DeVry University, SPCH 275: Public Speaking—Available Topic: Curricular Reform

The standard assignment sequence for SPCH 275 at DeVry University (during the March 2018 session, at least) states that students will prepare and present a persuasive piece to a defined group, doing so electronically. While it makes some suggestions about topics and audiences, it does not prescribe them so narrowly as other courses on offer do. Experience teaches me, however, that students tend to do better on such projects as the course requires when they have more overt guidance on topic and audience–hence this page.

For the section of the class I teach, the available topic is curricular reform (as is the case for my sections of ENGL 135, from which information I borrow freely for this page). That is, each group will select an item from one of the DeVry curricula–likely a class–and argue that a particular change needs to be made to it. The most likely options are that a class needs to be added, removed, or substantively altered.

The primary audience for such a presentation would be the DeVry administration–not at the campus level, but at the University level. Secondary audiences would be campus administrations and accrediting agencies.

Primary sources would include the DeVry course catalog, as well as course catalogs from similar universities and colleges. Secondary sources would involve educational research, such as is found on the ERIC database, as well as in the journals and trace publications of the various disciplines and professions. Tertiary sources would be those speaking to philosophies of education and cognition.

No changes need be made to the assignment sequence in the course, as the assignments are designed without a prescribed topic in mind. Still, having at least a general topic and audience in mind–both will need greater narrowing, of course, to be accomplished through discussion and research–ought to help all of them get done more easily.

Geoffrey B. Elliott
13 February 2018