The primary goal of “Learning to Speak—Speaking to Learn” is to improve students’ oral communication skills through the practice of public speaking in disciplines across the curriculum. A secondary goal of this QEP is to enhance students’ confidence in their ability to speak in public through the process learning and developing better oral communication skills. The QEP Task Force engaged in extensive discussion with faculty in a variety of disciplines across the College. The overarching intent was to develop student learning outcomes that encompassed the core aspects of good public speaking in the liberal arts tradition while also remaining flexible enough to apply across a broad range of disciplines and forms of public speaking. With the feedback from the faculty, the Task Force identified five key student learning outcomes:

  1. Students will deliver original oral presentations that demonstrate understanding of the topic by explaining, analyzing, or arguing specific concepts, ideas, images, music, or texts.
  2. Students will demonstrate the ability to support their spoken explanations, analyses, or arguments with appropriate evidence and examples.
  3. Students will use communication techniques (such as eye contact, language, voice, and effective use of media) tailored to the topic, setting, and audience.
  4. Students will design and deliver well-organized speeches of appropriate length.
  5. Student presenters will respond in fitting and meaningful ways to questions, comments, and nonverbal cues from the audience.

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