Feature Articles

Using Grimoires to Harness the Best of AI
It’s not magic, but creating grimoires can make AI a useful tutor instead of a way to cheat. Read more.

Is the Flipped Classroom Flopping?
A meta-analysis of a popular teaching method reveals scientific evidence of its flaws. Read more.

Writing Assignments and Generative AI—An Awkward Alliance?
Follow our pointers for creating successful writing assignments in the age of GPT-4, Bard, and other chatbots. Read more.

Is “Ungrading” for You?
A pedagogical strategy replaces grades with copious feedback. Learn about the pros and cons of ungrading. Read more.

Why Bother if They Don’t Read the Feedback?
Using the feedback literacy concept encourages students to heed instructors’ comments on their work. Read more.

Social Media and the Job Search: A Dynamic Duo
Show your students how to represent themselves wisely on social platforms, because hirers are definitely looking. Read more.

The Latest AI Challenge to Teaching: ChatGPT
Is it okay for students to use AI to help them write? Read more.

Microlearning Can Lead to Macro Results
Serving up information in bite-sized chunks appeals to nontraditional as well as typical students. Learn more about this strategy. Read more.

Taking the Dread Out of Oral Presentations
These teaching tips are sure to minimize the apprehension many students feel toward giving oral presentations. Read more.

The Socratic Method Delivers, Even in the BizCom Classroom
Traditional pedagogy fosters critical thinking and engaged students. We provide tips and guidelines. Read more.

Engaging Introverted Students
Helpful tips to encourage introverted students to join the classroom culture. Read more.

Start Every Class with a Clear Agenda
Discussing a clear agenda at the start of each class session offers benefits for students and instructors. Read more.

Ending the Year on a High Note: Teaching the Elevator Pitch
This detailed lesson plan provides everything instructors need to teach this valuable job search must have. Read more.

Tips for Finding Summer Internships During the Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has unearthed new ways to gain valuable experience that helps beef up résumés. Read more.

The Pros and Cons of Extra Credit
Explore the reasons behind the love/hate relationship college instructors have with extra credit. Read more.

Acknowledging the New Normal: Helping Students Weather Pandemic-Induced Trauma
Students need help navigating the complications of academia during the pandemic. Read what instructors can do. Read more.

Career Counseling in the BizCom Classroom
Teaching strategies that add career guidance to the business communication classroom. Read more.

Creating an Inclusive Classroom for 21st Century Students
Johns Hopkins University offers advice for avoiding unconscious bias in today’s classroom. Read Feature Article. Read more.

How to Form Groups in the Business Communication Classroom
Choose from four tried-and-true ways to separate students into effective teams and understand the advantages and disadvantages to each. Read more.

Post-COVID Students View Higher Ed Differently
Student attitudes toward college have changed during the pandemic and lockdown. Learn how. Read more.

Why We Teach
As we end a challenging school year, now is a good time to reflect on what we love about our profession. For inspiration. read what other instructors are saying. Read more.

Using Our Humanity to Connect With Online Classes
Consider our tips to encourage the instructor-student bond and retain students during the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more.

Networking for Newbies During the Pandemic
Networking has become the primary way job seekers land jobs, and the pandemic has made it more crucial than ever. Help guide students with our handy advice sheet. Read more.

Building Classroom Atmosphere Without the Classroom
Overcome the difficulties of building a positive learning atmosphere while teaching remotely with these strategies. Read more.

Dear Students–Please Play Nice on Zoom
A letter to students from the instructor’s perspective about poor Zoom etiquette and actions students can take to be more present in a remote teaching situation. Read more.

Promoting Active Learning in Remote Classrooms
Most of us have long incorporated active learning techniques as a way to engage students with course content. However, achieving active learning in remote situations requires adjustments. Read more.

Taking a Scalpel to Wordy Prose
Unteach students’ bad habits by helping them learn to edit for conciseness. This post includes step-by-step guide for instructors and a downloadable assignment for students. Read more.

Improving Breakout Groups while Teaching Remotely
In the move to remote learning, conducting group work has hit some snags. These tips can improve breakout groups while teaching online. Read more.

Using BusCom Course Content to Engage Students
Students often complain that some of their college courses are either too arcane or theoretical to be relevant or useful. That’s not true for business communication instructors. Read more.

Make the Last Day of Class a Great One
Suggestions for ways to end your semester and help students remember what they’ve learned. Read Feature article. Read more.

Preparing Students for the Job Search
Business communication instructors are in a perfect position to prepare students for the job search when they graduate. Use these teaching tips today! Read more.

Avoiding Microaggressions in the Classroom
College classrooms should be safe for all students. But sometimes microaggressions may be causing just the opposite. Read more.

Should College Instructors Grade Participation?
Rewarding participation encourages engagement—or dilutes the purity of grades. Read about the pros and cons. Read more.

Fostering Ethical Development in the BusCom Classroom
Teaching tips for integrating ethical decision-making into business communication courses, with links to valuable resources. Read more.

