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Online classes

Effective: Late Spring 8-Week, 2017/2018

COMM 393: Organizational Communication

Course Description

An examination of communication processes with emphasis on systems theories, leadership and interpersonal and group interaction in formal and informal organizational settings.

Prerequisite: COMM 110

Proctored Exams: Midterm and Final



Syllabus Contents

Textbooks

Required

  • Miller, Katherine . Organizational Communication: Approaches and Processes. 7th. Cengage Learning, 2015.
    • ISBN-978-1-285-16420-5

Required Video

(Choose one of the following)

In this class you will be required to watch, review, and write a systems analysis paper about one of the following movies:

Judge, Mike (1999). Office Space (video).**
Deutch, Howard (2000). The Replacements (video).**
Frankel, David (2006). The Devil Wears Prada (video).
McTeigue, James (2005). V for Vendetta (video).**
Howard, Ron (1986). Gung Ho (video).

** indicates film has closed captioning available
You should be able to locate one of these videos for purchase or rental through a number of commercial sites, online, or local retailers.

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

Welcome to Organizational Communication (COMM 393) online. This course will focus on the skills and knowledge needed to become a competent communicator in organizational contexts. The student will be introduced to organizational communication theory. We will explore the application of these theories and a variety of approaches while keeping our lens tightly focused on organizational awareness.

This course provides students with the opportunity to explore the communication process and learn to communicate more effectively in interpersonal, small group, and organizational settings. The major goal of this course is to provide the students with the knowledge, skills and experiences necessary to improve their communication effectiveness.

Topics to be studied include but are not limited to:
• Definitions and models of organizational communication
• Classical management in organizations today
• Human relations approaches
• Systems approaches
• Corporate culture approaches
• Decision-making processes
• Conflict Management
• Cultural diversity and the workplace


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.

To complete an assignment for this course you will need the following:

• Video camera or web cam,
• YouTube account (Note: each student has a YouTube account that comes along with your CougarMail account)


Course Objectives

  • To introduce the role communication plays in organizations.
  • To understand effective methods of communicating in organizational contexts

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 (16) 200 20%
Dropbox Assignments (5) 500 50%
Exams (2) 300 30%
Total 1000 100%


Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 1 5 Wednesday
Discussion 2 13 Friday
Week 2
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 3 13 Wednesday
Discussion 4 13 Friday
Dropbox 1: Chapter 3 case study analysis 50 Sunday
Proctor Information N/A
Week 3
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 5 13 Wednesday
Discussion 6 13 Friday
Dropbox 2: Systems theory analysis 150 Sunday
Week 4
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 7 13 Wednesday
Discussion 8 13 Friday
Midterm Exam (proctored) 150 Sunday
Week 5
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 9 13 Wednesday
Discussion 10 13 Friday
Dropbox 3: Chapter 9 case study analysis 50 Sunday
Week 6
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 11 13 Wednesday
Discussion 12 13 Friday
Dropbox 4: Chapter 11 case study analysis 50 Sunday
Week 7
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 13 13 Wednesday
Discussion 14 13 Friday
Dropbox 5: Formal Business Presentation 200 Sunday
Week 8
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 15 13 Wednesday
Discussion 16 13 Friday
Final Exam 150 Saturday
Total Points 1000

Assignment Overview

Student Expectations

Each student is responsible for:
• Completing weekly reading assignments
• Discussion postings and participation
• Completing five dropbox assignments
• Completing two proctored exams

Readings

All readings should be completed prior to submitting assignments or weekly discussion postings. All graded assignments will rely upon information derived from our text readings.

Discussions

Each week there will be two discussion postings. The first post each week is due Wednesday and the second is due Friday by midnight. Participation in class discussion is required. A minimum of two reply posts per question is required. You must read 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.

I expect us to be continuously striving for effective communication in all forms, INCLUDING the written word. You will be graded on grammar, proper citation of the text, and thoughtful response to the posed question. A discussions rubric is available in the Grading Criteria section below. Discussion posts are not accepted late for any reason. In fact, the forum will close at the deadline.

Dropbox Assignments

Each dropbox assignment will be graded according to the rubric available in the Content area of the course. Additional information required to complete each assignment is provided below and outlined in the Content area of the course. For the Formal Business Presentation, a document containing a link to your video must be submitted to the appropriate folder in the Dropbox area of the course by Sunday of Week 7.

