'Basic Communication Course Annual' presents the latest research in public speaking, communication

By Maureen Schlangen

In the latest issue of the Basic Communication Course Annual, the peer-reviewed journal of the National Communication Association's Basic Course Division, scholars from across the United States address emerging and evolving issues in pedagogy and practice in the basic communication course.

Volume 30 (2018), published Jan. 24 on eCommons, the University of Dayton’s open-access institutional repository, contains seven peer-reviewed research articles addressing:

  • Criterion-based speech evaluation training
  • Common Core State Standards
  • The role of “big questions” in communication education
  • Dual enrollment in online public speaking courses
  • Disability accommodation
  • Positive and negative experiences in the basic communication course
  • Communication apprehension

The journal’s Basic Course Forum, a collection of essays on an editor-selected topic, confronts an arguably disturbing trend in higher education: In an environment of cost cutting and curriculum streamlining, administrations have considered whether students can achieve the outcomes of the basic communication course in a parceled fashion through components of other courses in the general education curriculum.

The answer, contend the section’s seven contributors, is a resounding “no,” said editor Joseph P. Mazer of Clemson University.

“Our scholarship is more important now than ever before,” Mazer said. “It is mission-critical to our country and our democracy. As we know, the basic communication course equips students with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed as communicatively competent citizens prepared to engage in our democracy.” In the section’s four essays, scholars provide arguments for maintaining the basic communication course and ensuring a student-teacher ratio that provides sufficient time for instruction and speech.

Launched in 1989 as a subscription-only journal, the Basic Communication Course Annual went open-access in 2016, when the University of Dayton Department of Communication acquired the journal and its archives from the initial publisher. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY 3.0 US), the journal is freely available around the world.

Submissions for Volume 31 are now being accepted at the journal website.

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