TH105 Oral Communication

for FA 2008

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Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


TH 105 Oral Communication


FA 2008 HO


Peak, Mari J.


Adjunct Professor


MFA, Acting, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
Post-Graduate Study, Voice for the Actor, University of Illinois
BA, Theatre and Pre-Law, Kansas State University

Office Location

Alumni Hall

Office Hours

Monday and Friday 9:00-11:00

Daytime Phone

(816) 891-8606 (home)

Other Phone

(816) 588-7890 (cell)


Semester Dates

August 18, 2008 - December 12, 2008

Class Days


Class Time

2:25 - 3:40 PM



Credit Hours



Rodenburgh, Patsy.  The Need for Words: The Actor and the Text, New York: Routledge, 1993.
Sachar, Louis. There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom, New York: Knopf, 1987.

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

Park University eCompanion for TH105 at
Berry, Cicely.  Voice and the Actor, 1st Collier Books, 1991.                 

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Course Description:
TH105 Oral Communication (MGE): A study of the skills in breathing, vocal control, diction and articulation as applies to the public presentation of the following literary forms: poetry, prose, drama, readers theatre and choral reading. Selections used as performance options include authors from a wide variety of ethnic and national origins. Open to all students. 1:2:3

Educational Philosophy:
I believe that the ideal learning environment is interactive and that a key component of learning on the university level is the exchange of information between students and teacher. Your experiences, constructive observations and opinions, perspective, and suggestions are valuable to me and to your classmates. 

Each class member is instrumental in creating a comfortable classroom atmosphere in which one feels the freedom to try new things and share ideas, opinions, goals, and experiences. Much of what we do early in the semester is foundational to this goal. 

Students in TH105 are expected to give thoughtful response to course concepts both orally and in writing throughout the semester. It is my hope that your understanding of various course concepts will deepen and become more detailed as the semester progresses. Concepts introduced early in the semester will be used for the duration of the semester, and your understanding and ability to use the information and skills practically will continue to evolve. 

Lectures will be brief and opportunities for discussion and for asking questions will be plentiful. Your learning will be guided with on-line worksheets, hand-outs, demonstrations, investigative games and simple exercises. The majority of written work will be completed on the eCompanion, and many discussions will take place there, too. On occasion, you may be directed to the internet for supplemental information.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes

  1. The student will identify and explore the elements communication.
  2. The student will explore and develop the skills necessary to effectively interpret and perform selections from different literary genres such as 1) poetry; 2) prose; and, 3) ensemble performance; and 4) drama/children's literature/documentary literature).
  3. The student will learn to identify the elements of plot and theme in different literary genres, will organize the selections in the most effective order, and will perform a 10-12 minute concert of at least 4 selections on a shared theme.  The selections will come from at least 3 different literary genres.
  4. The student will learn to harness the power of stage fright to enhance his ability to communicate.
  5. The student will increase his knowledge of the craft of the actor and demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate the components of communication in a performance situation.
  6. The student will learn the basics of how the voice works and use that knowledge to use his voice expressively, intelligibly, audibly, and effectively in any size space in a manner that will prevent vocal injury.
  7. The student will demonstrate the ability to identify and isolate an objective for a reading as well as character objectives that drive the plot, and demonstrate knowledge of how those objectives affect the mode and manner of communication.
Class Assessment:
Learning objectives will be achieved through the following:
1. In-class performances (3);
2. Private coaching sessions (3);
3. Participation in class exercises;
4. Lecture;
5. Guided group discussion both on-line and in the classroom;
6. Study guides.
7. A project or paper on a pre-approved topic pertinent to the content of this course. 
8. Peer and instructor performance evaluations.

CORE ASSESSMENT:  The core assessment for this course is valued at 20% of the student's final grade.  The student will create, rehearse, and perform a literary "concert" final presentation 10-12 minutes in length.  The program must be organized on a single theme and will be comprised of at least four different selections from a minimum of three genres of literature.  The program must include examples of: 1) prose; 2) poetry; 3) EITHER: children's lit, documentary lit, or dramatic lit; 4) another selection from a category of the student's choice.  Only one of the four selections may be of the student's own authorship.  The student will write an introduction of his theme for the program and transitions to link each piece to the overall program theme. He/she is expected to meet with the instructor at least once outside of class to rehearse the final performance. To receive full credit, the student must submit a preliminary and final script book detailing his choices.  You must submit your final scriptbook at the conclusion of your final performance.


1) 20% Daily attendance and punctuality.*
2) 10% Daily participation in class activities and discussions.
3) 20% Quality of work and degree of professionalism displayed in rehearsal, written preparation for performance, and performance (10% Formal Performances of Prose, Poetry, Documentary Lit. and 10% Private rehearsals in preparation for performances).
4) 10% Quality of written assignments, on-line discussions, study guides.
5) 10% Quality of research paper, performance paper, or oral presentation accompanied by outline and sources;
6) 20% Quality of final concert performance and final script-book;
7) 10% Comprehensive take-home final examination.  

*All students are expected to give advance notification of illness or other reasons for absence by e-mail me or by telephone. Class members are allowed two absences without loss of daily attendance points, but participation points are lost for each absence.   If there is something that will occasionally or regularly prevent your timely arrival to class, please let me know in advance. 

Late Submission of Course Materials:

The following policy on late work is new this semester.  It will be strictly enforced.
Late Written Work
1.  Late written work (study guides, on-line discussion responses, major paper/project) will not be accepted for full credit but will receive a 10 percent reduction for every class period the assignment is late. 
2.  Written work that is more than two weeks late will not be accepted and the student will receive a zero for the assignment. 
3.    You may submit written work in one of three ways:
         b) eCompanion Drop Box;
         c) hard copy presented to me at the beginning of class on or before the due date for full credit, or within two weeks of the due date.  
Late Performances
1.  Students who miss a scheduled performance with advance notice to me or because of an emergency will be given the opportunity to perform their selection for full credit upon their return to class, provided we are still on that particular unit.  In the alternative, the student will make an appointment to perform the piece for me outside of class, again for full credit.
2.  Students who fail to attend class on the day of a scheduled performance will be given the opportunity to present their reading upon return to class, but for a 25% reduction in grade for each class period it is late. 
3.  If a student fails to complete the required performance within a week of its original due date, he or she will receive a zero on the assignment.    

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

1.  Students will participate as fully as possible in all physical activities and will advise me of any reason they unable to participate fully.
2.  Students are expected to be supportive of one another. Audience response is crucial to this art-form and your full attention should be directed to your peers who are performing. No texting, talking or whispering is allowed during performances.
3.  You may make notes that pertain to the performance you are watching, but may not complete any other written work during Th105.
4.  Students are not to enter or exit the classroom during a performance.
5.  Please do not chew gum in class. 
6.  Cell phones should be turned off during class. 
7.  On performance days, please do not wear a hat that will cast a shadow on, or otherwise obscure your face. 
8.  See Park University catalog for further information regarding appropriate student conduct

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Students will receive a copy of the Topics, Assignments, and Due Dates on a separate page. This schedule is tentative, and will be subject to revision periodically according to the needs of the class. A current copy will always be available under Course Home on the eCompanion.
Students will receive a copy of the Core Assessment Rubric as a separate page.  A copy will also be available under Course Home on the eCompanion.

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-86

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  3. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  4. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  5. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  6. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  7. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87-88

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .

Additional Information:

See "Schedule of Assignments and Due Dates" under Course Home on the eCompanion.

See "Core Assessment Rubric" under Course Home on the eCompanion.


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Last Updated:5/12/2008 4:31:35 PM