Eli Spikell is a non-traditional student at Salt Lake Community College. His hobbies include: "snowboarding, hiking, running, canyoneering, listening to a variety of styles of music, dancing, eating foreign foods, travelling, laughing, keeping in touch with my great friends all over the world, helping others, and learning new things about myself and the world around me." The strength of Eli's ePortfolio earned him a Spring, 2013, tuition waiver.
In his COMM 1020 Public Speaking course, Eli had to give nine speeches, post one of those into his ePortfolio, and reflect on his own performance and experience in the course. He posted his persuasive speech on "Why You Should Donate to the Homeless Youth Resource Center".
The first thing one notices in Eli's reflection is how the course has helped him understand public speaking from the point of view of the audience:
"I have learned the importance of organizing ideas in a way that a particular audience will receive them in the way a speaker intends. I have felt myself become turned off by an unorganized speaker and found my mind wandering. It is just like Professor Larkin taught us at the beginning of the semester, you have to get the audience's attention and keep it. You only have a short period of time to to get your message to them, and people will usually only remember a couple of things from a speech. The audience does not want to work for the message."
This audience sensibility is a valuable lesson that will serve him well in his future educational and professional endeavors. Notice, also, how he makes connections between what he learned in ENGL 2010 and his COMM 1020 course:
"Being able to understand and intentionally use logos, pathos, and ethos is one of the greatest strengths to my public speaking abilities, and one of the most useful things I have learned in this class. I learned the same history of rhetoric dating back to ancient Greece, and about Aristotle and the Canons of Rhetoric in the class Intermediate Writing. It was really interesting to see that logos, pathos, ethos, audience assessment, and organization of ideas are the ways to communicate your intended message to your intended audience in any rhetorical situation, rhetorical opportunity, and in any media."
This is exactly what we want students to do--namely, realize that essential learning outcomes are taught across the General Education curriculum, and that all faculty are helping students achieve these outcomes in their own discipline-specific ways.
There is so much to pull out of Eli's excellent reflection, but we can close with how he plans to apply what he learned in COMM 1020 to his own life:
"I look forward to using my new speech writing and presenting skills. I will be leading a group of young adults in a Wilderness Therapy program over Christmas break. When I have a lot of information to present to the group I will organize my thoughts in way that will make the information easy to follow. It will be interesting to evaluate them as an audience and monitor my use of ethos, pathos, and logos."
It isn't difficult to see the value of this experience in Eli's life.