Non-Written Communication [COMM]

[COMM] courses help to develop and express ideas beyond the medium of writing. Defined as public speaking; musical expression; interpersonal, intercultural, or visual communication; multi-media authoring; or conversational foreign language, practice with non-written communication helps students develop skills in adapting content and conventions to appropriate contexts, audiences, and purposes, and in the skillful use of credible, relevant sources to communicate ideas appropriate to the medium. Development of communication abilities may involve working with technologies, including interplay between texts, data, and images. It also may involve oral presentations and discourse, such as public speaking, small-group interaction, one-on-one conversation, and active listening.

Communication represents one of 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).

Student Learning Outcomes

Students, regardless of major, who successfully complete a [COMM] course should be able to:

  • Communicate effectively as appropriate to the mode of non-written communication (e.g., public speaking; musical expression; interpersonal, intercultural, or visual communication; multi-media authoring; conversational foreign language). (WSU Learning Goal: Non-written Communication)
  • Recognize how the intended audience for a message shapes choices about style, tone, media, and delivery, as well as how those choices in turn shape audience reception. (WSU Learning Goal: Critical Thinking)
  • Recognize how the organization of a message impacts both its effectiveness and potential responses. (WSU Learning Goal: Critical Thinking)
  • Reflect on and apply feedback to increase the effectiveness of communication. (WSU Learning Goal: Critical Thinking)
  • Identify when and what types of supporting materials are necessary, given the chosen delivery mode. (WSU Learning Goal: Information Literacy)
  • Communicate information in appropriate written forms to support effective non-written communication. (WSU Learning Goal: Written Communication)

Revised outcomes approved Spring 2022.

View approved COMM Courses

For Faculty

Whether submitting a new course for approval for the first time or submitting an updated course as part of UCORE’s renewal process, faculty should submit a completed COMM Learning Outcomes Grid along with the course syllabus and supporting assignment prompts/activity descriptions. This grid should clearly demonstrate the relationship among UCORE designator learning outcomes, course learning outcomes, and activities and assignments that support those outcomes.

Faculty are not required to insert this learning outcomes grid into the body of the syllabus. However, per WSU syllabus policy, all syllabi must communicate the course’s student learning outcomes to students. If the course holds a UCORE designation, then that communication should occur with in the context of the UCORE designation’s required learning outcomes (e.g. critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, understanding diversity, etc.).

All UCORE-designated courses are required to include in the syllabus a statement of how the course fulfills the specific UCORE requirement.

Please adapt this COMM course description for use in your syllabus. If possible, integrate with course specific description.

XXXX XXX satisfies the Communication [COMM] requirement for WSU’s University Common Requirements (UCORE), which is designed to help you acquire broad understanding, develop intellectual and civic competencies, and apply knowledge and skills in real world settings. Upon completion of UCORE, you will have the tools needed to seek out information, interpret it, share it, and make reasoned and ethical judgements on a wide array of issues. With these broader goals in mind, XXXX XXX helps you develop and express ideas clearly, concisely, and effectively in media beyond written communication alone. These skills will allow you to increase knowledge, foster understanding, or promote change in audiences’ attitudes or behaviors.

Departments and schools should consider how UCORE student learning outcomes (skill development) map to course level (100, 200, 300, or 400) and design assignments and activities accordingly.

CoursesCourses often taught at 100 & 200 level; some “shared” with other departments or UCORE, or community colleges (external context)Courses generally at 300 and 400 level, often taught by the major department (or across depts, especially in interdisciplinary programs)
Introduce (I)Practice (P)Refine (R)Competent (C)
Levels of Program Learning Outcomes: Content, Skills, and ComplexityIntroduce skills and knowledge Practice basics (methods, skills, content knowledge)
Beginner, collegiate level.  
Practice components to solidify foundational skills and knowledge, build comfort and proficiency (includes practice w/ feedback)Additional development to refine skills & deepen knowledge; use in more complex, demanding contexts (includes practice w/ feedback)Apply methods, skills, and knowledge in multiple contexts at an advanced, complex level; know when and where to apply; Graduating senior major level.

Propose or renew a COMM course

Additional Resources

Provost Office’s Teach page

Explore this content area of the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President’s website, which contains resources, tips, tools, and techniques to support excellence and innovation in teaching.

Assignment Design Resources

Read guidance from the Office of Assessment for Curricular Effectiveness on developing powerful, clear assignments to impact teaching, learning, and assessment.

Required Learning Outcomes

Depending on the designation, your UCORE course will carry additional learning outcomes requirements.

UCORE Policy

View departmental responsibilities for class size, graduate student instructors, shared syllabi, and more.

Library Instruction

Emphasize information literacy by scheduling with a librarian a session that is specifically tailored to your course.

Syllabus Website

Use this website to confirm required syllabus elements and recommended syllabus elements before teaching a course.