1 COMM Interpersonal Communication Syllabus 1 COMM INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION Course Syllabus and Schedule Fall 2013 Instructor: Contact Information: Office Hours: Class Time: Class Location: Kaitlin E. Phillips Moudy South (best way to reach me) Emergencies only: (cell) MWF 9:00-11:00 or by appointment MWF 8:00-8:50 Moudy South 312 Required Texts Floyd, K. (2011). Interpersonal communication (2 nd ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw- Hill. Braithwaite, D. O., & Wood, J. T. (2011). Casing interpersonal communication: Case studies in personal and social relationships. Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt. Recommended Resources Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association 6 th edition Purdue OWL APA formatting guide: owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/ Additional information, course materials, and grades are posted on ecollege. I will also use throughout the semester to distribute additional materials and send announcements. Course Description Almost every day of your life, you are communicating interpersonally. From a young age we start communicating on an interpersonal level. However, it is easy to forget that just because we have been doing something a long time, does not make us an expert. Throughout this semester, we will explore the theories and concepts of interpersonal communication, our motivations for communicating, and the role that communication plays in our personal relationships. I am so excited to have you in this course, and I hope by the end of the semester you leave with practical ways to improve your interpersonal communication and a better understanding of interpersonal communication theory. Course Objectives The overall objective of this course is to provide you with both a theoretical and a practical introduction to interpersonal communication. Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to: Define interpersonal communication and distinguish it from other forms of communication. Explain and apply the transactional approach to interpersonal communication. Describe and explain the vocabulary and concepts associated with major theories and models of interpersonal communication.
2 COMM Interpersonal Communication Syllabus 2 Describe what competent communication behaviors would be within the context of multiple interpersonal communication theories. Evaluate the appropriate and effective use of verbal messages, nonverbal messages, and listening in interpersonal communication contexts. Apply interpersonal communication theory to a variety of personal circumstances. Evaluate the utility of interpersonal communication theory in further explaining communication phenomena. Assignments and Grade Sheet Type of Assignment Points Received/Points Possible 1. Threaded Discussion Threaded Discussion 1 Threaded Discussion 2 Threaded Discussion 3 Threaded Discussion 4 Threaded Discussion Total /50 /50 /50 /50 / Exams (50%) Exam 1 Exam 2 Final Exam /150 /150 / Film Analysis / Extra Credit /10 Total Points Earned /900 Note. Simply add up your point total for the semester and compare the points you earned to the following grade scale listed below. (Final grades will not be rounded). The plus minus system is NOT used in this course. A = points Exemplary performance greatly exceeded course requirements. B = points Advanced performance exceeds requirements - substantial creativity & effort. C = points Average performance meets the minimum requirements of the course. D = points Deficient performance meets some course requirements, but deficient in others. F = Below 540 points Poor performance deficient in most or all requirements. 1. Threaded Discussion Students will complete four threaded discussions throughout the semester. Using the threaded discussion function, in 500 words or less, respond to the primary discussion question (listed below). If relevant, support your position by citing course content and readings, or other credible sources. It is understood that the questions do not have clear answers, and when appropriate you may wish to address potential contradicting arguments. Post at least 2 follow- up questions or reflections in response to 2 other classmates primary responses. You may not just agree or disagree with the post. Finally, continue to post thoughtful and insightful follow- ups to your own and others posts for as long as the discussion is open. Each threaded discussion is worth 50 points and will
3 COMM Interpersonal Communication Syllabus 3 be evaluated on the extent to which the student demonstrated an understanding of the material and exercised thought and effort while completing the assignment. I. For the first threaded discussion students will come up with their own definition of Interpersonal Communication and make an argument for what they feel are the defining features of that definition. In other words, what distinguishes IPC from other types of communication? Post at least two follow- ups to other students primary posts. These follow- ups should be insightful and should either question or support the argument made by the student. II. Using the information presented in the book and at least one popular press article (please include a link and the citation in APA format), make an argument for why you believe men and women are either similar or dissimilar in their communication. Please reference at least two of the following: verbal communication, nonverbal communication, gender, or culture. Post at least two follow- ups to other students primary posts. These follow- ups should be insightful and should either question or support the argument made by the student. III. Take the RFCP (posted on ecollege). Describe the results of the survey. What family communication pattern typology did you fall into? Provide a summary of that category (reading posted on ecollege). How accurately do you feel this family type describes your family? What were you surprised by? Make an argument for what you consider to be the best family type and why. How do you feel your family type has affected your other interpersonal relationships? Finally, evaluate a TV family and make an argument for what type of family they are using the RFCP. Post at least two follow- ups challenging or strengthening another student s assessment of a TV family. IV. Briefly summarize the basic tenets of the theory assigned to you. You will evaluate the utility of the theory, and describe what competent communication behaviors might look like in the context of the theory. In addition, students will reflect on how they see the theory applied in their own lives and how they might use those competent behaviors to improve their own interpersonal communication skills. Finally, students will comment on at least two other posts with questions and reflections about how they feel that theory explains something in their own life. 2. Exams Over the course of the semester, you will complete two unit exams and a comprehensive final exam. The exams may include multiple choice, true/false, short answer and/or essay questions that ask you to identify, analyze, synthesize, apply, and/or critique the material we cover in class. Each unit exam will be worth 150 points, and the final exam will be worth 200 points. 3. Film Analysis Students will explore the complexity of interpersonal theory and relationships by analyzing how well a film s portrayal of interpersonal relationships matches interpersonal communication research. Select a film that includes an interpersonal relationship. You may earn up to 200 points (150 for the paper and 50 for the presentation and post) total for successful completion of this assignment. Once you have selected the film, provide an analysis that addresses each of the following: a. Explain how the film you ve chosen illustrates an interpersonal relationship(s). b. Describe how the relationship develops over the course of the film by discussing specific examples. c. Apply and evaluate the interpersonal relationship in this film using one of the theories covered in this course. d. Describe one myth about IPC that is portrayed in the film.
