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Online classes

Effective: Late Spring 8-Week, 2017/2018

COMM 203: Understanding Human Communicat

Course Description

Communication theories and models applied to intrapersonal, interpersonal, small-group, and public settings. Principles practiced in verbal and non-verbal forms.

Prerequisite: None

Proctored Exams: Midterm and Final



Syllabus Contents

Textbooks

Required

  • Wood, Julia T. Communication Mosaics. 8th edition. Boston: Wadsworth, Inc, 2016.
    • ISBN-978-1-305-40358-1

MBS Information

Textbooks for the course may be ordered from MBS Direct. You can order

For additional information about the bookstore, visit http://www.mbsbooks.com.


Course Overview

This course will focus on the study skills and knowledge needed to better understand basic human communication. You will be introduced to the study of multiple communication perspectives and have a better understanding of how communication creates, maintains, and alters the identity of individuals and the meaning of their personal lives, as well as the effect of human communication in and through social environments.  You will learn how to communicate more effectively with the self, family, and co-workers; in small groups, and public settings.

This course provides you with the opportunity to explore the communication process and improve your communication competence.

Topics to be studied include but are not limited to:

  • Introduction to communication models
  • Perception of self
  • Listening
  • Language
  • Non-verbal communication
  • Interpersonal communication
  • Improving interpersonal communication
  • Small Groups
  • Group Problem Solving


Technology Requirements

Participation in this course will require the basic technology for all online classes at Columbia College:
  • A computer with reliable Internet access
  • A web browser
  • Acrobat Reader
  • Microsoft Office or another word processor such as Open Office

You can find more details about standard technical requirements for our courses on our site.


Course Objectives

  • To introduce the major communication theories and practices across the field of human communication.
  • To begin applying that understanding of communication process to real-life situations.
  • To analyze communication situations and the communication of others.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate a basic theoretical and practical knowledge of interpersonal, public, organizational, mass and intercultural communication.
  • Explain how technology influences communication.
  • Learn how to be critical consumers of communication as well as being ethical communicators.

Grading

Grading Scale
Grade Points Percent
A 900-1000 90-100%
B 800-899 80-89%
C 700-799 70-79%
D 600-699 60-69%
F 0-599 0-59%
Grade Weights
Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions (15) 200 20%
Papers (2) 300 30%
Interactional Encounter Video 150 15%
Midterm Exam 175 18%
Final Exam 175 18%
Total 1000 100%


Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 1 5 Wednesday
Discussion 2 15 Friday
Week 2
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 3 15 Wednesday
Movie Analysis Paper 150 Sunday
Proctor Information N/A
Week 3
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 4 15 Wednesday
Discussion 5 15 Friday
Week 4
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 6 15 Wednesday
Discussion 7 15 Friday
Midterm Exam 175 Sunday
Week 5
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 8 15 Wednesday
Discussion 9 15 Friday
Culture, Identity, and Relationships Paper 150 Sunday
Week 6
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 10 15 Wednesday
Discussion 11 15 Friday
Discussion 12 -- Sunday
Week 7
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 13 15 Wednesday
Discussion 14 15 Friday
Interactional Encounter Video 150 Sunday
Week 8
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 15 15 Wednesday
Final Exam 175 Saturday
Total Points 1000

Assignment Overview

Discussions

Each discussion assignment requires three posts: one original post and two responses. You should focus on completing one discussion before moving onto the next. The first discussion assignment of the week is due by 11:59 pm CT Wednesday. In most weeks, there is also a second discussion due by 11:59 pm CT Friday.

Participation in class discussion is required by reading all of your classmates’ posts as well as the instructors’ responses.  This means that your interaction in the discussion needs to be more than simply posting your own answer. See the discussion grading rubric in the Content area of the course for more information. 


Movie Analysis Paper

View one of the pre-approved motion pictures listed in the Content area. After viewing the movie, write a 2-3 page paper critiquing it based on what you’ve learned about perception in Chapter 3. This analysis paper is not a plot summary of the movie, nor a discussion of your opinions about the movie.

