Senior lecturer Kathy Berggren has won a national award in curriculum design for her class Communication 2010: Oral Communication. The Clarion Award, given by the Association for Women in Communications, honors excellence in more than 100 categories across all communications disciplines.
"My primary teaching goal is to provide students the confidence to be effective communicators in their personal, public and intellectual lives," Berggren said. "Learning should be meaningful and applicable to one's experiences."
The course is organized in three modules: information competency, audience and persuasion. Students develop self-confidence and competence in researching, organizing and presenting material to audiences, as well as offering constructive feedback to other students. The class members also collaborate on group projects. The audience-analysis portion of the course includes exercises that challenge the assumptions of the students, enabling them to effectively analyze and craft presentations to various audiences. The course is important as it allows students to organize thinking, streamline communication structure, and think, write and speak more critically and thoughtfully, Berggren notes. "Such skills are the basis for democratic participation in society, as well as integral to successful performance in all school, work and leadership settings," she said.