The Disembodied Classroom: Adapting a Multimodal Business Communication Course for Distance Education

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2010-01-01
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Search, Matthew
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Donna Kienzler
David Roberts
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English

The Department of English seeks to provide all university students with the skills of effective communication and critical thinking, as well as imparting knowledge of literature, creative writing, linguistics, speech and technical communication to students within and outside of the department.

History
The Department of English and Speech was formed in 1939 from the merger of the Department of English and the Department of Public Speaking. In 1971 its name changed to the Department of English.

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1939-present

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  • Department of English and Speech (1939-1971)

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Abstract

Distance education pedagogies and methods are of critical importance to contemporary university-level composition education. However, the current literature regarding distance education applications in communication courses underscores several limitations: these distance technologies are envisioned in terms of "writing" courses, which avoids or marginalizes multimodal communication pedagogies; the majority of research and discussion in the discipline centers on foundational (or first-year) composition courses, rather than advanced or professional communication courses; and the majority of research and discussion addresses distance education technologies as situated within traditional classroom-based courses, rather than in place of traditional classrooms. This study extends the discussion of hybrid courses and their technological and pedagogical implications by comparing the outcomes of two advanced communication courses (one delivered as a traditional classroom course with hybrid features, and one delivered entirely through distance education technologies), designed around a broad multimodal focus on written, spoken, visual, and electronic communication. This comparison involves three data collection methods (a quantitative comparison of student pre- and post-instruction performance, a qualitative investigation of student perceptions and experiences, and a quantitative comparison of instructor time commitment), which drive a set of best practices recommendations for employing distance education pedagogies in an advanced communication course, and embedding distance education courses into an existing communication curriculum.

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Fri Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2010