Science Prerequisites for Health Professionals

COMN 1010: Public Speaking

Credits - 3


This public speaking course will examine the core principles and contexts of communication, specifically in oral presentations. You will learn to recognize the interrelationships among speaker, listener, context, organization, language, and delivery. The course will include information on proper techniques for research, writing, and delivering oral presentations, as well as the preparation of audio visuals to enhance semester presentations. Students will also learn and demonstrate skills in argumentation, listening, and critical thinking.



  • Tucker, B, Barton, K., Burger, A., Drye, J., Hunsicker, C., Mendes, A., & LeHew, M. (2019). Exploring public speaking: The open educational resource college public speaking textbook (4th ed.). Communication Open Textbooks.


In this course, you will be enacting a podcast assignment. It is recommended that you download and familiarize yourself with Audacity.


Mandatory UNE-approved webcam – To be used during proctored exams


Learning Objectives and Outcomes

Course Objectives

Students will:

  1. Compose and structure information that is appropriate for a particular purpose, listener, and occasion 
  2. Develop research skills and techniques for specific rhetorical situations
  3. Organize, develop, and adapt messages for the intended audience 
  4. Compose thoughtful and cohesive written and oral communications
  5. Evaluate presentations for efficacy
  6. Demonstrate performance skills associated with the five basic components of effective individual oral presentations including content, organization, physical expression, vocal delivery, and language
  7. Prepare audio, video, and slideware presentations based on basic design principles


On the course start date, students will have access to orientation. This must be completed to be able to gain access to the first module in the course. Students must complete the first module to gain access to the next one. We recommend that students spend about 15 hours per week to complete a course in 16 weeks. When trying to complete the course in less than 16 weeks, we typically see students do this successfully within 12-14 weeks. Instructors will be timely in grading and feedback, but it will not be instant.


  • Activities – These practice activities are worth 10 points, and they provide a start to working on items that are worth more points in the course. 
  • Quizzes – Each reading in this course includes a 5-question quiz that covers the assigned content. All of these are composed of multiple choice and true/false questions. The time limit for this assignment is 10 minutes. 
  • Final Exam – The final exam consists of 25 multiple-choice and true/false questions. It will be similar in style to the quizzes, and it will cover all assigned readings from the course. This is a closed book, proctored exam worth 100 points. 
    • This exam must be taken through ProctorU. See UNE’s Online ProctorU Site for information about signing up and scheduling your exam. The official UNE webcam is required (see the Course Materials section, above, for more information).
  • Discussion Posts – A discussion, either written or video, is required each week. These will be in response to a posted video or article provided by the professor. Each student is responsible for providing an initial written post or video comment on the selected item. They will then respond in writing to two of their classmates’ posts. Each initial post is worth 10 points, while the follow-up posts are worth a combined 5 points. The initial written posts must be approximately 500 words in length, while the follow-up posts are about 50 words in length. The video posts should be approximately 90 seconds in length.  
  • Speeches – Four speeches are required for this course: a special occasion speech, an informative speech, a persuasive speech, and a subject matter expert speech. 
  • Bibliographies – Three bibliographies are required. These need to be written in APA (7th ed.) style, and they will cover the sources utilized for three of the class speeches. 
  • Outlines – Three outlines are required. These need to be written in APA (7th ed.) style, and they will cover the content planned for the associated speeches. 
  • Papers – A reflection paper is required after each major speech in the course as well as at the conclusion of the semester. These papers ask students to think about their speech presentations and evaluate them in a constructive manner. Each paper should be approximately 800 words. 
  • Podcast project – A short podcast is the final project for this course. This will include production elements, such as music or sound effects. The length of this assignment is approximately 5 minutes. 

