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2019 Short Courses

CSCA 2019 Short Courses

Title: Facilitating discussions on campus: Using National Issue Forum guides to advance understanding and promote civil discourse with your community.


David L. Bodary, Ph.D.
Professor Department of Communication
Sinclair Community College 

Purpose: The National Issues Forums (NIF) is a US-based nonpartisan, nationwide network of civic, educational, and other organizations and individuals whose common interest is to promote public deliberation in America. NIF sponsors public forums and training institutions for public deliberation." Everyday citizens get to deliberate on various issues through NIF forums. Some of the issues discussed include civil rights, immigration, environment, obesity/health, safety and justice, education, energy, national debt, mental illness, and more. To see all the issue guides available browse to:

The training will include description of how to host a deliberative dialogue on your campus or in your classroom. The facilitator has hosted numerous discussions on multiple campuses and will be able to share best (and worst) practices relating to the dialogue process, guidelines for effective dialogues, recommendations for training student facilitators, availability of resources and a discussion of how these dialogues connect with discipline related learning outcomes.

Title:  Engaging Students in Rhetoric and Civic Life—A Foundational Course in Speaking, Argument, and Advocacy


Leila Brammer, University of Chicago
Pamela Conners, Gustavus Adolphus College
Sarah Wolter, Gustavus Adolphus College

Purpose: This short course presents an innovative, liberal arts instructional model for Public Speaking, Argument, Advocacy, and other related communication courses. Central to the model is a semester- long civic engagement project that provides a practicum in public argument, advocacy, and citizenship. Through public inquiry, community-based research, and inventive community-driven responses to community issues, students develop voice, liberal arts skills, and civic empowerment.

Title: Hosting a TEDx Event at Your University


Dr. Michael Burns, Texas State University
Dr. Cassandra LeClair, Texas State University
David Beadle, Texas State University
Hannah Jones, Texas State University

Purpose: TED talks have revitalized public speaking in our culture. Communication departments are the perfect hosts for TEDx events because it fits perfectly in our curriculum and is a celebration of public speaking. TEDx events are also wonderful learning opportunities for students and creates positive PR for departments and the university. This short course focuses on how to obtain a TEDx license and plan an event but more importantly, you will also learn how the planning process of a TEDx event can enhance your curriculum and student experience. TEDxTexasStateUniversity is hosted by the Department of Communication Studies and has become a signature event for the university and it can do the same at your school. The event is planned and managed by undergraduate and graduate students through specific courses (event planning and advanced public speaking) and internships. At a time when university resources are limited, hosting a TEDx event is a great way to show your university the value of a communication degree. Come learn how to make TEDx a part of your curriculum and start showcasing your community’s talent.

Title: Soliciting children’s perspectives: Play-based data collection methods in child-centered communication research  


Colleen Warner Colaner, PhD

Associate Professor, University of Missouri

Family Communication Educator, Adopting Communication, LLC

Kate Weir, Ed.S, M.Ed.,
Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor and Registered Play Therapist, Kate Weir Counseling

Director, Kindred Collective

Purpose: Less than 4% of communication scholarship reports on data from minors, positioning children as underrepresented in communication research (Miller-Day, Pezalla, Chesnut, 2013). The lack of research on children’s experiences truncates the communication field’s ability to theorize on human communication. Thus, it is vital to incorporate children’s perspectives into communication research. It is also vital that communication join ongoing research in other fields examining children’s communication. However, few communication scholars are given the tools to effectively design and conduct research with children. This short course aims to equip communication scholars with methodologies from play therapy in order to encourage future research on children’s communication. Play therapy is a research-based treatment model that uses structured play to encourage children to express their thoughts, feelings, and experiences (Landreth, 2012). Play is a child’s natural medium of communication. Thus, children can most effectively be researched through play-based methods. The child-centered interaction practices central to play therapy have applications for children’s communication research, offering opportunities to solicit children’s experiences, broaden our understanding of human communication, and advance the communication discipline.

Title: Increasing Classroom Dialogue with Reacting to the Past: Demonstration an Interactive Pedagogy


Game Master: Rebecca Imes, Carroll University

Purpose:  Come participate in a demonstration of Reacting to the Past. RttP consists of elaborate games, set in the past, in which students are assigned roles informed by classic texts in the history of ideas. Class sessions are run entirely by students; instructors advise and guide students and grade their oral and written work. It seeks to draw students into the past, promote engagement with big ideas, and improve intellectual and academic skills. Reacting roles, unlike those in a play, do not have a fixed script and outcome, so while students will be obliged by the Game Master (instructor) to adhere to the philosophical and intellectual beliefs of the historical figures they have been assigned to play, they must devise their own means of expressing those ideas persuasively, in papers, speeches, small group decision-making sessions, or other public presentations; additionally, students must also pursue a course of action they think will help them win through achieving their proscribed role objectives. This pedagogy has proven useful in increasing classroom participation as well as the depth of classroom dialogue. For this short course, you will be assigned a role and received a role sheet and suggested resources prior to the conference. We will play the game and debrief the experience. For more information, please visit the RttP Consortium page:

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