Showcase Interview

Amanda Brown discusses the one-minute essay.

Amanda Brown

Faculty Profile
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Teaching Strategy Video(s)
An Instrument for Teaching
Student Speeches Enhanced with Videos
Sharing Lecture Time with Videos

Amanda Brown teaches in the speech department, having come from North Dakota State University. Brown is teaching Speech Communications 100; Listening, Non-verbal Communication; and Speech 425, Informational Interviewing for Technical Communication majors and others. Her favorite is Speech-100 and said it was both the easiest and hardest to teach, but she is comfortable with it since she has been teaching it since 1998. It offers the chance to help students overcome reluctance and fear, a chance to make public speaking accessible.


To help her students understand, Amanda tries to be inductive, to help them see “why.” She wants it to be both applicable and disciplined to explain what they may already know.

Brown’s favorite strategy is the one-minute essay. Students write it and discuss it, first in pairs and then in group discussions. She finds it breaks up the class period and reduces the anxiety this field can cause for students. The group work helps build community so they are less nervous.

Amanda also likes using YouTube in class. She and the students use the videos to find information while teaching them how to deal with website issues and learning what is trustworthy and what isn’t. She also uses YouTube for examples of good and bad speaking to make a point. The political videos during fall 2008 were very relevant.

Brown also puts all her class material on D2L where students have to deal with technology issues. On the other hand, technology has a downside. She sees some helplessness, noting that students don’t work out as many issues for themselves as they ought.