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COMS 105 - Fundamentals of Public Speaking - Jenna Khouri

Course:Fundamentals of Public Speaking
Professor:Jenna Khouri
  • Online
Course Length:
  • 8 Week


My name is Jenna Khouri, and I have been teaching for just under two years. I have three degrees in Communication Studies which foreshadows my passion for effective communication as I believe it is one of the most valuable skills an individual can learn. I am an alumni of College of the Canyons and have a deep love for this school as it is the very place I discovered my purpose. I am a firm believer that college is the perfect place to learn, grow, and discover your passion and purpose for life. I also believe communication skills lead to success in life regardless of what context you are communicating in! With that, my hope is that my students learn valuable communication skills within my classes that they can apply to their personal lives, as well as next levels of education, and in the workplace. I am here to help you learn, grow, and to encourage you along the way! However, it is important that you understand I have expectations for you to follow through on your end throughout the semester as well.

Course Description

This course examines the principles and practices of public speaking, communication theory, and techniques for public speaking.  It includes speech organization, development, research, audience analysis, reasoning, and presentation skills for the development of informative and persuasive speeches.  My goal is to help you become better speakers through providing you with the most important tool in public speaking -- a clear sense of organization.  No one is perfect, so please know as you begin this course that my focus will not be on perfection, but it WILL focus on your ability to follow directions using all of the tools I provide you with on Canvas.  For example, I provide you with sample speeches, a template to create outlines, and much more.  My Canvas class will be organized to provide you with easy access to all course documents.

What to Expect in this Course

Unlike some of your traditional courses, this course is a short-term online course.  The majority of your work, such as quizzes, exams, discussions, and writing assignments will be done online. However, we will be meeting for speeches as required by the college so that you present your speeches “live” in Zoom. 

Your assignments will be expected to be complete and turned in online by a date and time that is on your syllabus and in Canvas.  Please understand that because this course relies on technology (i.e. the Internet), it is a bad idea to wait until the last minute to complete any online work.  It will require that you manage your time well and ask for assistance when needed.  In general, do not wait until a minor problem has escalated into a major one. 

Note:  Please see the schedule of classes for all class meeting dates.  Vacation plans or work commitments will prevent you from being allowed to remain in the course, so please make sure your calendar is cleared for the days we meet to present speeches.  Online classes have attendance requirements just as face-to-face classes do.  If you are not completing all online assignments, you are subject to be dropped.  For example, you cannot remain in the course if you are only taking quizzes, but not doing the other work.

We have introduction speeches during the first week of class in Zoom, and you can find the instructions for that in modules, and in the assignment area in Canvas.   
The expectation is that you will log onto Canvas at least three-four times a week.  You will have a set schedule each week, so typically you would see the following type of schedule:
Sample Schedule (note: this is only a sample, and days may change)
Monday:     Review Week Module
        Read chapters for the week 
        View videos for the week
Tuesday:    Attend class via Zoom 
        Start assignments for the week
Wednesday:    Post answer to discussion board

Thursday:    Attend class via Zoom
        Complete homework activity
Friday:    Take quizzes for the week
Saturday:    Post responses to discussion board
Sunday:    Finish up anything you haven’t submitted yet for the week  

You will always have a couple days to do each assignment, so you do not “have to” work all weekend.  Since you will have time to do these assignments, completing them on time is important. 
The quizzes and exams are not proctored, and you will also have time to get them done, but if you wait until the last minute and run out of time, or you have technical problems, then I don’t allow make ups.  

Types of Assessments

The syllabus will explain your assessments in more detail, but there will be three speeches (one minor and two major), one exam, weekly quizzes, discussion boards, activities, and peer critiques. The point value for these is detailed in the course syllabus.

Textbook Information

The textbook for the course the COC Communication Studies Department Open Educational Resource textbook, (ZERO COST TEXTBOOK) entitled Fundamentals of Public Speaking.  This is a free online textbook!  There will also be hard copies available in the bookstore for a nominal fee for students wishing to purchase a bound copy.  The PDF will be uploaded onto Canvas.  All of our discussions, assignments, and exams will be based on the textbook.

