Sample Course Materials

I have collected here a sample of class exercises, grading rubrics, and lectures that I have prepared for various courses.


Sample Lecture: Research & Evaluating Sources

Colorado State University •SPCM 200 - Public Speaking

Fall 2019


Description:

This is a section of a lecture I gave during my public speaking class. In it, I describe six criteria for students to use during their research process to evaluate the credibility and utility of a source. During the lecture, I also review a few sample websites so that students can get initial practice applying the six criteria. It was part of a broader class that also covered citations, plagiarism, and basic speech organization. Unfortunately due to technical difficulties with the lecture camera, I was unable to save a video of the entire class.


Assignment: Digital Speaking Environments

Colorado State University •SPCM 200 - Public Speaking

Fall 2019

(Download)


Objective:

Provide students an opportunity to experiment with adapting their public speaking skills and methods for a mediated setting. The assignment gives each student a high degree of flexibility to choose the style of video they produce—anywhere from a formal video presentation to a casual “clickbait” style video.

In addition to letting students practice speaking in digital environments, the assignment serves as a low-stakes assessment of their learning outcomes by the end of the semester. Unlike the final exam, which tests their recall of specific terms and phrases, this assignment asks students to identify general skills or advice that they would recommend to anyone else who is giving a speech.


Sample Lecture: You’ve Got Mail!

Colorado State University •SPCM 200 - Public Speaking

Spring 2019


Learning Outcomes:

Students should understand basic principles of professional email communication. Many schools teach students about basic letter writing format, including friendly letters, business letters, formal letters, etc. However there is often not the same kind of education when it comes to email communication, even though email is used way more frequently than snail mail. I use this lecture as a way to teach students about how to write a professional email and communicate effectively with their instructors.


In-Class Activity: Bad Manuscripts

Colorado State University •SPCM 200 - Public Speaking

Spring 2019

(Download)


Objective:

Provide students ideas for how they might choose to write and prepare their manuscripts for an upcoming speech assignment. In this activity, the focus is on the actual manuscript document that they will use for their speech delivery. The activity emphasizes formatting details such as font size and spacing, as well as delivery cues for the speaker. This activity also reminds students that although they may think otherwise, manuscript delivery is in many ways more challenging than impromptu speaking.



In-Class Activity: Pseudo-Final Exam

Colorado State University •SPCM 200 - Public Speaking

Fall 2018

(Download)


Objective:

Provide a low-stakes opportunity for students to benchmark how prepared they are for an upcoming final exam. The activity also provides space for students to share their knowledge with one another, and develop a “road map” of what areas they should focus on when reviewing for the exam.

Details:

This course is structured such that the primary student assignments are four speeches throughout the semester. Although there are small quizzes throughout, the final exam at the end of the semester is the first large-scale formal assessment of course content. Therefore, I design the last few days of class to help students transition from a “speaking-only” mindset and prepare to take a formal final exam. This is one type of review-activity that I use which takes the course content that we’ve been discussing and utilizing throughout the semester and placing it into a more traditional exam format. I believe that the purpose of a review session is not just for the instructor to “re-teach” material from the semester, but rather to help each student develop an individual study plan. With that in mind, I created this activity to help each individual student map out what they currently know, and where they should emphasize their studying and reviewing.


In-Class Activity: Developing Speaking Notes

Colorado State University •SPCM 200 - Public Speaking

Fall 2018

(Download)


Objective:

Provide opportunities for students to practice adapting a full sentence preparation outline into a condensed speaking outline

Details:

One of the important skills that I teach in my public speaking classes is how to prepare effective outlines and speaking notes. I emphasize the difference between a full-sentence preparation outline, which includes all of a speaker’s ideas and arguments, and speaker notes, which contain only enough information to keep the speaker on track. Being able to effectively develop speaking notes will help students reduce the amount of “reading off” they do doing their speeches, and provide opportunities to develop as a confident and effective public speaker.


Sample Grading Sheets: Informative Speech

Colorado State University •SPCM 200 - Public Speaking

Fall 2018


Example critique sheets from the Informative Speaking unit. This collection comprises examples of an A, B, and C speech as well as my comments and feedback for each.

Speech Requirements:

  • 4-6 Minute speech that conveys useful or interesting information

  • 4-6 unique sources cited orally within the speech

  • Utilize at least 1 visual aid