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Sample Syllabus

The discipline of communication focuses on how people use messages to generate meaning within and across various contexts, cultures, channels, and media. The discipline promotes the effective and ethical practice of human communication.   Public Speaking is the process of planning and delivering a message to a large group of people in a structured and deliberate manner intended to inform, influence, and/or entertain the listeners. Compared to interpersonal and small group communication public speaking is more rule-driven and planned because of contextual constraints, mainly the number of people involved.  To understand public speaking, we will explore all types of communication in this course.  

SPC 1006 Mon 11am-12:15 pm

Sections 72644, 72645, 72646  Fall 2015  YBOR 212

Instructor:  Shelly Stein

YFAC 209 Sstein2@hccfl.edu

(813) 253-7650


Office Hours

To be posted online and in class

…And By Appointment 

Course Materials

Free Online Text:  The Public Speaking Project http://publicspeakingproject.org/psvirtualt ext.html

The quizzes are all taken online in our Canvas classroom and are open-book.  

60% of your course grade is based on work that is conducted in our online classroom:  https://hcc.instructure.com  (Canvas).

Canvas Student Guide:


For the semester, you should have access to a PC where you can take quizzes, read, and submit assignments. 

Free Computer Access:

YBOR 303:

Monday - Thursday   8:00 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.; Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

The SGA Student Lounge 1st floor YFAC Bldg.

Learning Resource Center (Library):  Mon-Thurs - 8am-8pm; Fri - 8am-4:30pm.

SPC 1006 Library Guide:


Your Local Library:


Check all places for updated hours

Teaching Philosophy

In my classroom, I will deliver education of the highest standards while fostering a safe environment for students regardless of diversity issues, including gender, race, ethnicity, religion, ability, sexuality, gender identification and socioeconomic status across cultures.


Policy Regarding Syllabus

This syllabus provides clear rules and guidelines for this course. It is a contract between the instructor and students to help guide behavior and to ensure fairness. The instructor reserves the right to amend the syllabus at any time. Any change in the syllabus will be announced in class and online and the change will apply to all students. Each student is responsible for handouts and/or announcements given during any absence from any class session.


For Students with Disabilities

Any student whose disability falls within the American Disabilities Act (ADA) and requires accommodations should contact the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities within the first two weeks of class. The office is located in the Student Services Building Room 109. You may also reach the office by phone at (813) 253-7757/TDD: (813) 253-7788.

HCC Policy on Religious Observances

HCC will reasonably accommodate the religious observances, practices, and beliefs of students in its admission, class attendance, and the examination policies and in work assignments.

Students must notify instructors at least one week prior to an absence due to religious observance. 

Emergency Operations

 In the event of a weather or public health emergency, it may be necessary for HCC to suspend normal operations. During this time, HCC may opt to             communicate   through methods that include but are not limited to: Canvas classroom, texting, and email messaging. It’s the responsibility of the student to monitor these messages.

Important Resources

HCC offers counseling services free to any registered student coping with issues ranging from academic frustrations to more serious situations.  All counseling sessions are confidential. Call 1-877-736-2575 for assistance.


Additional Resources

National Suicide Prevention Hotline 


National Sexual Assault Hotline

1-800-656-HOPE (4673)

HCC Campus Security

813- 253-7911


HCC Financial Aid Policies  

Students who have received financial aid this semester should not drop or withdraw from this class without first talking to someone in the financial aid department. Dropping or withdrawing may require you to repay the financial aid you received this class, including all federal and state aid, both grants and loans.   


Technology & Other Requirements

I will provide instructions a support during office hours for using the Canvas Learning Management system.  We will use this for emails, posting grades, and for finding copies of your assignments.  It is the responsibility of the student to acquire and learn the basics for how to use the learning management system for this class.     


Gordon Rule? Although the Gordon Rule no

longer has a formal word count, you will still be expected to write a minimum of 1500 words in this class, which you will easily satisfy by writing the outlines and the texts of your manuscript speeches. Remember, you must pass all Gordon Rule classes with a minimum grade of ―C to avoid re-taking them.


Course Description   1 Credit SPC 1006 focuses on the basic methods of speech presentation and critical listening. For those students that began prior to the fall term 2002 and have had continuous enrollment, this meets the speech component of the general education communication requirements.  This course is non-transferrable.


Course prerequisite: College level reading and writing.    

Course Outcomes: 

Upon completion of the course:

        Students will demonstrate the ability to manage communication apprehension by delivering a variety of extemporaneous speeches using verbal and nonverbal behaviors designed to engage the listener. 

