SPCH 1311

Introduction To Speech Communication

 

Synonym #43718

August 25-October 15, 2009

CYP 1105

T/Th 1:25-4:05pm

 

Instructor: Russell Wittrup, Associate Professor of Speech

Email:  rwittrup@austincc.edu

Course WebPage: www.austincc.edu/rwittrup

 

Office:

Office Phone:

Office Hours: 

CYP 1103.5

223-2087

Tuesday/Thursday: 12:45-1:15pm

Tuesday: 4:15-7:15pm

 

Course Description

Introduction to Speech Communication is the study of the theories and practice of oral communication to promote communication competence in intrapersonal, interpersonal, small group, public, and mass media contexts.

 

Course Skill Levels

In accordance with H.B. 2183, students who enroll in ACC Speech courses are expected to demonstrate competent English speaking and listening skills:

·         “Competence in speaking is the ability to communicate orally in clear, coherent, and persuasive language appropriate to purpose, occasion and audience.”

·       “Listening at the college level means the ability to analyze and interpret various forms of spoken communication.”

 

Specifically, to be able to take this course you need to be TSI complete. Our department specifies scores of three (3) or higher in the reading and writing components of the TSI test. Please do NOT attempt this class if your scores are lower than three or you are not yet TSI complete.

 

International students are advised not to attempt this course prior to the successful completion of the TOEFL (English fluency) examination.

 

Course Objectives

After completing this course you will be able to

·         Understand the communication process and the characteristics of competence.

·         Demonstrate an understanding of the role of perception in communication.

·         Recognize the power of language and adapt verbal messages appropriately.

·         Evaluate listening habits and practice effective listening skills.

·         Send and interpret nonverbal messages with accuracy and effectiveness.

·         Understand the role of communication in interpersonal relationships.

·         Recognize own conflict style and demonstrate effective conflict management.

·         Contribute to effective group problem-solving and practice role flexibility.

·         Use effective delivery style in informal or formal public speaking situations.

·         Recognize the need to self-monitor personal communication competence.

·         Develop skill in selecting and using a variety of communication strategies and responses based on situational contexts, goals, and human needs.

·         Foster a better understanding of cultural and ethnic diversity.

 

 Course WebPage: www.austincc.edu/rwittrup

Please go to this page as soon as possible to become familiar with its contents. On it you will find the detailed written descriptions of all course assignments, evaluation forms that will be used to grade assignments, chapter by chapter guides for exams and quizzes, and other materials that will be used over the course of the semester.

 

I do not use Blackboard. This web page is a very basic way of making information that you will need for this class available to you in an on-line format.

 

Text

Beebe, S.A, Beebe, S.J. & Ivy, D.K. (2010) 4th. ed.. Communication: Principles for a lifetime. Allyn & Bacon: Boston, MA.

 

Requirements

The following are the elements that will create your final grade for the class:

 

Scheduled Examinations

There will be four scheduled examinations (see daily course schedule) based upon assigned reading and class lecture material. A list of objectives for each exam will be posted on the course Web Site. The objectives focus on the exact material that you need to know and tell you how I will be designing test questions and assessing your learning. Here is what each exam covers and how it weighs in your grade:

  • Exam #1 (10% of course grade)- Covers chapters 1-3
  • Exam #2 (10% of course grade)- Covers chapters 4-6
  • Exam #3 (15% of course grade)- Covers chapters 7-10
  • Exam #4 (15% of course grade)- Covers chapters 11-13, 15

 

Exam questions will be a combination of multiple choice and true false items. You are to record your answers on a green Scantron sheet, using a number two (#2) lead pencil. Scantron sheets and pencils are not provided. You will need to bring your own. Scantron sheets are available at the CYP bookstore.

 

Interpersonal Communication Skill Check: Active Listening (15% of Course Grade)

This assignment tests your ability to effectively listen to others as viewpoints are shared about a controversial situation. You will be graded on your ability to accurately paraphrase what another person is saying before responding with your viewpoint, to ask clarifying or probing questions, to not cut-off or interrupt the other when you disagree, and to convey attentiveness and positive regard to the other person through the verbal and nonverbal messages that you send. A complete description of this assignment will be posted on the course web page.

 

Group Communication Skill Check: Brainstorming and Selecting Solutions (15% of course grade)

This assignment tests your ability to work with others in a group to use the brainstorming technique for generating possible solutions to a problem. After a 10-15 minute period of brainstorming you will then systematically review your ideas to choose a best solution. A total time of 30 minutes is given for this task.

