Course Descriptions:



Oral presentation skills provide enlightened citizens with essential tools for cultural survival, and always have.   The educated citizen should be able to assimilate, deliberate and articulate ideas, beliefs and experiences in a clear and affecting manner.  To this end, a course in public speaking provides foundational training for the liberal arts student.  Effective oral communication is more than but learning to speak publicly, however.  It encompasses understanding and training on a variety of skills applicable to communicating intelligently in contexts both public and private, on matters of both individual and collective concern.  At King’s, these skills include, but are not limited to; developing pointed purpose statements, strategically organizing ideas, validating ideas with substantive support, effectively wording ideas, delivering words with confidence, considering the ethical implications of one’s ideas, and analyzing the messages of others accurately. (NOTE: Students would normally schedule CORE 115, CORE 115X, CORE 115HNRS, or CORE 116 before the end of their sophomore year.)


CORE 115 - Effective Oral Communication

CORE 115 introduces students to the functions and modes of public presentation, as well as various practical strategies with which to execute it.  It requires students to plan, prepare, practice and perform many types of public messages that provide them with invaluable experience in developing ideas thoroughly and communicating them effectively.  A video portfolio is kept of each student's performances to document evolving skills development.  Emphasis is given to help students execute presentations that are clearly focused, well organized, substantially supported, effectively worded, and confidently delivered.  The aim is to help students develop their abilities to express their thoughts, beliefs and experiences in an intelligent and affecting manner, as well as to help them gain confidence in themselves as they do so.  Attention is also given to the ethical implications inherent in one’s messages, as well as the accurate analysis of the messages of others.


CORE 116 - Argumentation and Debate 

CORE 116 focuses on the use of arguments in contemporary society. Students will learn types of propositions, burden-of-proof, and different types of arguments. In particular, the student will develop skill in rhetoric, public speaking, and critical thinking. Each student will construct, advance and support arguments within the context of a current public policy controversy. The course will also examine the use and misuse of arguments in government and society, and the consequences of such choices. This is designed for the student who likes to engage in an intellectually rigorous activity that will lay the foundation for success in their future careers.


CORE 115 – Effective Oral Communication Performance Session for Reticent Students

Students in this performance group will be introduced to all of the functions and modes of public presentation, as well as various practical strategies with which to execute it, while simultaneously addressing the anxiety-coping needs of students for whom public presentation is a particularly unnerving experience.  Students would meet with their classmates for all of the requisite lecture, interaction, learning exercises, and instruction in their collective class, but perform only with other students  - matriculating any course section taught by Dr. James P. Dolhon - who share equivalent levels of elevated communication performance anxiety.  This session delivers an alternate methodology with which to teach the basic course and target this particular student population by providing additional strategies for anxiety management.  As in all oral communication courses offered at King’s, students will be required to plan, prepare, practice and perform varying types of presentations as they build a video portfolio that documents their skills development.  They will explore the ethical implications of their own messages, and learn to effectively analyze those of others.  But particular attention will also be given to helping students develop the means to productively manage their anxiety levels while they grow confidence in themselves as competent performers.  To this end, such methods covered in this course include, amongst others; cognitive restructuring strategies, reasonable thinking protocols, muscle relaxation techniques, systematic desensitization, and goal planning.  (NOTE:  The academic transcripts of students in this Core 115 Performance Session denote this learning experience simply as “Effective Oral Communication,” as does any CORE 115 course section … But “permission by instructor” is required for admittance into this targeted performance session upon registration.)                 








Materials Copyright King's College