Effective: Late Fall 8-Week, 2018/2019

BUSI 504: Business Commun Theory & Pract

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  Course Description

This course is designed to strengthen students' communications skills in the context of managerial communication. Topics include writing and research skills, listening skills, nonverbal communication, conflict resolution and negotiation strategies, conducting interviews and meetings, and giving formal presentations.

Prerequisite: Graduate Standing

Proctored Exams: None



  Textbooks

As part of TruitionSM, students will receive their course materials automatically as described below.

Required

  •  Hynes, Geraldine and Veltsos, Jennifer. (2019). Managerial Communication: Strategies and Applications (7th ed). Sage Publications, Inc.  eText

Bookstore Information

Visit https://www.ccis.edu/bookstore.aspx for details.

eText Information

If a course uses an eText, (see Textbook information above) the book will be available directly in Desire2Learn (D2L) and through the VitalSource eText reader the Friday before the session begins, if registered for courses prior to that date.  Students will have a VitalSource account created for them using their CougarMail email address. Upon first login to VitalSource, students may need to verify their account and update their VitalSource password.  More information about how to use the VitalSource platform, including offline access to eTexts, can be found in D2L.  Students that would like to order an optional print-on-demand copy of eligible eTexts can do so through the VitalSource bookshelf at an additional cost.  Once orders are placed, it can take approximately five to seven business days for students to receive their print-on-demand books.

Physical Course Materials Information

Students enrolled in courses that require physical materials will receive these materials automatically at the address on file with Columbia College.  Delivery date of physical materials is dependent on registration date and shipping location.  Please refer to confirmation emails sent from Ed Map for more details on shipping status.

Returns: Students who drop a course with physical course materials will be responsible for returning those items to Ed Map within 30 days of receipt of the order.  More specific information on how to do so will be included in the package received from Ed Map.  See here for Ed Map's return policy. Failure to return physical items from a dropped course will result in a charge to the student account for all unreturned items.

Note: Students who opt-out of having their books provided as part of TruitionSM are responsible for purchasing their own course materials.

  Course Overview

This course is designed to provide current and future middle and upper-level managers with an understanding of communication as a core management skill. It will introduce you to the fundamental theories of business communication as well as communication skills and strategies in a variety of managerial settings. In today’s rapidly changing information and communication environment, the most effective managers are those who understand that communication strategies must be aligned with organizational goals and objectives.

You will also become familiar with specific topics in business communication, including inter-cultural communication, collaborative communication, conflict-management, negotiations, and technologically-mediated communication.

  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 Learning Outcomes

  1. Evaluate management communication in an organizational setting.
  2. Analyze a company’s communication processes or key messages and recommend changes that can help advance communication as an integral part of that organization’s management strategy.
  3. Devise and apply managerial communication strategies in traditional and technology mediums.
  4. Demonstrate understanding of intercultural communication issues.
  5. Analyze and justify legal and ethical issues in communication.
  6. Apply theories of written and oral communication to organizational settings.

  Grading

Grading Scale

Grade Points Percent
A 900-1000 90-100%
B 800-899 80-89%
C 700-799 70-79%
F 0-699 0-69%

Grade Weights

Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions (15) 240 24%
Dropbox Assignments (2) 320 32%
Midterm Exam 220 22%
Final Exam 220 22%
Total 1000 100%

  Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1

Assignment Points Due
Introduction Discussion -- Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 1 16
Discussion 2 16

Week 2

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 3 16 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 4 16

Week 3

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 5 16 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 6 16
Dropbox Assignment 1 160 Sunday

Week 4

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 7 16 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 8 16
Midterm Exam 220 Sunday

Week 5

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 9 16 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 10 16

Week 6

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 11 16 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 12 16

Week 7

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 13 16 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 14 16
Dropbox Assignment 2 160 Sunday

Week 8

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 15 16 Wednesday/Saturday
Final Exam 220 Saturday
Total Points: 1000

  Assignment Overview

Discussions

There is one ungraded introduction discussion assignment, along with 15 graded discussion assignments. Graded discussion assignments are worth up to a total of 16 points, with initial responses worth up to 8 points, and your response to a classmate's initial post is also worth up to 8 points. Initial posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Wednesday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday in Weeks 1-7. In Week 8, response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Saturday.

