COMM 110 - Fundamentals of Public Speaking
2023 Fall Syllabus, Section 02, CRN 1549
You are responsible for knowing this material, so please read carefully. Any changes will be announced in a Blackboard Announcement. You will be responsible for any changes. Your continued enrollment in this course is your implicit agreement to abide by the requirements of this class.
Times and Location
Teaching Assistant Professor, Public Speaking Director
2023 Fall Office Hours:
Monday: (in-person) 10:30-12:00
Tuesday: (Zoom) 1:30-2:30
Thursday: (Zoom) 10:30-12:00
Friday: (in-person) 1:30-2:30
Office Phone: 701-777-3447
About the Professor
This is an Essential Studies Communication course. As such, it is meant to introduce and allow you to practice the skills necessary to speak and write effectively in civic, academic, and professional settings. Effective communication is learned through continued practice. Essential Studies Communication courses strongly emphasize the process; your instructor will give regular feedback on your speaking and writing, and you will be required to produce multiple oral presentations and written texts. These assignments will require you to work with particular content or information, but they’ll also demand that you know rhetorical strategies and delivery style.
This course also addresses the ES learning goals of Oral Communication and Critical Inquiry & Analysis. Oral communication means that it is about presenting information (formally or informally) in various settings and to different audience sizes. Critical Inquiry & Analysis implies that it is about collecting and analyzing data to reach conclusions based on evidence through systematically exploring issues, objects, or works by collecting evidence that results in informed decisions or judgments.
Mission: The mission of the Department of Communication is to provide students with a broad understanding of human communication in various contexts, across diverse cultures, and through multiple systems. The Program engages students in lifelong learning that addresses socially and globally pressing communication challenges through academic, creative, critical, and practical curriculum and instruction.
Goals: We seek to achieve this mission by designing an interdisciplinary curriculum that respects the liberal arts tradition and exposes students to various theoretical and practical experiences to become informed, engaged, and ethical global citizens.
Students will be able to communicate both orally and in writing.
• Gather, interpret, and assess information from various sources and points of view. Cite sources in three places: In-line, in a “Works Cited” section, and verbally during your oral presentation.
• Evaluate evidence and arguments analytically, and produce well-reasoned written and oral arguments using evidence to support conclusions.
• Articulate and assess ethical views and their underlying premises, including using data and other information resources to respond to problems and questions.
• Identify and engage with local, national, or global events, trends, or ideologies, and analyze their impact on individual or collective decision-making.
• Demonstrate the skills to compose and present appropriate verbal and nonverbal messages to diverse audiences.
• Demonstrate the skills necessary to compose/create and present informative and persuasive messages.
• Demonstrate competence in active and practical listening skills.
• Demonstrate observational and critical evaluation skills by critiquing student speeches appropriately in oral/written format.
Lucas; The Art of Public Speaking, 13e, available for purchase through BlackBoard or the UND
Bookstore. A Student Perspective: McGraw Hill ReadAnywhere app (mhhe.com) (https://video.mhhe.com/watch/JRFBv8GRM8bP29SU3Lcptz/)
All students must have the online access code provided by the UND Library or McGraw Hill to complete assignments for this course.
Students will use Microsoft Word to complete assignments (files created using Pages in Apple can be saved as a Word file before submitting). All quizzes and presentations will be submitted through McGraw Hill Connect and GoReact via BlackBoard.
Students are expected to use their official UND email in the course. Visit the Office 365 Email webpage (https://campus.und.edu/campus-services/uit/email.html) for information on your UND email and how to download/install a free version of Microsoft Office. For technical assistance, please get in touch with UND Technical Support at 701.777.2222. Visit the University Information Technologies (UIT) website (https://campus.und.edu/campus-services/uit/) for their hours, help documents, and other resources.
