Training Basic Course Instructors

The Basic Course usually has the highest enrollment and largest number of sections in a Communication Department, so there are often many instructors with varying levels of experience teaching the course. In many M.A. and Ph.D. granting departments, the course is taught primarily by graduate students who are trained and supervised by a Basic Course Director. In departments that focus primarily on undergraduate teaching, the course is often taught by full-time faculty. Across all types of institutions, departments often rely on part-time or adjunct instructors to teach the course, sometimes with little or no preparation time before the semester begins.

The training and ongoing instructional development needs of instructors vary depending on the experience of the instructors who are teaching the course, so training programs should be tailored to best meet the needs of those instructors. Because the training for this course often includes graduate students and new instructors who are the future faculty of the discipline, it is imperative that departments invest time and resources into the training and development of their instructors to ensure the sustainability of their Basic Course program.

The links below share training schedules and an overview of the topics and activities for training programs from several M.A. and Ph.D. granting universities. These schedules serve as examples of what Basic Course Directors might want to consider including in training and development programs.

What do Basic Course training programs include? 

Because M.A. and Ph.D. students sometimes have different amounts of teaching experience when they begin their graduate programs, their training needs vary.