System Theory Analysis Paper: You will complete one system theory analysis paper. The paper should be 4-5 pages in length, double-spaced, 12 pt font. This assignment will be worth up to 150 points, assigned on the basis of percent of analytical and critical thinking skills, completeness, correct spelling, correct formatting, organization, citations, and neatness. This paper must be submitted to the appropriate folder in the Dropbox area of the course by Sunday of Week 3.

Case Study Analysis Papers: You will complete three case study analysis papers. Each paper should be 1-2 pages in length, double-spaced, 12 pt font. Each will be worth up to 50 points, assigned on the basis of percent of analytical and critical thinking skills, completeness, correct spelling, correct formatting, organization, citations, and neatness. Case study analysis papers must be submitted to the appropriate folder in the Dropbox area of the course. These assignments are due Sunday of Weeks 2, 5, and 6.

Formal Business Presentation: For the Formal Business Presentation you will complete a 12-15 minute, convention level presentation. This assignment will be worth up to 200 points, assigned on the basis of percent of analytical and critical thinking skills, organization of presentation materials, proper use of grammar, effective delivery, and time management skills. This presentation must be recorded in a digital format and uploaded to YouTube. Presentation topics must be pre-approved by the instructor in the Formal Business Presentation Topic forum available in the Discussions area prior to Week 5.

Please familiarize yourself with the following guidelines:

Live Audience: You will need to record a 12-15 minute presentation in front of a small audience (5 adult audience members at a minimum). If the recorded speech does not show at least five (5) adult audience members, the presentation grade granted will be no more than half credit (100 out 200) possible points; the camera needs to scan the back of the audience, as well as a frontal view of the head and body of the speaker. The focus is the speaker.

One take: You are expected to rehearse (practice, practice, practice) your presentation, but you are not allowed to revise or re-record your presentation to improve it. The presentation is to be delivered all-at-once, without trying to go back and fix any mistakes you believe you may have made. When you are ready to record, the camera must run continuously throughout the entire presentation without stopping.

Notes: Before you begin speaking, display your notes close enough to the camera and long enough for me to read them before you begin your speech.

Submitting your videos: Videos must be submitted using YouTube, as a student of Columbia College you have access to a YouTube account associated with your CougarMail account. You may submit your video as “unlisted”. You are urged to refer to the “Video checklist” before submitting the assignment to make sure your video permissions are set correctly and your video is good quality. Please do not wait till the last minute (or the week the assignment is due) to attempt to figure out how you will be submitting this assignment. Work on this now so that you will not run into problems at the time it is due. However you post your assignment, I must have it by the assigned due date. The formal presentation assignment will be worth 200 points, assigned on the basis of organization, completeness, delivery and following directions.

Exams

There will be a proctored midterm and a final exam, each worth 150 points. Each exam will consist of multiple-choice questions, true/false questions, and short answer essays. Exams are available in the Quizzes area of the course. Please be aware that no notes or books are allowed while completing proctored exams. Additionally, the use of flash drives and outside websites is prohibited during proctored exams. Proctor information is due to the Dropbox by Week 2. Review the Proctor Policy below and the Proctoring Module in the Content area of the course before submitting.


