Communication Course Designation Resources

The CWCC maintains the Communication Course Designation, or “C Designation,” to encourage communication practices and pedagogies across the disciplines. Instructors at UCI are encouraged to submit their course syllabi that emphasize communication in a variety of ways – from research papers to lab reports and spoken presentations to visual projects – to the CWCC to become eligible for the C Designation.

The CWCC defines communication as an exchange of ideas, information, or emotion through a visual, written, spoken, kinetic, and/or technological sign that is tailored to a specific audience. Communication requires a skillset that can be practiced and developed. In order for your course to satisfy the C Designation, it must satisfy 6 requirements:

  1.  Teach and assess communication throughout the course 
  2.  Incorporate at least 2 of 5 modalities: written, spoken/aural, visual, kinetic, and/or technological. 
  3. Focus on genres and audiences appropriate to the discipline, profession, or public. 
  4. Incorporate a feedback loop on communication assignments.
  5. Have at least %25 of overall assessment on communication assignments. 
  6. Explicitly list “communication” as a learning objective.


How to Submit a Course for the C Designation


Designation Approval Process

A Communication course designation goes through the normal Senate approval process just like a GE 1b course designation (informally known as “W” writing-course designation), including approval from the Writing and Commmunication Advisory Group, which makes a recommendation to SCOC. A Communication course can be lower division.

If you would like to submit your course to be considered for the C Designation, please email your syllabus to Daniel M. Gross ( We also encourage you to read through the checklist below which elaborates on the various ways to satisfy the 6 requirements. There are also sample syllabi of C courses with annotations linked below. 

Specialization or Emphasis

Communication-designated courses can be used as building blocks for more developed educational experiences. Those more developed experiences can take the form of a specialization or emphasis within or across units. A Communication Specialization or Emphasis should require at least 3 Communication courses beyond anything double counted.

Requirement 1: Teach and assess communication throughout the course.

  • Communication should be taught and assessed throughout the length course. While this can be achieved with a single assignment, that assignment should appear in multiple weeks of instruction. For example, multiple drafts of a research paper or an extended group project and presentation. 
  • This can also be demonstrated through multiple assignments that assess communication in different ways.
  • To emphasize the role of communication in a course, we recommend including it in the course description, assignment descriptions, and  explicitly listing “communication” as a learning objective (which is also requirement 6).

Requirement 2: Incorporate at least 2 of 5 modalities: written, spoken/aural, visual, kinetic, and/or technological.

  • We ask that students participate in at least 2 different communication modalities throughout the course. For example, students may be asked to…
    • Submit a written research paper and give a spoken presentation on the topic
    • Engage in structured classroom debate and discussion throughout the quarter and submit a separate visual project
    • Give a kinetic dance performance and submit a written reflection on the performance
    • Develop visual presentations of data in a written research paper
    • Compose a digital multimodal project that incorporates visuals and audio

Requirement 3: Include a focus on genres and audiences appropriate to the disciplines, profession, or public.

  • Including instruction on communicating to particular audiences can help students develop communication skills. 
  • An instructor may craft a communication assignment that specifies an audience (either in the discipline, the profession, or the public) for students to communicate to. For example, asking students to write a research paper for an academic audience, a blog post for a particular field, or offer a presentation for a group of imagined stakeholders.
  • Providing a lesson on the relationship between genre and audience can help students develop communication skills. Explicitly mentioning this relationship in assignments is recommended.

Requirement 4: Incorporate a feedback loop on communication assignments.

  • Students should have the opportunity to develop their communication and composition skills over multiple drafts of a project with opportunities for feedback. This feedback could be provided in different formats, for example:
    • In-class peer review on a draft or project proposal
    • Asynchronous peer review on a draft or project proposal
    • Student-Instructor conferences, either individually or in small groups
    • Written comments from the instructor on a submitted draft

Requirement 5: Have at least %25 of overall assessment on communication assignments.

  • Communication assignments should make up at least %25 of overall assessment. This can be achieved via multiple smaller assignments or one larger assignment.

Requirement 6: Explicitly list “communication” as a learning objective.

  • To clarify the role of communication in the course, we ask that you explicitly list “communication” as a learning objective. 

Sample Syllabi

Please click the links below to download sample syllabi that satisfy the requirements for the C Designation. Each file includes annotations demonstrating how each requirement has been satisfied.