BLUE FIRE: Review of Literature and Best Practices
Throughout the BLUE FIRE process, communication and student development issues were at the forefront of the discussions concerning needs of the current and future student body at Louisiana Tech University. The literature also supported the need for communicative competency and student development in the 21st century workforce. Morreale and Pearson (2008) wrote that all students “need to learn to communicate orally, interpersonally, in small groups and teams, and in public” (p. 231). And “new communication technologies are connecting people around the world and reshaping how we work, play, and communicate. The Millennial generation needs training in skills required to navigate a global world, including competencies related to electronic and intercultural communication” (p. 226).
The literature also linked communication apprehension as a causal agent in determining student success, thus directly linking the need for developed communication skills with student retention. Communication apprehension (CA) had clear implications for both academic and interpersonal success in university students. Over two decades ago, CA was found to be related to overall grade point average, standardized achievement scores, and grades earned in small classes in college (McCroskey, Booth Butterfield, & Payne, 1989). This literature review focuses on the skill gaps in the workforce, communication education, student development and best practices appropriate for teaching skills.