Curriculum Enhancement: A Proposal for an Oral Communication Lab at NIU
Grooms, Robin K., 1997--
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This project seeks to increase opportunities to NIU students to enhance their skills in oral communication beyond the requirements of their curriculum. A proposal for an oral communication lab has been developed in order to support future career and academic success. A program analysis of the interest and practicality of an oral communication lab was conducted based on analyses of current programs, a survey of students, and dialogue with students after individualized coaching. The Writing Center and Career Services, as well as other universities’ programs have provided quality models for the implementation of this proposal. The lab would provide a variety of services open to all students in a centralized location in a consistent format. Survey results demonstrate an interest from NIU students in the potential services, individualized structure, and skill building resources available from an oral communication lab. One-on-One coaching or advising has been demonstrated to increase the confidence and effectiveness of oral communication in students. The Co-curricular Forensics Program and their staff of experienced coaches provides a strong proven template for highly individualized one on one coaching. Using their methods and the methods of the writing center tutors, the knowledge base for instruction of students is available for more clear and centralized coaching of NIU students. Through compiling the survey data, completing a NIU Prioritization Criteria Questionnaire, sample service templates, and compiling potential funding sources, this program is ready to take the next step in conducting a pilot program in upcoming semesters.