Submit a Manuscript to the Journal

Communication Teacher

For a Special Issue on

Approaches to Critical Assessment

Abstract deadline
15 June 2023

Manuscript deadline
01 December 2023

Cover image - Communication Teacher

Special Issue Editor(s)

Allison D. Brenneise, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
[email protected]

Joshua E. Young, Divine Word College
[email protected]

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Approaches to Critical Assessment

While some have called for resisting all forms of assessment (Rudick, 2021), many teachers of communication courses are in such precarious (Mapes, 2019) positions that to blatantly reject assessment measures puts them in an even more perilous spot. Some are not privileged to employ this tactic of resistance. Resisting hegemonic and problematic ideologies can create vulnerability for faculty and for students (Brenneise, 2020). Within communication education, the problem may be more pronounced. Commonly used tools for communication assessment have been identified as marginalizing many communities (Ashby-King et al., 2022; Key, 2022). We can do better.

Keith (2016) noted communication education circulates in a plethora of ideological contexts. Communication education impacts many students (Morreale et al., 2023), is seen as benefiting many other disciplines (Broeckelman-Post et al., 2023), and continues to train students in skills employers desire (Hooker & Simonds, 2015). Assessment reflects values (Fassett & Warren, 2007) that can be used to reveal the hidden curriculum to those that need to know how to wield it (Delpit, 2006). Assessment allows instructors the opportunity to reflect on their communication practices. A close inspection of assessment practices allows for the discovery of fissures and places to work for change. Intentional assessment activities from a critical perspective can deliver meaningful evidence of student growth even while reinforcing norms of power. We can use our scholarship and experiences to resist by creating experiences that produce new forms of knowledge that improve the well-being of ourselves (Foucault, 2008) and our students.

Assessment can take many forms. It includes but is not limited to assessment for learning which might be a class activity (formative assessment), 2) assessment of learning which focuses on learner outcomes over a period of time (summative assessment), 3) learning as assessment in which students use assessment tools like checklists to self-monitor and self-assess what motivates them to and for learning, 4) program assessment to determine if the goals of the program are realized through the current instructional methods, and 5) institutional assessment. Additionally, assessment serves many purposes and by understanding what instructors want to learn from their assessment practices, they can then think about barriers in those activities and reduce them so that their assessment minimizes or eliminates violence to anyone who must engage with the activities and can reach more people. They can also construct assessments that actually assess what they are meant to assess. How can we create assessment tools with construct validity to fairly assess student learning without judging the body or assessing criteria that does not have construct validity?

This special issue of Communication Teacher invites submissions that identify critical approaches to assessment in the communication classroom. We look for critical assessment activities and classroom assessment articles (traditional and non-traditional) that liberate historically marginalized or othered bodies in communication classrooms, programs, and research. Submissions should highlight assessment practices that are inclusive, reflective of, and equitable for a wide variety of learners.

Submission Instructions

Please submit a 100-250 word abstract by June 15, 2023, to be considered for this special issue. Accepted proposals will be notified by August 1, 2023. Please only submit a proposal if you can commit to this term.

The full timetable for the special issue is as follows:

  • Abstracts due June 15
  • Notice of acceptance August 1
  • Full drafts due October 30
  • Revised drafts due December 1

Three types of manuscripts will be considered for publication in the journal: (1) instructional activities that can be conducted in either the K-12 or college classroom; (2) manuscripts focused on communication education assessment of student learning, classroom practices (K-12 or college), or program development; and (3) original teaching activities that link to assessment articles.

Submissions: All manuscripts must adhere to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th edition) and should not be under editorial review for other journals.  Please identify your submission on the cover letter as one of the following designations:

  • original teaching activity—single class
  • original teaching activity—unit
  • original teaching activity—semester long
  • original teaching activity-to-assessment article
  • educational assessment article

Submissions that do not follow the components listed in this call will be returned to the author for format revisions. Submissions sent out for consideration will receive anonymous review by at least two members of the Editorial Board. The decision not to publish a manuscript is final.

This platform does not allow for provision of a reference page. Requests for references and all other inquires including abstract submissions should be sent to special issue editors Allison D. Brenneise and Joshua E. Young at [email protected] by June 15, 2023 with "Assessment Special Issue" in the subject heading. We welcome questions and inquiries.

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