Other Relevant Course Information

For students trying to add:  If you are trying to add this class, please know that I will be monitoring the wait list.  I cannot add several additional students to this class.  If you are below the 5th person on the wait list, chances of enrolling are typically not good.  Students would have to drop.  If you are interested in adding the class, please email me to inquire about the status of the class.
For enrolled students:  Please log into Canvas on the first day we begin the term.  I will work to open the course a week early for your benefit.  If you have any issues, please contact Canvas support, at (661) 362-3344. You should read your syllabus and complete your first online discussion board by the second day of the semester.  Failure to participate in the first discussion board will be like “missing the first week of class,” and as a result, you will be dropped from the course.  In addition, failure to attend the first week of live Zoom meetings will result in a drop from the course. My ultimate goal is to see you succeed, so I will do whatever I can to help you throughout the term.   More of my policies and more detailed explanations will be in the syllabus.

DSPS students must send me paperwork within the first four days of class to receive accommodations for the first quiz.  I will not be able to extend any time without documentation. 
Canvas is an important platform for this course because I will be using it as a primary method of communication with you.  I may also contact you via email, but will always use Canvas announcements.  Please note:  I will only respond to students who email me through CANVAS or their MyCanyons accounts.  It is a violation of FERPA for me to connect with you on your personal email accounts.

I look forward to meeting you online the first day of the term!

Additional Resources


This course can be accessed on the first day of class via Canvas at Log into Canvas using your CanyonsID single sign-on:

  • CanyonsID Username is your COC student email address (Ex:
  • CanyonsID Password is your COC student email password

Please visit the Get to Know Your Online Classroom page for help logging into Canvas and for tips on using Canvas and Zoom. Canvas Chat Support is also available 24/7 for any Canvas related issues.

Online Education

Check out the Online Education website for more information on a variety of topics that can help you be a successful online student such as: exam proctoring, learning styles, computer skills, and tips for student success. If this is your first online course, feel free to take our online learning readiness assessment to assess your skills.

The Learning Center (TLC)

The TLC provides FREE online tutoring resources to COC students!

Academic Accommodation Center (AAC)

College of the Canyons AAC provides educational services and access for eligible students with documented disabilities who intend to pursue coursework at COC. A variety of programs and services are available which afford eligible students with disabilities the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of the college programs and activities through appropriate and reasonable accommodations. For more information on their services visit the Academic Accomodation Center website.

Online Counseling

The Counseling Department offers appointments online. You can schedule an appointment by visiting the Online Counseling website. Counselors can help you map out a plan to reach your educational goals as well as advise you on course selection and registration.

Management of Stress and Mental Health

Often the pressure on our students is very strong, involving academic commitments, relationships, outside jobs and family pressure to name a few. The staff and faculty of College of the Canyons are here to see you succeed academically and care about your emotional and physical health. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including counseling and mental health services available on campus by visiting the Student Health & Wellness Center in the Student Services Building (across from the bookstore). The phone number is 661-362-3259 that you can call 24/7. You can also e mail for an appointment at At the Canyon Country Campus the Health Center will be in the new Student Services Building.

Also, the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline number is now 988. All students at COC are encouraged to enter that phone number in their cells. You can call it when you, or someone you know, is having thoughts of suicide or is in severe distress.

You can also now use the Crisis Text Line: Just text "Courage" to 741741. Someone will get back to you immediately. Its free, 24/7, and confidential.

Veterans Resource Center

The College of the Canyons Veterans Resource Center is a department within the Student Services Division at the college, created to help veterans and veteran dependents with applying to College of the Canyons, enrolling in classes, and requesting VA Education or Vocational Benefits. For more information please visit the Veterans Resource Center website, email or phone (661) 362-3469.


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Last updated: 10/05/2021 Sub#: 714