4 COMM Interpersonal Communication Syllabus 4 e. Predict how you think this relationship will develop in the future using one of the theories we have studied in this course as a guide. f. Give the characters advice for using competent communication behaviors in their relationship based on the theory you have selected. The paper should be between 6-8 pages in length, double- spaced, using 12- point Times New Roman font and 1 margins. It should also be in APA 6 th ed. format and must have a minimum of three references in addition to the course textbook. Please use the following format to cite the film you choose. Producer, P. P. (Producer), & Director, D. D. (Director). (Date of publication). Title of motion picture [Motion picture]. Country of origin: Studio or distributor. Film Analysis Presentation Task: Film yourself providing a brief 5- minute summary of your paper that discusses how the film informs our knowledge of the theory you selected. Do not read your paper. Select and present the parts you feel are most important. Post your video to youtube.com and post a link to it on the threaded discussion board. Finally, you must post a thoughtful question or comment in response to 2 other videos. Course Expectations Attendance In college courses, I don t believe in taking away points based on attendance. However, I do believe that course attendance is the best and easiest way to learn the course material and thus earn a good grade in this course. As a teacher, I commit to making class time valuable for you as a student. That being said, if you have 0 unexcused absences at the end of the semester you will earn 10 points of extra credit! This is the only extra credit that will be offered in this course. In order to receive an excused absence you must communicate with me within 24 hours of missing class and provide me with documentation by the next class period. If you are late for more than 3 classes you will receive an unexcused absence. Reading I expect you to come to class prepared to discuss the assigned materials. This means that you have completed the reading assignments for that day and have given some thought as to how this material relates to your personal, professional, and academic pursuits. Given that participation and critical thinking is essential to success in this course, it is extremely important that you keep pace with the assigned readings. In- Class Participation Participation and attendance also includes, but is not limited to: Attending class regularly and on time. Participating in class discussion on concepts in the readings for that day. Being focused and practicing good listening skills. Contributing meaningfully to group discussion and exercises. Relating class material to your own experience and the outside world during class discussions. Classroom Etiquette This course provides students with the opportunity to be part of a community. The success of this course depends on the supportiveness, openness, and positivity of the classroom environment. I encourage an open environment where everyone feels comfortable to respectfully express his or her ideas, experiences, questions, and concerns. Your enrollment in this course assumes that you
5 COMM Interpersonal Communication Syllabus 5 will treat your fellow classmates and instructor with respect. To be able to meet these goals for our class community, I will not tolerate disruptions such as sleeping, reading the newspaper, texting, listening to ipods, etc. Any student who violates this policy will be asked to leave the classroom and will be charged with an unexcused absence for that class period. *LAPTOPS ARE NOT ALLOWED IN THIS COURSE. CELL PHONES SHOULD BE TURNED OFF DURING CLASS Course Reminders Exams must be taken before or on the designated test date. There will be NO make- up exams unless authorized by the instructor. Failure to complete an assignment on time (without prior negotiation with the instructor) will result in a 0 for the assignment. Assignments are due at the beginning of the designated class periods. NO LATE WORK will be accepted. Please weigh your decision to complete this course and commit to doing your best work in a timely fashion. Deadlines All written work is due electronically (uploaded via ecollege to the appropriate dropbox) by the start of class on the designated due date. To be clear, unless otherwise instructed, DO NOT SUBMIT A HARDCOPY OF YOUR PAPER. I understand that legitimate situations arise when work cannot be submitted on time (such examples include serious illness, death of a family member or close friend, jury duty, cultural and religious holidays, and university- sponsored events such as participation on a sport team). If such a situation arises, please notify me as soon as possible! Specifically, for situations that can be anticipated in advance (e.g., a religious holiday, TCU sponsored event), you should notify me sometime during the first week of class. My willingness to grant an extension will be based on (a) the legitimacy of the situation (including ability to document it upon request) and (b) your timeliness in notifying me of it. Writing Quality Papers are expected to reflect university- level writing quality. In other words, spelling, organizational, and grammatical errors will greatly reduce your final grade. I strongly encourage you to think about self- presentation and impression formation as you put together your written and presentational assignments. If you desire writing assistance, you may want to check out TCU s Center for Writing (http://www.wrt.tcu.edu/). For all written assignments, I expect you to cite your sources according to the 6th edition of the American Psychological Association s (APA) Style Manual. More importantly, be very clear when you are quoting vs. paraphrasing sources. The use of any uncited sources, using someone else s words or ideas without quoting, using falsified sources, or turning in work that is not yours and/or is not original for this course will result in immediate failure of the course and a referral to the appropriate campus authorities. Claiming academic ignorance about standards for writing is not an acceptable excuse for plagiarism committed. *Please note: Papers are expected to reflect university- level writing quality. In other words, spelling, organizational, and grammatical errors will greatly reduce your final grade. I will not deduct points for the first three spelling/grammatical mistakes in your paper, but will deduct one
6 COMM Interpersonal Communication Syllabus 6 point per error after that. Such errors include, but are not limited to, (a) fragments, (b) run- on sentences, (c) inappropriate use of commas, (d) inappropriate use of semi- colons, (e) inconsistent use of verb tenses, (f) improper capitalization, (g) misspelled words (especially common homonyms- - - e.g., there/their/they re, etc.), (h) missing words, (i) use of contractions (they are inappropriate in professional writing), (j) use of slang or overly informal language, (k) improper preposition usage, (l) awkward sentence structure, and (m) paragraphs that are too long (e.g., over one page in length). In this paper, you may use I when appropriate (e.g., I will administer surveys to 50 participants. ). You may also use they in place of he or she. Course Policies and Procedures University Attendance Policy The University Attendance Policy is that regular and punctual class attendance is essential and no assigned work is excused because of absence, no matter what the cause. The course instructor will keep records of class attendance. When an accumulation of absences reaches the point of endangering a student's academic status, the faculty member should report his situation to the Campus Life Office. An instructor should not assume that continued absence from class indicates an official withdrawal until notified by the Registrar. The Campus Life Office may grant official University absences for students who miss class to represent the University (as in athletics, band, chorus, national or state meeting of organizations represented at TCU). Faculty/staff who wish to have an activity sanctioned for official University absence status must submit the names of all students, including date and hours absent from campus, to the Campus Life Office no later than one week prior to the date of the activity. The Dean of Campus Life reviews and approves the request as appropriate and forwards the names for publication and distribution to all faculty members through the TCU Weekly Bulletin. Faculty members are required to permit students to make up work missed because of official university absences. Serious illness or family emergencies may be verified by the Campus Life Office but are not considered official absences. Illnesses that will be verified are those involving hospitalization, or catastrophic accidents or illness. When a serious illness or emergency has been verified, each instructor should assist the student to make up any missed work. Time lost through such absences should NOT prejudice class standing. Faculty members should specify the appropriate time frame for making up missed work. Students who miss an instructional experience are expected to meet with faculty to discuss their absence as soon as possible. Faculty may permit a student to make up missed work or assess a penalty for class absence. Ethical Conduct TCU s mission is to educate individuals to think and act as ethical leaders and responsible citizens in the global community. The ideals of ethics and responsibility are completely incompatible with academic misconduct. Academic misconduct includes, but is not limited to, cheating on tests, presenting someone else s assignment or paper as your own work, and not documenting papers with the source of word- for- word or paraphrased material. Please also note that TCU s academic misconduct policy forbids submitting the same paper (or portions thereof) to multiple classes without prior instructor approval.
