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Section Name

Basic Course Forum

Abstract

Authors were asked to prepare an essay as if they were writing a letter to their dean (whose academic training was in another discipline) who (1) asked that enrollment in each basic course section be increased to a level that compromises the pedagogy of the basic course or (2) proposed that the required basic communication course be eliminated from the university’s general education program.

Here, the author discusses the pressures of increased class sizes. The nature of public speaking requires that class time be divided between instruction and graded student speeches. An increase in allotted time in one area results in a decrease in allotted time in the other. Administrators should consider the impact of the speech/time ratio when increasing class sizes for public speaking courses. The author applies the speech/time ratio to an example public speaking class to reveal approximately 17 minutes in speech time per student for a semester. Instructors face the dilemma of reducing speech assignments or course content.