        Students will provide evidence and reasoning to support the purpose and central idea of a speech.  

        Students will prepare and present oral presentations using established rhetorical patterns adapting them to the established needs of the audience.

        Students will adapt the oral presentations to fulfill any additional assignment requirements related to structure, purpose, or audience.

        Students will apply ethical practices in developing and presenting speeches. 

        Students will conduct self and peer evaluations to demonstrate effective listening skills, to identify rhetorical patterns, and to critically evaluate the quality of content and delivery techniques.


Policies and Responsibilities

The entire group’s success depends on each member’s professionalism and contribution. Everyone has a responsibility to contribute to a productive and positive classroom culture. To ensure our success, here are a few guidelines:

Attendance and Make-up Policy

Your consistent participation in this course is crucial both to your individual learning and your classmates’ benefit.  Attendance is mandatory for every student.  As this is a skills based course, any class that you miss will have an impact on your grade.  Any classes that are missed where a speech is due and is allowed to be made up must be accompanied by a sanctioned excuse, like a doctor’s note or a funeral program for a death in the immediate family, in order to make up the speech.  Regardless of the excuse other than illness/hospitalization, I require that you turn in your outline on the day that it is due—otherwise you will receive no points for your outline.   

Transportation issues or an inflexible work schedule do not constitute an excuse under any circumstances other than those resulting in hospitalization. 

If you are absent, it’s your responsibility to collect any notes, handouts, or materials. Each absence incurs point deductions of approximately 50 points.   


You will be penalized 10 points for each 10 minutes you are late to class.  If you want to see if you were counted late, please see me after class and refer to the seating chart.   

Class Preparation

As a college student, I expect that you will come to class fully prepared for the day’s lesson.  This includes all reading that should have been done in advance, any written work that is due and well-rehearsed presentations.  Failure to prepare adequately will result in a deduction in your participation grade.

Good Classroom Citizenship

Every member of the class has important contributions to make. Everyone brings unique and useful perspectives and experiences to our group      dynamic. So let’s make the most of this          opportunity to learn from one another. For those who may be tempted to hold back, please don’t. For those who tend to be eager to share, remember that good communication

means listening as much as talking.

While everyone may not agree on a topic of discussion, you will not talk over or use any type of bullying to deny your classmates or instructor an opportunity to discuss their views.  No discrimination will be tolerated based upon age, sex, ethnicity, national origin, ability, sexuality, or gender identification.


Use of Technology in Class

The use of cell phones, laptops, and other devices is prohibited unless you receive express permission from the instructor for use.



No grades are discussed through email. No grades or other classroom matters will be discussed with anyone other than the student unless express permission has been granted through the appropriate authorities. 


I hold a 24/7 grade policy.  This means that a student must read through their speech grade, ask appropriate questions and then wait 24 hours before approaching me with a grade grievance.  After those 24 hours are over, a student may seek a scheduled meeting with me within no more than seven days to discuss the grade. 


Grading Philosophy

I have found that most students do average work.  With that in mind, each student will start this class with an average grade of C.  It is up to you to improve on that grade.  Exceptional students will be rewarded.  Exceptional students are defined as those who go beyond the surface of the assignment and become more engaged in the deeper conversation.  Just doing the basics of the assignments and turning in your first draft of work will guarantee your average grade or possibly less.  

Grading Scale

Grades are calculated according to the following scale:

900-1000 = A: Superior Performance - work goes above and beyond what is required to produce truly exceptional results. 

800-899 = B: Very good performance, better than the average.

700-799 = C: Average performance, producing what was expected. 

600-699 = D: Work is below average. 

599 or below = F: Failed to meet the minimum requirements for passing.  TIP: 3 main reasons students fail – poor attendance, failure to complete online work, failure to complete each speech.  It is possible to receive an F on a speech and still pass the class. 


Alternative Grades (I, W, WN)

        The instructor will not assign the grade of "I," representing a failure to complete all the work in the course, unless at least 75% of the coursework has been completed by the end of the course and prior arrangements have been made.

        The instructor will not assign a grade of "W‖.

The "W" represents that a student is Withdrawing from the course, and it is the student's responsibility to withdraw from the class.  It is the student's responsibility to check the college calendar for that date. This calendar appears in the class schedules published by the college, on the college web site, and in this syllabus. /current-students/academic-calendars.aspx

        The instructor will only assign a WN to students who have never attended class.