 

You and your group will be given a topic and then assessed on how well appropriate problem-solving abilities are demonstrated during the discussion. Part of your grade will be based upon how the group performs as a whole. For example, the rules of brainstorming must be followed, the interaction in the group should be balanced, your final solution should fit criteria that you are given, and the atmosphere in the group should remain positive.  In addition, you will receive an assessment of your individual contributions to the discussion. Such things as your level of participation, influence on the decision-making process, leadership functions, and social roles that you fulfill will be evaluated. A written description of, and evaluation forms for this assignment, will be posted on the course web page.

 

Persuasive Speaking Assignment (20% of course grade)

Persuasive messages are those that we intentionally send to others in an attempt to shape, reinforce, or change beliefs and actions. For this speech please think of a problem that impacts everyone in class to some degree and then make an argument on what we can all do to help solve the problem. Your speech will be 5-7 minutes in length.

 

You are to deliver your speech using brief speaking notes or a delivery outline. Do NOT write your speech out and read it, nor attempt to memorize it. You are to incorporate at least one visual or audio presentational aid in your delivery. You are required to draw from at least three research sources to develop your speech and will need to orally cite those sources for the audience in your delivery.

 

You will be graded on how well you organize and support your main ideas, use effective delivery and presentational aids, adhere to the time requirement, and complete the research requirement. You are also required to submit a typed preparation outline and scholarly MLA or APA bibliography of the sources that you use to develop the speech.

A complete description of the assignment will be posted on the course web page (austincc.edu/rwittrup).

 

Classroom Expectations

What can you expect from your instructor?

I want this to be the best class that you’ve ever taken. I pledge to be enthusiastic about learning and will do my best to make our subject matter relevant, interesting, and stimulating for you. I will do everything that I can to help you succeed in this class. I will hold the stated office hours. Should you seek my help during office hours on an assignment or preparation for an exam you will get it. 

 

I pledge to stay on-task during class time and will not waste your time with activities, discussions, and disclosures that do not relate to our subject at hand. We will start and end class on time. I vow to be organized and prepared for every class. I take this business of learning very seriously, but I will try to make it as exciting, fun, and rewarding as possible.

 

For each assignment I specify the objectives that will be evaluated. I provide you with the evaluation forms for your assignments prior to those events. I will grade your work as fairly and consistently as I can. I will do my best to provide fast turn-around of graded work. You can also expect the declarations in this syllabus to be enforced. If you decide to complete this class please expect the terms of this document to be followed.

 

What does your instructor expect from you?

In a nutshell, I ask commitment from you. I simply want you to take learning seriously and do the best that you can do. I expect you to arrive to class each day on time. I expect the completion of course work on time to be a given. I expect you to read the assigned text material for each class and to be prepared for what will be covered in each class. I want you to approach our subject with an open mind and to embrace class activities, discussions, and assignments with a positive attitude. We will not get along very well if you have a tendency to be a slacker or whine about policies and standards of excellence that are enforced.

 

Course Policies

This course syllabus is a legal contract. The policies described below are the rules that are established for the course. Please read them carefully. They are not negotiable. They are binding. Please ask me any questions that you may have about this syllabus and its policies if you are not clear on what the policies mean or how they may apply to you. Your continued enrollment in the class implies that you do understand the course rules and policies and that you have agreed to follow them.

 

 Attendance

Your attendance in this class will have a direct (and in the case of excessive absences, severe) impact on your final course grade. Before explaining that policy, please review the college and Speech Department policies on attendance:

 


ACC Attendance Policy:

“A student a Austin Community College is expected to attend classes in order to progress satisfactorily toward completion of course objectives. Because objectives can vary from department to department and from course to course, the instructor shall inform the student of specific course objectives at the first class meeting. A student who is not meeting course objectives may be withdrawn from the course at the discretion of the instructor.” (ACC 2000-2001 General Catalog, p. 31.)

 

Speech Department Policy:

Your attendance is crucial to your success in this course. You must be present in order to master the skills needed to achieve the course objectives. The individual instructor shall inform the students of specific attendance requirements at the first class meeting. It is the student’s responsibility to withdraw from the course by the official withdrawal date if personal circumstances prevent attendance.

 

Attendance Policy for This Section of SPCH 1311

If you are looking for a section of this course where attending it does not matter, this isn’t the one. Let me suggest a distance learning version of this course if attendance is going to be a problem for you. You’ll note that multiple sections of this class are offered each semester at ACC through distance learning platforms.