Minimum Technical Skills Needed
In order to succeed in this course, at a minimum, you should be able to:
Insert minimum requirements expected and needed. In the bulleted example list below
- Navigate in and use basic Blackboard/McGraw Hill Connect functions
- Download and open electronic documents
- Create, save, and upload/attach electronic documents
- Send, receive, and manage email
Access and Log in Information
This course was developed and will be facilitated utilizing Blackboard, McGraw Hill Connect, and GoReact. To start the course, please go to:http://blackboard.UND.edu and log in with your NDUS Identifier, Username, and Password. If you do not know your NDUS Identifier or have forgotten your password, please visit Your NDUS Account page (https://campus.und.edu/campus-services/uit/ndus.html) on the UITwebsite.
To access McGraw Hill Connect, click the "How-To Videos" link under the syllabus tab in BlackBoard. This will direct you to the McGraw Hill Connect page to purchase the required text. You must purchase the Art of Public Speaking Access Code, which costs approximately $62. The textbook is also available to purchase at the UND Bookstore for the same amount. When registering through McGraw Hill Connect, you must use the same email you use to access Blackboard.
The course content is organized by week for this semester. Each week contains a purpose, learning outcomes, and links to articles, video/audio files, and other instructional resources selected to enhance the learning experience and support the multiple topics. Discussions, blogs, wikis, surveys, quizzes, tests, and assignments will be used to assess your comprehension and application of those materials.
Before starting the first week, you should have reviewed the syllabus and taken the Syllabus Quiz.
On the left side course menu in Blackboard, there is a “Lessons” tab. Inside Lessons, you will find all the required readings, videos, and assignments/activities for the week. An overview of each week can be found in Blackboard under the Schedule tab.
Many services are available to UND students, such as writing assistance from the UND Writing Center, free online tutoring from Smarthinking, and more. Visit the Student Resources page for more information. Students also have access to the UND Student Resource Site via Blackboard. It is recommended that you become familiar with the tools and tutorials within the site to better equip you in navigating the course.
- The student will review the syllabus and course schedule posted on Blackboard.
- The student will access and follow all course instructions found in the weekly area of the Blackboard course.
- The student will participate in any lecture or discussion sessions on campus or online as provided and as part of this course.
- The student will complete and submit assignments, exams, quizzes, etc., by the date noted and in the manner described in Blackboard and on the course schedule.
- The student will participate fully and promptly to benefit from learning from the instructor and/or peers.
Instructor Responsibilities and Feedback
• The instructor will provide feedback on all assignments and group activities by Wednesday of the following week.
• During appointed Office Hours, the instructor will be available to answer questions, provide feedback, and offer advice.
Monday: (in-person) 10:30-12:00
Tuesday: (Zoom) 1:30-2:30
Thursday: (Zoom) 10:30-12:00
Friday: (in-person) 1:30-2:30
Announcements will be posted in Blackboard on a regular basis. Be sure to check the announcements regularly as they will contain important information about assignments and other matters.
You are encouraged to post your questions about the course in the FAQs discussion board forum on the Blackboard site or raise them in class if held synchronously or on campus. The Blackboard discussion board is an open forum in which you and your classmates are encouraged to answer each other’s questions. But, if you need to contact me directly, check the Faculty tab in Blackboard or the syllabus for my contact information. I will respond to you within 48 hours during the week or weekend.
Discussion Forums, Blogs, & Wikis
These tools are an excellent way to engage with the course material and your peers. Each week we will have at least one of these tools for you to participate in. You are expected to read all assigned discussion boards, blog posts, and/or wiki pages and contribute thoughtfully.
When participating in class (online or in person), it is important to interact with your peers appropriately. Always use professional language (no Netspeak) in your postings and emails. Please be respectful of your classmates at all times, even if you disagree with their ideas.
How will you give the audience insight into yourself and who you are? Which two or three things would you like to be remembered by, or what is unique about you and your experiences?
Special Occasion Speech10%
A unique occasion speech addresses and engages the context and audience's emotions on a specific occasion.
An Informative Speech is defined as a speech-based entirely and exclusively on facts.
A Persuasive Speech is a speech that is given to convince the audience to believe or do something.
Assignment Final Grade
- Class Participation 10%
- SmartBook Assignments 20%
- Introduction Speech 10%
- Special Occasion Speech 10%
- Informative Speech 20%
- Persuasive Speech 20%
- Final 10%
- A: Outstanding achievement relative to the level necessary to meet course requirements.