5 Steps to Better Teaching
With just a little tweaking, you can integrate these time-tested teaching tips into your classroom to help improve students’ experience… and yours! Read more.

Students Not Reading Your Syllabus? Try One That’s Accessible
Learn about ways to make your traditional words-only syllabus more inclusive. Read more.

Avoid Burnout–Here’s How
Tips to help you rediscover why you love teaching so you can return in the fall feeling refreshed instead of burned out. Read more.

Our Students are Anxious: Should We Help?
Do you experience the ping-pong between empathy and frustration over an increasingly anxious student body? We’ve compiled some tips for dealing with students’ mental health. Read more.

Help Students Showcase Skills with an E-Portfolio
Tips for teaching the e-portfolio, an online presentation of work that can give job seekers an edge… plus a ready-to-use assignment. Read more.

Spreading Information Literacy: Our Most Basic Job
In the age of disinformation and fake news, business communication instructors should take another look at how to teach information literacy. Read more.

Virtual Office Hours–A Win-Win
Conducting office hours—at least some of them—virtually has many benefits for students and instructors alike. Read more.

Seven Tips for Getting Students to Read  

Tips to avoid those blank stares that can only mean your students have no idea what you’re talking about because they haven’t done their reading. Read more.

Encouraging Students to Use Office Hours
Are you lonely during office hours? We offer tips to motivate students to take advantage of the valuable one-on-one help only you can offer. Read more.

Helping Students Get It: Cheating Hurts Them
Cheating defeats everything we want our students to know about the world and business communication. We provide a handout you can use to discourage bad behavior. Read more.

Dear Students: Let’s Have a Great Semester!
Send your new students an e-mail detailing what you will do to help them learn, and what they can do to help themselves. Here’s a template you can adjust or use as is. Read more.

Enjoy Your Summer—Science Says It’s Okay
Summer’s coming, and research explains why we should rest, relax, and recover instead of catch up on unfinished business. Read more.

Rote Learning Can Turn Reticent Students into Active Learners
Calling on the student with the eagerly waving hand may reflect an instructor’s unconscious bias. Here’s what you can do to fix it. Read more.

Stress Management 101: Preparing Students for the Job Search
It is a truth universally acknowledged that no matter how well we prepare students, they will likely experience stress when they begin their job search. Help reduce their jitters. Read more.

The Nutty Professor: Pedagogy of Classroom Humor
You don’t have to be Amy Schumer or Joan Rivers to crack wise in the classroom. Try these tips for using humor to help students learn. Read more.

Talk Among Yourselves: Leading Discussions to Foster Active Learning
Leading discussions in a college classroom takes more than assigning a topic. We provide pointers that will net dynamic conversations. Read more.

Perfecting Peer Editing
Use these classroom-tested steps to generate peer editing sessions that improve students’ assignments. Read more.

Secrets to Successful Group Work
Try these classroom-tested tips to guide your students through meaningful collaborative writing exercises. Read more.

Hooking Students in First Five Minutes of Class
Have you ever tried to start class only to be greeted by sounds of unzipping backpacks and chattering classmates? Try these strategies to grab students’ attention immediately—and keep it. Read more.

Start the Semester Strong
Engage students from day one and become a “favorite professor.” Read about students’ perceptions about their best instructors and start the term with a fresh perspective. Read more.

Making the Last Day of Class Count
By the end of the academic year, both students and instructors are ready to call it quits. How to end a course gracefully. Read more.

A Shot in the Arm—Using the Mylan Scandal to Bring Ethics into the Business Communication Classroom
This self-contained exercise, which describes the scandal that erupted after drug-manufacturer Mylan upped the price of its life-saving EpiPens, provides a perfect way to discuss unethical behavior with students. Read more.

Tips for Successful Video Interviews
Perhaps the hottest trend in interviewing today is video interviews. The following tips can help a candidate prepare. Read more.

Instructors, Fill the Skills Gap—Toughen Up
Do you tolerate students coming to class late? Can your students turn in late assignments? If you answer yes to either of the above, you may be adding to the skills gap. Read more.

Topsy-Turvy: Starting Bus Comm Class with Job Search Unit
Beginning your business communication course with employment communication encourages student buy-in. Read more.

College Is the Real World
Habits learned in college have direct application to the world of work. Read more.

Avoiding the Black Hole of Grade Appeals
Contested grades can also be a black hole for instructors’ time. However, several strategies can help minimize student confusion about or complaints over grades. Read more.

Make Grading Easier!
Check out this overview of six ways to approach student assignments that will help you get through grading efficiently while providing your students with meaningful feedback. Read more.

Setting the Tone Early—First Day Activities
We all know the feeling of standing in front of dozens of new faces for the first time with the daunting task of introducing your course’s goals and yourself. Get the semester off to a great start with one of these first day activities. Read more.

Justifying a Course That Covers the Skills Employers Seek
Communication skills are consistently among the top skills that employers seek–skills taught in a typical business communication course. What other single college course better equips graduates to obtain the jobs they seek? Read more.