Please do not attempt to complete this class if you know that other obligations in your personal or professional life might create potential absences and cause you to not do your best work. All too often students try to balance classes with work, raising a family, or both, and the demands of everything can become overwhelming. Please choose carefully between what you have to do and what you want to do this semester.

I do not apologize for having a rigorous attendance policy. I consider your attendance in class a part of the assessment of your overall performance and here's why: (1) You can’t do your best work by only being present part of the time. You have chosen to enroll in a section of SPCH 1311 that meets twice per week in a classroom setting. During each class period we will be covering and completing the same amount of material as in one week of a regular 16 week class. You will be compromising your grade and ability to improve by not attending regularly. (2) In the “real world” there is no attendance policy- if you want to keep your job showing up is a given. (3) Regardless of the verbal message that accompanies an absence, the nonverbal message (the absence) is the one that communicates the most meaning about the desire a student has to excel in a course. Therefore, I have an attendance policy that rewards you for coming to class every session and penalizes you if you don’t.

 

An absence is defined as not being present for one of the scheduled one hundred sixty minute class periods. Tardy is defined as arriving more than ten (10) minutes late to, or leaving before a scheduled class period has been officially dismissed. Each instance of tardy is recorded as 1/2 of an absence.

  

Your attendance will impact your final course grade in the following manner:

·         0 absences= A bonus of three (3) percentage points added to your final course average. (Example: Your final course average turns out to be 87%, but since you’ve had perfect attendance, your bonus takes the average up to 90% and you receive an A for the course.)

·         1 absence= No impact on your final course average.

·         2 absences=A penalty of three (3) percentage points assessed to your final course average. (Example: Your final course average is 82%, but since you missed two classes during the course of the semester the penalty takes your final average down to 79% and you receive a C for the course.)

·         3 absences=A penalty of six (6) percentage points assessed to your final course average.

·         4 absences= A penalty of twelve (12) percentage points assessed to your final course average.

·         5 absences= A penalty of twenty-four (24) percentage points assessed to your final course average.

·       6 absences= Not being able to complete the course with a passing grade.

I do not distinguish between excused and unexcused absences. I will however waive any penalty to your course average for an absence or absences that are of the following nature: (a) required military service, (b) you are hospitalized, (c) you are observing a religious holiday, d) you are attending a funeral service for a member of your immediate family, or (e) you have been selected for jury duty.

In order for the allowance to be made you must be able to provide written verification to document the absence. Just so that we are clear: work conflicts, medical appointments, being delayed by traffic, trips that you had planned before signing-up for class, not feeling well, and faulty alarm clocks are not the type of events that fall into the category of absences without penalty.

A Word About Beginning The Course Late:

·         I strongly discourage you to attempt this course if you are entering for the first time after the initial two class sessions have met. In my experience, after teaching college courses for more than twenty years, most students who do this do not have successful semesters. Not only will you have to play catch-up with required reading, course content, and assignments, you will also be starting with a penalty on your final course average. Please take this class when you can give it your entire best, not when you will have to compromise on your best performance.

 

Missed Exams

Exams will be given only during the class period designated for those events. If you are not present to take an exam on the scheduled class day you will receive a score of zero for that element of your grade. As a general rule there are no make-up exams. I will allow you to make up an exam only if the following two conditions are met:

  1. An unforeseen, unavoidable, extenuating emergency circumstance occurs and you can verify that it happened through written documentation.
  2. You make a conscientious attempt through e-mail, face-to-face, and/or telephone communication to contact your instructor prior to the scheduled exam to report the emergency.

Ø  Make-up exams will be taken in the CYP Testing Center.

Ø  Make-up exams must be completed no later than one class day after the original scheduled date.

Ø  Make-up exam scores may be penalized up to twenty percentage points.

So that we’re clear on terms, unforeseen, unavoidable, extenuating emergency circumstances are events such as being hospitalized, called-up to serve in the National Guard, or suffering from a death in the immediate family. Work conflicts, trips that you had planned before signing-up for class, medical appointments, being delayed by traffic, not feeling well, and faulty alarm clocks are not the type of events that fall into this category.

 A conscientious attempt to contact your instructor means that you do everything that you possibly can to alert me to your situation. Call, leave a voice mail, send an e-mail, contact the main campus office, or ask someone to deliver a message for you. I need to know that you are trying hard to get a hold of me to let me know what is going on. Please understand, the time that passes between a missed event and communication from a student about that missed event is the main way that I measure, “a conscientious attempt to contact your instructor”.