Written Work

All written work turned in during class (outlines and sources) must be typed.  Correct spelling, grammar, capitalization and punctuation absolutely counts. Written work that does not meet these standards will not be accepted.  Unless given express consent, I will not accept work that is emailed to me.   If you must hand in work outside of class for any reason, please have it placed in my mailbox, which is located in the Admin building first floor in the mailroom.  

Late Policy

Since you can turn in any of your online work early, you may only earn up to ½ credit for online work that is turned in late.   There are a few exceptions to this rule such as when the college servers are down for more than a few hours unexpectedly.  

I do not accept make up speeches that have not been verified with valid notation.  You may only make up certain speeches on a day that has been approved by me—usually the last day of the semester.  If you miss the make-up speech day for any reason, there will not be another opportunity to complete the work.  


Academic Dishonesty

Any form of cheating or plagiarism on assignments constitutes unacceptable deceit and dishonesty.  Plagiarism, according to Diana Hacker’s The Bedford   Handbook, is (1) failing to cite quotations and borrowed ideas, (2) failing to enclose borrowed language in quotation marks, and (3) failing to put summaries and paraphrases in your own words. For additional information, refer to the Student Handbook section:  Academic Dishonesty Policy.  This applies to this classroom and a grade of F may be issued for Plagiarism or Cheating.  Your speeches should be original and written by you.  


        Any other conduct aimed at making false representation with respect to a student’s academic performance is also considered academic dishonesty.

        Academic dishonesty online includes phoning-a-friend, texting or any other collaboration, when taking an exam.

        The exceptions are when such collaboration is inherent to the assignment, as in group activities, or when encouraged, as for example when students work together in study groups in preparation for exams or when helping each other in the practice of presentations.


Speech Assignments:  You may not deliver a canned speech or a speech that has been given before by yourself or another person for this class.

        In addition, you may not read a manuscript or a full-sentence outline speech in class. Reading from a manuscript whether it is your own or another’s will result in a grade of ―F‖ for the assignment. If there is evidence of plagiarism, you will receive an F for the assignment and probably the course.  Presenting false or fabricated information will result in an F for the speech. Depending on the severity, it may result in an F for the course.

        The course textbook describes ways to appropriately document original source materials in oral presentations to avoid committing plagiarism. In our class, we will use the APA style format. A link to the APA handbook is found in our class LibGuide (Library Guide) http://libguides.hccfl.edu/stein1006

        And prescribes ways to document original source materials in written presentations to avoid committing plagiarism.  I will not,

under any circumstances, accept late sources or bibliographies.


Notice of Unauthorized Recordings

All unauthorized recordings of class are prohibited. The redistribution of other class materials such as quizzes, exams, and general notes are prohibited as well.


Classroom Etiquette

Rules for college classes will be maintained and include: not missing class, not walking in late or leaving early, not walking in during student speeches, no slamming of doors or other materials, cleaning up after yourself, no noise from (or use of) electronic devices such as cell phones, no wandering in/out of the room for any reason, (no taking smoke breaks),no sleeping or keeping your head down on your desk, no inappropriate conversations, and no expressions of disrespectful attitude, speech, or behaviors may be exhibited toward your instructor or peers. 


You will be penalized participation points for each occurrence if you fail to comply with these rules. Additionally, should ―repeat‖ inappropriate behaviors become an issue with your presence in the classroom; you will be directed to meet with the Ybor Dean of Student Services. You will not be allowed to return to class until you meet with the Dean you are cleared for readmission. 




Students will wear professionally casual, neat dress on presentation days (avoiding faded or torn jeans, T-shirts, shorts, tank tops, cut-offs, sneakers, flip-flops, bare midriffs or shoulders or revealing wear). Students may also be asked to remove distracting facial and/or body/tongue piercings prior to their speeches. No one will be allowed to give a presentation while wearing a hat or sunglasses unless it is used as a visual aid. Please dress professionally to maximize your success. 


The Use of Wikipedia and other Encyclopedic Sources 

Since college-level reading and writing are requirements for this course, I assume that      each of you have learned basic research and citing methods.  In SPC 1608, we have an in depth library workshop where you review how to do research and how to acquire academic sources for your speech assignments.  

 At no time & under no conditions is the online encyclopedia WIKIPEDIA ever to be used as a cited resource for any assignment in this class. Additionally, general encyclopedic sources (Ask.com, About.com) are never to be used as a source in this class. Anyone using or citing WIKIPEDIA or any other online encyclopedia in any assignment will receive significant a letter grade deduction on that assignment.   


