Syllabus for COM-209

PUBLIC SPEAKING


COURSE DESCRIPTION

Public Speaking introduces the essential techniques and concepts of public speaking with an emphasis on how to structure, research and build a speech. You will have the opportunity to refine your skills as a speaker by producing two speeches that you must record and submit for critiquing. Among the skills you will practice are: topic selection, speech organization, selection of supporting material, and delivery techniques.

COURSE OBJECTIVES

After completing this course, you should be able to: 

  1. Explain and demonstrate how Public Speaking differs from written communication.
  2. Select relevant topics of interest to yourselves and your audience.
  3. Plan and organize a thoughtful speech.
  4. Select appropriate supporting material to strengthen your speech.
  5. Create a meaningful thesis that is supported throughout the speech.
  6. Design introductions, conclusions and transitions and employ them in a speech.
  7. Use organizational speech patterns effectively.
  8. Employ effective delivery techniques to speak effectively.
  9. Use delivery techniques to overcome nervousness.
  10. Demonstrate the effective use of non-verbal communication.
  11. Employ persuasive speaking techniques effectively.
  12. Build an argument and advocate for it clearly and effectively.
  13. Employ effective language in your speech.
  14. Demonstrate the effective use of visuals.
  15. Build interesting content into your speeches.

COURSE MATERIALS

You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the College's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.


Required Textbook

  1. The Speaker's Handbook, 9th ed., by Jo Sprague, Douglas Stuart and David Bodary (Boston, MA: Wadsworth, 2008).

    ISBN-13: 978-0495567479

Recording Equipment

You will need to have access to digital recording equipment capable of recording the two speeches you are required to submit as part of your course work. There is no specified make or model, but whatever equipment you use it must be able to record a speech of between 6-10 minutes duration.

For full details of what this involves go to the Recording and Submitting Your Speeches area of the course Web site.

COURSE STRUCTURE

Public Speaking is a three-credit online course, consisting of six (6) modules. Modules include learning objectives, study materials, and activities.

Consult the course Calendar for assignment due dates.

ASSESSMENT METHODS

For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments, take a proctored online midterm examination, and complete a final project. See below for more details.

Consult the course Calendar for assignment due dates.

Discussion Forums

Public Speaking has three (3) graded online discussions, each focusing on a different subject. There is also an ungraded but required discussion in Module 1 titled "Introductions." All class discussions take place on the class Discussion Board.

Communication among fellow students and with the mentor is a critical component of online learning. Participation in online discussions involves two distinct activities: an initial response to a posted question (discussion thread) and subsequent comments on classmates' responses. Meaningful participation is relevant to the content, adds value, and advances the discussion. Comments such as "I agree" and "ditto" are not considered value-adding participation. Therefore, when you agree or disagree with a classmate, the reading, or your mentor, state and support your agreement or disagreement. You will be evaluated on the quality and quantity of your participation. Responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, professional, and respectful.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete eight (8) written assignments, including two (2) outlines and one (1) speech evaluation.The written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules.

Take the time to familiarize yourself with the Activity Modules area of the course Web site, and read through the written assignment questions before you begin each lesson. Your answers to the assignment questions should be well developed and convey your understanding of the course materials. Formulate responses in your own words (do not merely copy answers from your reading materials), citing text materials where appropriate and in an appropriate manner.

Prepare your written assignments using whatever word processing program you have on your computer. Include your name at the top of the paper, as well as the course name and code and the semester and year in which you are enrolled.

Before submitting your first assignment, check with your mentor to determine whether your word processing software is compatible with your mentor's software. If so, you can submit your work as you prepared it. If not, save your assignment as a rich-text (.rtf) file, using the Save As command of your software program. Rich text retains basic formatting and can be read by any other word processing program.

Recorded Speeches

You will be required to make two (2) speeches. 

After completing a series of preparatory exercises you will send a draft outline of your speech to your mentor.  The speech is delivered in front of a live audience while being recorded in an audio-visual format that you will need to first download to a computer then upload to a video sharing website where your mentor can review it.

After the midterm examination the process of a new speech topic to be developed and presented in front of a new audience begins. Again, you send a draft outline to your mentor before you give the presentation. The second speech is then delivered, recorded and uploaded to a video sharing website in the same manner as your first speech.

Draft outlines must be received by your mentor well in advance of actual presentations. You may work in advance of course deadlines, but all activities must be received by stated deadlines.