Your goal should be an academic evaluation of the movie in which you make connections to concepts and theories discussed in Chapter 3.

Full details of this assignment and a grading rubric are available in the Content area of the course.  


Culture Identity and Relationships Paper

You will interview one person with whom you have a personal relationship. During the interview, you will ask them a series of questions about your relationship. After your interview, you will utilize terms, concepts and theories from the text to analyze your relationship with your friend or partner in a 2-3 page paper.

Your goal should be an academic analysis of your chosen relationship in which you make connections to concepts and theories discussed in Chapters 8-10. 

Full details of this assignment and a grading rubric are available in the Content area of the course.   


Interactional Encounter Video

You will choose one of the options below and create an 8-10 minute video:

  1. lecture presentation (with PowerPoint or Prezi visual aid) explaining a concept from class in detail.
  2. professional focus group facilitation with private reflection video diary.

  3. skit demonstrating a breakdown in communication followed by an optimized interaction and explanation to follow the skit.
Full details of this assignment and a grading rubric are available in the Content area of the course.   

 

Whichever you choose, please consider the following requirements:

  • Live audience (5 adult audience member minimum). If the video does not show at least 5 adult audience members, the final project grade will earn zero (0) points. Make sure the camera scans the audience before and after the presentation and try to keep the audience in the frame throughout the presentation if possible.
  • One take. You may rehearse, but you are not allowed to revise or re-record your presentation to improve it.
  • Submitting your assignment. After you have recorded your presentation, you must upload your video to YouTube. Please make sure that your video is set to “public” or “unlisted”. Submit your YouTube URL do the appropriate Dropbox (for grading) and the appropriate Discussion Thread (for peer sharing).
  • Check out the "Video Tutorials" module in the Content area for help with your audio and video.

Exams

Both the midterm and final exam are proctored. There will be 50-100 questions on each exam. You will have a two hour time limit for each exam. 



Course Outline

Click on each week to view details about the activities scheduled for that week.

Week 1: Introductions to each other and the field of communication
Discussion 1
Introduce yourself in the “Introductions” topic of our class Discussion, our “virtual classroom.” Please include profession, hobbies, interests, whether this is the first time you have taken a course online, and one concept that stood out for you from Chapter 1. 
Discussion 2

For your second discussion of the week, choose one of the three enduring themes (symbolic activities, meaning, and ethics) described at the end of chapter 2 and apply your chosen theme to a real life example of communication in the mediated world. You will notice some examples have been provided for each of the themes.  Try to avoid simple repetition of these examples.  As will be the case going forward, we are looking for direct connections between communication principles we are learning and YOUR life.

Readings
Chapters 1 and 2 of the textbook.
Week 2: Perception is reality.
Readings

Chapter 3 of the textbook.

Discussion 3
For this week’s post, discuss how you communicate with people both online and face-to-face. What differences can you identify in how you communicate in each medium?  What differences can you identify in how others communicate with you online and in person?  Be sure to contextualize examples from your life with concepts from Chapter 3.
Movie Analysis Paper

You will need to view one of the pre-approved motion pictures listed in the Content area. After viewing the movie, you are to write a 2-3 page paper critiquing the movie based on what you’ve learned about perception in Chapter 3. This analysis paper is not a plot summary of the movie, nor a discussion of your opinions about the movie.

Your goal should be an academic evaluation of the movie in which you make connections to concepts and theories discussed in Chapter 3. Your paper should include the following:

  • 2-3 full pages (double-spaced) with an introduction, body, and conclusion
  • Follow MLA formatting
  • Discuss (3) concepts or principles, define them clearly, and apply them to the movie. For each concept, there should be a full paragraph defining and explaining what that concept means; then make a connection to the movie in the next paragraph.
  • Be sure to cite your sources and include a works cited page using MLA formatting.
    Font should be 12 pt Times New Roman or Calibri
Proctor Information
Submit your proctor form to the appropriate Dropbox folder by the end of the week. Remember to “Save” the form before placing it in Dropbox. See the Content area for more information.
Week 3: Verbal and nonverbal communication: What are you trying to say?
Readings
Chapters 4 & 5 of the textbook.
Discussion 4
  • For the first post of the week, think about the regulative and constitutive rules you follow in your verbal communication.  For each item listed below, identify two rules that guide your verbal behavior.