You must submit your initial post prior to being able to see the responses of your fellow classmates. To receive the maximum points for each discussion question posted, the initial post must be no longer that 500 words in length. They should be written in the same style you would use in a memo to a co-worker or supervisor, including correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation. The Discussion Topic posts and responses are more formal than e-mails or text messages, so abbreviations (OMG, etc.), emojis, and/or emoticons are not appropriate.

In addition initial posts should be supported by relevant examples and citations (using the APA citation format), where appropriate. Please note that at least 1 citation is required in your initial post. Discussions must be inclusive of material from the text and/or other competent sources, where appropriate, original, well thought out, and complete.

You must include a separate response to at least 1 of your classmate’s initial posts. Overall, the guidelines for the response posts are the same as for the initial posts. Your reply should engage your fellow learners in a relevant discussion based upon their comments and your additional research. Mere comments such as “Good idea” or “I agree with you” are good to support your fellow students, but that alone is insufficient to earn points.

Dropbox Assignments

There are 2 Dropbox Assignments in the course, with one due in Week 3, and the other in Week 6. The assignments will cover material from the text. Each is worth 160 points for a total of 320 points. The purpose of the assignments is to provide your an opportunity to demonstrate your analytical, critical thinking, and written communication skills in the context of actual or hypothetical cases. You are not required or expected to consult or utilize any outside resources in preparing the assignments. If you choose to consult outside resources, be advised that “Wikipedia” is not considered a credible resource for academic work, and should not be used or cited as a resource.

Dropbox Assignment 1

Dropbox Assignment 1 is an essay based on a case study from the textbook. Details regarding this case can be found in the Week 3 Content Area. The essay should be 4-6 pages double-spaced in 12-pt Times New Roman font, or some other similar business font. It must be submitted in Word format (.docx, .doc, or .rtf file formats) to the appropriate dropbox folder by 11:59 pm CT Sunday of Week 3. Style, and any use of citations, should follow the 6th edition of the APA Manual.

Dropbox Assignment 2

Dropbox Assignment 2 is a persuasive PowerPoint presentation based on a selection from a set of topics from the textbook. Details regarding this project can be found in the Week 7 Content Area. The PowerPoint Presentation should consist of 15-25 slides that includes specific information and/or data to support argument. It must also include a narrative, presented in either a written or oral format. This must be a professional presentation, so don't wait until Week 7 to start.  The assignment must be submitted to the appropriate dropbox folder by 11:59 pm CT Sunday of Week 7. 

Exams

 There will be two exams in the course – a Midterm Exam in Week 4, and a Final Exam in Week 8.

Midterm Exam

You will complete a Midterm Exam in the "Quizzes" area of the course worth 220 points in Week 4. It covers the textbook material from Weeks 1-4. The exam is open-book, not proctored, and consists of 50 true/false, multiple choice, and short answer questions. You will have 1 attempt to complete this 90-minute exam. The Midterm opens at 12:01 am CT Wednesday and closes at 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Final Exam

You will complete a Final Exam in the "Quizzes" area of the course worth 220 points in Week 8. It covers the textbook material from Weeks 5-8. The exam is open-book, not proctored, and consists of 50 true/false, multiple choice, and short answer questions. You will have 1 attempt to complete this 90-minute exam. The Final opens at 12:01 am CT Wednesday and closes at 11:59 pm CT Saturday.

  Course Outline

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

Readings

Textbook: Chapters 1 and 2

Mandatory Resource: “Characteristics of Corporate/Organizational Culture”

Introduction Discussion

Introduce yourself to the class. Share your name, where you live, job/profession, interests, career goals, and any other information you wish to share that will help the instructor and your fellow online learners get to know you.

Your initial post is due by 11:59 pm CT Wednesday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Discussion 1

Chapter 1 focuses on several historical approaches to management communication, including the scientific management approach, the administrative approach, the behavioral approach, and the contingency approach. Discuss the characteristics of each of these approaches, including an example of a business or enterprise in which each of the approaches is the prevailing type of management communication.

Your initial post is due by 11:59 pm CT Wednesday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Discussion 2

In the “Content” area of the course for Week 1, there is a resource item entitled “Characteristics of Corporate/Organizational Culture" found within the Instructional Materials. After reading the material, describe the organizational culture of your current or a previous employer. You don’t need to discuss each of the 18 characteristics listed – only the characteristics you feel are most relevant to your organization’s culture.