 With that in mind, prior to a scheduled exam means that I receive this information in a timely manner before the start of the class period, not several minutes before or after the class period has ended. All too often students approach me on Thursday when they missed something the Tuesday before. My answer regarding after-the-fact requests to make-up work will most always be, “no”.

Missed Speaking Assignments

Assigned oral presentations will be given only during the class periods designated for those specific events. Unfortunately, there is no way to make-up the Listening and/or Group Brainstorming skill checks. If you are not present to participate in one or both of these events you will not receive any points for them and a score of zero (0) will be recorded.

If you are unable to give your persuasive speech during your assigned time you will receive a grade of zero (0) for that assignment. I will allow you to make up your persuasive speech only if the following three conditions are met:

  1. An unforeseen, unavoidable, extenuating emergency circumstance occurs and you can verify that it happened through written documentation.
  2. You make a conscientious attempt through e-mail, face-to-face, and/or telephone communication to contact your instructor prior to the scheduled speaking perfromance to report the emergency.
  3. There is time available to give your speech during another class period that is dedicated for the same speaking event, and then only after the scheduled speakers for that day have completed their performances.

Ø      Make-up oral presentations may be penalized up to twenty percentage points.

Again, just so that we’re clear on terms, unforeseen, unavoidable, extenuating emergency circumstances are events such as being hospitalized, called-up to serve in the National Guard, or suffering from a death in the immediate family. Work conflicts, trips that you had planned before signing-up for class, medical appointments, being delayed by traffic, not feeling well, and faulty alarm clocks are not the type of events that fall into this category.

A conscientious attempt to contact your instructor means that you do everything that you possibly can to alert me to your situation. Call, leave a voice mail, send an e-mail, contact the main campus office, or ask someone to deliver a message for you. I need to know that you are trying hard to get a hold of me to let me know what is going on. Please understand, the time that passes between a missed event and communication from a student about that missed event is the main way that I measure, “a conscientious attempt to contact your instructor”.

With that in mind, prior to a scheduled speaking performance means that I receive this information in a timely manner before the start of the class period, not several minutes before or after the class period has ended. All too often students approach me on Thursday when they missed something the Tuesday before. My answer regarding after-the-fact requests to make-up work will most always be, “no”.

Written Work

The written work that is assigned in this class is a preparation outline and works cited bibliography for your persuasive speech. These documents must be typed. I will not accept or grade hand written submissions.

 


Late Assigned Written Work

The preparation outline and works cited bibliography for your persuasive are to be submitted on your assigned speaking day, at the beginning of the specified class period. Submitting any portion of assigned written work after you have delivered your persuasive speech is considered late.

Ø  Assigned written work submitted late will be penalized up to twenty percentage points. 

Ø  Assigned written work will not be accepted later than one class period after a due date.

Ø  Assigned written work that is either not completed, or is completed, but after exceeding the "late policy" guidelines stated above, will receive a grade of zero.

 

Withdrawing From The Course

The final date to withdraw from this class for the first eight-week fall semester session is October 12.

·         Withdrawal by student: It is your responsibility to complete a withdrawal form and submit it to the campus admissions office on or before the October 12 deadline if you intend to withdraw from the class. Prior to withdrawing from class please notify your instructor by either face-to-face, telephone, or email communication. If your name appears on the final grade roster and you have not officially withdrawn from the course you will be issued a letter grade based upon your overall course performance. A grade of “W” (Withdraw) will not (and cannot with on-line grading) be retroactively initiated on the final grade roster.

 

·         Withdrawal by instructor: Your instructor reserves the right to withdraw you from this class if you accumulate excessive absences (see attendance policy) and/or miss assignments, engage in academic dishonesty, create a hostile or disruptive environment in the classroom, impede with the ability for other students to do their best work on the group assignment, or in his judgment, the instructor believes it unlikely that you will complete the course with a passing grade. Your instructor will notify you by either face-to-face, telephone, or email communication if he initiates this action.

 

Scholastic Dishonesty

Acts prohibited by the College for which discipline may be administered include scholastic dishonesty, e.g., cheating on an exam or quiz, plagiarizing, and unauthorized collaboration with another in preparing outside work.  Academic work submitted by students shall be the result of their thought, research, or self-expression.  Academic work is defined as, but not limited to, tests and quizzes, whether taken electronically or

on paper; projects, either individual or group; classroom presentations; and homework. 

 

Plagiarism is the intentional or unintentional presentation of another person’s ideas or work as your own. It can occur in writing or in speech. Students who plagiarize because they do not understand how to document are just as guilty as those who willfully misrepresent their ideas.