    Regulative Rules:  List rules that regulate your verbal communication when:
  • Interacting at dinnertime
  • Greeting casual friends on campus
  • Talking with professors

Constitutive Rules:  How do you use verbal communication to show:

  • Trustworthiness
  • Anger
  • Ambition
Discussion 5

For your second post of the week, view the video clip, “Do it yourself, Mr. Bean” located in Week 3 of the Content area.  Identify 5 nonverbal behaviors and assess the intended and actual meaning of each behavior. 

Week 4: Listening and responding in various communication climates.
Readings

Chapters 6 and 7 of the textbook.

Discussion 6
In the first posting of the week, review the types of ineffective listening discussed in the chapter.  Select one type of ineffective listening in which you engage and discuss how you can work to minimize it in your future interactions. 
Discussion 7

For your second discussion of the week, view the “Changes in Climate” video in the content area of class.  For each clip, identify the communication behavior that is contributing to a defensive climate.  Then, re-write each clip utilizing communication that creates a supportive climate. Finally, choose an example from your life where this skill would have been a benefit to you.

Midterm Exam
The exam covers material from chapters 1-7. This is a proctored exam. The exam has a two hour time limit and may consist of multiple choice, true/false, matching, and/or short answer questions.
 
Week 5: Culture and Identity: Primary influences on relationships.
Readings

Chapters 8, 9 and 10 of the textbook.

Discussion 8

For the first post of the week, watch the video David Bowie:  Spiders from Mars (segments 1 through 5) found in the content area of class, week 5.  Utilizing concepts from chapters 8 & 9, discuss the relevance of the video clips to your understanding of Culture & Identity.  

Note:  Even though segments 1-5 are the only required viewing for the week, please feel free to watch more segments of the video to further your discussion posts.

Discussion 9
More and more people are choosing to use social media outlets for creating, maintaining, and dissolving relationships.  For your second post of the week, create a Twitter-like post about relationships.  Note:  You are NOT required to post about specific relationships in your life, unless of course you want to.  Instead, you may focus on any of the concepts from Chapter 10, as it pertains to your view of relationships. 

Finally, briefly describe your experience in using this medium to describe a complex and broad topic. 
Culture, Identity, and Relationships Paper

For this assignment, you will interview one person with whom you have a personal relationship. During the interview, you will ask them a series of questions about your relationship. After your interview, you will utilize terms, concepts and theories from the text to analyze your relationship with your friend or partner.

Your goal should be an academic analysis of your chosen relationship in which you make connections to concepts and theories discussed in Chapters 8-10. Your paper should include the following:

  • 2-3 full pages (double-spaced) with an introduction, body, and conclusion
  • Follow MLA or APA formatting
  • Discuss (3) concepts or principles, define them clearly, and apply them to the movie. For each concept, there should be a full paragraph defining and explaining what that concept means; then make a connection to the movie in the next paragraph.
  • Be sure to cite your sources and include a works cited page using MLA or APA formatting.
  • Font should be 12 pt Times New Roman or Calibri
  • Paper is due to the appropriate dropbox folder by 11:59 pm CT Sunday of Week Five.
Week 6: Communicating in professional settings.
Readings
Chapters 11 & 12 of the textbook.
Discussion 10
For the first post of the week, watch the video Understanding Accountability. (Segments 1-3) found in the content area of class, week six.  Utilizing concepts from chapters 11 & 12, discuss the relevance of the video clip to your understanding of Group Work and Organizations.  
Discussion 11

For your second discussion of the week, think of a group that you are presently a part of or have been a part of in the recent past (within the last 2 years). Provide the following information about that group and its communication. (You do not need to give the name the group.)

