Investigating a Teaching Problem

Investigating a Teaching Problem with CATs, Part 2

In this week’s Discussion, you will wrap up your time as a faculty member in a Speech Communication department. Last week, you discussed how to use classroom assessment to investigate your students’ apparent lack of motivation and ability to improve their speaking abilities. This week, you will begin to reflect on the results of your investigation and decide what to do about it.

In your Speech Communication course, you decided to use “Reflective Learning Logs” to gather information about what students thought about class activities, about their work outside of class, and about public speaking in general. You asked students to hand in anonymous copies of their logs each week. In reading through the first few weeks’ worth of logs, you discover the following:

  • All but two of your students report that they are terribly afraid of speaking in public.
  • Four of your students (about one-fifth of the class) are non-native English speakers and feel very unsure of their ability to make a formal speech in English.
  • Half of the class reports spending less than 2 hours per week outside of class on this course.
  • About a third of your students felt that the expectations for the first assignment (a Powerpoint presentation, submitted electronically and not actually presented in class) were unclear. All of the assignments in your course require some form of slide presentation or visual aid, and you use the same rubric language for these parts of the assignments throughout the course.

By Day 3

Post a short summary of what you think these results mean. Then, suggest at least two ideas for how you could use these findings to help students overcome their difficulties.