Welcome to Public Address!

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Hi there awesome student! Welcome to my welcome page haha. I hope this will help you learn more about the class and decide if you want to enroll in it or help you know what to expect if you've already decided to join me :). This is a 16 week combination in person and online flipped class, beginning Monday, January 30th. Read on for details!

What's This Class About?

This course is centered on learning how to create and deliver effective timed public messages. These skills involve outlining, organization, research, evidence & source evaluation, source citation, use of visual aids, informing, persuading, creativity, timing with message creation and delivery, and speaking skills including using technology in ways that enhance your message. Cuesta catalog description: Introduces students to the theory and techniques of public speaking with an emphasis on clear, logical organization and effective delivery of expository and persuasive speeches. Advisory: ENGL 201A. Transfer: CSU; UC.

What's This Course Like?

Before we go any further, you should know this is a flipped classLinks to an external site.The flipped classroom is a teaching/learning model in which students engage in online instruction on their own; in-class time is devoted to activities, projects, or discussions—not lectures. The classroom is turned into a studio where students explore course concepts through discussion and interactive activities. The professor is a guide helping students learn by doing, much like Yoda (from Star Wars). 

How Does That Work for This Class?

This is a blended class, a combination in person classroom meetings and online module work. We meet once a week in our classroom at the North County campus in Paso Robles for speaking activity practice, discussions, and speeches. I'll also go over key assignments and allow Q&A time for module learning.

Section 33322 meets Wednesdays from 1-2:50. 33324 meets Thursdays 11 am-12:50 pm

All other teaching and learning occurs through modules in Canvas, Cuesta's learning management system. This includes video lectures, curated YouTube clips, text study guides--questions you'll answer using the textbook, assigned readings, weekly multiple choice quizzes, and various other assignments. 

Note: This class may be converted into meeting virtually at the same day and time at any time--pre-semester or during the semester based on a whole lot of factors regarding a Covid variant surge that are currently unknown.

Students Talk About What The Class is Like

Hover into, scroll and click on any one of these student testimonials if you're curious about what past students have to say. These are S'22 students from the same class format as ours will be this semester, a blend of meeting 1x a week in person and online module work. When Fall '22 complete their video posts, I'll include them here.


Accelerated 16 Week Class (but essentially 15 week)

This is a late start class beginning 2 weeks after the start of Cuesta's full semester, Monday January 30th; With Spring Break, it's essentially a 15 week class. This means you'll have more module weekly module work than in a full semester class.

Yikes! Public Speaking 😱

I get it; public speaking is scary for many, but in this class it's going to be ok. We create an encouraging, safe, bonded class community. By the time you deliver your first speech, you're speaking to classmate friends who are you cheering you on. You'll also get more confident the more you do it and we do lots of small group speaking activities first. Here's why you should love public speaking like me haha. This is a slide show I include in first week's module.


Covid with virus image Safety

Oh boy--where do I start :). Cuesta's in person classes adhere to the California Community College Chancellor's Office and SLO county department of health guidelines for higher education in-person class meetings. Instructors have some flexibility as long as they comply with these requirements and/or guidelines.

This situation changes rapidly. Here's what's good to know at this point (Middle of the Fall '22 semester): 

  1. Cuesta's vaccine or test mandate expired at the end of May '22.
  2. I am fully vaccinated, including boosters. 
  3. Vaccines are safe and effectiveLinks to an external site.; the best way to protect yourself and others from SARS-CoV-2, is to get vaccinated. Be aware of the misinformation campaign from the anti-vaccine movementLinks to an external site.
  4. Masks are welcome. You may choose to wear one or not wear one. Johns Hopkins offers great information about masks: Coronavirus Face Masks and Protections FAQsLinks to an external site..
    • I will provide a disposable mask for you if you want a mask but don't have one with you.
  5. You will be involved in small group speaking and discussion activities interacting with others.
  6. If you are experiencing symptoms of any kind (even if from a cold or allergies) or test positive, you may not attend class.
  7. Covid self-testingLinks to an external site. is available for students on the both campuses.
  8. Our large classroom includes 2 air purifiers and opens to the outside where you'll be able to participate in your group activities if the group chooses.
  9. This class may convert to meeting virtually via Zoom at the same day and time depending on Cuesta or SLO county directives.

Note: There is some risk of illness involved in attending an in person class, especially if you are not vaccinated. If you prefer not to take that risk, there are sections of this course taught by other instructors that do not require attending class in person. Check out your options with Cuesta's Class FinderLinks to an external site..


About Your Instructor (me)

Hey there. I'm Beth-Ann Dumas--students call me Prof. D or Ms. D. A little about myself: I’ve been teaching at Cuesta for over 20 years and teaching is more than a job to me; it is my passion and my calling. I once saw a saying that went something like this: find a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life. That’s how I feel everyday because I get to help you harness the immense power of public speaking to make your own life and your world better.

