Baruch College Center for Teaching and Learning
Communication in Public Settings

Communication in Public Settings


This is a course site for PAF 9103: Communication in Public Settings, which is a hybrid class. It is the required core communication class for the Master of Public Administration degree offered by the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs.


David C. Hoffman
Associate Professor, Department of Communication
Marxe School of Public and International Affairs
Baruch College, CUNY




View the course site here (external link).


View David Hoffman’s reflection here.


Professor Hoffman utilizes the hybrid schedule to maintain the rhythm of weekly meetings, but supplements one hour of the scheduled weekly three-hour class with an hour of online work that can be achieved asynchronously. Professor Hoffman pinpointed times of inefficiency in face-to-face classes (for example, when students sign up for an oral presentation) and uses the course site on Blogs@Baruch to accomplish tasks that may otherwise detract from important face-to-face class time. InProfessor Hoffman’s Communication in Public Settings course, students seek to understand the norms, rules, and procedures that give deliberating groups the best chance of arriving at good decisions in a variety of contexts. Students read academic scholarship and research on deliberation, and observe and enact various forms of deliberation. The course aims to equip students with the conceptual tools of critical thinking that will further their engagement in public deliberation. To achieve this goal, students construct and deliver various forms of public communication, while receiving meaningful feedback to improve their performances.Professor Hoffman utilizes the hybrid schedule to leverage the camaraderie that comes with weekly meetings while also seeking to limit unused time in the third hour of a long class when students are most likely to disengage and become tired. The hybrid format allows Professor Hoffman to promote a signature assignment sequence, in which each weekly task scaffolds into a semester-length project.


Professor Hoffman’s syllabus is up front about the hybrid nature and requirements of the course. He uses the syllabus to create a course policy for blog posts, giving students guidelines for how to engage with the material and each other online. In the course schedule he provides links to more detailed topic and assignment information housed on the course’s Blogs@Barcuh site. The course schedule includes dates for both when the class meets in person and when assignments are due online.