ISUComm provides learning and practice for students in the production and analysis of effective written, oral, visual, and electronic communication. Three keys to this communication program are the development of a basic rhetorical vocabulary for discussing communication choices, student-centered classroom and active learning, and the extension of communication learning and practice across the four years of students’ undergraduate experience. Although the home of ISUComm is the English Department, its reach extends to every ISU course in which communication plays a role in one or more of the four modes: written, oral, visual, and electronic.
Through these key components, ISUComm’s goal is to prepare our graduates to communicate with confidence and integrity in the varied contexts of their academic, professional, and civic lives.
In Fall 2010, ISUComm Foundation Courses Director, Barbara Blakely and a group of graduate students piloted a campus place-based curriculum Blakely had developed over a period of about four years. This English 150 curriculum operationalizes campus place, not as a generic, neutral backdrop students pass through on their way to a vocation, but a purposeful and rich assemblage of physical, verbal, and natural artifacts that plays an important role in students’ adjustment process and in their higher education experience. The curriculum activates the campus itself pedagogically, providing students opportunities for pausing, exploring, researching, and sharing campus place-based discoveries in the multiple modes (written, oral, visual, and electronic) of ISUComm.
In Fall 2011, this campus place-based curriculum became the standard curriculum in English 150. An article about this curriculum was published in the Journal of Writing Program Administration in 2012. If you would like a copy of this article, please click here. You may also click here to read what Andrea Lunsford of Stanford University had to say about ISUComm and our work.
From the 2013 External Review Report:
“ENGL 150 and 250 [are] courses that emphasize written, oral, visual, and electronic communication (WOVE) and account for the majority of the Department’s enrollments. We were impressed with Barb Blakely’s place-based curriculum, which is creating synergies with the environmental focus of the Department. This is an exceptionally creative and effective composition program, or rather communications program.”