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Speaking-Intensive Course Guidelines

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Beginning in fall 2017, the current Oral Presentation (OP) designation will be discontinued and a new Speaking-Intensive (SI) designation will go into effect.

To qualify for an SI designation:

  1. Instructors will emphasize speaking and listening as an integral means of learning.
  2. Instructors will provide explicit instruction in effective oral communication through assigned readings, lectures, class discussions, or other instructional features of the course. Oral communication instruction should introduce strategies that improve students’ effectiveness as speakers and listeners.
  3. Instructors will provide multiple opportunities for students to practice their oral communication skills in course assignments. Normally, at least one oral communication assignment should be an individual, stand-up presentation of substantial length (8-10 minutes).
  4. Instructors will allow for other modes of oral communication assignments that best support the principal learning objectives and disciplinary practices of the course. Such assignments may include oral exams; reports on course readings or activities; reports of laboratory, field, or library research; proposals for research or other projects; reflections on course subject matter; debates or panel discussions of course-related issues; interviews; mock trials or legislative hearings; storytelling; critiques; and the like. A poster presentation may be used for an oral communication assignment if the student is required to prepare and orally present remarks and respond to questions in addition to creating a poster.
  5. Instructors will distribute the oral communication assignments throughout the semester.
  6. Instructors will provide students with specific and timely feedback on the development of their speaking and listening skills, including but not limited to audience adaptation, organization, development, style, and delivery. The instructor’s means of providing feedback to students may take a variety of forms, such as individual conferences, in-class discussion, and/or written evaluation.
  7. Evaluation of a student’s performance should be based substantially, at least 30%, on the oral communication assignments.
  8. Instructors will include on the syllabus a short statement describing how the course meets the above guidelines.

Courses are designated SI by application to the Committee on Academic Policy. Applications must include a rationale for such designation based on the Guidelines and Recommendations. If a department or program believes that a course meets the spirit of the SI Program even though it does not meet all of the guidelines, the department or program may petition the CAP to designate the course as SI. In order to aid the Faculty in designing courses to meet these guidelines, SI courses will be capped to have a maximum enrollment of twenty (20) students per section.

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