Oral Communication Program
Our mission is to identify and promote oral communication principles and practices that prepare communicators for the communication challenges that they will face in their academic, personal, professional, and civic lives.
The study of oral communication is a core component of students’ academic work at the University of Maryland. To be proficient as a speaker and as a listener, students need to understand the research and theory underlying effective communication. However, they also need to be able to apply these conceptual principles to intrapersonal communication, interpersonal relationships, interviews, small group discussion, informative briefings, and persuasive speeches. Indeed, these principles and skills are central to every student’s academic, personal, professional, and civic success.
The Oral Communication Program is dedicated to helping students achieve the general education learning outcomes for oral communication. Through our introductory communication courses and the Oral Communication Center, we train our students to be able to:
- Demonstrate an understanding of the role of oral communication in academic, social, and professional endeavors;
- Demonstrate effectiveness in using verbal and nonverbal language appropriate to the goal and the context of the communication;
- Demonstrate an ability to listen carefully;
- Demonstrate an enhanced awareness of one’s own communication style and choices;
- Demonstrate an ability to communicate interpersonally and interculturally with others in conversation, interview, and group discussion contexts;
- Demonstrate skill in asking and in responding to questions;
- Demonstrate competency in planning, preparing, and presenting effective oral presentations;
- Use effective presentation techniques including presentation graphics; and
- Demonstrate awareness of communication ethics in a global society
We support these efforts with a robust COMM 107 instructor training program that includes an extensive pre-semester orientation and a semester-long coaching program for new instructors.
Beyond overseeing these programs, our team conducts a variety of research studies that examine the principles and practices of oral communication. We are particularly interested in studies that explore public speaking, listening, and the basic oral communication course. We also conduct assessment studies on COMM 107 (“Oral Communication: Principles and Practices”), the basic oral communication course at the University of Maryland.
For questions about COMM 107, instructor training, oral communication research studies, partnership opportunities, or the program in general, please contact Dr. Andrew Wolvin.
The Oral Communication Program and the Oral Communication Center are housed in the Department of Communication at the University of Maryland.