Public Speaking Syllabus for 2021-2022
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Instructor Information

Office Location

Parcells Hall 204P 

Office Hours

~ S T U D E N T      H O U R S ~

Contact me through the Messages area within Blackboard.  These types of messages are best for situations where you're having difficulty understanding how to submit something or have a quick question about an assignment.  From these messages, I have easy access to your grades within the course (and I don't need to seek clarification on what course you're enrolled in).

More in-depth questions about your class performance, and/or grades should be discussed during a student/faculty appointment.

Please schedule an appointment with me below.  

 

All meetings can be held via Zoom or in person in Parcells Hall, Suite 204, Office P. If I have someone in my office, please let our departmental administrative assistant, Shauna Jefferson (Parcells Hall, Suite 204, Office F), know you're here to see me for an appointment and then have a seat in our lobby area. Please do not assume that you may interrupt other conversations.  We practice what we teach in this class!

With all of that out of the way, know I love getting appointments from you.  When I do, I know I can focus directly on you and you alone.  Otherwise, it's a first-come, first-served world and I may miss out on an opportunity to understand what it is you need.  Appointments come first!

Please make an appointment to visit with me. Don’t see a time that matches your world? Please let me know via Blackboard Messages or email! My job is to enhance your learning experience. I am glad to meet with you at a mutually convenient time and coach you to success.  

Course Information

COVID-19 Protocols

Recording Policy

Disability Statement

If you have a disability (learning, mental, physical) that affects your ability to participate effectively and have access to any program or service at Amarillo College please contact Disability Services at (806) 345-5639 . Our offices are located in the Student Service Center office 112. More information may be found at www.actx.edu/disability.
Disability Services facilitates access to all programs and services according to the ADA, Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, as well as other federal and state laws.

Amarillo College Web Accessibility Policy Statement

Amarillo College is committed to providing equal access to all programs and services, including all working, learning, and service environments that affect equal access for persons with disabilities. This commitment to provide equal access and opportunity for persons with disabilities is in compliance with federal and state law. Amarillo College also strives to provide Electronic and Information Resources (EIR) that are accessible to all authorized users.

If you find you are unable to access material in an accessible format please contact the Disability Services Office at (806) 345-5639 . This office will work in conjunction with other campus resources to address and accommodate your issue in a timely manner.

Statement for Mental Health and Advocacy & Resource Center:

As a student you may experience a range of issues that can cause barriers to learning, such as strained relationships, increased anxiety, alcohol/drug problems, feeling down, difficulty concentrating and/or lack of motivation. These mental health concerns or stressful events may lead to diminished academic performance or reduce a student's ability to participate in daily activities. Amarillo College offers services to assist you with addressing these and other concerns you may be experiencing. If you or someone you know are suffering from any of the aforementioned conditions, you can learn more about the broad range of confidential mental health services available on campus by calling the AC Counseling Center at 806-371-5900. The AC Counseling Center website is https://www.actx.edu/counseling/ . Also, if you are in need of social services (affordable housing, utilities, transportation, food, clothing, childcare, medical/dental/vision, legal), please call the AC Advocacy & Resource Center at 806-371-5439. The AC Advocacy & Resource Center website is https://www.actx.edu/arc

Amarillo College Tutoring for Success Policy:

The Tutoring for Success policy applies to any student whose grade or performance in the course falls below a departmentally determined minimum threshold. In either of those cases, the instructor will direct the student to the appropriate tutoring service, which may be faculty-led, discipline-specific, and/or general. Under this policy, the instructor will follow specific departmental guidelines governing the use, duration, and grade component of the tutoring need.

Administrative Drop Policy

Students who do not attend class on or prior to the census date will be administratively dropped. Effective Fall, 2016

Student Withdrawal Procedures

Students who wish to withdraw from a course must complete all steps indicated on the Academic Withdrawal Request form by the course withdrawal deadline.

NOTE: Students who are attending Texas institutions of higher education, for the first time fall 2007 and later, may not withdraw from more than six courses during their academic career. This withdrawal limitation does not include dual credit or developmental classes (Senate Bill 1231 Rule 4.10.) For more information on Drop and Withdrawal Policies, please visit the Registrar's Office Web site.

