Communication Arts Instructor and Debate Coach T.J. Lakin participated at the Southern States Communication Association Convention’s panel “Give Them Something to Talk About: Stimulating Discussion and Social Interaction in the Online and Blended Classroom.” The panel, organized by Dr. Lynne Webb, featured six different presentations based on new and engaging styles of teaching and cooperative learning strategies. T.J. Lakin presented: “Anticipated Guides as Tools to Maximize Student Reading and Engagement,” based on the pedagogy he uses in his Communication Theory classes.
“Having a class structured this way helps students capture the main ideas of the communication theories being taught. Having discussions on each topic helps us be accountable, engaged, and learn the material in an interesting way,” says Scott Esh, a communication arts junior.
Relying on Bloom’s Taxonomy and the model learned from his own college professor, June Taylor of Syracuse University, Lakin has been using a variation of this teaching style in his own classroom. The framework in Bloom’s Taxonomy consists of six major categories: Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis, and Evaluation. After knowledge, the remaining categories are presented as “skills and abilities,” with the understanding that knowledge was the necessary precondition for putting these skills and abilities into practice. This framework encourages students to be independent thinkers and to conceptualize the material.
At FIU, Lakin teaches courses in Business and Professional Communication, Communication Theory, and Public Speaking. In addition, he coaches the Debate Team, which regularly represents FIU in collegiate competition. T.J. Lakin earned his Bachelor of Arts in History from Washburn University of Topeka, KS. He went on to receive a Master of Arts in Public Relations from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, and a Juris Doctor Degree from Syracuse University.