(3 credits)

Course Description:

The way you communicate directly influences your professional reputation. In this course, you will develop skills to establish yourself as a competent professional with strong communication skills. This course will help you develop competencies related to written, oral, and visual forms of communication appropriate to specific media and audiences. You will consider how the iterative nature of preparing communications and integrating feedback into your work products supports your development as a professional.

Number of Activities: 8 Learning Outcomes:1.Examine the iterative process of scholarly writing. 2.Evaluate best practices in public speaking for academic professionals.

3. Compose academic and professional communications using effective communication strategies.

4. Create multimedia presentations about contemporary education issues and problems.

5. Integrate academic and professional feedback into work products.

6. Recommend communication strategies appropriate to the medium and audience. Course Concepts:

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  1. Scholarly Writing

2. Professional Communication

3. Professional Writing

4. Public Speaking

5. Multimedia Presentations

6. Integrating Feedback

7. Communication Strategies

Primary Resource/textbook:

No primary textbook for this course

course ResourcesAcademic Success Center (ASC)NCU Library Li

course Overview

Section 1: Scholarly and Professional Writing

Week 1: Scholarly WritingWeek 1 Assignment: Explore Scholarly Writing Through Academic Journal Articles (10 Points)Week 2: Professional WritingWeek 2 Assignment 1: Compose a Professional Cover Letter and Résumé/CV(5 Points)

Week 2 Assignment 2: Introduce Yourself in a Commons CoP (5 Points)

Week 3: Written Communication StrategiesWeek 3 Assignment: Evaluate Written Communication Used in a Presentationor Tutorial (10 Points)Section 2: Public Speaking and Multimedia PresentationsWeek 4: Public Speaking

Week 4 Assignment 1: Analyze the Public Speaking Skills of Presenters (10 Points)

Week 5: Multimedia PresentationsWeek 5 Assignment: Select a Multimedia Presentation Tool (10 Points)

Week 6: Presentation Communication Strategies Week 6 Assignment: Create a Presentation Best Practices Guide (10 Points)Section 3: Final Project and Integrating Feedback

Week 7: The Final ProjectWeek 7 Assignment: Signature Assignment – Create a Professional Tutorial (30 Points)

week 8 Assignment: Incorporate Constructive Feedback into Your Work (10 Points)

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Week 1 – Assignment 1: Explore Scholarly Writing Through Academic Journal Articles

At the culmination of your degree program, it is very likely that you will use scholarly writing to produce an academic journal article sharing your research with the broader education community. To prepare for that process, your task for this assignment is to use the NCU Library to locate three academic journal articles related to your future research interests or professional interests. 

For this assignment, you will refer to both 1) the three assigned articles on scholarly writing from this week’s resources and  2) at least three other articles on your chosen topic (which you will locate via the NCU library).  Please note that the NCU library offers assistance for your research needs via email and live help.  See the library home page for details, and don’t hesitate to reach out for help! 

Plan to spend some time on reading this week, as reading scholarly writings at first is neither quick nor easy. You will probably want to read each article more than once to get the hang of this kind of writing. After reading all three articles that you selected from the library, reflect on the process of scholarly writing by answering the following questions:

  • What did you notice about the writing style overall in the articles you selected?
  • How did the writing in the academic journal articles compare to writing you might find from other sources, such as books or magazines?
  • What did you notice about the citations in the articles you selected?
  • What did you notice about word choice, tone, objectivity, and level of detail in the articles you selected?
  • Planning for your own future academic publications, what are a few things you will be focusing on as far as your personal scholarly writing skill development as you work through your courses?
  • Knowing that scholarly writing is an iterative process that requires many drafts, much feedback, and extensive editing and rewriting, how can you best prepare for this challenging process mentally, emotionally, and academically?

Length: 3-4 pages, plus reference list and title page

References: Include a full-reference list and in-text citations for at least six scholarly references.  Three of the references should be the three assigned articles on academic writing and the other three (or more) articles should be the ones on your chosen topic. Be sure to use this first assignment as a way to refresh your use of accurate APA format.

Your assignment should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts that are presented in the course and provide new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect graduate-level writing and APA standards. Be sure to adhere to Northcentral University’s Academic Integrity Policy.

Upload your document and click the Submit to Dropbox button.