- B: Achievement significantly above the level necessary to meet course requirements.
- C: Achievement that meets course requirements in every respect.
- D: Achievement worthy of credit even though it fails to meet the course requirements fully.
- F: Represents failure and signifies that the work was either completed but at a level of achievement that is not worthy of credit or was not completed.
- I (Incomplete): assigned at the discretion of the instructor. An incomplete grade will be considered only when documented, extraordinary circumstances beyond control, or the ability to anticipate prohibit timely completion of the course requirements. Incomplete grades are rare. Requires a written agreement between instructor and student.
≥90% 80 70 60 0-59.99
Schedule of Topics and Assignments
Due dates for each assignment or activity will be posted on Blackboard.
Due dates for every assignment are provided on the course syllabus and schedule (and posted on BlackBoard). Unless otherwise stated, assignments are due on those days. However, I recognize that sometimes situations occur. In these instances, you may use your allotted two flex days. These days allow you to submit an assignment up to two days late without penalty. You can use these days for any assignment and any reason. You do not need to provide me with the reason: email me and tell me how many of your flex days you would like to use.
Once you’ve exhausted your flex days, point deductions will occur for any assignment submitted after the deadline. An assignment submitted within 24 hours after the due date will only be eligible for 80% of the maximum points allotted. Assignments submitted more than 24 hours after the due date will not be accepted. Please let me know if you experience extenuating circumstances (e.g., you are hospitalized) that prohibit you from submitting your assignments on time. I will evaluate these instances on a case-by-case basis.
Please note: You do not need to disclose or perform trauma when asking for an extension; you just need to let us know (very broadly) that you need help, and we will do what we can to get you back on track in the course.
Please wait 48 hours before contacting me via email about a grade. You will need to provide me with details and a clear explanation of the issue before I will respond. Understand that I do my best to grade fairly and as accurately as possible. Please contact me if there was an issue (like a grade that was not correctly put into blackboard). After 1 week of the assignment submission grade date, the grade is considered locked in and cannot be changed. Grade grievances are taken seriously, and the student should be aware that there have been circumstances where the grade warranted was too high and was reevaluated lower – and times where the grade was lower and reevaluated higher. That is the student’s risk.
Students are required to log in regularly to the online class site. Students must also participate in all class activities, such as discussion boards, blogs, and wikis. Students are expected to attend on-campus or synchronous classes, etc.
Students are expected to complete all course requirements during the course's time frame. For reasons beyond a student's control, and upon request by the student or on behalf of the student, the instructor may assign an incomplete grade when there is reasonable certainty the student will complete the course without retaking it. The mark "I," Incomplete, will be given only to the student who has been in attendance and has done satisfactory work up to a time within four weeks of the close of the semester, including the examination period, and whose work is incomplete for reasons satisfactory to his or her instructor. More information regarding UND's Incomplete policy can be found on The Grading System webpage.
Resolution of Problems
Should a problem occur, you should speak to your instructor first; if the situation continues to be unresolved, go to the department chair and next to the college dean. Should the problem persist, you have the right to go to the provost next and then to the president.
Plagiarism: appropriation, buying, receiving as a gift, or obtaining by any means another person’s work and the unacknowledged submission or incorporation of it in one’s work.
All students taking COMM classes must pass a brief online course that teaches them how to identify plagiarism. The University of North Dakota Chester Fritz Library put this course together. To access the course, click on the following link using Chrome or Firefox: https://und.libwizard.com/f/comm_plagiarism_1
Students will have to earn at least 80% to pass the course. After reading the feedback, updating the answers to questions won’t change the final score. You must retake the entire course if you didn’t reach 80% on your first try.
Obtain and upload the certificate to Blackboard by the date indicated on the course schedule. Suppose you have already obtained this certificate for a previous COMM course or a certificate from the Indiana University plagiarism training. You don’t need to take the Chester Fritz Library or Indiana University course again. Simply upload the certificate that you have already earned for all COMM courses.
