The video cover letter: embedded assessment of oral communication skills

Published date08 October 2018
Date08 October 2018
AuthorElise Pookie Sautter,Miguel Angel Zúñiga
Subject MatterEducation,Curriculum, instruction & assessment,Educational evaluation/assessment
The video cover letter: embedded
assessment of oral
communication skills
Elise Pookie Sautter
Department of Marketing, College of Business, New Mexico State University,
Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA, and
Miguel Angel Zúñiga
Department of Business Administration, Earl G. Graves School of Business
and Management, Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Purpose This paper aims to describe the development and execution of the video cover letter exercise.
This learning innovation challengesstudents to develop a concise, targeted marketing message using video
technologiesand tools.
Design/methodology/approach In the rst full semester of mandatory implementation, a pre-test/
post-test designusing McCroskey's measure of communication apprehension(CA) examined the effects of the
exercise in reducing students' levels of CA. There were 200 studentsin the course, of which 139 completed
both the pre-test and post-test measure survey. The measure captures overall levels of CA and more
specically examines anxiety associated with oral communication in group discussions, dyads, group
meetingsand public speaking.
Findings Paired sample t-tests revealed that the CA was signicantly reduced overall and more
specically in settings related to group discussions and public speaking. The tool provides an effectiveand
efcient means for assessing basicoral communication skills. It also advances oral communication skills by
signicantlyreducing levels of CA in undergraduate business students.
Originality/value Oral communication skills are consistentlyrankedtowardthetopoffaculty,
student and recruiter lists of requisite skills for successful business graduates (Maes et al., 1997) and
marketing majors more specically (Nicholson et al., 2005). It is not surprising then that oral
communication skills are also typically included as one of the most commonly assessed learning
outcomes in college of business programs (Martell, 2007). Unfortunately, decreasing resources,growing
class sizes and diverse course formats (e.g. online, face-to-face and blended) create ever growing
challenges to effective development and assessment of oral communication skills in our marketing and
business student populations.
Keywords Marketing education, Assessment, Oral communication skills, Video cover letter
Paper type Research paper
Oral communication skills are consistently ranked toward the top of faculty, student and
recruiter lists of requisite skills for successful business graduates (Maes et al.,1997) and
marketing majors more specically (Nicholson et al.,2005). Communicative competence, a
top priority for business recruiters, is dened as a synthesisof knowledge and skill needed
for communication (Canaleand Swain, 1980;Canale, 1983; and Widdowson, 1983). There are
three types of knowledge(conscious or unconscious):
(1) knowledge of grammatical principles;
Video cover
Received5 April 2018
Revised6 August 2018
Accepted7 August 2018
QualityAssurance in Education
Vol.26 No. 4, 2018
pp. 423-429
© Emerald Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/QAE-04-2018-0034
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