Week 2 – Assignment 1: Compose a Professional Cover Letter and Résumé/CV

For this week’s assignment, you will get a chance to practice with a couple of pieces of professional writing that all graduate students and professionals should have handy—an updated cover letter and résumé/CV.

Locate your dream job posted on a job board or career website. Once you have located the job you are going to practice with, create a cover letter and résumé/CV that would be appropriate for use in your application materials for this job. You will submit both your completed cover letter and resume to your professor for feedback.

Your documents should be attractive, error-free, well-formatted, and present examples of excellent professional writing.

Length: Cover letter – 1-2 pages; résumé/CV – 1-2 pages

References: No references are required for this assignment.

Your assignment should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts presented in the course and provide new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Be sure to adhere to Northcentral University’s Academic Integrity Policy.

Upload your document and click the Submit to Dropbox button.

Week 2 – Assignment 2: Introduce Yourself in a Commons CoP

At NCU, graduate students are encouraged to use The Commons and to introduce yourself in a Community of Practice (CoP) that matches your interests. There are several links in this week’s resources to support your work.

For Assignment 2 this week, please navigate to the NCU Commons and introduce yourself in a Community of Practice (CoP) of your choice. If you have already introduced yourself in a CoP, identify another CoP and introduce yourself there, as well, for this assignment. Note that you may need to select “Join Group” in order to post in a community.

Follow these steps to complete and submit your assignment:

  1. Compose your introduction in a document. Share your name, your degree program and specialization (if applicable), and other personal or professional information you are comfortable sharing.
  2. Copy the text of your introduction from the document and paste the text as a post in a Community of Practice of your choice in the NCU Commons.
  3. Tag your professor in your post using the “@” sign followed by your professor’s name. The job aid, Tagging in the Commons, is available in this week’s resources if you need help.
  4. After confirming that your introduction posted, copy the hyperlink from the conversation into the same document in which you originally composed your introduction. This document, with both your introduction and the hyperlink to your specific post, is what you will submit to this week’s Dropbox.

You can find additional help at the bottom of any page in the Commons; a link to this general help page is included in this week’s resources in addition to a job aid specific to tagging someone in a post.

Length: Minimum of 100 words

References: No references are required for this assignment.

Upload your document with link and click the Submit to Dropbox button.

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Week 3 – Assignment: Evaluate Written Communication Strategies Used in a Presentation or Tutorial

For this assignment, you will be critiquing the written aspect of a presentation or tutorial you have recently given, attended, or viewed. You are welcome to locate a tutorial on a topic that interests you on YouTube if none of these situations applies to you recently. Pick a presentation or tutorial that includes both a verbal component and a written component in the form of bullet points, notes for the audience, prompts for the speaker, or something similar in style so that you have a written component to critique. Be sure to provide your professor with the link to the presentation/tutorial at the beginning of your assignment.

After reviewing the presentation/tutorial, answer the following questions:

  • Did this presentation/tutorial rely more heavily upon scholarly written communication or professional written communication, and what makes you say so?
  • How was the written component incorporated into the presentation/tutorial, and was this effective for engaging the audience?
  • Did you notice any editing, grammar, or formatting errors in the written communication?
  • In your own tutorial for the Signature Assignment, what are some ideas you gained from critiquing this presentation/tutorial that you would like to use in your tutorial? What are some things that you will avoid in your tutorial based on your critique?

In addition to answering the questions, develop a short list of best practices for incorporating written communication into presentations/tutorials and include that list at the end of your assignment. Be sure to do a bit of outside research on best practices so that you can cite and support the information you share here.

Length: 2-3 pages

References: 2-3 references in APA format (use in-text citations as well as a reference list at the end of your document).

Your assignment should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts presented in the course and provide new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards. Be sure to adhere to Northcentral University’s Academic Integrity Policy.

Upload your document and click the Submit to Dropbox button.

Week 4 – Assignment: Analyze the Public Speaking Skills of Presenters

This week, locate two education-related presentations that interest you. In the presentations you select, you must be able to both hear and see the speaker. You may locate your presentations in the NCU Library or other sources of your choice.

