Press Room

Communication Scholars Discuss Instruction Beyond the Traditional Classroom in Special Journal Issue

August 28, 2018
New Research
Bullying, Education

Explaining or sharing information about complex or sensitive topics can be difficult,  and doing so without providing the appropriate context or using the right approach can present additional challenges – and lessen the impact of the message. A new special issue of NCA’s journal Communication Education examines the role and value of instructional research across contexts and beyond the classroom, exploring innovative approaches on how to share information, whether the topic is health, politics, family, or culture. Deanna Sellnow and Timothy Sellnow (University of Central Florida) introduce the theme by noting that “many communication initiatives, interventions, and campaigns are destined to fail when the messages do not instruct receivers about how and why to act on the information.” The issue includes research, calls for action, and responses from communication scholars, all “designed to encourage readers to think outside the box,” and drawing on the examples of artificial intelligence, improv, digital media literacy workshops, and more.

Here are a few highlights from the special issue:

  • Krista Hoffmann-Longtin (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis), et. al write about how healthcare practitioners can use improvisational theater to communicate effectively with worried and confused patients and their families seeking to make meaning of health information.
  • Nicole Lee (North Carolina State University) calls for communication researchers to focus more digital media literacy education and initiatives on adult and non-native populations.
  • Meghnaa Tallapragada (Clemson University) proposes potential areas in which communication scholars could contribute to science activism, focusing on the intersections of science, mobilization, teaching, and learning.
  • Sean Horan (Fairfield University) and Courtney Wright (University of Tennessee-Knoxville) call for scholars to focus more research on two nontraditional areas: the connection between instructional communication and religion and religious settings; and communication’s role in mitigating violence.

The issue also includes a “Wicked Problems” forum that focuses on LGBT bullying in K-12 classrooms. In this special forum section, the authors share personal experiences, shine a critical light on bullying narratives, and offer potential solutions for educators. “We can think of few communicative phenomena that have as devastating effects as bullying,” editors C. Kyle Rudick and Deanna P. Dannels write.

Read the full issue of Communication Education here.

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To arrange interviews with the authors, contact Jenna Sauber at 202-534-1104 or

About the National Communication Association

The National Communication Association (NCA) advances Communication as the discipline that studies all forms, modes, media, and consequences of communication through humanistic, social scientific, and aesthetic inquiry. NCA serves the scholars, teachers, and practitioners who are its members by enabling and supporting their professional interests in research and teaching. Dedicated to fostering and promoting free and ethical communication, NCA promotes the widespread appreciation of the importance of communication in public and private life, the application of competent communication to improve the quality of human life and relationships, and the use of knowledge about communication to solve human problems. NCA supports inclusiveness and diversity among our faculties, within our membership, in the workplace, and in the classroom; NCA supports and promotes policies that fairly encourage this diversity and inclusion.

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