The basic communication course, with its roots in classical Greece and Rome, is frequently a required course in general education. The course often serves as our “front porch,” welcoming new students to the Communication discipline. This essay first outlines early traditions in oral communication instruction and their influence on future iterations of the course. In addition, because fundamental changes in higher education in more modern times affected emphases and delivery of the course, we focus on the relationship between general education and the basic course and the significant curricular changes to the course during the latter part of the 20th century. Finally, we discuss ramifications of the evolution of the basic course, as the discipline moves forward into the 21st century.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/joe_valenzano/6/