A Virtual public forum and online resource platform for speaking and communication

Awardees: Sarah Jessop and Marlon Kuzmick (FAS-Bok Center)

Summary: Awardees will film a series of interviews (inspired by “Harvard Writes“) to convene a campus-wide conversation on the role of spoken communication in teaching, scholarship, and collaboration.

In their work through the Bok Center for Teaching and Learning and HarvardX, Jessop and Kuzmick have cultivated conversations with faculty from schools across campus about speaking and communication in their various disciplines and how these sophisticated skills are taught. In these conversations, faculty have often used culturally endemic vocabularies to describe how they teach and experience speaking and communication within their fields. However, despite having different words and contexts to describe their basic practices and perspectives, their intentions and philosophies are often similar.

As a practiced multimedia team, Jessop and Kuzmick will produce a series of filmed interviews with the intention of bringing these diverse perspectives into proximity. They will convene a campus-wide conversation (asynchronously, in the way film can) to surface the ways in which faculty describe and teach these skills. By facilitating this dialogue within the teaching community at Harvard, their hope is to broaden and enrich our understanding of communication as a foundational tool for scholarship, teaching, and collaboration. These interviews will live on a flexible online platform, accompanied by oral communication resources for students and faculty.

In consultation with those on campus already dedicated to the subject, the team will also draft a broader framework outlining the possibilities for a comprehensive speaking and communication program at Harvard.