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Drew Ashby-King

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Graduate Student, Communication

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Research Expertise

Communication Education

Drew Ashby-King is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Communication at the University of Maryland. He earned his B.A. in Communication from Bowling Green State University and his M.S. in College Student Personnel from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Broadly, Drew’s research interests center on communication in higher education settings with specific foci on student-institutional relationships, instructional communication, critical communication pedagogy, and college students’ intellectual and ethical development. Recently, he published an article in Qualitative Research Reports in Communication and a case study in the book Case Studies for Student Development Theory: Advancing Social Justice and Inclusion in Higher Education. Drew currently teaches COMM 107 at the University of Maryland.

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.

“It gives you a better chance of getting a good job”: Memorable messages, anticipatory socialization, and first-year college students’ understandings of the purpose of college.

Article finds that the memorable messages students received from their family, peers, and high school teachers reinforce the dominant neoliberal, job-centered understanding of college’s purpose.

Communication

Lead: Drew Ashby-King
Contributor(s): Lindsey Anderson
Dates:

Higher education has been commodified as neoliberal ideology is reflected in and perpetuated through social discourses, such as memorable messages. These discourses socialize young adults to college and shape their understanding about the purpose of higher education. Through in-depth interviews with 20 first-year college students, Ashby-King and Anderson found that the memorable messages students received from their family, peers, and high school teachers reinforce the dominant neoliberal, job-centered understanding of college’s purpose. In turn, they suggest critical communication pedagogy as a form of resistance instructors and institutions can use to promote a more expansive view of higher education and teaching/learning.

More than just a variable: COVID-19 and the call to complicate communication education research

To help instructors create more inclusive and equitable classrooms, communication education scholars need to advance interpretive research agendas that center students and instructors’ lived experiences and consider the context teaching/learning occurs in

Communication

Lead: Drew Ashby-King
Dates:

The coronavirus pandemic brought to light the numerous challenges faced by students that are often not considered in the classroom (e.g., food/housing insecurity, limited Internet access). The rapid transition to online learning shattered the perception that the classroom is independent of greater societal and institutional contexts. Shifting courses online midsemester brought into focus various inequities present in higher education and how they influence students’ experiences in the teaching/learning process. To help instructors create more inclusive and equitable classrooms, communication education scholars need to advance interpretive research agendas that center students and instructors’ lived experiences and consider the context teaching/learning occurs in.