator: Kelly Kaiser, Faculty, Communications, Mid-State Technical College, WI

Implementation: To help students overcome their fears about giving speeches, create success team and have them create a speech day class constitution. First, in success teams of four or five students, have students discuss their anxieties about giving a speech. Then ask each team to develop five “speech day” rules (e.g., no talking while someone is speaking, cell phones off, no sarcastic comments). Have each group post their suggestions on a poster page or on the board. Compare results and combine similar ideas to create a master list for the “Speech Day Rules” to be honored by each member of the class. Distribute the rules or post them on your online platform.

5. Strategy: Affirmation Milling and Whisper

Application: Communications Studies – Public Speaking

Educator: Margaret Brandson, Faculty, Communication, Folsom Lake College, CA

Implementation: Purpose: to help students with anxiety about giving a speech. If possible, early in the semester show an excerpt of the J. K. Rowling Harvard commencement address. Ask students to identify the characteristics they would like to have as a good speaker. Have students prepare their individual affirmation and do a milling. In week 4, during review of the first formal speech details, after they have had some informal speaking in class, do the affirmation whisper and popcorn commentary. Emphasize shared anxieties and class support.

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