Below is a step-by-step guide of what to expect when working with Speaking Fellows. You can also jump to specific topics by clicking the links below, which are (roughly) in order of when they happen.
Request Attached Speaking Fellows
Meet with your Head Speaking Fellow
Speaking Fellows as a Course Requirement
Tips for a Smooth Semester
If you'd like to participate in a faculty workshop, see descriptions of upcoming workshops (you do not need to have attached Speaking Fellows in order to participate).
Speaking Fellows are “attached” to courses by faculty request. Having attached Speaking Fellows means that we dedicate a group of Speaking Fellows to work with your students throughout the semester. These Fellows run a variety of workshops and can customize each based on your course’s needs (browse a list of workshops we have already created). If you have an unusual speaking skill you would like students to focus on, Speaking Fellows also create workshops from scratch under the guidance of our administrative staff.
How to Request Attached Speaking Fellows
To make your request, please send an email to any of our administrative staff. At the end of every semester, we send a faculty-wide email asking for attached Fellow requests for the following semester. We spend summer and winter breaks preparing, so getting in your request as early as possible is always appreciated.
We follow-up all requests with a short online questionnaire to get a sense of your class size, what skills you would like students to focus on, and any relevant assignments or due dates. This helps us determine how many Speaking Fellows to assign to your course, how much we will need to customize our workshops, and determine whether we will need to create new ones.
A couple of weeks before classes begin, you will receive the name and contact information of your “Head Speaking Fellow” via email. Your Head Speaking Fellow is your and your students’ main contact throughout the semester, and acts as the liaison between you, your students, and the other Speaking Fellows attached to your course.
Shortly after receiving your assignment, your Head Speaking Fellow will contact you directly to set up a meeting during the first 1-2 weeks of classes. At your meeting, you and the Head Fellow will cover the following:
- Give your Head Fellow a clear sense of the skills you would like your students to focus on. This is a good time to share your syllabus and identify any relevant assignments students will be working on.
- Establish the number of workshops students will participate in. If your workshops will be conducted outside of class time, make sure to schedule a 1-2 week period to run each set of workshops as well as an in-class sign-up day 1-2 weeks prior. If your workshops will be conducted during your regular class time (uncommon but sometimes possible!), confirm the date(s) and time.
- Schedule a 5-minute class visit for the beginning of the semester where one of your attached Speaking Fellows will briefly introduce herself and the philosophy of the program, as well as go over important scheduling and sign-up information.
- Add your Head Speaking Fellow to your Courseworks page as a “Staff Assistant.” This gives her access to your course’s roster and the email tool, which is important for sending preparation information, reminder emails, etc.
- Ask questions, express concerns, etc.
We customize the content and number of workshops based on your course's specific needs, so together, you and the Head Fellow can decide on what skills the workshops will focus on and how they will be spaced throughout the semester.
Because of scheduling constraints, Speaking Fellows usually run workshops outside of your class time. If you prefer to run the workshops during your class time, we will do our best to accommodate, but it may not be possible depending on the Speaking Fellows’ availability.
If workshops are scheduled outside of class time: For each type of workshop, you and your Head Fellow will establish a 1-2 week period during which Speaking Fellows will run the workshops at a variety of times. For most courses, students will sign up in class, on paper, 1-2 weeks beforehand. The sign-up sheet lists the date, time, and location of each workshop, as well as the contact information of each Speaking Fellow. If your course is on the larger side (say, more than 30 students), your Head Speaking Fellow may arrange online sign-ups.
While we do our best to provide as many options as possible for students, we do occasionally have one or two students who cannot make any of the available workshop times, and whose schedules do not overlap with any other student in the class. In this case, the Head Speaking Fellow will ask the student to consult you about fulfilling the requirement by doing a one-on-one with a Speaking Fellow instead of a workshop.
To maximize student participation, we ask all participating faculty to make Speaking Fellows workshops a requirement of your course. This requirement must be made clear and explicit to your students at the very beginning of the semester. If any students do not show up to a workshop, the Head Speaking Fellow will send you their names. The penalty for absences is completely up to you; however, unless there are extenuating circumstances, we cannot arrange special workshops for students who did not show up to their originally scheduled workshops.
To make sure students are prepared for this requirement, we provide a short informational blurb for you to copy and paste directly into your syllabus. It gives a little information about the philosophy of the program, the sign-up procedure, and our student attendance policies.
The following tips were compiled from faculty, students, and our staff. If you have tips, please share them! Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- At the very beginning of the semester, make sure your students are fully aware of the Speaking Fellow requirement so that they are not surprised when they have to sign up for workshops. Taking the time to make this very explicit in class and in your syllabus avoids future confusion and ensures that everybody is on board.
- Put the Speaking Fellow workshop dates in your syllabus. Draw attention to them.
- After the first set of workshops, check in with your students and Head Fellow to see how things went. If something needs to be changed before the second set of workshops, we will make it happen.
- Daniela Kempf offers faculty workshops focused on how to incorporate speaking into the classroom. To be notified of when these workshops are happening, send an email to email@example.com.