Welcome to the 8th Annual CxC Faculty Summer Institute! There’s no denying you represent different disciplines, possess different expertise, and have different personal and professional goals you hope to achieve this week. But the one thing you all have in common is your dedication and commitment to excellence in learning and teaching for LSU undergraduates and for that we applaud you!For the past 8 years, Summer Institute has been an exciting opportunity for faculty from all parts of campus to come together and learn, work, play, focus, and re-fuel. Year after year, faculty leave SI bursting with a new-found energy and enthusiasm for teaching and learning and we hope the same will happen to you. We’ll do our best to make it happen. Let’s get started.
So what is CxC? It’s an innovative approach to teaching and learningIt’s a catalyst for excellence in academics…in course design, teaching, student learning, student training, faculty developmentIt’s an Award winning programLet me explain these descriptors
Above everything else, CxC is an undergraduate academic enhancement program focused on improving students’ discipline-specific communication skills in four modes of communication: writing, speaking, visual, and technological.In this way, it is innovative. Many universities have WAC or WID programs that focus on writing. Some have even added speaking to their mix. But none of them equally emphasize all modes across the curriculum, nor do they recognize that most often, communication is multimodal and seldom restricts itself to a singular mode.
From an organizational standpoint, CxC is an academic enhancement unit under the office of LSU Academic Affairs. This was a strategic move by the university when LSU CxC was created in 2004. While the LSU CxC program is loosely modeled after successful WAC and WID programs, it bears just as many unique features as it does similarities and being a campus-wide unit is one of those differences. Most WAC/WID programs are within the English department, sending a clear message that English faculty—and English faculty alone—are responsible for students becoming good writers. CxC was created on the exact opposite principle: writing skills—and all other communication skills—are so critical to students’ success that it is the responsibility of ALL faculty to help students improve their skills. Four components are essential to CxC/s success: Communication Intensive (C_I) courses, communication studios, faculty resources, and our Distinguished Communicators program.Let’s me give a quick overview of each because you’ll be learning more about them throughout the institute.
Let’s focus on the academic nature first.At the foundation of the CxC program are Communication-Intensive courses. CxC recognizes the differences among disciplines and the various communication styles, approaches, and situations that happen in the different disciplines. This is why C-I courses are embedded within the curricula rather than stand-alone courses within English or Comm Studies. And it’s why the communication assignments are embedded within a C-I course.C-I courses teach students good communication skills in the context of the discipline they are studying. C-I courses employ active-learning instruction such as a feedback loop to individualize instruction; promote advanced, deeper learning of content; and enhance experiences for students and faculty.LSU faculty currently offer 100+ C-I undergraduate sections each semester.
To support students working on communication-intensive projects, CxC has 4 communication studios. CxC Engineering Studio in Patrick Taylor HallCxC A+D Studio in the Design BuildingCxC M&DA Studio in the Music & Dramatic Arts BuildingCxC Studio 151 in Coates Hall (supports students of all majors)With possibilities of another being added to Business.Each of our studios is unique, focusing on a specific niche, but they all offer:-out-of-class assistance with C-I projects, rhetorical support and tech support-one-on-one mentoring-dedicated work/practice spaces-feedback-access to comm technologies (in-studio and check-out)-motivating and engaging students in learning-walk-in and appointment-based support-in-class/out-of-class workshops**INRODUCE STAFF HERE: CxC Coordinator & Studio Manager for Engineering: Warren Hull (at a conference)CxC Instructor in Engineering: Boz BowlesCxC Coordinator for College of Humanities and Social Science & Manager of Studio 151: Kevin DiBenedettoCxC Coordinator for College of Science: Becky CarmichaelCxC Coordinator & Studio Manager for Art+ Design: Vince CellucciCxC Coordinator & Studio Manager for Music and Dramatic Arts: Joey WatsonCxC Associate Director: Rebecca BurdetteCxC Program Coordinator: Kimberly Bourque
And to support our C-I faculty, we offer a variety of faculty development activities as well as one-on-one consultations. I encourage you to get to know the CxC staff this week as they can be your new best friends, helping you to enhance your course. They have the distinct advantage of working with more than 300 faculty across campus, and they can share ideas with you, connect you with colleagues, and of course, steer you away from what we’ve learned doesn’t work!The CxC staff is also here to help you with course-specific workshops related to communication skills. So for example, if you want your students to improve the caliber of their presentation visuals, you could have a CxC staff member come in and do a workshop with your students about powerful presentations visuals.In addition to Summer Institute, CxC hosts monthly Lunch & Learns during the fall and spring semesters on topics that you tell us you want to learn more about. Like SI, these sessions bring together best practices with the first-hand experience of LSU faculty.
