Accessing Basic Course Resources

Across the Communication discipline, several resources are readily available for instructors, Basic Course Directors, Communication scholars, and campus assessment personnel. Collectively, these resources can be used to:

  • Provide the pedagogy necessary for effective Basic Course instruction 
  • Assess student learning 
  • Obtain new ideas for teaching Basic Course content 
  • Identify the best practices implemented in existing Basic Course curriculum 
  • Network with other instructors who teach the Basic Course 
  • Survey the attitudes and behaviors of instructors and students who teach the Basic Course 

The links below identify several resources for Basic Course personnel, including journals that publish research conducted on the Basic Course; books written specifically on how to teach, direct, or train Basic Course instructors; and the avenues though which instructors can establish working relationships with other Basic Course Directors and instructors.

What journals publish research on the Basic Course? 

This journal publishes high-quality international scholarship that is committed to the advancement of communication and learning broadly defined as instructional communication and communication education.

This journal publishes original instructional activities that can be conducted in either the K-12 or college classroom as well as manuscripts focused on communication education assessment of student learning, classroom practices (K-12 or college), or program development.

This journal publishes the best scholarship available on topics related to the Basic Course, and is distributed nationally to scholars and educators interested in the Basic Communication Course.

This journal is committed to publishing invited and refereed manuscripts related to scholarship and research in the administration of Communication units at all levels of the academic institution.

What books provide guidance for Basic Course Directors? 

This book provides many tools instructors need to develop, teach, and manage a successful interpersonal communication course.  

  • Backlund & Wakefield (Eds.)/ A communication assessment primer  

This book is an excellent resource for any department that wants to improve student learning by developing effective assessment programs. This publication is designed to help Communication departments create the right assessment program and ensure that their students are learning everything they need to know.

This book provides media, speech (public speaking, interpersonal, small group, and organizational communication), and theatre educators with both the theoretical and practical ammunition to fight the assessment battles on their campuses.

  • Dannels (2015)/Eight essential questions teachers ask: A guidebook for communicating with students 

This book identifies eight areas of concern any Basic Course instructor may encounter when teaching for the first time. The areas of concern focus on establishing credibility, negotiating power, managing communication anxieties, engaging students, navigating relational dynamics, acknowledging difference, providing effective feedback, and making a difference.

This book provides thoughtful guidance, tips, and best practices on crucial topics such as creating continuity across multiple sections, orchestrating meaningful assessment, hiring and training instructors, and advocating for promotion, and for the course and program itself.

  • Hendrix (2000)/The teaching assistant’s guide to the basic course  

This book covers general teaching and course management topics as well as specific strategies for communication instruction.

This book provides faculty members with a better understanding of how to think and plan as a supervisor and prepare and nurture the next generation of university teachers, scholars, and researchers.

How can I connect with other Basic Course Directors? 

  • The Basic Course Listserv 

This list provides a research tool and sounding board for Basic Course Directors, instructors, designers, publishers, and graduate students. To be added, send a request to the listserv administrator, Sam Wallace, and he will add you to the list.

This page is dedicated to the growth and development of the Basic Course in higher education.

This directory includes a list of Basic Course Directors from U.S. Communication programs.

What are some recipients of the NCA Basic Course Division Distinguished Article Award?  

The Distinguished Article Award recognizes one outstanding published scholarly article that contributes significantly to the administrative, delivery or curricular aspects of the basic course. To be eligible for the award, an article must have been published in a peer-reviewed scholarly outlet at least three years prior to consideration.  The primary focus of the article must be on theory, practices, and/or research related to the Basic Course.

The eighth in a series of surveys of the Basic Communication Course, begun in 1968, gathers longitudinal and descriptive data on the nature of the course. In addition to discussing results of the present study, the article provides several observations about the longitudinal results since 1968 and reflections about the basic course in light of broader socio-educational trends and instructional communication research and theory.