My 2 priorities are to #1 help you succeed in this class and #2 facilitate your ability to create and deliver effective public messages.

Email Address: bdumas@cuesta.edu  I respond quickly when the Spring or Fall semester is in session. During Summer break I occasionally check email and begin checking it regularly the first week of August. During Winder break I occasionally check email and begin checking it regularly the week prior to the start of the Fall semester.


Communicating With Me & With Each Other 

We'll be communicating a lot in the class! We'll all be using Pronto, a social media app, to communicate with each other. You can post or answer a question in the class feed and also direct message each other. I'll post updates to Pronto and through Canvas announcements. Use the Pronto classfeed, email, attend my regular Zoom or in person student hours, or make a one-on-one Zoom appointment to communicate with me.  And of course, we'll be interacting during our class sessions.

Computer Equipment, Textbook & Technology

Computer Equipment: Review the computer requirements to be sure you have the necessary technology to participate in the class. Because of the interaction nature of this class, you will need a computer for much of the coursework—a phone will not suffice. Computer requirementsLinks to an external site. You'll also need a webcam with a built in mic.

Wifi Access: You'll need consistent wifi access sufficient to access Canvas for the online portion of the course and to participate in our class meetings in the event we are required to convert to a complete online course.

Zoom: You'll need a free ZoomLinks to an external site. account.

Technical support: Go here for help with CanvasLinks to an external site.. But first try using another browser such as Chrome, Firefox, or Edge.

Textbook: We'll be using Top Hat's digital textbook, Effective Public Speaking by George Griffen and contributors which is great because I can customize the information and include examples of student speech videos. The cost is around $77.00 (don't purchase through the bookstore unless you're using a financial aid voucher). The first two weeks of the semester are free; after that, you'll need to purchase access--instructions will be included in our week one module.

Course Operates on Canvas

This online course will be using Canvas to provide the framework for all aspects of the course. Once you register and I open the Canvas course--usually about a week before the semester begins, you will be able to access our course via Canvas.

Accessing Canvas:  You can access Canvas by selecting the Canvas tab at the top of the Cuesta website or by typing the Canvas address (https://cuesta.instructure.com/) into your browser address bar or through logging into myCuesta.

Online Learning

If you have never taken an online class or this is your first experience with Canvas, be patient with yourself. Online classes are not inherently easier, although they may be much more convenient for many students. You should expect to spend at least as much time, if not more on this course as you would on a course that meets face to face. Much of this time will be self-directed and there will be a substantial amount of reading, viewing, studying, and and practicing required.


 It's important that you know how to participate in the class using Canvas. Consider enrolling in this free Canvas Tutorial: https://www.cuesta.edu/academics/distance/survey.htmlLinks to an external site.

Course and College Policies

My add/drop policy:  Email me for an add code the weekend prior to first day of the semester. You won't be able to use the code until the first day of the course (Cuesta's policy). I will not add students after the first week of class. I will give priority to students in the order of the waitlist. You must log in within first 2 days of the course, and also view the How our Class Works video.

Cuesta's Add Policy Links to an external site.

Review Cuesta’s Waitlist PolicyLinks to an external site.and instructions.

Also check out Student Code of ConductLinks to an external site. and Student Computer Technology access Agreement

Accommodations: This course is designed using an accessible Learning Management System and course materials have been created with ADA compliance in mind. I happily accommodate learning or physical challenges in accordance with Cuesta's Disabled Student Program and Services (DSPS)Links to an external site.. Be sure your accommodations are authorized by DSPS. Please inform me at your earliest convenience so I can work with you to meet whatever your need is.

*If We Are Required to Convert To An All Online Class

*Right now the class is a blended class---a combination of in person meetings once a week at the Paso Robles campus and online module course work. If we are required to convert to an all online course, here's what you need to know:

Wait. What. An Online speech Class? Yep. Hey it's the 21st century and we've expanded our conception of what public speaking means. Speaking virtually is a relevant and important speaking skill. All speeches will be delivered live from your device via Zoom to me and to your audience of classmates.

Live Required (not optional) Class Sessions Every Thursday

We'll hold class live via Zoom every Thursday at our same meeting time where you'll be in breakout rooms participating in various activities and discussions which include practicing virtual speaking skills, topic roundtables, and other discussions. Just like our in person class, these class meetings are required, NOT optional.

Video Participation

Video participation is required for all class sessions--no audio only participation. This is a communication course. We need to see and hear each other.

Blend of AsynchronousLinks to an external site. and SynchronousLinks to an external site.

I will not be lecturing or delivering instructional content during our live zoom sessions--those are for questions & clarification activities, and speeches. All instruction will be included asynchronouslyLinks to an external site. in the form of videos, your textbook, and assigned readings of each module.

Check this out: This site explains advantages and disadvantages of asynchronous and synchronous learning. This class if converted to all online will be a blend of both. Synchronous vs. Asynchronous Learning in Online Education.Links to an external site.

This will be an Awesome Semester!

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