Communication Department Creates First Basic Course in Presenting with Technology

Posted: December 15, 1999 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Carrie Secondo

Leading the way for universities across the nation, the Communication Department has developed an introductory course that teaches students how to incorporate technology into oral presentations. This basic course, Presenting with Technology, is the first of its kind in the nation and is slated to be offered for the first time next fall.

“Within the last year, it has become increasingly obvious that there is a revolution underway in public speaking courses across the nation,” says Star Muir, associate professor of Communication and director of the Student Technology Assistance and Resource Center (STAR). “More and more departments of speech and communication are integrating technology into their public speaking courses, usually in the form of a PowerPoint assignment,” he says.

Faculty members in the Communication Department thought it was urgent that they begin to incorporate these innovations into the basic curriculum that prepares George Mason students for their careers.

Undergraduate students in every degree program, except those from the Institute of the Arts, are required to take at least three credits of a basic communication course–often Communication 100: Introduction to Public Speaking. This new course will serve an overwhelming number of students, giving them another option to fulfill their core general education requirements.

Presenting with Technology stresses the same principles and theoretical knowledge taught in a regular public speaking course, while incorporating the use of technology as an extended visual aid. Students also study and critique websites and work on analytical listening skills. Lisa Sparks Bethea, Communication, and Muir are working on a textbook that could eventually be used to implement similar courses in other universities across the nation.

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