After watching the two presentations, respond to the following questions for each speaker:

  • What was effective about this speaker’s style? What did this speaker do well that you would also like to do in your own public speaking?
  • In what area was the speaker the weakest? What is something you made note of to avoid in your own public speaking while watching these presentations?
  • Critique the speaker’s body language, use of hand gestures or movement, audience eye contact, nervous twitches, posture, filler words, etc. What was effective? What was not effective?
  • Which of these two presenters was the better public speaker from your point of view? What makes you say so, based on what you know from this week about best practices in public speaking?

Length: 3-4 pages

References: Practice citing multimedia sources by providing APA citations for both presentations that you viewed, both in-text and in a reference list in APA format at the end of your paper.

Your assignment should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts presented in the course and provide new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards. Be sure to adhere to Northcentral University’s Academic Integrity Policy.

Upload your document and click the Submit to Dropbox button

Week 5 – Assignment: Select a Multimedia Presentation Tool

For this assignment, you will select three current options for creating multimedia presentations that you have available to you. For example, you might wish to compare a narrated PowerPoint, a Screencast-O-Matic recording, and a Prezi presentation. Feel free to use these three options or to select the options that best fit your current personal and professional presentation needs.

In preparation for your Signature Assignment for this class where you will use one of these multimedia presentation tools, evaluate the pros and cons of each presentation tool. After spending time researching and playing with each tool, respond to the following questions:

  • What is the best way for you to become familiar with a new presentation tool that you have not previously used? (For example, do you like to watch YouTube videos, talk to people who have previously used the tool, conduct web searches for instructional documents, etc.?) Describe your process.
  • Which three presentation tools did you choose to compare for this assignment and why?
  • Which tool seems most user-friendly and why?
  • Which tools would allow you to create the most engaging multimedia presentations and why?
  • Which of these tools will you be using for your Signature Assignment and why?
  • What additional training do you need to complete to be ready to use this tool and incorporate multimedia in the form of audio and visuals in Week 7 to record your tutorial for your Signature Assignment?

Length: 3-4 pages

References: At least 3 references in APA format, supporting the information you share about the capabilities of your selected presentation tools

Your assignment should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts presented in the course and provide new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards. Be sure to adhere to Northcentral University’s Academic Integrity Policy.

Upload your document and click the Submit to Dropbox button.

Week 6 – Assignment: Create a Presentation Best Practices Guide

For this assignment, you will create a guide you can share with your peers in this class. Your guide will be called “Five Ways to Create a Presentation to Remember.” Feel free to be creative as you build your guide. There are no right or wrong ideas to include in your guide, and this should be a reflection of what you have learned so far in Section 2 of the course.

Your guide should list five best practices with approximately a half-page description of each one. Be sure to justify each best practice, describing it using scholarly writing by including data, evidence, and supporting sources. In addition, be sure to display your professional writing skills by formatting your guide in a visually appealing way that your audience will enjoy and find easy to follow (APA format is not required for your guide, other than for the format of your sources).  Please be sure to cite your sources within the guide that you create.  Citations can be done unobtrusively (such as in a smaller font) with the design of your guide in mind.

Length: 2-3 pages, or one trifold brochure, or one visually appealing handout (be creative!)

References: At least 5 scholarly sources are required, with a minimum of 1 source supporting each best practice. Be sure to cite your sources within the guide itself in addition to a reference list.

Your guide should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts presented in the course and provide new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards. Be sure to adhere to Northcentral University’s Academic Integrity Policy.

Upload your document and click the Submit to Dropbox button.

Week 7 – Signature Assignment: Create a Professional Tutorial

For this assignment, you will bring together everything you have learned so far in this course about scholarly writing, professional writing, public speaking, multimedia presentations, and best practice communication strategies. You will be creating a 10-minute professional tutorial in the form of a recorded and narrated presentation. In Week 8 of the course, you will also have the opportunity to give and receive peer feedback on this Signature Assignment.

You may select any topic that advances your own professional career or personal pursuits for your tutorial. You are encouraged to create a presentation that you can share with others outside of the course after it has ended. As a few examples to get you started, this tutorial could cover a challenging task you and your coworkers are asked to perform at work that could use more clarification, a process that you wish to have your direct reports at work follow to complete a task, or you can create a tutorial for people in your personal life about a responsibility or task they need additional direction to complete. Creativity is encouraged with this tutorial, so feel free to pick a topic relevant to you, and please select tools to create it that best fit your intended outcome.