Your initial post is due by 11:59 pm CT Wednesday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Readings

Textbook: Chapter 3

Discussion 3

Advances in technology in the past 30 years have radically transformed the way people communicate, both personally and professionally. With respect to business and professional communication, discuss what you consider to be the greatest benefit of this transformation, and the greatest disadvantage. Provide specific examples to support your opinion.

Your initial post is due by 11:59 pm CT Wednesday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Discussion 4

The Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986, as amended in 1994, extends some right of privacy to employees when sending and receiving e-mail messages on the employer's computer system and calls made and received on employer-owned cell phones. However, the statute provides several exceptions that permit employers to intercept and/or monitor employee e-mail, internet, and cell phone use at work.

  • Describe your current (or previous) employer's policy regarding employee use of e-mails, Internet, and phones for personal matters while at work.
  • Be sure to indicate if the policy is a formal, written policy, or an informal policy.
  • Is the policy administered in a uniform and consistent manner?

Your initial post is due by 11:59 pm CT Wednesday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Readings

Textbook: Chapters 7, 8, and 9

Discussion 5

According to the textbook, managerial writing takes place in a unique context that involves consideration of several factors, such as the fragmented nature of manager’s time, the size and culture of the organization, the type of authority and political influence the manager is deemed to have within the organization, and legal concerns.  Discuss one or more of these factors in relation to managerial writing, and how a manager’s written communication is affected by the factor(s).

Your initial post is due by 11:59 pm CT Wednesday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Discussion 6

Read the “Communication Audit Report” on pp. 269-273 of the text. For this discussion, assume that you are Jeff Walters, the Executive Vice-President for whom the report was prepared. Discuss what you consider to be the report’s greatest strength and most serious weakness from your perspective as a decision-maker. Support your argument with specific examples from the report.

Your initial post is due by 11:59 pm CT Wednesday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Dropbox Assignment 1

Read Case 2-4, “Resigning From the TV Station,” on pp. 50-51 of the text. After you have read the case, prepare an essay answering Questions 1-4 at the end of the case. Your answers to the questions should be original, thoughtful, and well-reasoned, demonstrating your insight regarding the case and the questions presented.

Dropbox Assignment 1 is due in the appropriate dropbox folder by 11:59 pm CT Sunday of Week 3.

Readings

Textbook: Chapters 10 and 11

Discussion 7

According to a recent survey by the Graduate Management Admission Council, employers rank the ability to listen number two among 25 skills they demand in new graduate business school hires, placing it above writing ability, presentation skills, or quantitative analysis. Yet, it is generally acknowledged that of the four basic communication activities – speaking, listening, writing and reading – listening is the most difficult to master. Discuss why you agree or disagree that listening is the most difficult communication skill to master.

Your initial post is due by 11:59 pm CT Wednesday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Discussion 8

In the accompanying photo, discuss various non-verbal signals or forms of expression (facial expressions, body language, gestures, attire etc.) and how they influence your interpretation of the people and situation depicted in the photo.

Your initial post is due by 11:59 pm CT Wednesday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Midterm Exam

The Midterm Exam covers the textbook material from Weeks 1-4. The exam is open-book, not proctored, and consists of 50 true/false, multiple choice, and short answer questions.  You will have 1 attempt to complete this 90-minute exam.

The Midterm opens at 12:01 am CT Wednesday and closes at 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Readings

Textbook: Chapters 4, 5, and 6

Discussion 9

When giving oral presentations to a group, there are a number of obstacles, or barriers with which speakers might be confronted. The most common obstacles are: stereotypes, prejudice, feelings, language, and culture. Select one of these barriers that you have experienced, either as a speaker or a member of the audience, and discuss how it affected the presentation.

Your initial post is due by 11:59 pm CT Wednesday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday

Discussion 10

Describe your experience with an ineffective meeting at your current or previous job. Based on your experience, what would you have done to improve the effectiveness of the meeting?

