TH105 Oral Communication

for SP 2010

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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


SP 2010 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

Tuesday and Thursday 10:00-11:00 and by appointment

Daytime Phone

(816) 584-6452 (office)

Other Phone

(816) 588-7890 (cell)


Semester Dates

January 11, 2010 - May 7, 2010

Class Days


Class Time

8:45 - 10:00



Credit Hours



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:

1. Each student's life experiences;

2. Park
eCompanion for TH105 at;
3. Various handouts posted on the eCompanion for TH105;
4. Additional resources will be cultivated during the semester.

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
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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; 3) periodical/historic/academic, or "documentary" literature; and 4) dramatic literature; 5) young 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 successfully 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. Graded performances (3);
2. Private coaching sessions (4);
3. Participation in class exercises;
4. Guided group discussion both on-line and in the classroom;
5. Study guides and quizzes (online via the eCompanion).
6. Script preparation, to be submitted by e-mail, via the eCompanion, or on paper.
7. A performance paper, or research project and paper on a pre-approved topic pertinent to the content of this course in MLA style. 
8. Peer and instructor performance evaluations.
CORE ASSESSMENT:  The core assessment for this course is valued at 30% 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 different genres of literature. 
The program must include examples of: 1) prose; 2) poetry; 3) documentary lit; 4) another selection from a category of the student's choice.  Only one of the four selections may be your original composition
The student will write an introduction of his theme for the program and will compose 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)  30% Daily participation, attendance, and punctuality.*
2)  10% Quality of work and degree of professionalism displayed during in-class rehearsals and performances.
3)  10%  Private rehearsals for prose, poetry, and documentary literature.
4) 10% Quality of written assignments, script preparation, on-line discussions, study guides.
5) 10% Quality of research paper, performance paper and adherence to MLA style;
6) 30% Quality of final concert performance, final rehearsal, and final script-book;
*All students are expected to give advance notification of illness or other reasons for absence by e-mail me or by telephone. *Class members lose absence and participation points for each absence, although two absences will be forgiven at the end of the term.  If a student has not been absent during the semester, the end-of-term additional attendance/participation points will result in extra credit.) 
*Excessive or frequent tardiness will result in loss of attendance points.  If there is something that will occasionally or regularly prevent your timely arrival to class, please let me know in advance. 

Athletes, musicians, or participants in other university programs will be accommodated as long as the instructor receives advance notice in writing and the student makes up the work within two weeks of the absence.  I am happy to make my time available for you to do so. 

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 at least a 10 percent reduction in the grade. 
2.  Written work that is more is due during the first part of the term must be submitted before mid-semester break, or the student will receive a zero for the assignment. 
3.    You may submit written work in one of three ways:
         a) by e-mail, with the title of the assignment and Th105 in the subject line;
         b) by using the eCompanion Drop Box;
         c) by presenting a hard copy to me in class on or before the due date for full credit.
Please do not submit a single assignment multiple times.
Please keep a copy of all written work for your own records.  When an assignment is graded and returned, please retain it in your notebook.
Late Performances
1.  Students who miss a scheduled performance with advance notice to me because of illness or 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.  It is your responsibility to reschedule the performance.  I will not remind you.
2.  Students who fail to attend class on the day of a scheduled performance without advance notice to me will be given the opportunity to present their reading upon return to class, but for a 25% reduction in grade.  Again, it is your responsibility to tell me that you missed the scheduled performance and wish to make it up during class.  I will not remind you.
3.  If a student fails to complete the required performance within two weeks 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.  If you love hats, the brim or bill of the hat must be turned to the back to avoid casting a shadow.
8.  See Park University catalog for further information regarding appropriate student conduct

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:



January 12 Story of my name/What says “you”? 

Read “There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom” and finish it by January 19.

January 14 Read to the class: – Bring a passage of material you like (any kind of literature is fine as long as you love the piece).  It may be in a language other than English as long as you provide a translation and any explanation necessary for us to understand the form and content. It should be from 30 seconds to a minute or so in length;

Online discussion: “What is communication? Give examples of someone you know who is a good communicator and not such a good communicator.

WEEK  2   

January 19 Share remarkable experience; View online Powerpoint on Human Voice; Complete online study guide: The Human Voice. Due today.

January 21 Online discussion: Observe at least two people in conversation from a distance at which you cannot hear them, but can only see them. Determine their relationship, the situation, who is in control, etc., based only upon what you see. Send first cutting to me for my review via eCompanion for review prior to class, or bring a hard copy with you.

 WEEK 3   

January 26Describe a place in vivid detail from your memory to the class –

January 28 Share first cuttings with the class

WEEK 4  

February 2  Speech clarity: bring your cuttings; Sign up for graded, private coaching sessions to take place beginning after class today, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. To receive full credit you must show up on time, with your folder and type-written introduction and cutting in proper format, and a pencil for notes.

February 4 - Please come to class and sign in.  You may then work on your own if you are not scheduled to meet with me.


February 9 Presentations: cuttings

February 11 Presentations: cuttings


February 16 This I Believe; Use the link on the eCompanion to navigate to and review the data base of essays. Find one you like to share with the class. Share today.           

            Sign up for coaching sessions which will begin after class today, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. To receive full credit, you must have your cutting, your folder, your introduction, and a pencil, and show up to your appointment on time.

February 18 Private coaching sessions. Everyone should come to class to sign in.


February 23  Presentations: This I Believe

February 25 Presentations: This I Believe

Prospectus for research paper is due;

If you choose to do the performance paper instead, you must declare your choice to do so by this date and pick up a copy of the script from me. You must write a brief summary of the script and a character analysis of the character upon which you will focus your observation. Your prospectus and character analysis will be due March 16, 2010. The paper will be due the first class period after the show closes. 


March 2 Read “Medea” See link on eCompanion under Week 8 for a link to an electronic copy.  If you are fluent in another language besides English, bring in a copy of “Medea” in that language.   ENSEMBLE WORK: Medea

March 4 ENSEMBLE WORK: Medea 

Find a poem you like during break as we will begin to study poetry when classes resume.



March 16 Introduction to Poetry

March 18 Bring in a poem to share

See Enchanted April

WEEK 10 

March 23 Share your poems, cont’d. Sign up for private coachings to begin after class, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday

March 25 Private coachings

See Enchanted April
WEEK 11 

March 30 Present poems

April 1 Present poems

See Enchanted April

WEEK 12 

April 6 Performance paper on “Enchanted April” is due; or, Research paper due

April 8 Final showcase template is due

WEEK 13 
April 13 Work on Showcase

April 15 Work on Showcase

 WEEK 14  
April 20 Work on Showcases in class and outside of class

April 22 Work on Showcases in class and outside of class

                Creative Arts Symposium

Week 15 

April 27 Begin final presentations

April 29 Final presentations

 Week 16 

Regular class schedule is suspended.  Students should consult the final exam schedule.

Remaining final showcases will be presented during the two-hour final exam block as specified on the final exam schedule for Spring 2010.

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 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92

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 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92

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, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. 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".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95

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: .


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Last Updated:1/10/2010 9:30:40 PM