 

You have committed plagiarism when you:

A.     Do not acknowledge the source of borrowed ideas, words, or information

B.     Copy the work of another student or author

 

If you plagiarize an assignment or engage in academic dishonesty on an exam, you will fail the assignment or exam with a score of zero (0) and the incident will be reported to the Dean of Student Services. A second offense will result in failure of the course after notification to the Dean & student.

 

Students With Disabilities

Each ACC campus offers support services for students with documented physical or psychological disabilities.  Students with disabilities must request reasonable accommodations through the Office for Students with Disabilities on the campus where they expect to take the majority of their classes.  Students are encouraged to do this three weeks before the start of the semester.

 

Freedom Of Expression

Each student is strongly encouraged to participate in class.  In any classroom situation that includes discussion and critical thinking, there are bound to be many differing viewpoints.  These differences enhance the learning experience and create an atmosphere where students and instructors alike will be encouraged to think and learn.  On sensitive and volatile topics, students may sometimes disagree not only with each other but also with the instructor.  It is expected that faculty and students will respect the views of others when expressed in classroom discussions. 

 

Classroom Conduct

During class performances and activities you should practice active listening and critical thinking skills.  Please do not talk to others, work on other subjects, enter or leave the room, or engage in any other behavior that might distract a speaker. Also, please eliminate the possibility of pager, cellular phone, watch alarms, etc, going off in class. Please do not interrupt the class by leaving the room once a session has begun (i.e., do necessary bathroom functions before or after class, or during our regular mid-class break, not during class) Please do not bring drink or food into the classroom.

 

Cell Phones

Please leave your cell phone OFF during class. Do not receive or send cell phone calls during class. Do not send or receive text messages during class.

·         If your cell phone goes off in class during an examination or graded oral performance of any kind, five points, for each occurrence, will be deducted from your total score for the same event. That means for example that if your cell phone goes off during exam number one five points will be deducted from your score on that exam. If it happens to go off a second time another five points will be deducted.

·         If you are found to be sending or receiving text messages during an examination or graded oral performance of any kind, five points, for each occurrence, will be deducted from your total score for the same event.

 

Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974

Matters regarding and information pertaining to your participation and performance in this class are strictly between you and the instructor. I cannot discuss your grade or status in class with anyone other than you. Please make sure that your parents are aware of this policy if you are in the Early College Start Program. I cannot have conversations or share information about your performance with them.

 

To also assure privacy I do not engage in telephone or email conversations with students about grades or class performance. Those conversations are reserved for private conferences during regular office hours.

 

Check Your ACC G-Mail Account Regularly

As an ACC student you have been issued an email account through the college. Here is the link to login, set your password, and use the service: http://www.austincc.edu/google/

 

Should there be a need, I will use this email channel to communicate with you outside of class. The college also uses this as a means of conveying emergency type of information. For example, should there be server weather that closes down the college you will receive such a notice via your ACC email account. I will do the same in the event that I am unable to get to class for some reason. So, please make it a regular habit to check your mail before making the trip in to class.

 

Extra Credit

As a general rule I do not offer extra credit. There are absolutely no “do over” attempts on assignments, exams, or quizzes. Should I offer extra credit, it will likely be related to an event or activity that is occurring on an ACC campus and is related to a topic of study in our course. It will be something that is offered to every student in class.

 

Course Grades

I am giving you a very detailed document to read entitled, “Your Course Grade”. Please consider this document part of your official course syllabus policy and required reading.  You will find a lengthy explanation of what I pledge to do to help you succeed in this class, as well as how your grades are created. I also very clearly tell you what I expect from you with regard to the grading process. Several items pertaining to your grade that I do not address in this document are listed below.

 

Here is a summary of how your final course grade will be calculated:

Here is a summary of how your final course grade will be calculated:

·         Exam #1-10%

·         Exam #2- 10%

·         Exam #3- 15%

·         Exam #4- 15%

·         Listening Skills Assessment- 15%

·         Group Problem-Solving Skills Assessment-15%

·         Persuasive Speech- 20%

·         Attendance- Can increase your final course average by three percentage points, lower your final grade average by as much as thirty-six percentage points, or cause you to not complete the course with a passing grade.

 

Here is the scale that I use to convert your final course average score into the letter grade:

·         A= 89.5-100% 

·         B= 79.5-89.4% 

·         C= 69.5-79.4% 

·         D= 59.5- 69.4% 

·         F= Below 59.5% 

 

At any point in the semester I can calculate your grade average for you if you have questions about where you stand. Please visit me during office hours for that information.