Online Speech Classes – What you need to know

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Online Communication Classes – What you need to know

At RCTC you may register to take traditional, classroom communication classes as well as online sections.

The Communication Department currently teaches Communication 1114 Fundamentals of Public Speaking (COMM 1114), Interpersonal Communication (COMM 1130) and Communication and Gender
(COMM 2220) online.

Each online section covers the same “common course requirements” and materials. Contact your instructor for more information on specific details for any particular section.


Frequently Asked Questions about “Online Public Speaking

Because the Fundamentals of Public Speaking is a performance based class, students often have additional questions concerning this class. Below are the answers to the Department’s Frequently Asked Questions concerning “Online Public Speaking” as well as advice from past students in this class.

Q) How do I take an online public speaking class – do I still need to give speeches?

A) Yes! You will still give speeches.

Students work independently online as in any online class completing activities such as reading, viewing online materials, writing speeches, posting outlines and/or taking online quizzes are common (check with your instructor for his or her particular course activities). You will have an opportunity to ask questions and seek feedback from your instructor via the phone or internet during office hours and by appointment.

All RCTC Online Public Speaking classes require students give their speeches to a live audience. In most cases, students decide to either: 1) come to campus to present their speech w/smaller groups of their peers on times that are mutually agreeable or 2) create videos of their speeches to an audience that they create using a very strict protocol (clearly explained by each instructor).  Contact the instructor for specific requirements.

Q) Do I need to know D2L to take this class?

A) YES! In fact it is a prerequisite for all of our RCTC online classes.

Q) How do I learn how to use D2L to meet this prerequisite?

A) There are 3 ways to meet the prerequisite:

  • You can take a 1 credit class. This is the most comprehensive way to learn.
  • You can also take a tutorial. This tutorial is located in the D2L area. It is listed like a class, you will read the screens, do the activity and take a quiz to demonstrate your competency.
  • Finally, you can receive permission to take the class by permission from the instructor. Many students who have taken online classes before or have used D2L as a hybrid or technology enhanced class ask to bypass the tutorial or class due to their familiarly of the D2L system

NOTE – the class is intense online – you need to read on your own, take quizzes on your own, and be responsible for posting and reading feedback, outlines, assignments, etc. Therefore, you need to know D2L and have basic computer skills to make this work smoothly. The instructor cannot teach you D2L.

Q) How many speeches do we give?

A) 3-4 Speeches, contact your instructor.

Q) I am extremely afraid of public speaking; won’t this be easier for me since we only meet a couple of times?

A) NO — this is harder in 99% of the cases! In the face-to-face class, we will get to know each other, work in smaller periods of time together and really help you w/your speech anxiety. If you have high speech anxiety, we recommend you take the class in a  face-to-face environment.

Q) I don’t have my own computer or internet, will this work for me?

A)  We recommend a home computer with high speed internet.  However, if you do the footwork, you can use the campus computers to take the class – or even ones in the Public Library — but sometimes they block materials, so it does work best if you have your own computer. To put it this way, if you take a drawing class, you probably need pencils. If you take a PE running class, you might need shoes. If you take an online class, a computer is ultimately necessary.

Q) I have a learning disability and reading is hard, should I take an online class?

A) This is not an easy question to answer. Like any class, if you need any special accommodations, you need to talk to the Student Support Services staff- they can help! They can also help you decide what works best for you.

Advice From Past Communication 1114 Online Students:

