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Washington State University
UCORE: University Common Requirements Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement

Communication [COMM]

Course designator within the area of Foundational Competencies

COMM-designated courses emphasize non-written mediums, such as public speaking, conversational foreign language, interpersonal communication, visual literacy, multimedia authoring, or intercultural communication. Thus COMM courses require students to develop and express ideas clearly, concisely, and effectively in media beyond written communication alone. Students develop skills in creatively adapting content and conventions to diverse contexts, audiences, and purposes, and skillfully using high- quality, credible, relevant sources to develop ideas that are appropriate for the presentation or other communication, as envisioned in the Information Literacy learning goal.

Development of communication abilities may involve working with a variety of technologies, such as mixing texts, data, and images. It also may involve oral presentations and discourse, such as public speaking, small-group interaction, one-on-one conversation, as well as listening actively. These skills will allow students to increase knowledge, foster understanding, or promote change in audiences’ attitudes or behaviors.

Communication represents one of the three UCORE foundational competencies [QUAN, WRTG, COMM – 9 total credits] intended for completion in a student’s first year of study.

Students may complete one WRTG course and one COMM course, or may choose to complete two WRTG courses to fulfill their foundational competency in communication (total 6 credits).

View approved COMM Courses

Required Elements for all COMM Courses

COMM courses are required to:

  • Develop students’ understanding of the principles and elements of effective oral and/or mediated or multimodal communication as outlined above.
  • Provide extensive applied practice in composing, creating, or expressing in two or more communication modes as outlined above.
  • Have students self-evaluate and revise their work.
  • Meet requirements for all UCORE courses in written communication, critical and creative thinking, information literacy, and assessment of student progress on learning goals.

Also, the UCORE committee suggests* that COMM courses:

  • Have students critique the work of peers.
  • Hone critical thinking skills through the exploration of rhetoric.

*These suggestions provide a sense of the possible breadth of approaches in WRTG courses, but will not be criteria in the approval process.

Required Learning Outcomes Grid

Whether submitting a course for the first time or resubmitting an updated course as part of the UCORE committee’s periodic re-review, faculty should submit a completed COMM Learning Outcomes Grid embedded in the course syllabus in order to demonstrate clearly the relationship among WSU/UCORE learning goals, UCORE category designation learning outcomes, course learning outcomes, assignments, and assessment of student learning. Consult the sample ROOT syllabus with embedded learning outcomes grid as a model.