CSCA 2016 Short Courses


Short courses are special conference sessions that go in-depth into a particular topic or area.  Each short course is led by nationally renowned scholars and experts in the discipline.  CSCA is proud to offer the following short courses at the 2016 conference in Grand Rapids:

(1) Thursday, April 14, 8:00–9:15 AM

Communication for the Classroom Teacher: What All Teachers Need to Know about Communication

Cheri J. Simonds, Illinois State University

This short course will address the communication knowledge and skills that all teachers need to know to function competently in the classroom. Teacher communication variables that foster a positive classroom climate as well as the communication pedagogies that enhance student engagement will be examined and discussed

(2) Thursday, April 14, 11:00 AM-12:15 PM

Connections with Technology and Communication in the Basic Course: Approaches to Teaching in the Communication Age

Chad Edwards, Western Michigan University

This course is designed for instructors who are currently teaching, revising, or readying themselves to teach an introduction to communication course, and who want to employ an organizing feature of skill development that focuses on the blending of face-to-face and mediated communication contexts. In the Communication Age, technology, media and communication converge and deeply permeate daily life. The dramatic rise in social media, social networking sites, mobile computing, and general online activity has led to increased complexities between face-to-face communication and mediated communication increasing the need for communication competencies and critical thinking across life contexts.

(3) Thursday, April 14, 12:30-1:45 PM

Teaching the “Personal and Professional Networking” Course

Carrie Madison, Eastern Michigan University
Jeannette Kindred, Eastern Michigan University

This interactive short course will lead participants through the process of developing, implementing, and assessing a course in “Personal and Professional Networking.” We will emphasize how a combination of theoretical grounding in sense-making and social capital, coupled with other practical assignments, helps students develop their own social capital and attain personal and professional goals. Participants will leave with a general framework for a “Personal and Professional Networking” course, including suggested readings, assignments and class activities.

(4) Thursday, April 14, 12:30-1:45 PM (Sold out)

Teaching the College Course in Communication Theory: Foundations for Successful Pedagogy in a Challenging Class

Em Griffin, Wheaton College
Andrew Ledbetter, Texas Christian University

Communication Theory can be a tough class to teach. For many students, the word theory has negative connotations and instructors are often outside their area of expertise. This course is crafted for current and future instructors who want to stimulate students to care about, understand, compare, and apply a range of communication theories. The course offers sample syllabi, assignments, methods of evaluation, classroom activities, discussion ideas, video and Internet resources, and a comparison of ten different textbooks.

(5) Thursday, April 14, 2:00-3:15 PM (Sold out)

The Foundations of Rubric Development

Renee Robinson, Saint Xavier University
Brad Mello, Saint Xavier University

This short course focuses on the development of various rubrics for assessing student learning related to different communication assignments evaluated by faculty in face-to-face, hybrid, and online learning environments. More specifically, it examines ways that faculty can better articulate course expectations and learning outcomes to students while simultaneously improving our ability to assess course and programmatic outcomes and support student learning via rubric development and implementation.

(6) Thursday, April 14, 2:00-3:15 PM (Cancelled)

Model for Teaching Interracial/Interethnic Communication

Doris J. Fields, Eastern Michigan University

The Interracial/Interethnic Communication course improves race relations by examining the multidimensional relationship between race/ethnicity and communication. CTAC 275-Interracial/Interethnic Communication students acquire research and practical theoretical applications throughout the semester. The classroom lectures and structured learning activities in CTAC 275-Interracial/Interethnic Communication course encourage students to embrace new opportunities of dialogue with individuals of various cultural and racial groups.

(7) Thursday, April 14, 3:30-4:45 PM

The New Faces of Brainstorming: Advancing Your Students’ Creative-Thinking Skills

Stacy E. Hoehl, Wisconsin Lutheran College

Train your students to excel in this world of creativity and innovation! Learn how to cultivate a more creative classroom environment where an open exchange of ideas is prized! Research on creativity has sped past traditional methods of brainstorming to advanced idea-generation strategies like speedstorming, storytelling, and brainwriting. In this highly interactive, hands-on course, you will learn these and other idea-generation techniques that will benefit both you and your students in the classroom and beyond!

