Students are not actively engaged in the group rehearsal activity that precedes their in-class speech.
As part of a public speaking assignment, students are asked to rehearse their presentation. Many do not engage in the process or they don't use this practice time effectively.
To improve this part of the lesson plan, the rehearsal was broken down into several occasions rather than just one. In addition, students rehearsed small sections of the presentation to optimize each individual component of the speech.
I was able to compare and contrast metrics for previous students both in terms of their presentation scores as well as their self-described anxiety measurement to determine if engagement in the rehearsal activity optimizes performance. The redesigned approach had significant impact in two ways: 1) students exhibited decreased public speaking anxiety as measured by the PRPSA 2) students mastered their content with improved rubric scores than previous cohorts.
I will implement this new approach in all lesson plans that include public speaking assignments.
As a Communications instructor I stress the importance of public speaking skills in many of my courses. To aid students in optimizing their speech presentations, I include class time for small group rehearsal. After a dozen semesters teaching communications I have observed that many students do not engage in the rehearsal activity or they use the dedicated time ineffectively. To optimize the process and motivate students to practice their speeches, I changed the lesson plan in two ways: 1) conduct more than one rehearsal activity for shorter periods of time and 2) break down the components of the presentation and have them rehearse each one individually before a summative rehearsal. The redesigned approach had significant impact in two ways: 1) students exhibited decreased public speaking anxiety as measured by the PRPSA 2) students mastered their content with improved rubric scores than previous cohorts.