  • Most RCTC Communication instructors allow you to deliver your speeches for the class on campus in small groups or you can follow that instructor’s guidelines and create your own audience. The most important advice I could give is to delivery your speech at school, I understand things happen (trust me) but you will triple your speech requirements by doing it on your own. The help and feedback from your classmates is too valuable to miss ~David
  • Know your class schedule! Online learning is personal and you need to take personal responsibility. Make a commitment by checking your class often and staying in tune with due dates. Stay on top of things and don’t get behind! ~ Rebecca
  • Have fun with this class! Enjoy not having to take it in class. I know it sounds bad but public speaking isn’t as awful as you think.  I procrastinated this class for a long time.  It is a bad feeling inside before you give your first speech for sure, you can’t deny it. But, I can promise you when you get to the end of the class, you will be able to reflect, just what I am doing now, and know how much you have grown. I read advice like this all of the time, and I want to just roll my eyes. I am with you on that one. But, just try and take it one step at a time. Know that your teacher is a great teacher and she will go out of her away to practically any extreme to help you out if you are struggling or just need to talk.  Best of luck to you. Having a positive attitude might not get you an A, but it can get you a long way in this class! =]  ~Hollie
  • Online public speaking was a unique experience.  In a face to face class you may not ever get to know so much about the other students in your class.  I can ‘t put a face with many of the names but I could tell you a lot about someone.  I think it can be easier for you as a student to open up when it is online because you may not feel as judged as you would saying it in front of a classroom of people.  One key piece of advice is to make sure and keep up on your work.  At times it maybe very overwhelming but if you keep up you will be very glad in the end!  ~Cindy
  • My advice for the next class is to take a deep breath and realize that public speaking is not the super-scary thing that some of us have come to fear.  Everyone is in the same boat and feels just as nervous as you do!  Relax and have fun with your speeches.  Make sure to prepare ahead of time and don’t just wing your speech.  The semester goes by fast and I guarantee you will feel so much more confident by the last speech then you did before Speech 1.  Good luck! – ~Crystal
  • Ha, well I don’t know anything I might say will help.  Most of all I would advise people to just have fun with the class.  If your teacher is like mine, she will be so welcoming and patient and helpful with the material.  She and the whole class want you to succeed.  Do the discussions and posting on time so others can respond as it’s part of their grade as well.  Take feedback from other students.  There is a lot of knowledge in your peers.  Most of all have some fun – it’s not as bad as you think it’s going to be.  ~Jan
  • ADVICE: Stay on top of every assignment! And honestly relax, I hate giving speeches but by the end of the second one I was confident to give them. ~ Nicole K
  • Have fun in this class! It doesn’t make it any easier that this class is online, but it works for busy schedules. Just make sure you get your assignments done on time and utilize the phone calls/skyping with  your teacher. Her advice helps with speeches greatly and she really is helpful no matter what the situation. Practice, practice, practice! Have confidence! Have fun! 🙂 ~ Katlin
  • My advice to students coming into a speaking class is that it is OK to be afraid and everyone else in the class is.  Don’t expect to be perfect because that will never happen.  Enjoy learning and try to learn as much as you can and I will think you will be surprised by how much there is to know about public speaking.  And lastly, try not to procrastinate with your speeches, the sooner you get them into final form the sooner you can start practicing which is the key element during the delivery of your speeches.  PRACTICE! ~ Danielle
  • Advice for online students: Take the advice your teacher and your fellow classmates give you.  Keep current with discussion boards and don’t get behind.  Ask any questions you have, chances are, others have the same questions.  Don’t get too stressed out about Speech Days.  Your classmates will be there to support you and there are fun icebreakers to get rid of some of the nerves you may have when you are meeting some of your classmates for the first time.  Thanks for a great semester, everyone!  ~Steve
  •  I would advise anyone to think outside of the box when selecting their topics. ~Onawa
  • Have fun and don’t be nervous! The class is a lot of fun, you just have to let it be. ~Brandi
  • I agree that this class was a lot of fun.  I was surprised to find this to be true.  It was a weird kind of adrenaline rush to give speeches that I never expected.  Kind of like skiing down a double black diamond in the Rockies, only more safe! ~ Danielle
  • The only advice I have for the next group is to make sure that you keep up with all of the work, and don’t leave your speeches until the last minute! ~ Amanda
  • The advice I have for the next class is try your best and really work finding the right topics to speak about that will make you feel comfortable. ~ Jenna
  •  I think the advice that I would give is to take it online.  It seems nerve racking to give a speech to people you’ve never met but in reality you get to know everyone so well through discussion and at the speeches that you don’t really notice if you were to be in class with them each day or online.  I think online is a bit more personal because people tend to release their opinions more through discussions versus a class setting.  Some people are not comfortable sharing ideas with people face to face.  Another piece of advice would be to keep a planner so you don’t get lost.  There is a lot to keep straight! ~ Nicole M
  •  It’s all fun! Just relax and have fun!  ~Diana
  • I think taking this class online is a great experience and I really think I you are more willing to open up to your class easier too. I know I was able too. Your teacher keeps the environment very laid back and then little games before speeches on speech days really do help to relax you. Just relax and after you take this speech class you will not ever feel as nervous about having to do a speech again! ~Angie
  • My Advice – if you are very nervous about speech class you should first get to know everyone in your group. It is really nice and fun. The class isn’t too bad as we all think it is. It is a good experience it help refresh my mind that learning how to speak is important and a good thing to continue in life. So come to class early to see students in your group and have lots of your discussions to communicate with your mates.  ~Rosa
  • Have a planner or something to keep all of the assignments straight from discussions to extra credit opportunities. Sometimes their is just a lot you have to remember and if you are taking other online classes you need to keep it all straight. ~ Jennifer