1 Communications 1115: Interpersonal Communications Course Content Erin Robb Office: A206 Voice Mail: Office Hours: Wednesdays 11:30 am to 2:15 pm or by appointment Welcome to CMNS 1115, a course that focuses on preparing you for professionally communicating in the workplace. We will focus exclusively on interpersonal and oral communication skills through a variety of activities, including team and individual presentations. Throughout this course, you will learn about your own personality and how to respond to other personality types; how to work effectively on teams and resolve team conflict; how to deliver a professional presentation, and how to impress an interviewer. In short, this course aims to give you the skills you need to become a highly valued employee in the work world. Learning Outcomes Upon successful completion of CMNS 1115, you will have improved your ability to do the following: increase your ability to listen actively practice successful techniques for working on a team refine your problem-solving skills improve your ability to deal with conflict in the workplace develop and fine-tune your job interview skills design and deliver an effective presentation learn how to reduce and control your anxiety when speaking to a group Required Texts All readings are online and can be accessed through our syllabus on Blackboard. Methods of Delivery We will use a variety of classroom activities, including lectures, interactive PowerPoint presentations, class discussion, group work, games, case studies, film clips, and, of course, presentations both individual and group. Assignments and Mark Distribution Pair Presentation 15% Team Presentation 25%
2 Job Interview 20% Persuasive Speech 20% Participation and Quizzes 20% Note: In order to pass this course, you must complete ALL assignments and have a good attendance record. You are allowed to miss two classes without penalty. Each class missed thereafter, for any reason even a good one will incur a 1% deduction from your overall mark. If you are absent for your team presentation, you will not pass the course. Elements that are evaluated in all CMNS 1115 oral communication: delivery (voice, body, face) topic choice organization of content clarity of content knowledge of content professional appearance of speaker and visual aids Grading All assignments will receive a letter grade only. The table below shows the numerical grade equivalents and descriptions. Grading Information A % Outstanding A % Fantastic A % Excellent B % Very Good B % Good B % Pretty Good C % Acceptable C % Below Average C % Poor D % Very Poor
3 F 0 49 % Unacceptable My Policies for CMNS Attendance: You are expected to attend every class on time and to be prepared to participate very well, especially since this is an interpersonal and oral communication class. Remember to complete the day s homework and reading before coming to class. If you do miss a class, you are responsible for collecting any notes and handouts from a classmate. Please do not or ask me to tell you what you ve missed. You are allowed to miss two classes without penalty. Each class missed thereafter, for any reason even a good one will incur a 1% deduction from your overall mark. If you are absent for your team presentation, you will not pass the course. 2. Missed in-class presentations: If you miss a presentation in class, you can make it up provided you have a legitimate excuse and documented proof (like a signed and dated doctor s note). If you miss your team presentation, you cannot make it up and therefore will not pass the course. 3. Late policy: You need to present on the date assigned to you. Lateness will not be accommodated, unless you have a legitimate and documented excuse. If you know you will be late, you need to tell me (and your team member/s) ahead of time. 4. Notetaking: Taking notes is a learning activity that helps you organize and retain information. You are expected to take notes during lectures, class discussions, and PowerPoint presentations. Please note that you will not have access to the PowerPoint slides after viewing them in class. 5. Courtesy: You are expected to act professionally and courteously towards your instructor and your classmates. Turn off your cell phone and music before class begins, avoid talking during inappropriate times, and do not ever, ever sleep during class. You also need to pay careful attention to your colleagues presentations as you are expected to evaluate some of them. Blackboard Site Our Blackboard site, which you can access from the link in the Course Tools section of your mylangara account, will contain all assigned readings for our class, mostly in the form of links to online articles. The site will also have relevant information and resources about the material we discuss. I encourage you to browse around the site to get the most out of the course. The site has a Discussion area that you will find in the left-hand menu of Blackboard s main page. Feel free to post messages or ask questions in this area. Note, however, that participation on the Blackboard site does NOT replace attendance or in-class participation. Failure to attend class even if you participate extravagantly on Blackboard may still mean an invite to drop the course.
