Communication Across the Curriculum

Communication Across the Curriculum (CxC) refers to utilizing oral and written assignments and activities into courses in every discipline in order to both promote students’ communication skills as well as help instructors meet their teaching goals.


The main benefits of utilizing communication assignments:

  • Communication assignments have been shown to improve student understanding of material and increase student performance.
  • Communication assignments prepare students for the skills needed to succeed in their professional careers.


Further reading:

Titles available at the Center for Writing and Communication
Communicating Advice: Peer Tutoring and Communication Practice (Atkins-Sayre & Yook, 2015)


Communication Centers: A Theory-Based Guide to Training and Management (Turner & Sheckles, 2015)


Communication Centers and Oral Communication Programs in Higher Education: Advantages, Challenges, and New Directions (Yook & Atkins-Sayre, 2013)


Pages to view online

“Through enhanced learning experiences inside and outside the classroom, Communication Across the Curriculum initiatives help students improve their written, spoken, visual, and technological communication skills and deepen their learning of course content.”

“The goal of Communication Across the Curriculum is to incorporate oral and written (sometimes also visual and electronic) communication assignments and activities into courses across disciplines. From science to math, through English and history, communication across the curriculum enhances the educational environment for students, promotes their communication skills, while at the same time helping instructors to meet their teaching goals.

Study after study has shown that students perform better in their courses, and they have a stronger handle on the material they are learning, if they have opportunities to write and speak about that material on a regular basis. More so, opportunities to speak and write in the classroom improve the communication skills of students, and better position them for their professional careers in the future. By speaking and writing to learn, and learning to write and speak, communication across the curriculum enhances the educational environment for students in the classroom, and beyond.”

**This website has instructor resources

The University of Rhode Island and the Department of Communication Studies actively participate in the national Communication Across the Curriculum (CxC) movement which aims to support and promote the teaching and practice of communication in all disciplines, and to make oral and written communication a significant component of courses across the curriculum.

“MIT has a long history of integrating writing instruction throughout its undergraduate curriculum. However, strangely in keeping with MIT’s long tradition in acoustics and electronics, the history of integrating writing and speaking into the academic curriculum for the first half of the twentieth century resembled not so much a straight line but a sine wave. The pattern has been that efforts to make writing an integral part of education in science and technology were followed by periods in which writing was the sole concern of the humanities, particularly literature, and then a new communication-intensive (CI) initiative would arise.”

Rubric to assess oral communication

Programmatic principles of speaking across the curriculum and other teaching resources