Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2023
Units: 5
Hours: 5 lecture per week (60 total per quarter)
Advisory: Not open to students with credit in COMM 1A or SPCH 1A.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Area V: Communication & Analytical Thinking
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • A successful student will demonstrate an increase in presentation confidence.
  • A successful student will organize and deliver an effective speech.


Introduction to the analysis of the history of rhetoric and public address; application of principles of public address to the preparation and delivery of public speeches in front of a live audience. Particular attention is paid to development of oral communication and listening skills. The honors section provides accelerated students with additional academic challenge in the areas of research, discussion, and intellectual exploration of ideas. Expanded opportunities include, but are not limited to, in-depth examination of speech text within historical context, self-reflection speeches and papers, creative individual and group projects, historical oral interpretation, and enrichment activities.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:

  1. Investigate the process and nature of oral communication
  2. Gain experience in the evaluation of public communication presentations
  3. Take an active part in speaking exercises for a variety of purposes, including narrative, informative, persuasive, and special occasions
  4. Formulate strategies for oral communication through research, organization, and analysis
  5. Practice audience analysis with emphasis on cultural background, understand the listening process, and utilize modes of gaining and retaining attention
  6. Examine, plan, and use informative and persuasive speaking skills
  7. Prepare and evaluate oral presentations that reflect a sensitive awareness of ethics and diversity

Course Content

  1. Oral communication theory
    1. Common characteristics of the public speaking process
    2. The competent communicator's view of cultural diversity as a communication opportunity
    3. The effects of mass communication on modern rhetorical theory
  2. Critical evaluation of speech presentations
    1. Self-analysis through use of at least one video-taped speech
    2. Peer evaluations of student speeches
    3. Instructor evaluations
  3. Organization and planning of the speech performance
    1. Organization, analysis, and research
    2. Effective introductions and conclusions
    3. Oral communication skills
    4. Outlining techniques
  4. Use of supporting materials
    1. Visual aids
    2. Documentation and support of claims
  5. Informative and persuasive speeches before a live audience
    1. Analysis of audience belief and value structures in terms of cultural and societal influences
    2. Determination of motive appeals for a variety of speaking purposes
    3. Effective oral communication that reflects a sensitive awareness of ethics and diversity

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

1. Video camera, television, DVD/VCR, computer with internet connection, projector, viewing screen.
2. When taught as a hybrid course via Foothill Global Access: on-going access to computer with email software and capabilities; email address; JavaScript-enabled internet browsing software.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

Formal speech presentations in front of a live audience
Self-reflection paper
Written speech analysis and critique
Written examination

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

Cooperative learning exercises
Oral presentations in front of a live audience
Electronic discussions/chat

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Beebe, Stephen A., and Susan J. Beebe. Public Speaking: An Audience-Centered Approach, 10th ed.. 2017.

Fujishin, Randy. The Natural Speaker, 9th ed.. 2018.

Jaffe, Clella. Public Speaking: Concepts and Skills for a Diverse Society, 8th ed.. 2016.

Although these texts are older than the suggested "5 years or newer" standard, they remain seminal in this area of study.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

  1. Weekly reading assignments from text, online curriculum, and outside sources
  2. Writing: Peer critique, self-evaluation


Communication Studies