And to round off the comprehensive CxC program, we offer an optional academic recognition program for LSU undergraduates—the LSU Distinguished Communicator certification.Through this program, students undergo additional training to advance their communication skills, and create professional portfolios that demonstrate their disciplinary knowledge and communication skills.Students who successfully complete the program are recognized and celebrated at commencement and leave with a permanent notation on their transcript that they are certified as an LSU Distinguished Communicator.This Spring we had our largest Dcomm class ever--40 students—who demonstrate exceptional communication skills and each semester we get calls from just about every industry interested in these students. And sometimes, employers aren’t concerned with the students’ majors at all; they are simply looking for our DComms because they have the highly sought after transferrable soft skills—communication.
Now that you know what CxC is and how it’s organized, why is so important to the educational mission for undergraduates at LSU?
-For one thing, it helps us meets rising accreditation standards set by review agencies such as SACS or ABET or NCATE.-And CxC meets innovative learning and teaching expectations of grant agencies such as NSF, and the Board of Regents. In collaboration with Service Learning, the College of Science, and the Center for Academic Success, CxC was awarded a Regents Grant this year to improve the communication skills and scientific knowledge of our undergraduates while giving area K-12 students experiences with scientific demonstration in chemistry or geology.
The emphasis on multimodal communication is important for lots of reasons. For example, one of the newly crafted General Education Learning Outcomes echoes the mission of CxC.
By why is it important to teach communication across the curriculum? Shouldn’t students be able to communicate before they come to college? Can’t they just get what they need in freshman comp or speech classes.? Isn’t it true that Communication is communication is communication.Well, yes.
All forms of communication share the same basic rhetorical features which we’ll discuss in detail later..
But not all forms of communication are the same. Why not?
Differentcommunicators with different ways of making knowledge audiences who use the information in different wayssubject matters, areas of investigationproblems and ways of solving thempurposes for communicating (inform, entertain, persuade)vocabularies and ways to talk about research or workgenres to communicate about the activitiescontexts in which people communicate
To illustrate this point, I want you to think about how people in your discipline might complete this B.C. Cartoon.How might an engineer, or a scientist, or a teacher, or --------you fill in your role—see this situation.Write down your answer.Let’s hear some of them.
The point is, different disciplines investigate different problems in different ways and their solutions end up in different kinds of communications.
Throughout the institute, I encourage you to think about how professionals communicate in your discipline and how knowledge of the genres and styles they use can best be transferred to students. For example, look at these two lists that compare writing for biology and writing about history.Clearly they differ in their use of sources, the way they present information, and their use of personal opinion.
For many college students the realization that different disciplines use different kinds of evidence to advance knowledge is an new insight.Students may be baffled that the sciences use more quantitative data (numbers, statistical data, graphs and tables) while in history or English they may be asked to construct arguments from visual or verbal texts. Communicating in the disciplines will require students to understand these differences and to use discipline-appropriate genres to communicate their knowledgeExpert in Discipline –Specific CommunicationRhetorical KnowledgeInformation Literacy—discipline-specific search enginesKnowledge of how meaning is created and transferredSubject matter knowledgeGenre knowledgeCommunication process knowledgeThroughout the next three days, I ask you to think about three questions:
Reflect on these questions. . .
While discipline-specific communication varies across campus, there are 2 CxC teaching strategies I want to mention because they will be important throughout the Institute: levels of critical (Bloom’s taxonomy) and the rhetorical triangle.
Go through slide info.This pyramid depicts the different levels of thinking we use when learning. Each level builds on the foundation that precedes it. We need to develop lower levels skills before we can effectively develop higher level skills.
Let me give you an example of Bloom’s at work. You know that the area of a rectangle = length x width.You memorize the formula.
