Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Summer Night Class is interesting

This summer I am teaching one of the smallest speech classes I have had in some time. There are seven people in the class. Early in the year I had some concern because of the small numbers and wondering if students would have the same experience speaking as they would in a class of 15 to 25. Turns out that my concern was unfounded. There is something about calling an experience "public speaking" that just turns on the 'o no' factor no matter how many people are in the audience.

There are some opportunities of experimentation with a smaller class that are not always available with a larger class. For example, last night we had the first 'test' of the term. The night classes are two and half hours or so but the test was designed for a much smaller piece of that time. There is a problem in conducting the second half or two thirds of a class after giving an exam. It is not easy for student to refocus on the learning chore after expending the energy, emotion and excitement of taking a test. So, last night I opted to deliver a lecture on the Aristotelian tradition of rhetoric through email. It will be a day or two before the feedback comes but it seemed to me there was going to be a better chance of students spending some time with deliberative, forensic and epideictic discourse on their own than if I tried to wow them with my web of words after that exam.

We did, however, spend some time watching some video-taped speeches that we were able to analyze for delivery and style and that seemed to work in this after-test time frame. BW -- the students performed well on the exam with scores ranging from 87 to 98. They are a smart and fairly experienced group who are enjoyable to learn with on Monday and Thursday evenings. Term V ends as July begins.

No comments:

Post a Comment