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Oral Communication | The Teaching & Learning Centre | Seneca College

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Oral Communication

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Participate verbally in discussions and conversations, exchange thoughts and information, make clear presentations, and interact with a variety of audiences.

Benchmark for Achievement
The graduate identifies key messages, ideas and thoughts in a consistent and organized manner and selects delivery techniques, such as posture, gestures, eye contact, and vocal expressiveness, designed to engage the intended audience.

The graduate:

  • Uses delivery techniques to engage an intended audience
  • Chooses vocabulary and terminology consistent with the topic and the needs of the audience
  • Organizes material to present key messages to enhance the impact of the oral communication

At the Program Level
There are opportunities to engage in conversations, discourse and presentations, and to identify key messages designed to meet the needs of the intended audiences. Delivery techniques associated with effective oral communication are discussed and students are required to use a variety of delivery techniques to enhance the effectiveness of oral presentations.

Questions to Guide Mapping

  • Are general principles of oral communication such as audience, purpose and occasion taught and practiced?
  • Are discipline-specific oral communication styles and practices taught?
  • Are there informal or low-stakes opportunities to practice oral communication in the classroom, such as paired activities before opening up to the larger class?
  • Are oral communication skills directly assessed?


  • AAC&U Oral Communication VALUE Rubric
    The Oral Communication VALUE Rubric lists AAC&U’s five criteria of Oral Communication and describes four levels of performance for each criterion.
  • Oral Communication Rubric
    Here is another rubric for evaluating oral communication. Unlike AAC&U’s VALUE Rubric, this oral communication rubric describes two levels of performance for attaining each criterion and two levels of performance that do not meet the minimum requirement (or benchmark) for attaining the criteria of this literacy.
  • Speaking in the Disciplines from the University of Pittsburgh
    This page contains instructor resources and activities to help you incorporate oral communication into your course(s).
  • Teaching Your Students How to Have a Conversation from Edutopia
    Dr. Allen Mendler offers eight tips you can use with students to help improve their conversational skills.
  • Teamwork Skills Toolkit from Griffith University
    This toolkit contains teaching tips and resources for teaching/practicing/assessing teamwork skills in your course(s).

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