Privacy Statement

The Amarillo College Privacy Policy is found at https://www.actx.edu/-amarillo-college-privacy-notice , and applies to all Amarillo College students.  If you have questions about this privacy statement or you believe that your personal information has been released without your consent, send email to humanresources@actx.edu .

Course

SPCH-1315-002 Public Speaking

Prerequisites

Course Description

Application of communication theory and practice to the public speaking context, with emphasis on audience analysis, speaker delivery, ethics of communication, cultural diversity and speech organizational techniques to develop students' speaking abilities, as well as ability to effectively evaluate oral presentations.

Student ResourcesStudent Resources Website

Department Expectations

Occupational License Disclaimer

Notice to Students enrolled in an educational program for preparation of issuance of certain occupational licenses:

Students enrolled in an educational program in preparation for obtaining certain occupational licenses are potentially ineligible for such license if the student has been convicted of an offense. For further information, please contact:

Melodie Graves
Justice Involved Advocate
Student Service Center 117
mgraves24@actx.edu
806-371-5995
Make appointment at https://melodiegraves.youcanbook.me

You can also contact the Legal Clinic, or the faculty member in charge of the educational program that you seek to enroll in. The further information you will receive will include notification to you of your right to request a criminal history evaluation letter from the licensing authority in order to clarify your particular situation.

Hours

(3 sem hrs; 3 lec)

Class Type

Hybrid

Syllabus Information

Textbooks

A Speaker’s Guidebook, 7th edition by O'Hair, Stewart, & Rubenstein ISBN: 978-1-319-05941-5

Supplies

  • You will need access to a reliable computer so you can log in to the class several times a week. Have a plan “B” prepared just in case your computer or internet is not working. (The Underground in the Ware Student Commons, the public library, friends house, Starbucks, etc)
  • Adequate browser capabilities. Mozilla Firefox works best with this course
  • Microsoft Word or knowledge of using Google Docs for typing papers and turning assignments into the dropbox
  • If you have a Macintosh (Apple) computer you will need to know how to convert Pages documents into .pdf files.  I can not and will not grade anything submitted as a Pages document.  A zero will be assigned for assignments submitted as a Pages file.
  • Additionally, I can not grade direct links to Google Drive documents.  Download the files as .pdf files and then submit them.  A zero will be assigned for assignments submitted as Google Drive links.
  • A general idea of how to navigate online courses, upload assignments, etc. If you are new to AC online classes, please take the online orientation.  There are several tools located within our course ("Start Here: Classroom" "Start Here: Course Orientation") to help you be successful in our online environment.

Do not be overwhelmed by this list!

The purpose of this list is to avoid you feeling stressed because of technology ON TOP OF stressed because of delivering a speech. You can do this and I'm here to help:

We will be doing Zoom-in speech performances in this class.  You will need to know how to do several different steps using technology.  This week, you have some things you can do to get ahead and ready for the upcoming term:

Mentimeter Privacy Policy

YouTube Privacy Policy

Student Performance

Application of communication theory and practice to the public speaking context, with emphasis on audience analysis, speaker delivery, ethics of communication, cultural diversity and speech organizational techniques to develop students' speaking abilities, as well as ability to effectively evaluate oral presentations.

Learning Outcomes:

After studying the material presented in this course of study, the student will be able to do the following as evaluated by the faculty in the department/program.

Evaluation of Objectives

Learning Objective THECB Skill Assessment(s)

Demonstrate an understanding of the foundation models of communication.

Critical Thinking

Assessed through exam questions

Apply elements of audience analysis

Critical Thinking

Assessed through informative and persuasive speeches and audience analysis survey

Demonstrate ethical speaking and listening skills by analyzing presentations for evidence and logic.

Communication (written)/Critical Thinking

Assessed through two, 2-page essays

Research, develop, and deliver extemporaneous speeches with effective verbal and nonverbal techniques.