If you have any questions regarding the courses, contact Brittany Fischer, Social Sciences & Scholarly Communications Librarian at the Chester Fritz Library, at 701.777.4632 or brittany.fischer@UND.edu
University of North Dakota Policies & Resources
Academic integrity is a serious matter, and any deviations from appropriate behavior will be dealt with strongly. At the discretion of the professor, situations of concern may be dealt with as a scholastic matter or a disciplinary matter.
As a scholastic matter, the professor has the discretion to determine appropriate penalties for the student’s workload or grade, but the situation may be resolved without involving many individuals. An alternative is to treat the situation as a disciplinary matter, which can result in suspension from the University, or have lesser penalties. Be aware that I view this as a very serious matter and will have little tolerance and/or sympathy for questionable practices. A student who attempts to obtain credit for work that is not their own (whether that be on a paper, quiz, homework assignment, exam, etc.) will likely receive a failing grade for that item of work, and at the professor’s discretion, may also receive a failing grade in the course. For more information read the Code of Student Life.
Access and Opportunity, Disability Support, & Medical Services
The University of North Dakota is committed to providing equal access to students with documented disabilities. To ensure access to this class and your program, please contact Disability Services for Students (DSS) to engage in a confidential discussion about accommodations for the classroom and clinical settings. Accommodations are not provided retroactively. Students are encouraged to register with DSS at the start of their program. More information can be obtained by email UND.dss@UND.edu or by phone at 701.777.2664.
UND is committed to maintaining a safe learning environment while providing quality learning experiences for our students. COVID-19’s continued presence within our UND community may necessitate changes in classroom management as the academic year progresses. As such, UND asks students and instructors to be flexible when necessary to promote a safe environment for learning. Please do not attend an in-person class or lab if you are feeling ill, particularly if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or if you have been directed by health professionals to quarantine or isolate. If you are not able to attend class or lab, please notify your instructor as soon as possible and discuss options for making up any missed work in order to ensure your ability to succeed in the course. If you will have an extended absence due to serious illness or other uncontrollable circumstances, you may request an absence notification through the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities. Similarly, if your instructor is ill they may need to cancel class or temporarily move your course to online delivery to ensure that you are able to complete the course successfully. Instructors may require students to wear masks in the classroom or in the laboratory as a preventative measure designed to facilitate uninterrupted classroom engagement and to facilitate health and safety in the classroom. If your instructor does require masks in class or in a laboratory, you are expected to comply with that request.
UND also strongly encourages all members of the University community, including students, to get vaccinated, seek out testing when needed, and model positive behavior both on- and off-campus to foster a healthy and safe learning environment for all students. Individuals who would like to discuss disability accommodations regarding masks should contact the Disability Services for Students (DSS) office at 701.777.2664 or UND.dss@UND.edu. Individuals who are unable to wear a mask due to a sincerely held religious belief should contact the UND Equal Opportunity and Title IX Office at 701.777.4171 or UND.EO.TitleIX@UND.edu.
UND offers religious accommodations, which are reasonable changes in the academic environment that enable a student to practice or observe a sincerely held religious belief without undue hardship on the University. Examples include time for prayer or the ability to attend religious events or observe a religious holiday. To request an accommodation, complete the student religious accommodation request form. If you have any questions, you may contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Office.
Students who need assistance with academic adjustments related to pregnancy or childbirth may contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Office or Academic Affairs to learn about your options. Additional information and services may be found at Pregnancy Resources.
Notice of Nondiscrimination
It is the policy of the University of North Dakota that no person shall be discriminated against because of race, religion, age, color, gender, disability, national origin, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, veteran’s status, or political belief or affiliation and the equal opportunity and access to facilities shall be available to all. Concerns regarding Title IX, Title VI, Title VII, ADA, and Section 504 may be addressed to Donna Smith, Assistant Vice President for Equal Opportunity & Title IX and Title IX/ADA Coordinator, 102 Twamley Hall, 701.777.4171, UND.EO.TitleIX@UND.edu or the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Dept. of Education, 230 S. Dearborn St., 37th Floor, Chicago, IL 60604 or any other federal agency.
