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Alyson Farzad-Phillips

Photo of Alyson Farzad-Phillips

Graduate Student, Communication

2130 Skinner Building
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Research Expertise

Rhetoric

Alyson Farzad-Phillips is a current Ph.D. student in Rhetoric and Political Culture. Prior to attending the University of Maryland, Alyson taught 6th grade English in Nashville and worked in the Office of Inclusion Initiatives and Cultural Competence at Vanderbilt University. She has a B.A. in Communication and a B.A. in Journalism for Public Relations from the University of Georgia, and she obtained her M.Ed in Higher Education Administration from Vanderbilt University. As a scholar, she is interested in the ways in which the rhetoric of space and public memory are strategically utilized during social movement organizing. She is particularly interested in studying college student protest rhetoric. Outside of life as a researcher, Alyson is interested in service learning pedagogy and wishes to engage her students in community-based learning.

Publications

Expanding and constraining critical communication pedagogy in the introductory communication course: A critique of assessment rubrics

Study presents an interpretive analysis of the presentational speaking rubrics used in the introductory communication course at 20 institutions in the United States.

Communication

Lead: Drew Ashby-King
Contributor(s): Jeannette Iannacone, Victoria Ledford, Alyson Farzad-Phillips, Matthew Salzano, Lindsey Anderson
Dates:

Rubrics are a commonly used tool to evaluate student work in the introductory communication course. Although rubrics may appear objective, they are continually interpreted by both instructors and students, often reflecting traditional classroom power dynamics. In order to understand how rubrics constrain as well as expand opportunities for the enactment of critical communication pedagogy, we conducted an interpretive analysis of the presentational speaking rubrics used in the introductory communication course at 20 institutions in the United States. In doing so, we identified three levels of rubric context: high, low, and shared. These contexts inform important theoretical and pedagogical implications for the introductory course, as they highlight existing power dynamics, instructor grading practices, and student agency.