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Major Course Assignment Information:

Each student will prepare a presentation on an assigned chapter topic.  These will be assigned during the 2nd class meeting.  You will be expected to prepare an outline and related handouts and distribute those to your fellow students.  Your chapter presentation with be given for the Chapter you select -- see the course schedule for the date of presentation.

This purpose of this assignment is three-fold:

  • It allows the student to become a subject-matter expert in a narrow topic of the course.
  • It allows the student to reinforce skills learned in the speech course required for their degree.
  • Oral presentations are known to enhance learning & retention.
  • In addition, Svinicki, a professor at University of Texas(Austin) found the following benefits:
    • Increased motivation of students
    • Increased use of prior knowledge
    • Facilitating active learning through intragroup encouragement
    • Deep processing
    • Working with others in a group setting
    • Dealing with situational variables in group dynamics
    • Teaching self-regulation
    • Forces learners to articulate their knowledge
    • Provides moral support to beginners
    • Provides for multiple perspectives on subject area
    • Linkage of class environment to professional work environment
    • Self regulated learners go on to learn easier on their own
    Use these resources to help you.  (Since I provided them, I'll expect you to look at them and use their suggestions.)  Be sure to look at the Oral Evaluation Guidelines so you understand how you are evaluated. Students will receive an "F" for the assignment given the following circumstances:
    1. Excessive reading from the text book.  Remember, we can all read what's in the book.  We want to hear you describe it and your thoughts about it.
    2. Failure to show up to class on the assigned day.  The presentation is due on the same day the chapter is scheduled -- see the course schedule for the date of presentation.
    3. Being unprepared for your presentation on the scheduled day.   This includes a lack of presentaiton outline, presentation handouts, and a Level 2 understanding of the material (see below).
    A detailed outline for your presentation is required.  A detailed set of chapter notes is required.  Make sufficient copies of these notes for your class members.   Consider these levels of learning for your presentation:
    Level 0 No understanding of the subject
    Level 1 Possessing minimal information about the subject (including facts, definitions, names)
    Level 2 Possessing knowledge about the subject (including causes, sources, examples)
    Level 3 Knowledge synthesis with the ability to affect change in the subject area (including treatments, courses of action, prevention strategies)

    Your presentation requires a Level 2 understanding of the material.  It is understood that you're not a professional public speaker, nor are you an expert in the subject matter.  A successful presentation will strive to impart Learning Level 2 to your fellow students.  To assist you in your presentation, your instructor will assist with Level 2 and Level 3.   For each point you make, you must provide:

    1. Definitions related to the concept you are presenting.
    2. A "plain-language" explanation of the concept. 
    3. An example of the concept in the real world.  Examples can come from the book, but examples from your life make the presentation more memorable.
    Without these three, Level 2 understanding is impossible.  As a result, the presentation is unsuccessful.  A very clear demonstration of this technique is presented by the instructor for the first chapter.

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