Grading Policy

Your grade in this course will be determined by the following criteria:

Grade Breakdown

Assignment CategoryGrade
Activities and Discussion Posts23%
Quizzes and Final Exam 17%
Speeches and Podcast Project40%
Bibliographies, Outlines, and Papers 20%

Grade Scale

Grade Points Grade Point Average (GPA)
A 94 – 100% 4.00
A- 90 – 93% 3.75
B+ 87 – 89% 3.50
B 84 – 86% 3.00
B- 80 – 83% 2.75
C+ 77 – 79% 2.50
C 74 – 76% 2.00
C- 70 – 73% 1.75
D 64 – 69% 1.00
F 00 – 63% 0.00







The Basics of Public Speaking

  • Chapter 1 

  • Video Tutorial on Creating Effective Presentations 
  • Sign Syllabus Consent

  • Chapter 1 Quiz

  • Video Introduction



  • Chapter 11
  • Chapter 11 Quiz

  • Written Discussion Post

  • Video Reading Activity 


Special Occasion Speaking

  • Chapter 15
  • Chapter 15 Quiz

  • Written Discussion Post

  • Special Occasion Speech 


Ethics in Public Speaking

Chapter 3

  • Chapter 3 Quiz

  • Video Discussion Post

  • Special Occasion Speech Reflection Paper


Informative Speeches and Audience Analysis

  • Chapter 12

  • Chapter 2

  • List of Common Informative Speech Topics
  • Chapter 12 Quiz

  • Chapter 2 Quiz

  • Video Discussion Post

  • Select Informative Speech Topic


Research and Support

  • Chapter 5

  • Chapter 7

  • Library Overview Video 
  • Chapter 5 Quiz

Chapter 7 Quiz

  • Written Discussion Post

  • Zoom Session

  • Informative Speech Bibliography 


Organizing, Outlining, and Writing Introductions and Conclusions

  • Chapter 6

  • Chapter 8


  • Five Paragraph Essay Layout Document
  • Chapter 6 Quiz

  • Chapter 8 Quiz
  • Written Discussion Post

  • Informative Speech Outline

  • Informative Speech 



  • Chapter 10 
  • Chapter 10 Quiz

  • Video Discussion Post

  • Informative Speech Reflection Paper


Persuasive Speaking

  • Chapter 13
  • Chapter 13 Quiz

  • Video Discussion Post

  • Select Persuasive Speech Topic


Logical Reasoning

  • Chapter 14
  • Chapter 14 Quiz

  • Written Discussion Post


Presentation Aids in Speaking

  • Chapter 9 
  • Chapter 9 Quiz

  • Persuasive Speech Ouline

  • Persuasive Speech Bibliography

  • Persuasive Speech 


Communication in the Real World

  • Chapter 12.2-12.4 in Communications text

  • Harvard Business Review Article
  • Chapter 12.2-12.4 Quiz

  • Video Discussion Post

  • Persuasive Speech Reflection Paper


Group Presentations

  • Chapter 18
  • Chapter 18 Quiz

  • Written Discussion Post

  • SME Bibliography 

  • SME Speech



  • Podcast Wikipedia Article

  • NYT Article

  • Podcast Resources
  • Podcast Wikipedia Article Quiz

  • Written Discussion Post


Podcasting, Part 2

  • Podcasting Textbook Chapters 6 and 7
  • Podcasting Textbook Chapters 6 and 7 Quiz

  • Video Discussion Post
  • Podcast Outline

  • Podcast Project 


Final and Course Reflection

  • Final Exam

  • Course Reflection Paper

  • Redo Assignment (optional)

Student Resources

Online Student Support

Your Student Support Specialist is a resource for you. Please don’t hesitate to contact them for assistance, including, but not limited to course planning, current problems or issues in a course, technology concerns, or personal emergencies.

Questions? Visit the Student Support Science Prerequisites page

Instructor and Support Contact Information

Check Brightspace for specific instructor and support specialist contact information.

Further Assistance

Your student service advisor monitors course progression and provides assistance or guidance when needed. They can assist questions regarding ordering course materials, University policies, billing, navigating the course in Brightspace, and more.

Student Lounge

The Student Lounge Discussion Board is a designated support forum in which students may engage with each other and grapple with course content. Feel free to post questions, seek clarification, and support each other, but be mindful of UNE’s Academic Integrity Policy.

Your instructor will monitor this forum. However, if you are seeking specific and timely answers to questions about course content or your personal grades, please contact your instructor via course messages. For questions about course materials, program policy, and how to navigate and proceed through the course, please contact your Student Service Advisor through the Student Portal.


Proctored Examinations

The University of New England has contracted with ProctorU to provide students with the most convenient online exam proctoring system. This system provides a simple, no cost to the student, secure, online proctor for exams and allows the student to take all the exams at home and on their own schedule.