Student Evals Hopelessly Stacked Against Female Profs
New research shows that students bring so many biases to the process that evaluations simply cannot be seen as an objective measure of teaching effectiveness. Read more.

Internships—A Must for All Students
A recent study concluded that a summer internship is actually more important than a business degree. Read more.

Okay with Being Labeled “Tough”
Research supports the notion that tough teachers yield better results. Here’s why. Read more.

In Defense of the Lecture: Making the Most of Instructors’ Expertise
Have you noticed it has become de rigueur to bash the lecture? Maybe it’s not quite time to throw the baby out with the bathwater quite yet. Read more.

It’s Your Education, Not Mine!
Help your students take responsibility for their own learning by reading this article about self-regulated learning and how to incorporate it into your classroom. Read more.

Tips to Make Learning Stick
Recently I’ve been using two pedagogical theories to help my students retain what I teach: metacognition—awareness of one’s cognitive processes—and transfer—taking skills learned in one setting and applying them in another. Read more.

Teaching Tips: Helping Students Accept Criticism
For many millennials who have been rewarded merely for showing up and trying hard, hearing criticism can be difficult. Use these tips to help your students improve their ability to take critiques as part of their learning. Read more.

Promoting Active Learning in Your Classroom
You can engage your students using by instructional strategies that require them to do more than simply listen. Read more.

Making Your Syllabus More Than a Contract
Read about how to make your syllabus more effective with some easy strategies that will engage your students and encourage them to actively use the course road map. Read more.

Tips for Teaching Summer Session
For many college instructors, summer means teaching intense courses. Below are some tips  to keep your classes rigorous, your students engaged, and yourself sane. Read more.

Internships Under the Microscope
Internships, especially unpaid ones, have come under the gun as many lawsuits brought by unpaid interns weave through the court system. How can instructors help students manage the internship quagmire? Read more.

Workers Highly Value E-Mail, Pew Reports
Despite annoying spam, splashy corporate hacks, and constant online distractions from social media, e-mail continues to play a major role in the day-to-day life of American workers. Read more.

New Research: Employers Want Smart and Socially-Savvy Workers
It’s not enough for new hires to be smart or well educated. A new study indicates that employers also want their fledgling employees to have strong social skills. Read more.

It’s Critical–Employers Want Critical Thinkers
The phrase “critical thinking” permeates job postings. In fact, the number of times “critical thinking” has appeared in job ads has doubled since 2009. But employers are complaining that colleges are not producing graduates who possess the skill. Read more.

Failing Tests Is Good for Learning
Research at UCLA has shown that students perform better on finals when they are given comprehensive pretests on material about which they know virtually nothing on the first day of class … and predictably fail. Read more.

Can Technology Fix the Lecture?
A professor stands in the front of the class and delivers a lecture. Students may jot down notes—they may not. A discussion may occur—it may not. Questions may be asked—they may not. Has the lecture gone the way of the dodo? Read more.

Teaching with Tablets Offers Plenty of Plusses
Tablets are expected to outsell PCs this year, and their popularity is carrying over to the classroom. Why use a tablet instead of a PC or laptop anchored to a lectern? From the instructor’s perspective, the reasons are many. Read more.

Free BusCom Syllabus and Course Design!
Time to plan your fall classes! Take advantage of these free syllabi from instructors around the country! Read more. 

Presenting Tips from TED, Nancy Duarte, and Forbes
Many business communication courses include—and sometimes conclude—with students giving presentations. Share these pointers from some of the top experts in the field with your students. Read more.

Recent College Grads Job Struggles Put in Historical Context
The news is replete with reports about the dismal plight of recent college graduates looking for work. But a recent report by the Federal Bank of New York … Read more

Sprucing Up for Skype Interviews
If your students are interviewing for a job, the chances are pretty high that many of them will be doing so via Skype. Read more.

Millennials and Business—A New Love Affair?
For years we’ve heard business complain about the new generation of workers. They’re self-absorbed. They object to long hours. They don’t want to pay their dues. But as more and more of the generation born between 1980 and 2000 enter the workforce, business and researchers are starting to sing a different tune. Read more.

Focus On: Corporate Culture – Workers Beware—Big Brother IS Watching You
George Orwell may not have known social media or credit checks would be the means, but he sure got the idea right. Big Brother—or at least The Boss—is watching. Read more.

ABC 2013 Theme: The “Death” of Traditional Genres?
Could the bell be tolling the death knell of tried-and-true business communication genres? If we are to believe the presenters of two separate sessions at the recent annual Association for Business Communication conference in New Orleans, who swore they were not in collusion, the answer is yes. Read more.

Focus On: Teaching Business Ethics
In the five years since the financial crisis brought the world to its knees, colleges have been evaluating their business curricula to better address teaching ethics. Read more.

Focus On: Classroom Practices – It’s No Surprise–Student Engagement Spawns Learning
Much recent research has focused on the importance of actively engaging students instead delivering information via the more passive “chalk and talk” lecture. Read more.

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