Midterm Examination

This course requires you to take a proctored online, closed-book midterm examination.

The midterm examination is two hours long and covers all material assigned in modules 1, 2, and 3 of the course. It consists of multiple choice questions, short answer questions, and essay questions. You will not be allowed to have any material with you.

For the midterm, you are required to use the College's Online Proctor Service (OPS). Please refer to the "Examinations and Proctors" section of the Online Student Handbook (see General Information area of the course Web site) for further information about scheduling and taking online exams and for all exam policies and procedures. You are strongly advised to schedule your exam within the first week of the semester.

Online exams are administered through the course Web site. Consult the course Calendar for the official dates of exam weeks.

Statement about Cheating

You are on your honor not to cheat during an exam. Cheating means:

  1. Looking up any answer or part of an answer in an unauthorized textbook or on the Internet, or using any other source to find an answer.
  2. Copying and pasting or, in any way copying responses or parts of responses from any other source into your exams. This includes but is not limited to copying and pasting from other documents or spreadsheets, whether written by yourself or anyone else.
  3. Plagiarizing answers.
  4. Asking anyone else to assist you by whatever means available while you take an exam.
  5. Copying any part of an exam to share with other students.
  6. Telling your mentor that you need another attempt at an exam because your connection to the Internet was interrupted when that is not true.

If there is evidence that you have cheated or plagiarized in an exam, the exam will be declared invalid, and you will fail the course.

GRADING AND EVALUATION

Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

  1. Online discussions (3)—8 percent
  2. Speech 1 (Informative)—20 percent
  3. Speech 2 (Persuasive)—30 percent
  4. Speech outlines (2)—10 percent
  5. Speech preparation exercises (5)—19 percent
  6. Speaker evaluation—3 percent
  7. Midterm exam (proctored online, modules 1-3)—10 percent

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:

A

=

93100

A–

=

9092

B+

=

8889

B

=

8387

B–

=

8082

C+

=

7879

C

=

7377

C–

=

7072

D

=

6069

F

=

Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a nonarea of study course), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).

STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS

First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

  1. Read carefully the entire Syllabus, making sure that all aspects of the course are clear to you and that you have all the materials required for the course.
  2. Take the time to read the entire Online Student Handbook. The Handbook answers many questions about how to proceed through the course, how to schedule exams, and how to get the most from your educational experience at Thomas Edison State College.
  3. Arrange to take your examination(s) by following the instructions in this Syllabus and the Online Student Handbook.

  1. Familiarize yourself with the learning management systems environment—how to navigate it and what the various course areas contain. If you know what to expect as you navigate the course, you can better pace yourself and complete the work on time.
  2. If you are not familiar with Web-based learning be sure to review the processes for posting responses online and submitting activities before class begins.

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:

  1. To stay on track throughout the course, begin each week by consulting the course Calendar. The Calendar provides an overview of the course and indicates due dates for submitting activities, posting discussions, and scheduling and taking examinations.
  2. Check Announcements regularly for new course information.

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

Students at Thomas Edison State College are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State College expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the College insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty takes the following forms:

  1. Cheating
  2. Plagiarizing (including copying and pasting from the Internet without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources)
  3. Fabricating information or citations
  4. Facilitating acts of dishonesty by others
  5. Unauthorized access to examinations or the use of unauthorized materials during exam administration
  6. Submitting the work of another person or work previously used without informing the mentor
  7. Tampering with the academic work of other students

Academic dishonesty will result in disciplinary action and possible dismissal from the College. Students who submit papers that are found to be plagiarized will receive an F on the plagiarized activity, may receive a grade of F for the course, and may face dismissal from the College.

A student who is charged with academic dishonesty will be given oral or written notice of the charge. If a mentor or College official believes the infraction is serious enough to warrant referral of the case to the academic dean, or if the mentor awards a final grade of F in the course because of the infraction, the student and the mentor will be afforded formal due process.

If a student is found cheating or using unauthorized materials on an examination, he or she will automatically receive a grade of F on that examination. Students who believe they have been falsely accused of academic dishonesty should seek redress through informal discussions with the mentor, through the office of the dean, or through an executive officer of Thomas Edison State College.

Plagiarism

Using someone else's work as your own is plagiarism. Although it may seem like simple dishonesty, plagiarism is against the law. Thomas Edison State College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing will be severely penalized. If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > "Citing Sources.")

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else's. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

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