Personal Responsibility

Assessed through informative and persuasive speeches

Demonstrate effective usage of technology when researching and/or presenting speeches.

Communication (visual)

Assessed through Prezi, PowerPoint or Google Slides presentations prepared by students for introduction and Library Group Work assignment

Identify how culture, ethnicity, and gender influence communication.

Team Work

Assessed through Library Group Work assignment

Develop proficiency in presenting a variety of speeches as an individual or group (e.g. narrative, informative, or persuasive).

Communication (written/visual)/Critical Thinking

Assessed through written outlines and public performances of three speeches.

Students Rights and Responsibilities

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Log in using the AC Connect Portal

In order to receive your AC Connect Email, you must log in through AC Connect at https://acconnect.actx.edu .

If you are an active staff or faculty member according to Human Resources, use "Exchange". All other students, use "AC Connect (Google) Email".

Expected Student Behavior

Expected Student Behavior

During speeches:
  1. When you deliver your speech, you should be the focus of your speech, not your visual aid.
    1. This also includes what you wear.  Be sure to look your best.  Here are some tips:
  2. Make sure to limit your speech to the time allotted.  If your speech goes over the time allotted by more than 2 minutes, I will grade what I have seen during that time.  
  3. You may want to silence calls during your speech.  Do not take a phone call during your speech.
  4. Do not read your speech to your audience.  If your speech feels as if you're reading, I will deduct points.

VERBALLY CITING SOURCES

Throughout the course, citing sources is critical.  In public speaking, verbal citations are necessary.  Students often think if they cite the source on their visual aid it counts as citing the source.  This is not true.  Students must cite their sources verbally during the course of their speeches.  To learn how to do this, please review the document included in Week 3 “How To Cite a Source in your Speech” for guidance.  A student may also review the speeches in their textbook to learn more.  In short, sources must be cited by saying the author’s name, when and where the information was published, and where the information was found.  The Amarillo College Library has a LibGuide specifically written for APA citation style.

SPEAKING SCHEDULE

Speeches are to be turned in on the assigned day.  Speakers who do not meet the deadline will receive a zero.

LATE ASSIGNMENTS/WORK/QUIZZES

  • There is no late work accepted
  • Finding your way through a college course is a process.  There are challenges in each class and there are challenges each of you has or will have, in your personal lives.  Those challenges can overwhelm you.  Because of these, and the amount of content we will cover in the course, I have set up the course structure for all of you the best opportunity to learn and master the content. 
  • In general, I do not accept late assignments or late work; however, after speaking with a student during an appointment about the extenuating circumstances, I may decide to alter upcoming assignment due dates to prevent personal issues from being a barrier to success. 

Pathways to Success: A Scenario

What does this mean?  Well, here’s a scenario: Maria is a single mom of two girls.  She takes classes throughout the year and hopes to graduate in the upcoming term.  During our class, Maria’s youngest daughter falls from a swing and breaks her wrist.  In the next few weeks, Maria’s daughter will have doctor’s appointments and possibly surgery.  Those important items force Maria to make changes to her work schedule, and because of this, cause Maria to have to miss class meetings.

Knowing I do not accept late work, here are the options she may have when it comes to her schoolwork:

  1. Maria can continue on the path she is on now, trying to make all of the doctor’s appointments, work shifts, and class sessions.
  2. Maria can drop the course and pick it back up next term.  Doing this will delay her graduation by a full semester.
  3. Maria can set an appointment where we can visit.  She can tell me what’s happening and see how I can help her continue on her path to graduation.

If this was you, what do you think you would do?

The worst-case scenario is option #2.  Dropping the course, unless there’s no other way around it, is always my last choice.  Option #1 – well, I don’t recommend it either, but hey – some people are stronger and more private than others.  Option #3 – it’s my recommendation.  Why?  Well, it means that I know how I can walk along with Maria on her path.

If Maria chooses Option #3, we could visit and discuss what options were available for her success.  It may mean she gives two speeches on one performance day, or it may mean she gives a speech a week later than her classmates do.  Any assignments not submitted prior to our conversation will be considered missing and earn a zero.  However, future assignment due dates are negotiable which may or may not have a late point deduction.  I make this decision on a case-by-case basis.  The standard deduction is 10 points off the final grade earned for the assignment.

