• Communication Article

    By Barbara c.g. Green, Assistant Chair

    As we all move through the various journeys in life we are meant to take, there is but one constant: change.  Nothing ever stays the same, and while some may be fearful or hesitant of change, change can bring many new opportunities.  One such example of change bringing opportunity happened in the School of General Education.  Specifically, the Composition Department has launched new versions of its main courses, CM 107 and CM 220, to engage students more dynamically in their pursuit of personal, academic, and career success using written communication.

    Based upon extensive research into best practices of online writing instruction and student need, faculty, leadership, and curriculum have been working tirelessly through each revision so that the course content evolves with the changing needs of our students.  Our driving force has also been to provide composition courses that guide and nurture our students toward becoming stronger, more effective communicators not only in CM 107 and or CM 220 but in the workforce and in life.  After all, writing is all around us.  Just because a composition class ends, the need for clear, thoughtful writing does not. 

    With that in mind, students will focus on writing business communications as well as academic essays that will help develop and fortify good writing habits to aid them in being successful in their education and in their careers as well as helping to shape well-rounded global citizens who are aware of diverse audiences.

    In addition to the revision of CM 107 and CM 220, the Composition Department has also launched a Twitter account (@KUComposition).  The goal of this venture is to connect with students regarding first year writing courses, WAC (Writing Across the Curriculum), composition studies, and all the wonderful things that composition faculty are doing to help their students succeed.  We hope that you will join us by following the Composition Department on Twitter and participating in sharing thoughts, questions, writing resources, and anything else composition related so that we can all take part in a dynamic dialogue about writing and its role inside and outside of the classroom.

    With all this change happening in the Composition Department, we also wanted to remind you about some of the other courses that we continue to offer outside of CM 107 and CM 220, in order to provide education and fine-tuning in other areas of composition.  One example is CM 230: Creative Writing—Fiction and Nonfiction Narrative.  This course focuses on teaching the elements of storytelling that can be applied both personally and professionally.  Other examples are CM 240: Technical Communication, CM 241: Foundations of Technical Communications, and CM 250: Fundamentals of Grammar and Editing which provide a more focused and detailed look at both workplace communication and refining the basics of communication.

    Between the new versions of first year courses, opportunities to share and learn via social media, and the existing upper-division courses, the Composition Department offers something for everyone where learning and developing writing and communication skills are concerned.  As we move forward, we will continue to utilize change as a positive opportunity to serve our students’ written communication needs.

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