Short Courses

2024 Central States Communication Association Annual Convention

Grand Rapids, Michigan
April 2 - 7, 2024

2024 Short Course Options


Short Course 1: Teaching with Intercultural Communication for Everyday Life, Second Edition

April 4 - 11:00AM - 12:15PM

Teaching intercultural communication can be rewarding and challenging. This session is designed to provide tips for teaching from Intercultural Communication for Everyday Life, Second Edition. The co-authors of the book will describe the new features of the second edition. Also, they will discuss ways to combine chapters into modules to accommodate varied academic calendars. Finally, they will share their favorite activities for teaching intercultural communication for both virtual and face-to-face modalities. Attendees will leave with greater confidence and capacity for teaching this course. Throughout the session, time is reserved for discussion of topics from attendees.

John R. Baldwin, Illinois State University
Alberto Gonzalez, Bowling Green State University
Nettie Brock, Morehead State University
Chin-Chung Chao, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Ming Xie, West Texas A&M University

Short Course 2: Creating a Communication Research Lab

April 4 - 12:30PM - 1:45PM

Communication research labs are a great way to involve students in research, develop student talents, help your scholarship, and translate your research to a broader audience. In this short course, members from the Communication and Social Robotics Labs ( and members from the Family Communication & Relationships Lab ( will discuss the "how-to's" of launching a lab, navigating pitfalls, creating buy-in, managing multiple sites, engaging with the public, and seeking resources/funding. Participants will leave the session with action steps for their labs.

Chad Edwards, Western Michigan University
Kristina Scharp, Rutgers University
Autumn Edwards, Western Michigan University
America L. Edwards, University of California Santa Barbara
Patric Spence, University of Central Florida
Elizabeth Dorrance Hall, Michigan State University
Haley Nolan-Cody, Rutgers University
Cimmiaron Alvarez, Rutgers University
Yue Zhang, Michigan State University
Brooke Wolfe, Michigan State University
Austin T. Frederick, Wayne State University
Md Hamza Mostafa, Western Michigan University
Xianlin Jin, The University of Toledo
Xialing Lin, Penn State University, Scranton

Short Course 3: Building Coherence through Creative Play in the Communication Course: Warming Up for the Workout

April 5 - 11:00AM - 12:15PM

This interactive short course will help educators create attention-getting, relevant, and playful warm-ups at the beginning of their classes. These warm-ups engage students in the day's topic by offering a research-based discussion prompt that helps students transition from their busy lives to focus on classroom content. Participants will learn about play as a form of student engagement, how well-designed warm-ups benefit both student and professor, and how to convert current research into a class warm-up.

Stacy Jensen, Wisconsin Lutheran College

Short Course 4: Promoting Ethical Communication in an Incoherent World

April 5 - 4:30PM - 5:45PM

The purpose of this workshop is to provide cutting-edge instruction in teaching Communication Ethics and is designed to highlight features of a new text, Communication Ethics: Promoting Truth, Responsibility, and Civil Discourse. Why have Americans become so depressed, lonely, and consumed by hate? This workshop engages answers to this ever-looming concern and is a fundamental step in training students to communicate in a world where the first impulse is selfishness, threatening possibilities for coherent and healthy conversations.

Heather Walters, Missouri State University

Short Course 5: Turning the Light on to our Front Porch: Examining the Basic Communication Course and Student Retention

April 6 - 8:00AM - 9:15AM

The basic communication course (BCC) has been referred to as the "front porch" to the communication discipline. This interactive course will review literature that suggests the BCC should be described as not just a front porch to the discipline, but to college, in general. During the short course, participants will learn about findings linking first-year student enrollment in the BCC to increased rates of retention, discuss explanations for these findings, and reconsider the content and format of the BCC. This short course highlights the value of the BCC to our discipline, the wider academic community, and to other stakeholders.

Jennifer McCullough, Saginaw Valley State University

Short Course 6: Teaching in the Age of AI

April 6 - 9:30AM - 10:45AM

The launch of ChatGPT and other generative AI platforms has up-ended higher education. This short course will address ethical and pedagogical concerns of integrating AI into the classroom. Participants will develop prompt engineering skills, evaluate sample AI classroom policies, discuss in-class activities and assignments, and generate ideas on how to use this tool for class preparation. Faculty with all levels of experience in teaching with AI, including those who are completely new, are invited to join.

Kristen Pengelly, DePaul University
Margaret Poncin Reeves, DePaul University

Short Course 7: Incoherence in a Post-Truth World: Implications for Teaching Persuasion, Research Methods, and Communication Theory

April 6 - 12:30PM - 1:45PM

The primary goal of this short course is to provide participants with a solid understanding of how the post-truth era has implications for teaching and modernizing the content of courses in persuasion, research methods, and theory. We will cover novel assignments, activities, reading materials, and pedagogy instructors can use in these courses to help students navigate the post-truth era, be ethical communicators, and engaged citizens in a democratic society.

Stephen Hunt, Illinois State University
Kevin R. Meyer, Illinois State University

Short Course 8: Synthesizing Evidence: Systematic Literature Review as a Method

April 6 - 2:00PM - 3:15PM

Systematic reviews of primary literature are distinguished from traditional narrative reviews by an emphasis on a priori planning and transparent reporting of a defined set of steps. This short course covers these steps, which include a) study selection, which requires an exhaustive, as opposed to a convenient, search using inclusion/exclusion criteria, b) extraction of findings, c) quality appraisal of individual studies, d) synthesis of findings, and e) assessment of confidence in the synthesized findings.

Pradeep Sopory, Wayne State University
Najma Akhther, Wayne State University
Nina Kelly, Wayne State University

Short Course 9: Generative-AI and the Future of the Public Speaking Course

April 6 - 5:00PM - 6:15PM

While much uncertainty surrounds generative artificial intelligence (AI) and its potential to alter our classrooms, it has also created a space for a profound teaching moment in public speaking courses. By taking this short course instructors will learn how to:
• Identify the advantages/constraints of AI software (Claude, ChatGPT, Bard, and Bing Chat Enterprise) relative to (1) instructor use and (2) student use.
• Create content and activities for public speaking classes using AI.
• Determine expectations for how students use AI for research and speechwriting.
• Develop a process for students to critically evaluate material generated from AI.
• Mitigate unethical student use of AI by adapting forms of assessment to include higher-order thinking skills.

Madison A. Pollino, University of South Florida

Questions? Contact Kathy Denker, First Vice President & 2024 Conference Planner: