Speech Communication: a Lesson in Trial and Error

May 13, 2014

Students in Mrs. Garrelts' speech class have nearly finished a semester's worth of learning including everything from the basic model of communication to the ethics of communication, from verbal communication to audience interaction, from noise to organizational models of multiple communication styles.  Between all of these lessons and activities, and several presentations, students have completed many interactive components of the class. 

In addition, students have been part of an ongoing new process in Mrs. Garrelts classroom using Standards Based Grading (SBG), which Mrs. Garrelts has renamed Student Based Grading.  The premise of SBG is that students are asked to complete a number of learning targets to a high degree of completion.  Students are allowed to complete and retake learning assessments as many times as necessary to fulfill a high score.  Rather than giving students one opportunity to pass or fail, students show the progression of their learning over the term of the course.

In speech, this included four units and a total of forty-eight learning targets.  Along the way students have been asked for their input into making the system work better for themselves and in what ways they positively or negatively responded to the new system.  Overall, students have been pleased with the system allowing a "trial and error" approach in which they can fail and then bounce back a week later after enhanced study.  The best benefit of the switch has been the amount of increased communication, which aptly fits in the speech class.