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Speech 100 - Interpersonal Communication

Jane Lister Reis

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(That's me in the pinkish t-shirt with my friends in Sedona, Arizona
where we had a great week of communicating!)

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Welcome to the class!

Speech 100 is an introduction to interpersonal communication. It covers the skills and theories needed to be an effective communicator -- at home, with friends, and at work.  Although an on-line course, Spe 100 will cover the same material as you would experience in the classroom.  The only difference is that you will also experience the use of the computer  as part of our understanding of what makes for effective interpersonal communication.

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  This is a new on-line course; your input and evaluation of this course will help me in designing an even more effective course.   Thanks for participating in this effort!

 

SYLLABUS

Introduction Course Content  Learning Quizzes  Evaluations

Class Assignments - By Week

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Weekly Class Communications
 

INTRODUCTION:

Being an effective interpersonal communicator is one of the greatest skills a person can have.  Why?  Because knowing what it is you that you think and feel coupled with the confidence and ability to communicate your message effectively makes you a successful relational person -- at home, with friends, and at work.  Interpersonal communication also teaches you one of the most important aspects of any successful relationship -- the art of listening -- a much needed skill in our world today!!   

In this online course, you will learn the theories and principles of effective interpersonal communication, enhance your skills and confidence as a communicator, and increase your understanding of communication differences due to gender, family, and culture. 

More importantly, because this is being taught as an online course, you will have the opportunity to compare and contrast the different elements of communication and how they change when we communicate person to person as compared to online.

This course fulfills the AA degree requirements for Speech.

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COURSE CONTENT:

COURSE GOALS: 

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Learn the theories and principles of interpersonal communication; 

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Understand and be able to demonstrate the skills for effective person-to-person communication;

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Increase your confidence, and decrease your fears, in your ability to be an effective interpersonal communicator; and

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Understand the phases of group development and the diverse roles and behaviors needed for effective group functioning and be able to apply and demonstrate this knowledge successfully in your small group.

Because it is important to me that you be a full participant in the learning process throughout this course (which includes your final evaluation or grade), I would like you to:

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establish your own learning goals and objectives based on the course goals as stated above;

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develop specific strategies for achieving your goals and objectives; and

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decide at the beginning of the quarter the grade you would like to receive for this course. This will help you set your focus, direction and intent for this course.

I'd like you to take a moment now to think about what you would like to learn and be able to demonstrate effectively in your life the knowledge and skills offered through this class.  To help you think initially about your goals and learning objectives and how you might meet those goals, ask yourself the following questions:

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What is it that I am interested in learning in the field of person to person communication?  

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How would I like to learn it?  Small group participation, one-on-one practice, through the reading of texts, films, internet sites?  

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Why is becoming an effective communicator important to me?  How will I benefit? At home?  With friends?  At work?

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Where do I envision myself at the end of this course in terms of application of my new skills and knowledge?

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How can I effectively measure my success at learning these new skills?

Take approximately an hour to write me an initial letter about what you would like to learn and achieve in this course.  You'll have a chance within the first week to create a more formal plan with specific learning objectives, but right now, just write your thoughts in response to the questions above in the form of a letter. Email your letter to me.

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MY GOALS AS YOUR INSTRUCTOR:

I have also set course goals for myself as the instructor of this online speech class. They are to:

bulletteach you the necessary skills and the appropriate theories to become an effective interpersonal communicator;
bullethelp you experience the sense of community that develops when people are purposefully working together to understand and learn from each other; and
bulletassist you in deepening your compassion and ability to relate empathetically with people who are different from yourself.

At the end of the quarter, you will have a chance to evaluate both your ability and mine to achieve our goals (more about the evaluation process later).  At the outset of this course, let's both make a commitment to successfully meet this course's goals.  Our learning experience is made much more powerful when we are both clear about what it is that we want to learn, how we wish to learn it, and how we will know if we have met our goals.  

