Faculty & Staff
On Line Bio
Dr. W. Mark Hearn
Semester: Spring 2019 (01/08-04/26)
Communications Course PhilosophyWhether your putting together a questionnaire, making an oral presentation, setting up a PowerPoint presentation, or writing a report, opinions will vary on how the final product should look. To some extent, these communication products are works of art. The value of art is in the eye of the beholder. It can be difficult to judge. It can be difficult to evaluate. It can be difficult to grade. This difficulty/uncertainty places a hardship on the designer and the evaluator.
In the classroom, the designer is the student and the evaluator in this case is the instructor. Students and instructors are constantly mindful of the dual dynamic of the classroom: learning and grading. Students want to acquire skills and knowledge that will prove useful in their careers. They also want to get good grades that will increase their appeal to future employers. For this second element (grades) to work properly, students need to have a clear understanding of the metric by which they are going to be evaluated.
As an instructor, I endeavor to teach material that will be useful in the business environment. I try to present this material as a series of guidelines and basic principles for students to follow when putting together communication products. For me, there are a few basic principles that can significantly improve the effectiveness of communications. The second element of my job is evaluation. I do not wish to take on the role of art critic. If I were a student, I would not enjoy the uncertainty of loosely defined evaluations. As an instructor, I do not relish the subjective inaccuracies that could develop from a feeling based assessment. I would like to think that if I repeated an evaluation of the same product on multiply occasions that I would record a similar assessment.
To enhance the validity of the evaluations in this course, I have provided detailed criteria for each assignment. In addition, I have made available the score sheets that I will be using for the assignments. To enhance your scores on the course assignments, your task is to develop communication products that meet specific criteria. I will not judge your efforts as art. I will judge them in comparison to a specific set of guidelines. These guidelines are detailed on this web site.
If you don't understand the assignment, contact me. I usually can help, especially if you reach out in advance of the assignment's due date. Asking for help after you received your grade is not going to help your grade. Ask in advance.
I hope that you find these guidelines useful. I also hope you understand that your assessment will be based upon these formats. Learn them. Follow them. Ask me if you need help.