  1. Briefly describe the group for your classmates, including purpose, goals, and size of the group and why you were a part of it (3-4 sentences).
  2. Describe the types of communication in the group: climate, procedural, task, and egocentric. Give specific examples of the communication used for each type (3-5 sentences for each type). Discuss the outcome of the group. Were the goals of the group accomplished? What were your personal feelings about the group?
  3. If the group work could be redone what would you change about yourself or others? (5-10 sentences)
Discussion 12
Submit your topic choice and ideas for the Final Project (Interactional Encounter Video). While this is an ungraded discussion, you will not be able to submit your final project to the Dropbox until it is completed.
Course Evaluation
Please evaluate the course. You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link sent to your CougarMail will allow you to access the evaluation. Please note that these evaluations are provided so that I can improve the course, find out what students perceive to be its strengths and weaknesses, and in general assess the success of the course. Please do take the time to fill this out.
Week 7: Media and technology: Communicating across frontiers.
Readings
Chapters 14 & 15 of the textbook.
Discussion 13

For the first post of the week, make a list of the forms of mass media you use most often. Include newspapers, books, magazines, television, types of films, radio, and so forth.  How do your choices of mass media reflect and shape your identity and your social perspectives? 

Discussion 14

For your second discussion of the week, reflect on your involvement with digital media.  How many devices do you own?  How much of the time is at least one device on?  How often are you totally disconnected?  What is gained and lost by your choices of how much to be connected?

Interactional Encounter Video

For your final project, choose from one of the following options:

  1. 8-10 minute informative lecture presentation (with PowerPoint or Prezi visual aid) explaining a concept from class in detail.
  2. 8-10 minute professional focus group facilitation with private reflection video diary at the completion of the interview. Students who choose this option will gather a group of 5 or more co-workers to field and discuss a variety of work-related questions.
  3. 8-10 minute skit demonstrating a breakdown in communication followed by an optimized interaction and explanation to follow the skit.

Whichever you choose, please consider the following requirements:

  • Live audience (5 adult audience member minimum). If the video does not show at least 5 adult audience members, the final project grade will earn zero (0) points. Make sure the camera scans the audience before and after the presentation and try to keep the audience in the frame throughout the presentation if possible.
  • One take. You may rehearse, but you are not allowed to revise or re-record your presentation to improve it.
  • Submitting your assignment. After you have recorded your presentation, you must upload your video to YouTube. Please make sure that your video is set to “public” or “unlisted”. Submit your YouTube URL do the appropriate Dropbox (for grading) and the appropriate Discussion Thread (for peer sharing).
  • Check out the "Video Tutorials" module in the Content area for help with your audio and video.
Week 8: Communicating the final touches.
Readings

None

Discussion 15
In the last discussion of this class, reflect on what you have learned in the class. What concept or information has been the most significant to you? 
Final Exam
The exam covers material from chapters 8-12 and 14-15. This is a proctored exam. The exam has a two hour time limit and may consist of multiple choice, true/false, matching, and/or short answer questions.


Course Policies

Student Conduct

All Columbia College students, whether enrolled in a land-based or online course, are responsible for behaving in a manner consistent with Columbia College's Student Conduct Code and Acceptable Use Policy. Students violating these policies will be referred to the office of Student Affairs and/or the office of Academic Affairs for possible disciplinary action. The Student Code of Conduct and the Computer Use Policy for students can be found in the Columbia College Student Handbook. The Handbook is available online; you can also obtain a copy by calling the Student Affairs office (Campus Life) at 573-875-7400. The teacher maintains the right to manage a positive learning environment, and all students must adhere to the conventions of online etiquette.

Plagiarism

Your grade will be based in large part on the originality of your ideas and your written presentation of these ideas. Presenting the words, ideas, or expression of another in any form as your own is plagiarism. Students who fail to properly give credit for information contained in their written work (papers, journals, exams, etc.) are violating the intellectual property rights of the original author. For proper citation of the original authors, you should reference the appropriate publication manual for your degree program or course (APA, MLA, etc.). Violations are taken seriously in higher education and may result in a failing grade on the assignment, a grade of "F" for the course, or dismissal from the College.

