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The "State" of the Basic Course


Research in the basic course in the 1980s was largely atheoretical and limited in generalizability, both inside and outside of speech communication.

While there is nothing wrong with an applied approach to teaching and learning, that approach needs to be augmented by more generalizable studies. Research guided by theoretical frameworks or based on prior findings tends to be more valuable than the tendency for basic course directors to search for hypotheses in less systematic ways.

The review of literature presented in this paper reveals an extensive typology of basic course variables but no clear framework within which to conduct future research. Several potential theoretical perspectives are described and a research agenda for the 1990s is presented, with a goal toward more systematic, coordinated efforts.