Pathways to success: In action

If you find yourself in a situation, please visit with me as soon as possible.  Whenever I can, I will work with you to find a pathway to success.  I will work to be flexible with the course requirements; however, this will require the student to be flexible with their expectations as well.  Please know that sometimes – especially toward the end of the term – I cannot say “yes.”  Know when that happens, I have exhausted all avenues.

What not to do: A Guide

Do not email assignments to me if the dropbox for closed assignments.  I will not grade them.  If there is an error or technical issue, please check the announcements section of our AC Connect Class to see if I have made a note.  If you do not see a note in our class, please check your AC email account.  If after checking these two spaces, please feel free to text me to alert me.  Don't assume I am aware of the issue or that it is your technology. 

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Contained within the following pages are those major policies and regulations which directly affect the students at Amarillo College.  It is very important that you take the time to familiarize yourself with this information since it deals with your “rights” and your “responsibilities” as an AC student.”  Please note the section on plagiarism as it pertains to the creation of speeches for this course.

ACConnect Classes

Your instructor will be using ACConnect/Blackboard to post your grades and to receive your assignments.  ACConnect/Blackboard will also be used to post announcements about the class and any events (i.e., bad weather) that would lead to the cancellation of class.

Checking Grades

Periodically checking your course grade through the “My Grades” feature will help you be successful in the course.  More specifically, if you see a small blue speech bubble next to your grade I have left comments/feedback on the assignment.  Sample Gradebook with iconsThose comments help drive your success in the course.  I may ask for resubmissions, specifically rewriting, clarification, or other information within a stated period.  I assume students read and review the feedback given.  Students who fail to reply or follow through with feedback comments within the extended timeframe will lose the opportunity.

Campus Email

Amarillo College students receive all official College information through their @amarillocollege.com account.  As a rule, I will be contacting you through your @amarillocollege.com account for all things related to our class, presentations, etc.  Emails act as a final notification of important class information.  If a student has further questions or needs clarification, it is up to the student to contact the faculty member.

Email conversations

As a rule, email conversations are a form of business writing.  In that, I reserve the right to request clarification as needed to understand the question posed.  I also expect our conversations to be collegial, or that of a partnership.  Please ensure you are using appropriate grammar/punctuation.  When referring to yourself, please use “I” and not “i.”  Please use periods, question marks, and exclamation points to clarify where your individual thoughts end.  If you struggle with grammar (as I do), please consider using Grammarly.

Additionally, please consider the tone of your email.  Here is an example of a poor communication attempt (both in tone and in grammar).

Writer's Corner & SmarThinking

Both the Writer's Corner and the online tutoring platform, SmarThinking have tools beneficial to the course content.  If you struggle with writing, want to make sure you are citing references correctly, or whether or not you've developed your speech argument fully, the Writer's Corner or SmarThinking can assist you.

Grading Criteria

Grading Criteria

Presentations – 40%
  • Speech of Introduction – 100 points (75 points for speech, 25 points for outline)
  • Informative Speech w/ Infographic – 150 points (100 pts for speech/25 pts for outline/25 pts for visual aid)
  • Persuasive Speech – 150 points (125 pts for speech/50 pts for outline) or (100 pts for speech/25 pts for outline/25 pts for visual aid) 

Of note: Speeches may use video segments up to 20 seconds.  Videos over 20 seconds will result in points deducted from overall speech grade (1 point/second) up to 30 seconds and/or points.  Videos over 1 minute long will result in a zero for the overall presentation.

Written Assignments – 10%

Audience analysis journal response - 100 points

Reflection journals – 100 points each (one after Introduction, Informative, Persuasive speeches)

Discussion Board Postings - 100 points each (as needed throughout the term.  Please reply to classmates' postings).  Review guidelines for posting (word count, etc.)

