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Abstract

This is the sixth in a series of investigations of the basic communication course, begun in 1968 by members of the Undergraduate Speech Instruction Interest Group of the Speech Association of America. This study was replicated in 1974, 1980, 1985, and 1990. Each of these studies gathered and reported information on instructional practices and administrative issues in the basic course at two- and four-year colleges and universities. In this study, the survey instrument from 1990 was revised to reflect contemporary concerns and mailed to the National Communication Association mailing list of 1500 schools. Data were analyzed and presented from 292 responding schools covering institutional demographics and (1) general approach and orientation to the basic course, (2) pedagogy (which subsumes seven sub-categories), (3) enrollment description and dynamics, and (4) administrative concerns. Comparisons to past and studies indicate the basic communication course is thriving and growing, but some of the same problems continue today that beset the course in the past.