Center for Business Communications Frequently Asked Questions

These frequently-asked questions offer information on making appointments and issues that faculty and students have raised with us.

If you have a question that is not listed in the following FAQs, please email cbc@american.edu for more information.

Appointment FAQs

When scheduling a meeting with us, faculty and students often ask:

  1. First, watch the introducing the Kogod Center for Business communications video.
  2. Watch this overview video on how to schedule your appointment.
  3. Make an appointment online using our online scheduler to meet with a peer tutor.

Bring your assignment instructions and any work you have so far - we'll talk through what's working, what you can improve, and answer any specific questions you might have. 

Make a team appointment the same way you'd make an individual one, on our online scheduler. Bring any PowerPoint slides and content that you have completed. Our peer tutors will offer you great feedback and speaking tips to help you bring your team together to deliver a polished, professional presentation.

Since we're all virtual, we have expanded hours to accommodate students in different time zones all over the globe. Or, if you need a few quick comments on a finished paper and don't need a face-to-face appointment, just select "e-tutoring" on our online scheduling system, and attach your assignment. A peer tutor will comment on your work and return your paper to you within 24 hours of your appointment. But remember that to get maximum impact, we always encourage you to make a face-to-face (even if on Zoom!) appointment for the most productive session possible.

Student

Introduction to Scheduling an Appointment

1:20

An overview of how to schedule an appointment with the Center for Business Communications.

Student FAQs

Graduate and undergraduate students often ask:

Strong communication skills are essential for success in the business world. By coming to the KCBC, you'll be getting valuable feedback on your written work and presentations. Our goal is not only to help you improve the quality of individual assignments, but to make you a stronger writer and speaker overall throughout your time at Kogod.

For the fall 2020 semester, all of our dynamic tutoring for individuals and teams will be virtual, via Zoom. When you make an appointment with us, you'll receive a Zoom link telling you where to meet up in the confirmation email we send to you.

Not at all! We can help at any point in the writing process, from brainstorming to finding research to polishing your final draft.

Bring your assignment instructions and any work you have completed so far.

  • Currently, we offer two types of tutoring: virtual, "face-to-face" meetings on Zoom or asynchronous "e-tutoring."
  • VIRTUAL appointments are real-time, face-to-face meetings with a peer consultant. Virtual meetings support either presentations or early-stage papers. When you choose a virtual appointment, a peer consultant will meet with you in their Zoom room to talk through your ideas and organization, offer research advice, or watch you verbally present and offer tips to improve. Virtual appointments work well for both individuals and teams.

  • E-TUTORING appointments support only FINAL DRAFTS of written assignments, and the feedback will come to you in a written format. If you choose an E-tutoring appointment, a peer consultant will review and comment on your paper within 24 hours of your appointment. When they’re finished, they'll return your paper to you with embedded comments so you can revise. If you have questions, we encourage you to make a virtual appointment to follow up and discuss!

Click on the "Make an Appointment" button on our home page. Before you can see the schedule, you'll need to create an account. Don't lose your login information—you'll use it every time you want to make an appointment with the Center for Business Communications. Click on any open appointment time on the schedule. A separate window will appear where you'll be asked to provide basic information about the assignment and your class.

No two appointments at the Kogod Center for Business Communications are the same. Our peer tutors will work with you based on your assignment, where you are in the process, and what skills you want to improve. We hope you'll find that your session was so helpful that you'll want to come back for other assignments throughout your entire time at Kogod. And if we don't deliver on our promise, we hope you'll let us know how we can improve at cbc@american.edu.

Our consultants are your amazing Kogod peers! They are friendly, skilled communicators who've taken the same classes you're looking for help with, and who excel at giving productive feedback.

Faculty FAQs

AU Faculty Members often ask:

  • Communications skills are among the top skills annually that employers say they want in new hires. Content knowledge and a diploma are not enough. By embedding strong communications skills into your courses, students can't create a false divide between knowing their accounting principles and conveying those principles effectively on the job.
  • Here are two of many testimonials from faculty that prove our value: International Business professor Bob Sicina, following an e-commenting project we did for his IBUS 300 class wrote: "The quality of the writing was substantially improved. I didn't have to sort my way through a raft of punctuation, grammar, and structure issues." Or this, from Marketing professor Cristel Russell, "My students in the semester-long, client-based project in MKTG 412 greatly benefited from the feedback you gave them on their final IMC presentations. The clients were hugely impressed by the professionalism of their presentations and final reports."

Please reach out to us for a personalized consultation! We’re teachers too, and know that time is at a premium when it comes to delivering and evaluating all of your course content. We’ll work with assignments you already have, suggesting added steps we can support such as peer review, non-graded KCBC feedback on drafts, and using rubrics to set clear writing expectations.

On the speaking side, we’ll come to your class with our peer tutors to coach your students in teams, making rehearsing both dynamic and generative. We can also work with you to require that your students make appointments outside of class for both speaking and writing.

We piloted our electronic-commenting approach with faculty last year, and the responses from faculty and students alike were overwhelmingly positive. In short, you’ll arrange for your students to submit their first drafts of an assignment electronically through Blackboard so that our peer tutors can comment with an eye to improving the final draft. We walk both you and your students through this very straightforward process on Blackboard, and establish your priorities for the assignment as our road map for helpful comments. Faculty time is freed up from first draft commenting, and the papers faculty receive in the end are better in every way, making grading easier. Students benefit from getting one-on-one attention on their writing that is completely aligned with their professor’s priorities.

We can, and we do. We'll meet with you ahead of time to understand what assignment you'd like us to support, or what context you'd like us to use. Maybe you assign short memos throughout the semester - how can we teach your students to prioritize, cite, and persuade in the memo format? Perhaps you require a team presentation and a team paper - we'll have tips on teamwork and accountability as well as ways to rehearse with visual data slides. Faculty invite us to speak more generally at the start of a semester about what business audiences expect: concise, clear, correct, and creative ideas. They'll have us discuss ways to more effectively present data with up-to-date data visualization concepts and tools. Importantly, we free up faculty time away from teaching writing to focus on underscoring its importance for their students to build a successful business career.

Questions?

Contact the Center for Business Communication at:

Email:
cbc@american.edu