Examinations – 30%
  • Weekly Tests (see the section on Weekly Tests for more details)
  • Final Exam
  • Faculty reserves the right to add additional daily work quizzes
Participation – 20%
  • Daily attendance check-ins, plus any group assignments
  • Faculty reserves the right to add additional daily work quizzes

Weekly Tests

  • Tests are 20 questions long, may be taken twice, and each test must be taken in one sitting
  • Each question is worth 5 points
  • The highest grade earned is recorded
  • Students may use their book and/or notes to complete the quiz, but not their neighbor, friend, family, colleague, or any other word used to describe another fellow human
  • Tests must be completed in 40 minutes (automatically submitted)
  • Test attempts will not be reset.  Before starting students should have a strong, reliable internet connection.

Earning Your Grade

There is no “grade recovery” in my course.  You will be awarded the grade that you have earned (both on assignments and in the class).  Final grades will be assigned on the following basis:

Late Work & Make-Up Performance Policies

Late work is not accepted.  Specifically, speeches, written assignments, discussions, examinations, and participation grades are due by the stated due date.  Earned grades will be posted within the ACConnect Class grade book.  If you are unable to complete the assignment by the specific due date it is your responsibility to set up an appointment with me to discuss the options available to you.

Attendance

Coming to class is a requirement for success.  Especially since we only meet twice a week.  Please make coming to class your highest goal.

If for some reason you are unable to attend (ie, COVID protocols), please reach out to me via text before class begins so I can work with you.  If you text me during class I may not be able to stop our activity/conversation/teaching to set up a plan for you.

Calendar

Speech Length
Speech of Introduction, "This Is Me" 3-4 minutes
Informative Infographic Speech  5-7 minutes 
Persuasive Speech 6-8 minutes

Calendar

  Monday Tuesday (in-class day) Wednesday Thursday (in-class day) Friday Saturday Sunday
Week One

Purchase textbook (if you haven't already)

Read Chs. 1, 2, 3, 17, 18, & 19

Watch TED Talk and complete TED Talk worksheet Take PRSPA Survey - write down your results (will dicuss in class on Thursday) DUE: Course syllabus quiz (Week One Blackboard) by 11:59 p.m. Read: Chs. 6 & 7  

Due: TEST on Chs. 1, 2, 3, 17, 18, & 19 by 11:59 p.m.

DUE: Audience Analysis Survey

Week Two DUE: "This Is Me" outline and PowerPoint by 11:59 p.m.

Passport Notes: Chs. 6 & 7

Group 1 Presenters

 

Group 2 Presenters

Due: 1st post on Discussion Board on Speech Informative Topic Discussion

Read: Chs. 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, & 13  

DUE: Audience Analysis Journal

DUE: Journal responses to 1st speech

DUE: BB Chs. 6 & 7 Test

Week Three   Passport Notes: Chs 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, & 13 due at start of class        

DUE: Test Ch. 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, & 13

Week Four  

Passport Notes: Chs. 14 & 15 due at start of class

  TED Talk Short Talks focus on Introductions & Conclusions Read Chs. 4, 5, & 16  

DUE: Mid-Term Reflection Journal

Week Five DUE: Informative Speech Infographic and outline PDF (11:59 p.m. in BB dropbox)

Passport Notes: 4, 5, & 16 due at start of class

Group 1 Presenters: "Infographic"

Watch for video (from me) in Week Five & in the Persuasive Speech Guidelines area about the coming speech! Group 2 Presenters: "Infographic" Read Chs. 24, 25, & 26  

DUE: Test Chs. 4, 5, & 16

DUE: Journal response to 2nd speech

Week Six  

Group 3 Presenters: "Infographic"

Passport Notes: Chs. 24, 25 & 26 due at start of class

        DUE: Test Chs. 24, 25 & 26
Week Seven DUE: Persuasive Speech PowerPoint and outline PDF (11:59 p.m. in BB dropbox) Group 1 Presenters   Group 2 Presenters     DUE: BB Practice Final Exam (unlimited retakes - take it until you get a 100!)
Week Eight   Group 3 Presenters

DUE: Journal response to the third and final speech

Final Exam Opens

Final Exam Closes Final Grades submitted by 12 noon I will not be answering any texts, calls, or emails until March 21, 2022.  