4 Assignment Specifications Click on the links below to review the requirements, guidelines, and helpful information about each of the course assignments. Informative Presentations pairs (15%) Audience: first-year college business students who will be writing an exam on your topic Purpose: to inform your audience and engage your audience with relevant material so choose your topic well! Your delivery skills are the main area of evaluation. Duration: Content: Requirements: instructor 15 minutes research AND your own insight or suggestions you need at least some visuals; you also need to get your topic okayed by the Directions: You must choose a topic that focuses on interpersonal communication in the workplace. Your topic can deal with a problem, innovative technology, a practical communications theory, or the like. Remember, though, that you need to get your topic approved by me, and that the choice of your topic (how relevant it is to your audience's needs and the purpose of this class, how engaging and interesting it is) has everything to do with the success of your presentation. After your topic is approved, you and your partner will teach it to the class in a formal lecture (presentation). Note: all presentation topics must be different Evaluation Criteria Your mark will be determined based on your individual delivery of the material, on how well you engage and interest your audience, on how well you know your topic, and on your personal presentation style/technique. Although the focus of this first presentation is on your delivery skills, part of your grade will also depend on your choice of topic and content, your organization of information, the professionalism and unity of your visual aids, and your polished interaction with your partner.
5 Team Presentations (25%) Audience: your peers Purpose: to persuade your audience to either take action or think conscientiously about a provocative topic. Your delivery skills, team unity, and professionalism of your visual aids are the main areas of evaluation. Duration: Content: minutes research AND your own insight or suggestions Requirements: you need three (or more) different types of visual aids; you need a maximum of 15 PowerPoint slides Directions: Each team needs to choose a relevant and engaging topic and do the following: 1. the instructor with your proposed topic and give a brief description of it; 2. Sell your topic by highlighting audience benefits and topic relevance; Your should be words in length and should also be informative, persuasive, and professional. Keep in mind the choice of your topic is extremely important for the success of this presentation. Consider what your audience needs and wants to know; what topic might interest them? What delivery techniques and engaging methods might you use to connect with your audience and persuade them to accept your ideas? Also keep in mind that much of your mark depends on outstanding teamwork skills. All presentation activities (including your proposal ) should demonstrate excellent and professional teamwork skills. Evaluation Criteria Fifteen percent of your grade is determined by how well the team works together to present the material. Each member must contribute equally to the presentation, and segues between speakers should be smooth and organized. In addition, the team s appearance, organization, and knowledge about the topic will also be considered for this portion of your grade. All visuals used for this team presentation will also be evaluated. Are visuals attractive and coherent? Are they well and consistently designed? Do they give credit to all sources used? Are they clear?
6 The other 10% of your grade is determined by your individual performance: delivery skills, enthusiasm, and knowledge of the topic. Job Interview (20%) Audience: me, your prospective employer Purpose: to highlight relevant skills, traits, and experience you have to win the job opportunity; to stand out memorably in a team interview environment (you will be interviewed with four or five others) Duration: 30 minutes per team interview Content: your own real experience, traits, and skills you can offer for this mock job opportunity Requirements: you need to dress appropriately for this interview Directions: you will be given a job advertisement that will list required assets for the job. After reseng the company and the company culture, and after practicing sample interview questions, you will participate in a team interview, where you and a group of four or five others will sit together and answer my (your potential employer's) interview questions. Your goal is to make yourself stand out admirably during the team interviews. Evaluation Criteria Your mark will be determined based on the following: How much do you know about the company and its culture? How relevant are your skills/traits/experience to the job you're applying to? Are your answers clear and specific, but concise? Do you seem confident, prepared, and enthusiastic? Do you let others have a chance to talk? Like all interviews, your appearance, professional conduct, relevant and specific answers, and delivery style will all be assessed. I will be hiring one male and one female for the position. Persuasive Speeches individual (20%) Participation and Quizzes (20%)
7 Your participation mark in this class will come from your attendance, the quality and commitment of work with in-class group work, the quality and accuracy of your peer evaluations, and the attitude you demonstrate for all in-class activities. Quizzes will not necessarily be announced beforehand, and will be based on both the in-class information we discuss and the class readings. You are strongly encouraged to take notes and review them regularly to best prepare for these pop quizzes. Quiz style will range from multiple choice, to short answer, to fill-in-the-blank.