Course Outline

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

Week 1: Introduction
Readings
Chapter 1
Discussions
Remember to receive full credit, you must cite the text in your responses and include a proper citation at the end of your discussion. Finally, you must respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts for each discussion topic to receive full credit for participation.
Discussion 1
Introduce yourself to the other students in the course. Please give us more than your name. Include your profession, hobbies, interest in crisis intervention, and any other information that can help us get to know you. In addition to telling us about yourself, please take the time to tell us about your professional aspirations. What are your goals professionally? How do you plan to accomplish these goals? Please post by midnight Wednesday.
Discussion 2
How have organizations that you work in (or have dealings with) been affected by issues of globalization, terrorism, climate change, and changing demographics? Please post by midnight Friday.
Week 2: Varying Approaches
Readings
Chapters 2 and 3
Discussions
Remember to receive full credit, you must cite the text in your responses and include a proper citation at the end of your discussion. Finally, you must respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts for each discussion topic to receive full credit for participation.
Discussion 3
What are the areas of similarity and difference among the three major theorists considered in this chapter? Are the ideas of Fayol, Weber, and Taylor still relevant for today’s organizations? Why or why not? Please post by midnight Wednesday.
Discussion 4
In jobs you have had, what aspects of the workplace did you find particularly satisfying? What role did managers have in making the organization a satisfying place to work? How do your experiences, then, fit in with the ideas of Abraham Maslow and Douglas McGregor? Please post by midnight Friday.
Dropbox 1: Chapter 3 case study analysis
After reading the case study, Teamwork at Marshall’s Processing Plant, you are assigned to write a 1-2 page MLA formatted, double-spaced, 12 pt font (Times New Roman or Calibri only) critique of the case study based on what you have learned from chapter 3. Using the case analysis questions as a guide, provide a compelling solution to the posed situation. Additional information required to complete this assignment is available in the Content area.
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: Varying Approaches
Readings
Chapters 4 and 5
Discussions
Remember to receive full credit, you must cite the text in your responses and include a proper citation at the end of your discussion. Finally, you must respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts for each discussion topic to receive full credit for participation.
Discussion 5
What aspects of the systems metaphor are highlighted in a cybernetic approach to understanding? Which aspects are highlighted in Weick’s theory of organizing? Which aspects are highlighted by “new science” system theories?
Discussion 6
Think about an organization you know well. This could be a workplace, a church, or perhaps the school you attend. What would you look for in developing a “cultural profile” of this organization? How would you link your observations about this organization with conclusions about the culture? What specific conclusions would you draw?
Dropbox 2: Systems theory analysis
You will need to view a movie from the approved list above. After viewing the movie, you are assigned to write a 4-5 page MLA formatted, double-spaced, 12 pt font (Times New Roman or Calibri only) critique of the movie based on what you have learned from this class so far. This critique is not a plot summary of the movie, nor a discussion of your opinions about the movie. Your paper will be an academic evaluation of the movie in which you make connections to what you have learned in this class about communication within organizations. You will draw upon current academic research from the field of organizational communication to increase your understanding and bolster your argumentation and explanation in the paper itself. Additional information required to complete this assignment is available in the Content area.
Week 4: Critical Approaches & Socialization
Readings
Chapters 6 and 7
Discussions
Remember to receive full credit, you must cite the text in your responses and include a proper citation at the end of your discussion. Finally, you must respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts for each discussion topic to receive full credit for participation.
Discussion 7
Select an article from a current (2005-2013) Communication journal available online through the library. Please click on the link provided in the content area, which will guide you to the “Communication & Mass Media Complete” online database. In the search field, type “gender and organizations.” Make sure to limit your results by clicking “Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals” and “full text.” Choose one of the many results that interests you and read the article.

After reading the article, complete the following activities:
1. Briefly summarize the main points of the article.
2. Accurately paraphrase the article without plagiarizing the author.
3. Tell us why you chose the article.
4. Describe something you learned from the article, as well as how you will benefit from the information. In other words, how will this information affect your understanding of gender within organizations?

