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The basic course in communication has a well-established record of enhancing oral competency, which plays a primary role in personal, academic, and professional success. However, there is limited empirical support to substantiate that the ways we teach this course are responsible for these gains. A 24-item Likert- like scale instrument developed from the eight Competent Speaker categories (Morreale, Moore, Taylor, Surges-Tatum, & Hulbert-Johnson, 1990; Morreale, Moore, Surges-Tatum, & Webster, 2007; SCA, 1993) has been reliably used for the past decade in campus pre- and post-assessments.

In Study One, measures of 2485 students taking the basic course over the past six years suggest that students are learning what we think they are learning, and retain knowledge, skills, and motivation after taking the basic course in oral communication.

Importantly, Study Two measures post-post-assessment of 468 students that confirmed learning gains in knowledge and skills were maintained over time.