DeVry University (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2013 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Pages: 539-548
ISBN: 978-84-616-3847-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2013
Location: Seville, Spain
Regardless of rank, location, or classification, universities are increasingly being challenged to develop methods to foster student intellectual growth and professionalization in an ever-shifting and technologically-driven global culture and economy. As curriculum, pedagogy, and university life become more and more technologically based, we must find ways to develop student communication skills as agents of this new globalism. A large component of this challenge lies in the communication skills that students leave the university with in order to share, develop, and grow the knowledge that they have amassed during their studies. Increasingly, campuses in the United States are building communication across the curriculum (CXC) initiatives to foster the growth of student reading, critical thinking, writing, and oral and professional communication skills. As means of expression shift with the increasing use of “e-classroom” technologies and information systems become synonymous with university administration, students are at risk of losing vital communication skills that have been the cornerstone of traditional university life. But rather than see these shifts in student, educational, and global culture as an impossible hurdle, as educators we view them as an opportunity. This paper seeks to underscore the significance of CXC initiatives in the space of an increasingly interdisciplinary university by paying special attention to the role of training and continuing pedagogical education and development of faculty across disciplines and departments. Some of the questions that this paper considers include: What is the role of the university in professional and pedagogical development across disciplines? How can English and Humanities departments support campus-wide initiatives and create cross-disciplinary faculty buy-in? What campus resources should be established to assist students with the growing expectations that CXC programs foster and demand? In answering these questions, I will argue that interdisciplinary is essential and foundational to the success of the establishment of CXC programs, campus coalition building, and student outcomes. The utilization of online teaching forms, technological platforms, and student driven media are all important parts of developing and sustaining CXC programs. In deconstructing this claim, I will outline a plan that reflects the work being done at DeVry University. As a member of the national Liberal Arts and Science Committee and as the faculty member who oversees the English Department and the current Writing Initiative for the San Diego Metro, my work and research are based on the multifaceted links between faculty development and student outcomes. Currently, DeVry University is working on a national plan to establish, build, and support CXC programs at campuses across the county. The main goals of these programs include: increasing the number of opportunities that students have to practice effective communication (written and oral) in their disciplines, develop strong and cohesive expectations for student work, and create campus resources for both students and faculty members to help support the development of writing assignments, presentation skills, and professional communication. This paper will summarize the initiative, provide a case study of student outcomes, and utilize existing CXC research methodologies to question the future applications of such programs at other universities.
Comminication, e-learning, Writing, Pedagogy.