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Undergraduate Assurances of Learning - UG Business Communication

Goal 3:  Effective Business Communication

Our students will prepare and present effective business communications, both written and oral.

Corresponding Objectives:

(Written) Students will write a business document that is well organized, free of errors, and makes an effective clear point.

(Oral) Students will make clear professional presentations of business material using current information technology.

Assessment Tools:  (Written Communication) Concepts will be introduced in CMJ 103 Fundamentals of Public Communications, reinforced in BUA 220 Legal Environment of Business, BUA 235 Information Systems, and assessed in BUA 343.

(Oral Communication) Concepts will be introduced in ENG 101 College Composition, reinforced  in ENG 317 Business and Technical Writing, and assessed in  BUA 310 Auditing, BUA 330 Personnel Management, BUA 351 Corporate Treasury Dynamics, and BUA 480 Managerial Marketing.

Business Communication Assessment Rubric:  Business Communication Goals and corresponding objectives are assessed using the Business Communication Rubric.

Changes in Effect for Fall 2010 (Written)

  1. Curriculum Design: Students will be required to produce and understand common business formats; specifically all students are required to write a business memo.  This discipline specific assignment will be made using a common form across all writing intensive business classes.
  2. Course Development:  Students will be provided instruction about common writing problems across disciplines, including writing effective thesis statements, structure, organization, and common mechanical error and writing rules.  Each professor will spend two 50-minute blocks of instruction on the topics as well as provide regular written feedback to the students.
  3. Monitoring mechanisms: Students will purchase and utilize a common reference book that provides guidance on common business forms, discussion of plagiarism, and the research process.  The Written Communication Team will meet at the beginning and end of the semester.

Changes in Effect for Fall 2010 (Oral)

  1. Curriculum Design: Students required to perform oral presentations will be instructed about how to perform professional business presentations. Presentations will be assessed using a standard rubric.
  2. Course Development:  Each professor teaching a course with emphasis on oral communication will spend at least three fifteen-minute instruction periods on oral presentation expectations.
  3. Monitoring Mechanisms: To ensure individual students are performing adequately, individual oral assessments of all BUA 343 International Business students will be performed by the Oral Communication Team.

Rationale for Changes:

A curriculum assessment of all core classes was completed to assess the frequency and depth business communications was taught.  This inquiry revealed a considerable focus on both written and oral business communication.  Next this goal was assessed in several core business courses.  Assessment revealed a lack of clear and consistent expectations (for writing and oral communications) across the curriculum.  This analysis precipitated several important initiatives:

  1. Meetings were scheduled and executed across the university between internal and external faculty who teach concepts related to this goal.
  2. Clear learning objectives were derived and later assessed (see rubrics).
  3. Goals were assessed in Fall 2009 and Spring 2010. The results were as follows:
  • Written Communication was assessment was performed by the professors of the writing intensive courses.  Some inter-rater reliability issues were discovered.  As a result two proposals were implemented: 1) written communication will be assessed by external evaluators, and 2) assignments will be consistant across all writing intensive courses.
  • Oral Communication was assessed in the fall by the professors of the courses teaching oral communication.  Some inter-rater reliability issues were discovered.  A series of proposals were created: 1) The spring assessment was conducted by the oral communication team leader and assistant.  2) The assessment was conducted with a cross-collaborated assessment process.  3) Results consistently found that difficulty arises when assessing individuals as part of teams, and that there were differences in student understanding of effective oral communications.

Assessment criteria:   75% of students will score of at least ‘2’ (meets expectations) on assessment criteria.

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