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One problem that surfaced with the speech communication basic course (COM 105) at Valdosta State University (Georgia) was that the actual content covered by individual instructors varied widely, so widely that two given sections taught by different instructors may bear little resemblance to one another. This problem was addressed first through a revised course syllabus that sought to assure that all students would be exposed to the same types of materials while still giving instructors some flexibility. A second means of addressing the problem was to develop a student manual to accompany the COM 105 textbook, Adler and Rodman's "Understanding Human Communication." This 160-page student manual, essentially a study guide, was developed by two faculty members who had independently developed a number of student guides for their courses. The development of the study guides was predicated on the idea that the students did not understand the concept of reading the text material for retention. Merely providing instructional objectives does not improve test scores; students must be shown how to study. Those interested in using a similar study guide should consider the following recommendations: (1) make sure study guide items are used on tests and are applicable to the course and chapter objectives; and (2) stipulate in writing with the publisher who is responsible for which publishing tasks, i.e., who will proofread, paginate, etc. (Contains eight references, a basic course syllabus, and excerpts from the study guide.) (TB)

Descriptors: Curriculum Development, Curriculum Evaluation, Higher Education, Instructional Effectiveness, Introductory Courses, Speech Communication, Student Needs, Study Guides, Study Habits, Study Skills

Autor: Blakeman, David A.; Young, Raymond W.


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