Academic Senate

General Education Advisory Committee (GEAC)

Bill Eadie (San Diego), Chair of GEAC
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The Chancellor’s General Education Advisory Committee (GEAC) wrapped up its year with a second discussion of transferring fully online community college courses that would satisfy the California State University (CSU) General Education (GE) oral communication requirement. As of the moment, such courses are not transferrable.  But, currently there isn't a requirement that courses taken online need to be identified as such, so some community colleges may be transferring oral communication courses taken online without knowing that the course was offered in that mode of instruction. Also, at least one CSU campus offers a fully online course that counts for oral communication, and that course is available to those who desire to take the course in that format.

Online oral communication courses are controversial within the communication discipline. Some faculty argue that nothing can replace the experience of speaking in front of a live audience and learning to “read” the audience reaction and potentially adjust to that reaction. Others argue that advances in technology allow the “live” audience experience to be simulated in a variety of ways.

 

GEAC authorized a pilot program to test the efficacy of fully online oral communication courses. Several community colleges are participating in the pilot, and students taking these courses receive oral communication credit for CSU GE while the pilot is in place. Participants have been reporting on progress via audio or video conferences. At the conference held in February 2016, the committee overseeing the project (Kevin Baaske, CSU, Los Angeles, Bill Eadie, San Diego State, and Anthony Ongyod, Mira Costa College) thought that enough progress had been made that GEAC should consider removing the ban on the transfer of online oral communication from the community colleges.

 

At its May meeting, the GEAC committee discussed these issues and concluded that the oversight committee should proceed to draft standards which proposals to offer oral communication online, should meet in order to be authorized for transfer. The committee plans to work on these standards and present them at a fall meeting of GEAC.