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IDEA Objective 8

IDEA Objective 8: Developing skill in expressing myself orally or in writing

What is this objective?

  • This objective identifies with the courses that emphasize on developing writing and oral skills. Not all courses provide enough opportunities that directly relate to this objective, and hence selecting this objective as ‘essential’ or ‘important’, should be done only if you are actually teaching writing or speaking.  
  • IDEA research has found that this objective pairs well with other objectives like #6, #7, #9 and #10, emphasizing that good learning and development of new ideas could only happen with clear communication.

How can one teach this objective?

  • Use student’s own work to make the lesson more real and relevant. Share excellent work of few students with the whole class and provide opportunity for them to learn from each other.
  • Since writing and speaking are collaborative processes, form teams or groups, to facilitate practice, revise and peer critique.
  • Allow opportunities for a lot of practice. With practice comes skill. Quick one-minute-papers “what did you learn in the class today” or “question you have about the assignment” will let you bring in a lot of writing to the classroom.
  • Role playing or even reading sections of books aloud can bring in a lot of active learning chances for students to work on their speaking skills.   
  • Encourage team-based learning. Peer learning can encourage conceptual understanding and can help student learn better.

How can one assess this objective?

  • Provide a clear assignment and grading rubric. If you want the paper or speech to follow a particular theme or process, then say so.
  • Incorporate diverse feedback opportunities in your curriculum. Students learn most when they receive timely and diverse feedback from their teachers, peers, friends and last but not the least through self-reflection and revision.
  • Use writing portfolio approach to evaluation. This approach would provide you with a holistic view of the writing abilities of each student and then you can concentrate on specific shortcomings and help them out with that. These portfolios can also serve as program assessment tools at the end of the course year.

Reference and resource:


Author:                             Praveena KanchupatiPhD. Candidate & GTA Consultant

                                          Center for Enhancement of Teaching and Learning


Contact:                            Kevin Sackreiter, Ed.D., Director

                                          Center for the Enhancement of Teaching & Learning


Contributions:                   Shelly Bayer, Ed.D.