Despite its nom de guerre, there is nothing “basic” about the basic communication course in colleges and universities. It has served as a locus for research into communication skills, instructional technology, speech anxiety, instructional design and pedagogical practices. All of the research on these topics impacts more than just the basic course, as it is often relevant to instruction in other courses. The work done in the basic communication course is complex and important for both our students and the discipline.

In this, the 27th volume of the Basic Communication Course Annual, there continue to appear studies that examine the changing face of the course that is the bulwark of the communication discipline. For a second straight issue the BCCA contains a set of short essays by scholars devoted to discussing one key question. This time the question addressed is “What is the most important area of training for a new basic communication course instructor?”

As with the prior issue’s Forum essays, these are varied in their answers. Such variety indicates the multitude of challenges faced by communication departments who deliver large and medium scale basic courses, and whom rely on new pools of instructors either through adjunct faculty or graduate teaching assistants to successfully deliver their course.



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