Upon enrollment into the course, each student will register with ProctorU and establish a login name and password. This will give the student access to all of ProctorU’s services. When ready, students will schedule each of their proctored exams with ProctorU. Exams must be scheduled at least 72 hours in advance to avoid fees. Prior to taking their exams, students must be sure that they have downloaded the ProctorU Chrome or Firefox extension and are using the most current version of Chrome or Firefox. They must also be sure their testing site’s connection meets the minimum requirements by using ProctorU’s “Test It Out” utility.

Upon the exam day and hour, students will log in to ProctorU and click on “exams”. After following the procedures outlined at ProctorU’s web site, the student will log in to Brightspace and locate their correct exam. The proctor will then allow student access to that exam.

Students must use ProctorU and must follow all proctoring requirements for their exams to be credited.

Proctored exams are not available for review at any time. You will not be able to see the questions, nor the answers you’ve given, after completing the exams. Please contact your instructor for specific feedback.

Course Discussions

Discussion board assignments cover interesting current events or materials related to this course that contribute to a deeper understanding of key concepts and allow you to interact with your classmates and the instructor. Each assignment may require you to conduct internet research, read additional materials (a short journal or magazine article), visit a specific webpage, AND/OR view a short video prior to writing a response following the specific guidelines in the assignment.

To earn full credit: you will need to post a response to the discussion topic, respond to the original posts of at least two other students, and then contribute meaningfully to an ongoing discussion. You will need to post your initial response before you will see any posts from your classmates. Please keep in mind that only this initial response is included in your assignment grade, so make sure you have followed all of the guidelines and written a complete response prior to submitting the post. For special cases where one or two students are accelerating faster through the course, the instructor will participate in the discussion so that everyone has the opportunity to interact.

Please see Brightspace for a full description, along with specific guidelines, for each assignment. Discussion board assignments should be completed, along with all other assignments in the course, in the order that they appear. Due to the course design, you may be unable to take a proctored exam if you do not complete all assignments that appear prior to that exam.

Please also refer to the Grading Policy/Grade Breakdown section of the syllabus to learn the percentage of your grade that each discussion board assignment is worth.

Technology Requirements

Please review the technical requirements for UNE Online Programs: Technical Requirements

Course Length

A schedule of lectures and assignments is included in this syllabus. This is, however a self-paced course and you can complete the course in less time.

  1. Courses in the SPHP program are equivalent to one-semester courses designed to be completed in 16 weeks
  2. Enrollment in the course begins the day your section opens which is listed in the Academic Calendar found on the Student Success Portal.
  3. Course start and end dates are in respect to Eastern Time.

Withdrawal and Refund Policies

Please visit the enrollment page to review the withdrawal and refund policies.

Grade Policy

Students are expected to attempt and complete all graded assignments and proctored exams by the end date of the course. View the incomplete grade policy..


Due to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, only the student may request official transcripts. This may be done online by going to the University of New England Registrar website and following the directions on the page.

To view your unofficial UNE student transcript:

  1. Log into uonline at
  2. Select Student Services
  3. Select Student Records
  4. Select Academic Transcript

To request your official UNE student transcript:

Please review your Unofficial Transcript prior to requesting an Official Transcript.

  1. Log into uonline at
  2. Select Student Services
  3. Select Student Records
  4. Select Request Printed/Official Transcript
  5. Follow the prompts

After you click Submit Request, your official transcript will be put into the queue to be printed in the Registrar’s Office.

Academic Integrity

The University of New England values academic integrity in all aspects of the educational experience. Academic dishonesty in any form undermines this standard and devalues the original contributions of others. It is the responsibility of all members of the University community to actively uphold the integrity of the academy; failure to act, for any reason, is not acceptable.

Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to the following:

  1. Cheating, copying, or the offering or receiving of unauthorized assistance or information.
  2. Fabrication or falsification of data, results, or sources for papers or reports.
  3. Action which destroys or alters the work of another student.
  4. Multiple submission of the same paper or report for assignments in more than one course without permission of each instructor.
  5. Plagiarism, the appropriation of records, research, materials, ideas, or the language of other persons or writers and the submission of them as one’s own.

Charges of academic dishonesty will be reviewed by the Program Director. Penalties for students found responsible for violations may depend upon the seriousness and circumstances of the violation, the degree of premeditation involved, and/or the student’s previous record of violations. Appeal of a decision may be made to the Dean whose decision will be final. Student appeals will take place through the grievance process outlined in the student handbook.