Your initial post is due by 11:59 pm CT Wednesday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Readings

Textbook: Chapter 12

Discussion 11

Today’s workforce is more culturally diverse than ever.  Consequently, employers are frequently asked to accommodate employees’ ethnic and/or cultural customs and practices in the workplace.  How far do you think employers should go in accommodating such requests, in the interest of creating an inclusionary work environment?

Your initial post is due by 11:59 pm CT Wednesday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Discussion 12

Discuss a situation involving inter-cultural communication that you have either experienced or witnessed at work.  Your discussion should include the parties involved (do not use names or other identifiable information), the issue(s), and how the situation was ultimately resolved.

Your initial post is due by 11:59 pm CT Wednesday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

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.
Readings

Textbook: Chapters 13 - 14

Discussion 13

Which of the five conflict management strategies discussed in the text best describes your own approach to resolving conflicts at work? How does your conflict management style affect your communication strategy in conflict situations at work?

Your initial post is due by 11:59 pm CT Wednesday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Discussion 14

Chapter 14 returns to the “strategic communication model” from Chapter 2 (the “onion” analogy) and states that it is the best way to approach the negotiation process. Negotiations also incorporate elements of conflict-resolution strategies, since negotiation involves parties with conflicting objectives. Using either the strategic communication model or the conflict-resolution model, describe a negotiation process to which you were a party, and discuss how the negotiation process was resolved, whether successfully or unsuccessfully.

Your initial post is due by 11:59 pm CT Wednesday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Dropbox Assignment 2

Create a PowerPoint Presentation based on one of the topics in Exercise 5-3 on p. 146 of the text. See the Content area of the course for full assignment details. Since this is to be a persuasive presentation, you should assume that your audience consists of business people who are generally skeptical of the position you are advocating in your presentation. 

Dropbox Assignment 2 is due in the appropriate dropbox folder by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Readings

Textbook: Chapter 15

Discussion 15

As noted in Chapter 15, employment-related interviews present specific barriers to effective communication, including 1) different intentions of the people involved; 2) bias; 3) the fact-inference fallacy; 4) nonverbal communication; 5) effects of first impressions; and 6) organizational status.  Discuss two of these barriers that you have experienced during an interview, and describe how you dealt with the barriers, either as an interviewer or an interviewee.  Were you successful in dealing with the barriers? Why or why not?

Your initial post is due by 11:59 pm CT Wednesday, and response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT Saturday

Final Exam

The Final Exam covers the textbook material from Weeks 5-8. The exam is open-book, not proctored, and consists of 50 true/false, multiple choice, and short answer questions.  You will have 1 attempt to complete this 90-minute exam.

The Final opens at 12:01 am CT Wednesday and closes at 11:59 pm CT Saturday.

  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 and Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a cumulative process that begins with the first college learning opportunity. Students are responsible for knowing the Academic Integrity policy and procedures and may not use ignorance of either as an excuse for academic misconduct. Columbia College recognizes that the vast majority of students at Columbia College maintain high ethical academic standards; however, failure to abide by the prohibitions listed herein is considered academic misconduct and may result in disciplinary action, a failing grade on the assignment, and/or a grade of "F" for the course.

Additionally, 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

Columbia College is committed to creating a learning environment that meets the needs of its diverse student body. If you anticipate or experience any barriers to learning, communicate your concerns with the instructor. In addition to speaking with the instructor, the following resources are available to ensure an opportunity to learn in an inclusive environment that values mutual respect.

  • For students with disabilities/conditions who are experiencing barriers to learning or assessment, contact the Student Accessibility Resources office at (573) 875-7626 or sar@ccis.edu to discuss a range of options to removing barriers in the course, including accommodations.
  • For students who are experiencing conflict which is impacting their educational environment, contact the Office of Student Conduct at studentconduct@ccis.edu or (573) 875-7877.
  • For students who have concerns related to discrimination or harassment based on sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy or parental status, please contact the Title IX Office at titleixcoordinator@ccis.edu. More information can be found at http://www.ccis.edu/policies/notice-of-non-discrimination-and-equal-opportunity.aspx

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. You only have one week allowed to submit a late written assignment, and your grade will be reduced 10 points for each day the assignment is late. In addition, no late exams will be accepted without prior instructor approval, which will be granted only in extenuating circumstances beyond your control.

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.

  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 Technology Solutions Center, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. If you have technical problems with the VitalSource eText reader, please contact VitalSource. 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.