Section Name

The Forum


In order to determine the most important concept to teach new basic course instructors, it is important to know what we want students to be able to do as a result of the basic course and what teaching method will best reach that outcome. One main goal of the basic course is to teach students to communicate orally and give them practice doing so. This can be accomplished through what Muller (2014) defines as instructional discussion, or “an instructional interaction where teachers and students engage together in an exploration of problems, ideas, and questions in ways that incorporate the knowledge of all participants to generate a collective wisdom or understanding that would not have emerged without the interaction” (p. 326). This definition illustrates the importance of engagement and interaction, both important goals within the basic communication course. Additionally, instructional discussion highlights the central role of communication in the teaching and learning process. Thus, it is imperative that training programs for basic course instructors address how to plan, facilitate, and assess an instructional discussion as well as teach students how to engage in the process.