 

STRUCTURE OF THE CLASS:

Our course is a distributed learning class which is a slightly different format than just an online course. A distributed learning class means there will be a combination of both online assignments and in class participation (three Saturday classes, to be exact). We will meet on three Saturdays, April 8, May 6, and June 10 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If you cannot attend all three Saturday classes, I would advise you not to take this course. It is important that we spend some time together doing small group skill building exercises, community building as well as presenting your final research project. I will also be lecturing on those three days.

Your online time will be spent between:

bulletreading the assigned chapters from our text, Interpersonal Communication: Everyday Encounters by Julia T. Wood,
 
bulletresponding weekly to the reading through reflective and critical writing (which is to be emailed to me weekly),
bulletkeeping a communications journal (which is to be emailed to me weekly),
bulletparticipating in a weekly discussion room, 
bullettaking part in a weekly chat room with your community group (which will be formed the first Saturday we are together),
bulletand presenting a final group research project (which will be presented to the class on the last Saturday we are together).

There is quite a bit of work for this class. Please keep up with your assignments. It will be very difficult for you if you fall behind. Consider that you would normally be spending five hours in class each week (for a five credit class) plus time outside for study and preparation. Take time now to think about your week and your other obligations. What time do you have blocked out for this class? 

For you to have a positive learning experience, you will need to create adequate time to fully absorb and participate in the learning process. Stress will definitely impede your enjoyment of the class and what we have to learn together! Try to do something everyday in your reading and writing. All of your assignments are due at the end of each week. Don’t wait until Friday to begin! I can tell by the quality of your writing if you have taken time to do critical thinking about the reading. More importantly, you will lose personally if you don’t give yourself the time you need to fully enter into the learning experience. 

Remember, effective interpersonal communication is one of the greatest skills you can develop to be successful in your personal and professional relationships. Put your heart and mind into these ten weeks, and I guarantee you will not be disappointed!

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Learning Quizzes 

Each week, I will ask you to take a learning quiz in response to that particular week’s assigned reading. Some of the ways in which I will ask you to think critically about the week's reading assignment are to ask you to respond to a variety of questions, watch a film and comment on it, submit essay responses to different questions, and comment on different internet sites. These quizzes are to be emailed to me by Friday of that week (no later than midnight on Friday night). Late quizzes will reflect negatively on your grade.

The learning quizzes are taken from the text itself, from the Student Companion to Wood’s Interpersonal Communication: Everyday Encounters (Wadsworth) by Michelle T. Violanti and Julia T. Wood, and from the Instructor’s Resource Manual for Wood’s Interpersonal Communication: Everyday Encounters, 2nd edition (Wadsworth) by Michelle T. Violanti and Julia T. Wood.

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At the end of the quarter and after all your work has been submitted, we will meet together (either in person or online if a time cannot be arranged) to look at your learning goals and objectives and evaluate the success of your plan at achieving your objectives.  We will talk about the quality of your self reflection in your weekly communication journals, assess together your ability to demonstrate critical thinking in response to the questions posed each week regarding our the text, evaluate your participation in the weekly chat and discussion rooms, talk about your learning in the final group project, and finally, look at your participation in all three Saturday skill-building classes.  

In order to receive an "A" for this course (4.0-3.5), you must fully demonstrate competency in the four course goals through successfully meeting all your learning objectives and measurable outcomes as outlined in your strategic plan.  If you wish to receive a "B" for this course (3.4 - 2.5), you must demonstrate competency in three of the four course goals through the successful completion of your learning objectives.  To receive a "C" (2.4-1.5), you must meet your learning objectives for two of the course goals; for a "D" (1.4-.7), you must meet your learning objectives for one of the course goals.  To not meet any of the course goals is to fail the class. 

If, at the end of the quarter, we agree upon the grade you have chosen for yourself at the beginning of the quarter, you will receive that grade.  If we do not agree, we will use a process of communication to connect in our perceptions and a numerical grade will be decided upon that we are both satisfied with.

The specific numerical grade will be determined as a result of our shared communication and assessment at the end of the quarter.

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