CMST132, also known as Small Group Communication, at Chico State is one of the classes you can take to satisfy the GE requirement of public speaking. There are two different professors who teach this class; this article will be referring to the class taught by Professor Patrick Hull. Here are the 5 main concepts taught in the class.
1.How to Communicate
Probably the very first concept taught in this class, the communication model is very important and pertains to every part of the class. Send, receive, interpret, respond. Professor Hull, or as he wants to be referred to as Pat, will make sure everyone knows how to actively listen and respond to others. With all the computer assisted communication, we lose sight of how to actually have a conversation with someone in person. This class helps to revive that.
2. Public Speaking
Even though this is not an individual public speaking class, Pat will help every student try to present better. He does this by literally counting the amount of times anyone says “um, like, uh” or any other filler words while presenting. He gives great feedback to all students after each presentation in the class. If you have any, ANY, experience with public speaking, you will ace these presentations.
Along with communicating and having a conversation, the professor will immediately put students into groups on the first day of class. From that point forward they are your group, your friends, your family. All work is done in a group, all presentations, all quizzes. The only assignments that are not completed as a group are the 3 exams and final. It can be very awkward at first, but you will need to shed all the shy feelings because you are graded on how well you work and communicate as a group. SUPER IMPORTANT!
Non-Violent Communication, or NVC is a topic not usually taught in general Small Group Communication classes. Professor Hull, as you will see, is more of a “Hippie” and preaches this topic more than anything. It really is an amazing topic, learning how to settle conflicts with others easily and in a way that everyone involved is equal. It is a way to create empathy and express your feelings and needs in a calm and collected way. This is something all students, and people should learn early on in life.
5.Leadership and Power
The last topic taught in the class is leadership styles and how power is obtained. He has you recognize the different types of leadership inside of the classroom and out. These are a little harder to memorize because there are about 5 different styles of leadership and 20 ways to obtain power. These are not referenced very much, but are still an integral part of the third exam and final.
Overall, this class is interesting and not stressful. Pat creates a calm and inviting environment for all of his students. The textbook is optional, but not needed. Very nice introduction into public speaking and working in groups.
Hope that helps, happy studies!