Additional Information

Computer files

Students will be required to submit all written documents (outlines, papers, assignments, etc.) as Word (.docx) or Portable Digital Files (.pdf).  

If you have a Macintosh (Apple) computer you will need to know how to convert Pages documents into .pdf files.  I can not and will not grade anything submitted as a Pages document.  A zero will be assigned for assignments submitted as a Pages file.

Additionally, I can not grade direct links to Google Drive documents.  Download the files as .pdf files and then submit them.  A zero will be assigned for assignments submitted as a Google Drive links.

Late Assignments/Work/Quizzes

In general, I do not accept late quizzes, assignments or late work; however, if after speaking with a student during an appointment about the extenuating circumstances, I may decide to accept the late work with a late point deduction.  I make this decision on a case by case basis.  The standard deduction is 10 points off of the final grade earned for the assignment.

Our Relationship

I cannot wait to work with you!  Your success is vitally important to you and our community.  I can't wait to watch you soar!

However, even in the best scenarios, events could happen to dampen our relationship.  Here's how I would like us to handle it together.

  1. Please schedule an appointment with me here.  Come to my virtual office on Zoom during our scheduled time together, and present your concerns.  I will listen.  This step is critical to us both.  As a communications faculty member, I strive to model the skills I teach outside of the classroom.  I expect my students to model this as well.
  2. After you have presented your concerns, I will take the opportunity to visit with you if there are any concerns I have about your success.  
  3. If I see there is an error in my attempts, or if I simply didn't do the right thing, I will apologize and work with you to make the situation right.  However, if I believe the issue doesn't lie within my teaching and/or behavior, I will ask you to abide by my decision.
  4. If at this point, you do not feel you have received the appropriate considerations, you may ask for the next step in the process.  I will help you navigate the process to find a resolution.

Faculty Member Rights

On occasion, I may need to alter the contents of this document to enhance and strengthen the learning environment (for one student or the whole class).  I reserve the right to adjust the syllabus (including posted office hours) as necessary.

Once you have successfully completed this course...

You need to update your resume!  Use the following guidelines to update your skills.

If you earned an "A":
  1. Superior knowledge and demonstration of the foundation models of communication through audience analysis.
  2. Superior exhibition of being an ethical speaker and listener, as well as, excellence in understanding how culture, ethnicity, and gender influence communication.
  3. Superior ability to research, develop, and deliver extemporaneous speeches with effective verbal and nonverbal techniques.
  4. Superior use of technology when researching and/or presenting speeches.
  5. Superior ability to present various types of presentations (e.g. narrative, informative, or persuasive).
  6. Superior demonstration of leadership within group environments showing courtesy and respect for clients and co-workers.
If you earned an "B":
  1. Excellent knowledge and demonstration of the foundation models of communication through audience analysis.
  2. Exhibits exceptional skills in being an ethical speaker and listener, as well as, excellence in understanding how culture, ethnicity, and gender influence communication.
  3. Excellent ability to research, develop, and deliver extemporaneous speeches with effective verbal and nonverbal techniques.
  4. Excellent use of technology when researching and/or presenting speeches.
  5. Excellent ability to present various types of presentations (e.g. narrative, informative or persuasive).
  6. Demonstration of participation in groups showing courtesy and respect for clients and co-workers.
If you earned an "C":
  1. Knowledge and demonstration of the foundation models of communication through audience analysis.
  2. Skills in being an ethical speaker and listener, as well as, excellence in understanding how culture, ethnicity, and gender influence communication.
  3. Ability to research, develop, and deliver extemporaneous speeches with effective verbal and nonverbal techniques.
  4. Use of technology when researching and/or presenting speeches.
  5. Ability to present various types of presentations (e.g. narrative, informative, or persuasive).
  6. Participation with groups, practicing courtesy and respect for clients and co-workers.

Syllabus Created on:

01/15/22 1:38 PM

Last Edited on:

02/05/22 3:42 PM