I will respond to all emails in a timely manner except on weekends or those sent the morning of class.  For speediest feedback, use sstein2@hccfl.edu.  If you don’t hear from me in 24 hours try again.  All emails will be professional in tone and construction whether they are sent to me or to your classmates. 

Texting language is not appropriate.  



The Assignments

You should learn to think critically about information presented to you and be able to blend research with personal introspection,          so        there will             be reflection and research assignments that are due throughout the semester, which will constitute your total grade.  The assignments will be mostly oral presentations done in front of the class.  There will also be homework learning modules which are similar to quizzes given to test your understanding of the material.

Speeches 300 points (30% of overall grade)

  Formal Interview Speech & outline:  100 pts; Time:  2-3 minutes Make-up penalty 20 points:

The objectives of this speech include:

1.     To get to know you better by preparing and interview-worthy introduction 

2.    To craft an interesting speech, with appropriate self-disclosure, with 2-3 main points, and an introduction and conclusion.


Informative Briefing Speech & outline:  100 pts, Time: 3-5-minutes, Make-up penalty 20 points:

The objectives of this speech include:

1.   To utilize the knowledge and skills learned in this course.

2.  To educate the class on your chosen field of study 

3.  To use at least two sources with proper citation.

4.  To demonstrate your capabilities with visual aids and audience analysis.


Award/acceptance Speech (no outline, visual, no make-ups, 100 pts; Time: 1-2 minutes          

You will be assigned a classmate to whom you will create and present an award (No exceptions). 

The objectives of this speech include:

1.    To think creatively on a subject that you may not know much about.

2.    To choose a mode of delivery that works best for your speaking style.

3.    To choose appropriate style elements for your immediate audience.

4.    To deliver an extemporaneous award and an impromptu acceptance speech, meeting all listed criteria.


Major speeches may be recorded in class and uploaded to an online site for viewing. Each student may review their own speeches as well as that of other students in their class. There are no exceptions to this requirement. All speeches must be delivered in class with an audience in attendance. There are no exceptions to this requirement.

You must deliver all speeches in order to pass the course!


Extemporaneous Mode of Delivery

Unless indicated otherwise, all speeches must be delivered conversationally with an outline only.


A “read” or manuscript speech will result in an F for the speech. You are allowed to use notes and visual aids in

addition to an outline while

speaking. You must turn in a typed copy of your outline along with your speech.  No late outlines, visual aids, references and so forth, are accepted. 

 Participation: 200 points (20%)

Each absence, whether excused or unexcused, will result in the loss of your participation points.  Absences will result in a loss of at least 30 points per occurrence; being tardy is a loss of 10 points for every 10 minutes so try hard not to be late!  

Quizzes & Online Homework assignments:  400 points (40%) 

You will have the opportunity to complete 19 online quizzes. The online quizzes are open book.  They are designed to help you test your comprehension of the textbook and to encourage you to keep up with reading. You may not collaborate with other students on the quizzes. Since you may take them early, I do not allow for make-up work on the quizzes for full credit. If you need to take the quizzes in the testing center instead of online, or have an accommodation for more testing time, you must make arrangements with me the first week of class.  Each quiz is worth approximately 2% of your overall grade or 10 points and is in the true/false or fill-in-the-blank format. 


Written Assignments: 

Your writing skills are critical in college classes. As such any work that you submit will be graded on a scale based on use of appropriate grammar and style (no texting), the level of detail, application of course concepts, depth of thought, and thoroughness of your response.  


You will also have at least one self-evaluation to submit and some other work that may be turned in during class or online. Be sure to read the instructions for all assignments and check the due dates.    


Online Assignment Submission:  

Method #1: Easiest and generally most foolproof, but you may lose formatting: Compose your work in a word processing program and then copy and paste the document in the submission window of the assignment folder. Be sure to check the formatting from a campus computer before the due date.  Note: Avoid composing your work in the submission window as you might be “timed-out” and lose your work!  


Method #2: Upload an attachment. 

Regardless of the computer you are using, only submit a .doc, .docx, .rtf or .pdf file or I will not be able to open it.  If I cannot open your document when I begin grading, I will consider your assignment to be late.   Be sure to check your attachment on a campus computer before the due date.


Always double-check that you submitted or attached the correct file AND that your file was accepted.  I can only grade what is submitted.  


Final Grades: Other than what is posted in the online classroom, no Final Grades will be given in advance of posting with the registrar.  If you would like help in figuring your grade, come to my office hours.  Since I use a point scale, it is fairly easy to keep track of your grade. 

