An SDSU Graduate Teaching Assistant helps students improve their public speaking in a virtual environment.
“Students stay engaged and are eager to learn given the circumstances. ”
Kiana kikuchi, a graduate teaching assistant who teaches Communication 103 – a traditional freshman-level public speaking class – changes her lesson plans during the transition to virtual education.
“It’s been pretty hectic,” Kikuchi said. “I try to keep our schedule and make the class as close as possible in person.”
Kikuchi knows firsthand the ignorance that accompanies the adoption of virtual instruction. As a graduate teaching assistant in the School of Communication at San Diego State University, she both takes her graduate courses and teaches a course to undergraduate students.
“I try to be as understanding as possible with my students,” Kikuchi said. “I want to help them get through this. ”
While a dedicated public speaking class might seem counterintuitive to teach virtually, Kikuchi has found ways to stimulate class discussion and keep students engaged.
“My classes usually focus on activities, but I’ve tried to focus more on content and lectures. After several lectures, I found that it was always easy to stimulate class discussion, ”Kikuchi said. “Students stay engaged and are eager to learn given the circumstances. I also took advantage of the various e-learning features such as quizzes and the Blackboard and Survey features on Zoom.
The Kikuchi students recently completed their first Zoom presentation, which went very well according to Kikuchi.
Kikuchi said she had to change the grading criteria to be compatible with virtual presentations because students could no longer present in front of the class. Now she researches the camera angle, tone, and engagement via Zoom when students present or participate in class discussions.
“We are trying to make this as realistic as possible,” Kikuchi said. “In the future, there will probably be more virtual meetings and discussions, so my students will be well prepared. “