Reporting of Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Misconduct
If you or a friend has experienced sexual misconduct, such as sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking, please contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Office or UND’s Title IX Coordinator, Donna Smith, for assistance: 701.777.4171; donna.smith@UND.edu; or visit the Title IX webpage. You may also contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX office if you or a friend has experienced discrimination or harassment based on a protected class, such as race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, pregnancy, marital or parental status, veteran's status, or political belief or affiliation.
Faculty Reporting Obligations Regarding Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Misconduct
It is important for students to understand that faculty are required to share with UND’s Title IX Coordinator any incidents of sexual misconduct or of discrimination or harassment based on a protected class that they become aware of, even if those incidents occurred in the past or are disclosed as part of a class assignment. This does not mean an investigation will occur if the student does not want that, but it does allow UND to provide resources to help the student continue to be successful at UND. If you have been impacted by discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct, you can find information about confidential support services on the Equal Opportunity & Title IX webpage..
UND Cares Program
How to Seek Help When in Distress
We know that while college is a wonderful time for most students, however, some students may struggle or have issues that arise. You may experience students in distress on campus, in your classroom, in your home, and within residence halls. Distressed students may initially seek assistance from faculty, staff members, their parents, and other students. In addition to the support we can provide to each other, there are also professional support services available to students through the Dean of Students and University Counseling Center. Both staffs are available to consult with you about getting help or providing a friend with the help that he or she may need. For more additional information, please visit the UND Cares Program Webpage.
How to Recognize When a Student is in Distress
The term “distressed” can mean any of the following:
- Student has significant changes in eating, sleeping, grooming, spending, or other daily activities.
- Student has cut off or minimized contact with family or friends.
- Student has significant changes in performance or involvement in academics, sports, extracurricular, or social activities.
- Student describes problems (missing class, not remembering, destructive behavior) that result from experiences with drinking or drugs.
- Student is acting withdrawn, volatile, tearful, etc.
- Student is acting out of character or different than usual.
- Student is talking explicitly about hopelessness or suicide.
- Student has difficulty concentrating or difficulty carrying on a normal conversation.
- Student has excessive dependence on others for company or support.
- Student reports feeling out of control of one’s emotions, thoughts, or behaviors.
Land Acknowledgement Statement
Today, the University of North Dakota rests on the ancestral lands of the Pembina and Red Lake Bands of Ojibwe and the Dakota Oyate - presently existing as composite parts of the Red Lake, Turtle Mountain, White Earth Bands, and the Dakota Tribes of Minnesota and North Dakota. We acknowledge the people who resided here for generations and recognize that the spirit of the Ojibwe and Oyate people permeate this land. As a university community, we will continue to build upon our relations with the First Nations of the State of North Dakota - the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation, Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Nation, Spirit Lake Nation, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians.
It is my goal to foster an environment of mutual respect in which everyone feels comfortable voicing their opinions, sharing their stories, and learning about potentially heavy or personally relevant material. If, at any point, you feel like the information covered in this class elicits thoughts, feelings, or concerns that you would like to discuss further, don’t hesitate to reach out to me, or the UND Counseling Center (701-777-2127).
Further, if you experience extenuating circumstances, sexual violence, identity-based harm, or any other personal crisis during the semester, don’t hesitate to reach out to me so we can provide academic assistance and help you in this course, and put you in contact with the appropriate resources and services (if needed).
- UND Care Team: 701-777-2664 (8:00 AM to 4:30 PM M-F) or 701-777-3491 (evenings and weekends)
- UND Campus Police: 701-777-3491·UND Student Health: 701-777-4500
- UND Title IX Resources
- Abuse and Rape Crisis Hotline (CVIC): 701-746-8900 (24 hours)
- Grand Forks Police Department: 701-787-8000 (24 hours)
- Emergency Room: 701-780-5280
- UND Student Diversity and Inclusion: 701-777-6985
- Food For Thought Pantry: (Wilkerson Commons Room 169; 701-777-4200)
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (1-800-273-8255)