Focus, General Education at UHM
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Oral Communication Focus

Proposal Forms Hallmarks Teacher Resources Requirement Assessment

O Focus sections are designated every semester based on the course/instructor information found in Banner/MyUH.

Faculty members with current, active approvals do not need to submit a proposal form. As long as they are listed as the section's instructor of record in MyUH before continuing student registration begins, their approved Focus designation(s) will be added to their section(s).

Faculty members who do not have active Focus approval for their course (or whose approval has expired) should submit a "Focus form" to request a Focus designation for their section(s).

Department Chairs may submit a "STAFF" form if the faculty member is unknown, or a "COURSE-based" form if the department wishes to designate all sections of a course every semester.

Click here for all Focus proposal forms (in both Word and pdf formats).


Hallmarks of Oral Communication Classes

The faculty on the Oral Communication Focus Board use these Hallmarks when evaluating proposals for the "O" designation.

O1. Each student will conduct or participate in a minimum of three oral communication assignments or a comparable amount of oral communication activity during the class. In addition, at least 40% of the final grade for a 3-credit course will be a function of the student's oral communication activities (30% for a 4-credit course; 60% for a 2-credit course; 100% for a 1-credit course).
O2. Each student will receive explicit training, in the context of the class, in oral communication concerns relevant to the assignment or activity.
O3. Each student will receive specific feedback, critiquing, and grading of the oral communication assignments or activities from the instructor.
O4. If instructor feedback primarily involves individual or paired students, enrollment will be limited to 20 students. If instructor feedback primarily involves groups of students, enrollment will be limited to 30 students.
O5. The course will be numbered at the 300- or 400-level.

Rationale for the requirement and explanatory notes

Establishing a Need for Oral Communication Intensive Classes

There is no shortage of arguments addressing the need for UHM students to be provided with the opportunity to improve their oral communication knowledge and skills. To see some arguments, click here.

Forms/types of Oral Communication assignments

It is assumed that O classes will develop assignments responsive to student needs and to the professional demands the students will face. Consequently a variety of assignments can be designed to satisfy the O requirement.

  • Individual creative/aesthetic performances (e.g., storytelling, performance of literature, interpretations and readings)
  • Group presentations-- incorporating individual presentations
  • Facilitating/Participating in group discussions and community gatherings
  • Chapter/Section presentations to class
  • Individual presentations/Speeches-- formal/informal
  • Panel discussions
  • Engaging in outreach activities that incorporate oral communication skills (e.g., community teaching, coaching, presenting)
  • Various forms of interviews/interrogations
  • Press conference
  • Various persuasion/influence appeals (e.g., sales presentations, solicitations, motivational presentations)
  • Debates (individual and team)
  • Critiques of and responses to others' performance, presentations


Teacher Resources

click here


Requirements for Students


Students are required to complete 1 Oral Communication ("O" or "OC") class.


Transfer students may have reduced requirements, based on the number of accepted transfer credits.

Number of accepted credit hours Contemporary Ethical Issues Oral Communication
0-54 1 1
55-88 1 E or 1 O
89+ 0 0



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Last updated April 23, 2015

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