Accessing MyHCC (Log-in


Please note that it is your responsibility to login to our online classroom at least twice a week to do your work and to check announcements.  Classroom Website:

https://hcc.instructure.com  Username and password:  If you have not already establish your Net ID. 

Browser Check:  A browser check tool is on the My HCC tab (left column), once you log into our online classroom (Canvas).  You should test your browser and make the necessary updates. This will avoid technical problems when using MyHCC.  See Canvas’ compatibility page for more details.


Technical Difficulties:  Please contact HCC Live Help (http://hcclive.hccfl.edu/) for all technology-related issues. Indicate to technical support that you are using Canvas at HCC.  The Canvas toll-free support line is 844-408-6462.

 Instructor Pledge:

Like the students in this class, I am expected to demonstrate personal accountability throughout the course.  For this reason, you can expect me to be:


Supportive:  I will do all that I can to see you excel in this class.  In short, I want each of you to succeed.


Appropriately Challenging: I will challenge each and every one of you with rigorous yet fair expectations and criteria.  I will expect your best work at all times and will do my best to provide you with the necessary tools to meet this expectation.


Respectful: I will communicate respectfully with you.  As the instructor, I will do my best to ensure each of you feel valued both in and outside of this classroom by listening mindfully to your comments and/or concerns and paraphrasing both meaning and intent in the hopes of creating shared understanding.


Timely: I will start and end class on time. 

There will be some speech days where we run a little over time so if you have a class after ours, be sure to speak 1st!  Some speech days may run late but you may leave at the end of the class if you have already spoken), grade and return all work within a reasonable time

frame.   I will require a 24-hour turn-around time,

however, on all correspondence that requires more

than a brief answer.  If I ever have to cancel class,

I will try my best to post an announcement in




I will come to class prepared and knowledgeable about assigned readings and upcoming assignments.




I will organize class time effectively, and I will accommodate multiple learning preferences by using varying techniques such as: Class discussion, presentation aids, & activities.  In addition, I will provide clear instructions and criteria for all assignments.


*I follow criterion-based grading in this course. I do not grade on a “curve”. Below is a sample grading rubric that I use for each speech.   
Objective/Criteria Performance Indicators
Unacceptable Poor Below Average Average Above Average Good Work Exceptional
Topic: Appropriate to audience and occasion (0  -4 points)
You need to make sure you understand the requirements before your next presentation
(5 points)
You need to make sure you understand the requirements before your next presentation
(6 points)
Needs work
(7 points)
Met minimal requirements
(8 points)
Meets expectations
(9 points)
Good work
(10 points)
Great job
Introduction: Addressed audience, displayed confidence, purposeful opening Conclusion: clincher, eye contact, addressed audience at the end (0 - 4 points)
You need to make sure you understand the requirements before your next presentation
(5 points)
You need to make sure you understand the requirements before your next presentation
(6 points)
Needs work
(7 points)
Met minimal requirements
(8 points)
Meets expectations
(9 points)
Good work
(10 points)
Great job
Outline:  2 copies provided, Proper Source Citation (0 - 4 points)
You need to make sure you understand the requirements before your next presentation
(5 points)
You need to make sure you understand the requirements before your next presentation
(6 points)
Needs work
(7 points)
Met minimal requirements
(8 points)
Meets expectations
(9 points)
Good work
(10 points)
Very good work
Physical Delivery: Eye contact 70/30, Appropriate physical  characteristics appropriate stance and movement (0 - 4 points)
You need to make sure you understand the requirements before your next presentation
(5 points)
You need to make sure you understand the requirements before your next presentation
(6 points)
Needs work
(7 points)
Met minimal requirements
(8 points)
Meets expectations
(9 points)
Good work
(10 points)
Great job on your conclusion
Vocal Delivery: Good rate-does not rush, good articulation and enunciation, avoids filler words (0 - 4 points)
You need to make sure you understand the requirements before your next presentation
(5 points)
You need to make sure you understand the requirements before your next presentation
(6 points)
Needs work
(7 points)
Met minimal requirements
(8 points)
Meets expectations
(9 points)
Good work
(10 points)
Very good work on delivery
Other requirements: Time 3-5 minutes (-5 points)
You need to make sure you understand the requirements before your next presentation
(-4 points)
You need to make sure you understand the requirements before your next presentation
(-3 points)

(-2 points)
Indicates lack of practice and awareness of time.
(-1 point under or overtime)
Need to watch your time.
(-0  points)
Meets expectations
  out of 50