Please post by midnight Wednesday.
Discussion 8
If you worked for the career center on campus, what advice would you give to individuals signing up for job interviews based on the information gained in Chapter 7? What advice would you give to organizations interviewing candidates from the online campus? How could the interview process be improved so it would be more productive—and less stressful—for all involved? Please post by midnight Friday.
Midterm Exam (proctored)
Complete the midterm exam in the Quizzes area by midnight Sunday. Remember, this exam must be completed under the supervision of a proctor. Proctor information was due to the dropbox in Week 2. Review the information in the Content area if this is your first time completing a proctored exam.
Week 5: Decision Making & Conflict Management
Readings
Chapters 8 and 9
Discussions
Remember to receive full credit, you must cite the text in your responses and include a proper citation at the end of your discussion. Finally, you must respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts for each discussion topic to receive full credit for participation.
Discussion 9
Think about a decision you’ve recently made. Based on the information from Chapter 10, did you make that decision in a rational and logical way? If yes, how did you structure your decision-making process? If no, in what ways was your decision-making process not rational? Please post by midnight Wednesday.
Discussion 10
Based on what you’ve read in Chapter 9, would you want to have an organization that is free of conflict? Why or why not? Please post by midnight Friday.
Dropbox 3: Chapter 9 case study analysis
After reading the case study, The Problem with Teamwork, you are assigned to write a 1-2 page MLA formatted, double-spaced, 12 pt font (Times New Roman or Calibri only) critique of the case study based on what you have learned from chapter 9. Using the case analysis questions as a guide, provide a compelling solution to the posed situation. Additional information required to complete this assignment is available in the Content area.
Formal Business Presentation Topic due
Post your selected topic to the Formal Business Presentation forum available in the Discussions area for approval by the instructor.
Week 6: Change, Leadership, and Emotions
Readings
Chapters 10 and 11
Discussions
Remember to receive full credit, you must cite the text in your responses and include a proper citation at the end of your discussion. Finally, you must respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts for each discussion topic to receive full credit for participation.
Discussion 11
What is the role of leadership in organizational change? Which of the models of leadership discussed in Chapter 10 are most appropriate for times of change? Would the different models advocate different kinds of leadership communication during planned change? Please post by midnight Wednesday.
Discussion 12
Based on the information gained from Chapter 11, how is the experience and expression of emotion different in different types of jobs? Compare, for example, emotion in the work of a minister, a soldier, and a college professor. Are the emotional demands of some jobs more challenging than others? Please post by midnight Friday.
Dropbox 4: Chapter 11 case study analysis
After reading the case study, Inexplicable Events, you are assigned to write a 1-2 page MLA formatted, double-spaced, 12 pt font (Times New Roman or Calibri only) critique of the case study based on what you have learned from chapter 11. Using the case analysis questions as a guide, provide a compelling solution to the posed situation. Additional information required to complete this assignment is available in the Content area.
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: Diversity & Technology
Readings
Chapters 12 and 13
Discussions
Remember to receive full credit, you must cite the text in your responses and include a proper citation at the end of your discussion. Finally, you must respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts for each discussion topic to receive full credit for participation.
Discussion 13
Based on the information gained in Chapter 12, what is the difference between “managing” diversity and “celebrating” diversity? Is this a valuable distinction to make or merely a matter of semantics? Please post by midnight Wednesday.
Discussion 14
Using chapter 13 as a reference, which theory of communication media use seems most appropriate for describing the process through which you choose what technology to use? Are you rational in your choices? Are you swayed by what others say about a technology or the symbolic value of the technology? Please post by midnight Friday.
Dropbox 5: Formal Business Presentation
You are to present a 12-15 minute informative public presentation. Presentation topics must be pre-approved by the instructor in the Formal Business Presentation Topic forum available in the Discussions area prior to Week 5. After researching an organization that you find interesting, one that you already know about, or one that you would like to learn more about, you will present your overview and analysis of the organization utilizing terms, concepts and theories from the text, current literature from the field and this class. Outside research is required. Research this organization and present at least five (5) references to be cited in your presentation. In addition to including all standard components of an informative presentation (i.e. introduction, body, conclusion), you must utilize a digital presentational aid like PowerPoint or Prezi. You must conduct and record your presentation in front of an audience of five or more adults. Please follow the instructions for submitting this assignment found in the Content area of the course, as well as in the syllabus (above). Due by midnight Sunday.
Week 8: Changing Landscapes
Readings
Chapter 14
Discussions
Remember to receive full credit, you must cite the text in your responses and include a proper citation at the end of your discussion. Finally, you must respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts for each discussion topic to receive full credit for participation.
Discussion 15
Based on the information gained from reading Chapter 14, how will globalization, along with other aspects of the “new economy,” affect your career pursuits? Please post by midnight Wednesday.
Discussion 16
Identify the most significant thing (in the context of your own life) that you learned this semester. How will this guide your communication in organizational contexts in the future? Please post by midnight Friday.
Final Exam
Complete the final exam in the Quizzes area by midnight Saturday. Remember, this exam must be completed under the supervision of a proctor.


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.

I do not give credit for any late assignments; however, I will provide feedback if possible, so be sure to post late assignments in the appropriate dropbox.

The only exception to this late policy is that students who are on a documented deployment or who have a documented illness will be allowed to submit assignments after returning from deployment or hospitalization. If you have advance notice of such deployment and/or hospitalization, I prefer that you submit assignments in advance when possible. Please note that problems with your computer and/or Internet Service Provider do not constitute legitimate excuses for submitting assignments late.

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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