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ERIC Number: EJ1136422
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jan
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1931-4744
Know Thy Audience: Helping Students Engage a Threshold Concept Using Audience-Based Pedagogy
Pope-Ruark, Rebecca
International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, v5 n1 Article 6 Jan 2011
Students are experts at sizing up instructors, but many do not extend this analysis to non-instructor audiences, which can reduce their effectiveness in new communication situations. Audience, therefore, is a crucial threshold concept not only in Rhetoric and Composition, but in any discipline that values communication skills. How can instructors help students develop a deeper understanding of audience in the disciplines and begin to cross the threshold? In this article, I describe how a group of Professional Writing and Rhetoric students engaged the audience threshold through a semester-long, client-based project. Drawing on data collected via reflections and portfolios, written deliverables, client feedback, and instructor notes, analysis shows the students were initially overconfident in their ability to assess audiences, worked through valid emotional responses to substantive client feedback, and learned to negotiate the dynamics of multiple audiences more carefully over the course of the semester.
Centers for Teaching & Technology at Georgia Southern University. IJ-SoTL, Georgia Southern University, Henderson Library 1301, Statesboro, GA 30460. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North Carolina
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A