Your tutorial will be measured on your ability to incorporate best practices covered in the course. Specifically, your focus should be on:

  • Incorporating best practices in public speaking for professionals.
  • Using effective communication strategies outlined in this course.
  • Using effective multimedia strategies outlined in this course by including at minimum an audio component to accompany your presentation.
  • Using communication strategies appropriate to the medium and audience.

The first step is to create the slide show that you will use during the narrated presentation of your tutorial.  You may create the slides for your tutorial using PowerPoint, Google Slides, Prezi, or another tool of your choice that will allow your audience to read, view, and hear your tutorial as you present it.

The second step is to record yourself narrating your presentation using the Kaltura tool in NCUOne. Information can be found in the resources for this week.  If you wish to use an alternative software, such as Prezi, be sure to communicate with your professor well before this week to discuss the best approach. to create and record your tutorial.  Please remember that an effective presentation should have slides that highlight only the most important points that are being presented and that are visually appealing and engaging for the audience.

Remember that will need a peer reviewer for your Signature Assignment in order to complete next week’s assignment. You may choose a colleague, friend, or family member. If you want to ask another NCU student to serve as a peer reviewer, check out the dedicated thread within the SOE Community Forum in the NCU Commons; you can find the link in the Course Resources tab. Consider sharing your Signature Assignment as soon as you submit your assignment to the Dropbox so that your peer reviewer has plenty of time to review your assignment and offer feedback, and that you will have time to receive that feedback, reflect on it, and prepare your Week 8 assignment. If an NCU student does serve as your peer reviewer, remember to return the favor for that student or another student in the future.

Length: 10-minute recorded and narrated presentation with at least 10 slides

References: Include at least three appropriate references that support the information shared in your tutorial in a final slide or visual, displaying your references in APA format. If you have consulted an expert to create your tutorial, personal communication citations are appropriate for this assignment.

Your tutorial should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts presented in the course and provide new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards. Be sure to adhere to Northcentral University’s Academic Integrity Policy.

Upload your tutorial by attaching the presentation or sharing the web link with your instructor in the Dropbox and click the Submit to Dropbox button.

Week 8 – Assignment: Incorporate Constructive Feedback into Your Work

This week, you will practice incorporating constructive feedback into your work. You have identified a colleague, friend, family member, or fellow NCU student. If you are still looking for a peer reviewer, you may find one in the dedicated conversation in the SoE Community Forum within The Commons; the link is available in the Course Resources. If an NCU student does serve as your reviewer, remember to return the favor for that student or another student in the future.

Share your Signature Assignment as soon as possible. Your peer reviewer needs plenty of time to review your assignment and offer feedback early enough that you will have time to receive that feedback, reflect on it, and prepare this final assignment. Ask your reviewer to offer written feedback that includes:

  • Two things that were done very well and why those things followed communication best practices
  • HOW those two things followed communication best practices
  • Two specific areas where you could have improved your work using  communication best practices

You may want to ask your reviewer to submit the review by Wednesday. By Friday, have a conversation with your reviewer to discuss how the feedback made you feel and whether the feedback was useful for making improvements. While a telephone conversation would be best, a chat using instant messenger or an email conversation will do. If you offered feedback on your peer’s work, be sure to ask your partner how you could improve your feedback for next time.

By the usual submission deadline on Sunday (unless you have an approved accommodation), you will submit a summary of your feedback conversation to your professor as the second part of this assignment. Reflect on what you learned about receiving – and maybe offering – feedback. Be sure to note how you might revise your work based on the feedback.

Remember, if an NCU student served as your peer reviewer, return the favor for that student or another student in the future. When you have the opportunity to offer feedback on this assignment or other work in the future, think about your tone, word choice, writing style, editing; offer encouragement while promoting improvement. Be sure to show your professional writing skills by editing your feedback and presenting it in a visually appealing and easy-to-follow format.

Length: Submit the 1-page feedback document you sent your partner, along with a 1-page summary of your feedback conversation with your partner.

References: No references are required for this assignment.

Your assignment should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts presented in the course and provide new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Be sure to adhere to Northcentral University’s Academic Integrity Policy.

Upload your document and click the Submit to Dropbox button.