But do I understand what that means? Can I illustrate that formula? Yes, if I have a rectangle that is 4 inches by 3 inches, I can easily find the area by multiplying 4 x 3 which is 12 square inches and I know that answer is right because if draw a 1 inch grid, I do indeed get 12 square inches
Application: Then suppose you are asked to find the area of the combined kitchen, entry, and pantry area above, minus the space for a closet. Can you apply your knowledge and comprehension of area to this problem? Now suppose I tell you that you want to use ceramic tile to cover the area, and that 12” square tile are $175 per box of 48 and 13” square tiles are $2.45 each. You want to do as little cutting of tile as possible, spend as little as possible, and chose an attractive, high quality tile. Oh, and your design consultant just told you that laying the tile on a diagonal will be much more attractive. Does that change the number of tile you’ll need.Oh, your spouse just texted you and you disagree on which tiles you think are more attractive. Now which tile do you go with? Write a report which evaluates the options and recommends which tile design to choose.
Now you’ll need to analyze the information called for, synthesize it so that you can make an evaluation of the better choice.Bloom’s taxonomy is a hierarchy of critical thinking skills: Each level builds on the foundation that precedes it. We need to develop lower levels skills before we can effectively develop higher level skills.Communication assignments also can take students through different kinds of critical thinking. It’s important to recognize at which levels you’ll be asking students to work. Bloom’s taxonomy can help us design assignments and assessments.
Another basic principle important to CxC pedagogy relates to rhetorical knowledge. And we’ll need a working definition of rhetoric for the week. Rhetorical knowledge:the ability to analyze and act on understandings of writer’s role, audiences, purposes, and contexts in creating and comprehending textsThe rhetorical triangle is a valuable visual.
If you plan to work on a C-I course or develop and assignment this week, I strongly encourage you to read a brief report—Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing. And although the focus is on writing, most of the principles apply to any mode of communication. And to take a look at John Bean’s book, Engaging ideas, which has been a valuable reference for me and many others involved in CxC.
So now that you know a little bit about the how and why of CxC, you won’t be surprised to learn that it was named the Conference on College Composition and Communication as the 2010 Program of Excellence, the Heisman trophy for Communication programs. Questions about CxC? Rebecca will now give us some background on the Summer Institute, you--the participants, and the ground rules.
Overview of CxC
Communication across the Curriculum Enhancing LSU students’ learning experiences and communication skills cxc.lsu.edu
INNOVATIVE TEACHING & LEARNING CATALYST FOR EXCELLENCE AWARD-WINNING cxc.lsu.edu
writing visual four modesspeaking technological
F=mgResulting communication:Article in a physics journal
LUNCH!Resulting communication:Public service announcement for “Buy Local”
Oh, Eve. . .Resulting communication:Short story
Cancel the doctor’s appointment!Resulting communication:Poster presentation at a nutrition conference
Johnny Appleseed!Resulting communication:Historical biography
Discipline-Specific CommunicationWriting for Biology (Pechenik) Writing about History (Marius) Understand your sources Sharply focused Don’t quote from your sources Clearly state argument Don’t plagiarize Build step-by-step using carefully acknowledged evidence Practice summarizing Write clearly with the intended Think about where you are going audience in mind before you begin to write Include original, dispassionate Write to illuminate, not to impress thoughts of the author Support all statements of fact & opinion with evidence Distinguish fact from possibility
Adapted from “College Writing and Beyond,” 2007. subject-matter critical thinking expertiseinformation genre literacy knowledge Expert rhetorical communication Discipline-Specificknowledge Communication processes cxc.lsu.edu
• What kinds of academic or professional communications would demonstrate “expert discipline- specific communications” in your field?• What kinds of disciplinary thinking skills and research skills would be needed to produce such a communication?• How can you effectively teach the skills of communicating, thinking, and conducing research in your
Bloom’s Taxonomy making decisions and supporting views; requires Evaluation understanding of values combining information to form Synthesis a unique product; requires creativity and originality using information to solve problems; transferring Analysis identifying context, theoretical ideas to practical components; situations; identifying determining connections arrangement, logic, & how they apply Application content, stylememorizing restating in yourverbatim; Comprehension own words;remembering, b paraphrasing, suut not mmarizing, translunderstanding Knowledge ating
RHETORICAL KNOWLEDGEthe ability to analyze & act onunderstandings of writer’s role,audiences, purposes, and contexts increating and comprehending texts cxc.lsu.edu
Rhetorical Triangle Communicator(s) role, co-authored? relationship to audience; genre, organizat knowledge of subject ion, style, format , grammatical “correctness” text Subject & Purpose Audience roles, knowledge familiar material or need for attitudes, values, research; feelings, needs inform, explain, analyze, per suade, express, entertainContexts for Communications: disciplinary, social, political, economic, academic, situational