Collaboration conducted between students without prior permission from the instructor is considered plagiarism and will be treated as such. Spouses and roommates taking the same course should be particularly careful.

All required papers may be submitted for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers may be included in the Turnitin.com reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. This service is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use posted on the Turnitin.com site.

Non-Discrimination

There will be no discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, ideology, political affiliation, veteran status, age, physical handicap, or marital status.

Student Accessibility Resources

Students with documented disabilities who may need academic services for this course are required to register with the office of Student Accessibility Resources. Until the student has been cleared through this office, accommodations do not have to be granted. If you are a student who has a documented disability, it is important for you to read the entire syllabus as soon as possible. The structure or the content of the course may make an accommodation not feasible. Student Accessibility Resources is located in Student Affairs in AHSC 215 and can be reached by phone at (573) 875-7626 or email at sar@ccis.edu.

Online Participation

You are expected to read the assigned texts and participate in the discussions and other course activities each week. Assignments should be posted by the due dates stated on the grading schedule in your syllabus. If an emergency arises that prevents you from participating in class, please let your instructor know as soon as possible.

Attendance Policy

Attendance for a week will be counted as having submitted any assigned activity for which points are earned. Attendance for the week is based upon the date work is submitted. A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday (except for week 8, when the work and the course will end on Saturday at midnight.) The course and system deadlines are based on the Central Time Zone.

Cougar Email

All students are provided a CougarMail account when they enroll in classes at Columbia College. You are responsible for monitoring email from that account for important messages from the College and from your instructor. You may forward your Cougar email account to another account; however, the College cannot be held responsible for breaches in security or service interruptions with other email providers.

Students should use email for private messages to the instructor and other students. The class discussions are for public messages so the class members can each see what others have to say about any given topic and respond.

Late Assignment Policy

An online class requires regular participation and a commitment to your instructor and your classmates to regularly engage in the reading, discussion and writing assignments. Although most of the online communication for this course is asynchronous, you must be able to commit to the schedule of work for the class for the next eight weeks. You must keep up with the schedule of reading and writing to successfully complete the class.

No late discussion posts will be accepted. 

No credit will be given for late assignments. Exception: documented deployment or documented illness.

 

Course Evaluation

You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link will be sent to your CougarMail that will allow you to access the evaluation. Be assured that the evaluations are anonymous and that your instructor will not be able to see them until after final grades are submitted.

Proctor Policy

Students taking courses that require proctored exams must submit their completed proctor request forms to their instructors by the end of the second week of the session. Proctors located at Columbia College campuses are automatically approved. The use of ProctorU services is also automatically approved. The instructor of each course will consider any other choice of proctor for approval or denial. Additional proctor choices the instructor will consider include: public librarians, high school or college instructors, high school or college counseling services, commanding officers, education service officers, and other proctoring services. Personal friends, family members, athletic coaches and direct supervisors are not acceptable.


Additional Resources

Orientation for New Students

This course is offered online, using course management software provided by Desire2Learn and Columbia College. The course user guide provides details about taking an online course at Columbia College. You may also want to visit the course demonstration to view a sample course before this one opens.

Technical Support

If you have problems accessing the course or posting your assignments, contact your instructor, the Columbia College Helpdesk, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. Contact information is also available within the online course environment.

Online Tutoring

Smarthinking is a free online tutoring service available to all Columbia College students. Smarthinking provides real-time online tutoring and homework help for Math, English, and Writing. Smarthinking also provides access to live tutorials in writing and math, as well as a full range of study resources, including writing manuals, sample problems, and study skills manuals. You can access the service from wherever you have a connection to the Internet. I encourage you to take advantage of this free service provided by the college.

Access Smarthinking through CougarTrack under Students -> Academics -> Academic Resources.


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