Alexander’s textbook brings a fresh perspective on teaching interpersonal communication

The second edition of “Teaching Interpersonal Communication: A Guidebook” serves as a guide and reference book for new instructors, teaching assistants,  and any instructors looking for fresh ways to design effective courses in the field of interpersonal communication, whether their courses are for undergraduate or graduate students, according to Alicia Alexander, professor and Chair of Applied Communication Studies. Alexander co-authored the textbook along with Elizabeth Natalle, professor at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.

Professor and Chair of Applied Communication Studies Alicia Alexander

Alexander said one of the goals of the second edition was to update all of the chapters to reflect the many changes that technology has had on teaching and interpersonal relationships.

“We wanted to add an entirely new chapter on teaching interpersonal communication online to help instructors develop online and blended courses,” Alexander said.

Applied Communication professor Jocelyn DeGroot served as a guest author with Alexander to add a new chapter on strategies for teaching online.

“We also added a lot more references throughout the book to using technology in interpersonal relationships as well as with your students in and out of class,” DeGroot said.

According to Alexander, the book can help with a variety of interpersonal classes, such as listening, family relationships, communication and emotion and computer-mediated communication, to name a few.  Alexander said the book was originally intended for instructors early in their careers, but experienced instructors will find it useful as well.

“The book gives several suggestions on a variety of topics, such as ways of assessing students’ learning, creating and grading exams, dealing with challenging students and making mindful decisions throughout the planning and execution stages of a class,” Alexander said.

The book is useful in helping teachers develop their teaching philosophy that should guide their decision-making in their classes, according to Alexander.

“Whether they are new or long-time instructors, it is important to regularly reevaluate your teaching philosophy and teaching approaches,” Alexander said. “Even seasoned instructors should constantly learn new ways of teaching effectiveness and constantly adapt to their ever-changing students.”

The book was published in July, 2014 by Bedford/St. Martin’s.

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