(8) Friday, April 15, 9:30-10:45 AM (Cancelled)

Course Level Assessment and Skill Competencies: How to Get Consistent, Reliable, Defensible Data from Your Basic Course Sections 

Phil Backlund, Central Washington University
Mark Butland, Austin Community College

This course will give you assessment tools and targeted competencies that will help you assess your students’ mastery in your basic communication course. Knowing what key competencies are and how they have been defined by NCA is critical. Having competency assessment tools that are consistent with NCA recommendations is also important. Gathering and analyzing data from these assessments and connecting back to course learning objectives allows for continual improvement and provides evidence of learning. You will leave the course with competencies, assessments and an understanding of continual quality improvement for your basic course.

(9) Friday, April 15, 9:30 -10:45 AM (Sold out)

Leadership Education: A Foundation for the Communication Major

Stacy E. Hoehl, Wisconsin Lutheran College

This dynamic, interactive short course will help communication educators create, implement, and evaluate a semester-long experiential course in Leadership Communication. Such a course encompasses and accomplishes our purposes as communication teachers by developing critical thinking skills, creativity, self-awareness, persuasive abilities, emotional intelligence, and interpersonal skills in our students. Therefore, leadership education should foundational to our curriculum! This short course includes sample syllabi, class assignments and exercises, strategies for overseeing service-learning projects, and fantastic resources!

(10) Saturday, April 16, 8:00–9:15 AM

Foundations for Understanding Millennials: Who Are They, How Do We Reach Them, and Why Should We Care?

Regina Luttrell, Eastern Michigan University
Karen McGrath, The College of Saint Rose

Educators need to engage teaching and learning in positive, productive ways that will not compromise their pedagogical values and goals. This short course explores what can be done to preserve pedagogical integrity and increasing understanding of Millennials, while also preparing for the next generation of learners. We provide educational strategies and collegiate classroom samples for working with Millennials and hope to increase awareness of how some change, while uncomfortable, can create more effective learning environments.

(11) Saturday, April 16, 9:30–10:45 AM

Building Better Foundations for the Future through the Past: Revitalizing Student Engagement in Communication Courses with ‘Reacting to the Past’ pedagogy

Neil A. Patton, Ferris State University
Donna A. Smith, Ferris State University
Sheri Reeves Bleam, Adrian College
Christy Mesaros-Winckles, Adrian College
Donald Ritzenhein, Eastern Michigan University

This course introduces communication teachers to the dynamic pedagogy of “Reacting to the Past” (RTTP) showing how student engagement can be supercharged by this game theory-based approach to teaching a broad variety of communication courses. Instructors will discuss how they utilized RTTP games in a variety of communication classes. In addition to providing syllabi, handouts and tips for integrating RTTP in classes, advice will be provided on “selling” the pedagogy to colleagues and administrators

(12) Saturday, April 16, 11:00 AM-12:15 PM (Sold Out)

Reinvent yourself with Youtube and Google Apps

Narissra Punyanunt-Carter, Texas Tech University
Vladimir S. Arias, Texas Tech University

You think you know how to use YouTube and Google Apps, but you have no idea! In this session, we will guide you through ten (potentially mind blowing ways) to use YouTube and Google Apps in your classroom. Leave this session as the expert in understanding ways to leverage video and Google apps in the classroom successfully. This session is perfect for instructors of all content areas of communication studies.

(13) Saturday, April 16, 2:00-3:15 PM (Sold out)

Infusing Social Justice into Communication Teaching

Lawrence R. Frey, University of Colorado Boulder

This short course explores principles and practices associated with teaching social justice in the communication discipline. After examining social justice, in general, and social justice education, specifically, numerous ways of (and many resources for) infusing social justice into communication teaching are explored, from informing purposes, readings, and assignments of standard communication courses (e.g., public speaking); to social justice activism service-learning; to teaching communication activism courses; to extending such teaching to populations and sites beyond college/university students.

Registration Fee:  $10.00 per short course

Want to take a short course but already registered for the conference?  No worries!  Just contact member services associate Kathie Cesa (, and she will help to set you up!