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Public Speaking Course Description

 

This is a dual-credit speech course offered through Cowley College. Students will receive credit in high school and on a college transcript for successfully completing this course. Students will communicate, find assignments, and submit work though Blackboard (Bb). Caldwell Schools website will NOT provide information and updates for this course.

 

Purpose or Goal of the Course:  Students will learn the skills and strategies needed to prepare and deliver demonstration, informative, commemorative and persuasive speeches.  This course emphasizes how to compose meaningful and coherent messages, how to conduct responsible research on appropriate topics, and how to argue, develop, and polish effective presentation skills.  In addition, students will be equipped to objectively evaluate the efforts of others.

 

Class Policies:   

  • Students should bring textbooks, paper, and a writing instrument to every class. You will need to purchase a small package of 3” X 5” index cards.  
  • The use of cell phones for text messaging or calls is prohibited in class without prior approval, which will only be granted for an extreme circumstance. The use of other electronic devices (laptops, iPads, etc…) will only be permissible for note taking and will be forbade if they become a distraction to the instructor or other students.
  • We will do four formal speeches: demonstration, informative, special occasion and persuasive; two of which will require research, one group presentation, and we will often have impromptu speeches to lessen stress and practice public speaking skills. 
  • Speeches and assignments are due on the assigned date whether the student is in class or not.  As an emergency only, a speech (other than the final persuasive) can be made up, for discounted credit only, at the next scheduled class meeting only.  Important note for students with EXCUSED absences (athlete events, field trips, etc…).  It is crucial that students personally visit with the instructor prior to being gone.  This requirement is the only way a missed test or assignment can be rescheduled.  Each speech is required to pass the class.
     
  • Speech topics must be approved by the instructor before the speech is presented in front of an audience, and formal outlines will be submitted electronically in Blackboard before the assigned day of the speech at the instructor’s request. Outlines will be checked for plagiarism via the department’s currently used plagiarism checker. Using other people’s information without proper citation OR creating fake citations is considered academic dishonesty. Students who engage in academic dishonesty will not receive credit and may be dismissed from the course and college.
  • For each major speech assignment, a typed and formal, well-developed outline is due and handed to the instructor just before students speak.   Students will NOT be allowed to speak without the prepared formal outline.  In addition, the note card used in the speech will be turned in after the presentation. For their own protection, students should make and retain a copy of each submitted assignment.
  • The final exam will be administered on the assigned day and specific hour.    Students will not receive credit for the course if they do not give a final speech AND take the final exam.
  • Students should not bring any potentially dangerous visual aid materials (such as weapons) to class.
  • Daily discussion and group work cannot be made up.  Students earn daily grades for class discussions, quizzes, and in-class activities.  Quizzes may be given, and homework assignments are taken up at the beginning of classes.  If students are not present to do the work or hand it in, they lose the points those assignments are worth. If students are tardy, homework assignments must be given to the instructor immediately upon entering the classroom, not at the end of class.

Textbook: O’Hair, Dan, Hannah Rubenstein, and Rob Stewart.  Pocket Guide to Public Speaking, 5th edition. Boston: MacMillan, 2016. 

Go to https://www.cowley.edu/ and log into Blackboard to access assignments and resources.