7 COMM Interpersonal Communication Syllabus 7 Academic Misconduct Academic Misconduct (Sec. 3.4 from the Student Handbook) Any act that violates the academic integrity of the institution is considered academic misconduct. The procedures used to resolve suspected acts of academic misconduct are available in the offices of Academic Deans and the Office of Campus Life and are listed in detail in the Undergraduate Catalog (Student Policies>Academic Conduct Policy Details; Specific examples include, but are not limited to: Cheating: Copying from another student s test paper, laboratory report, other report, or computer files and listings; using, during any academic exercise, material and/or devices not authorized by the person in charge of the test; collaborating with or seeking aid from another student during a test or laboratory without permission; knowingly using, buying, selling, stealing, transporting, or soliciting in its entirety or in part, the contents of a test or other assignment unauthorized for release; substituting for another student or permitting another student to substitute for oneself. Plagiarism: The appropriation, theft, purchase or obtaining by any means another s work, and the unacknowledged submission or incorporation of that work as one s own offered for credit. Appropriation includes the quoting or paraphrasing of another s work without giving credit therefore. Collusion: The unauthorized collaboration with another in preparing work offered for credit. You can find a more extensive definition of academic misconduct at Texas Christian University at If you have questions concerning what constitutes academic misconduct, please discuss this with me. Not knowing the definition of academic misconduct does not excuse you from the consequences. In this course, any form of academic misconduct will result in automatic failure (i.e., grade of F ) for the relevant assignment(s) and recommendation to the academic dean that the offender be dropped immediately from the course with a grade of F. In a group project, all project members will, by default, receive the same penalty. TCU s undergraduate and graduate catalogs provide information about appeal procedures in cases of alleged academic misconduct. 24/7 Rule In the event that you receive a grade that you would like to discuss, please wait 24 hours to raise your concerns. This time is provided for you to carefully review all comments that I made and develop your thinking before we talk. After 24 hours but within seven days of receiving your grade, please make an appointment with me or visit my office hours to discuss your concerns and ways to help improve your work on future assignments. An appeal for any grade assigned in the course must be submitted in writing no later than seven days after receiving your grade. After seven days, all grades are final. E- mail Availability During the weekday, I generally (though not always) check my e- mail frequently between the hours of 9am and 4pm. I cannot guarantee a fast response to your e- mail outside of this timeframe. Only the official TCU student address will be used for all course notification. It is your responsibility to check your TCU on a regular basis.
8 COMM Interpersonal Communication Syllabus 8 Disabilities Statement Texas Christian University complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 regarding students with disabilities. Eligible students seeking accommodations should contact the Coordinator of Student Disabilities Services in the Center for Academic Services located in Sadler Hall, Accommodations are not retroactive, therefore, students should contact the Coordinator as soon as possible in the term for which they are seeking accommodations. Further information can be obtained from the Center for Academic Services, TCU Box , Fort Worth, TX 76129, or at (817) Adequate time must be allowed to arrange accommodations and accommodations are not retroactive; therefore, students should contact the Coordinator as soon as possible in the academic term for which they are seeking accommodations. Each eligible student is responsible for presenting relevant, verifiable, professional documentation and/or assessment reports to the Coordinator. Guidelines for documentation may be found at Students with emergency medical information or needing special arrangements in case a building must be evacuated should discuss this information with their instructor/professor as soon as possible. Netiquette: Communication Courtesy Code All members of the class are expected to follow rules of common courtesy in all messages, threaded discussions and chats. If I deem any of them to be inappropriate or offensive, I will forward the message to the Chair of the department and the online administrators and appropriate action will be taken, not excluding expulsion from the course. The same rules apply online as they do in person. Be respectful of other students. Foul discourse will not be tolerated. Please take a moment and read the following link concerning "netiquette". Participating in the virtual realm, including social media sites and shared- access sites sometimes used for educational collaborations, should be done with honor and integrity: technology/guidelines/ Getting Help with Pearson Learning Studio (ecollege) If you are enrolled in a Web- enhanced section of this course and have not yet taken the Student Tutorial, please do so immediately. The Student tutorial is listed on your personal student homepage. To access it, click on "Exit Course" at the bottom of this page. Then click on the "Student Tutorial" on your home page and follow the instructions. If you experience any technical problems during when using an online course, please do not hesitate to contact the HELP DESK (at Pearson Learning Studio (ecollege)). They can be reached by phone or by 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. phone: For questions about logging into Pearson Learning Studio (ecollege) visit the online video: TCU Campus Resources for Students
9 COMM Interpersonal Communication Syllabus 9 Many resources exist on the TCU campus that may be helpful to students: Mary Couts Burnet Library ( ); Center for Academic Services ( , Sadler Hall. 11); the William L. Adams Writing Center ( , Rickel Bldg. 244); Student Development Services ( , BLUU 2003); and Office of Religious & Spiritual Life ( , Jarvis Hall). Department Research Requirement All COMM undergraduate students are required to participate in research projects conducted or sponsored by the Department of Communication Studies. Examples of typical research activities include completing opinion surveys, observing the communicative behavior of others, or assessing one s own speaking performance or other experiences during the course. Identities of all students participating in departmental research will be kept strictly confidential. All research conducted with the assistance of COMM students will conform to the University s policy for research involving humans. Alternative activities, such as tests over readings on communication research, are available for students who are unable or do not wish to participate in the Department s research program. Tentative Schedule Subject to modification Date Topic Reading/Assignment Due M Aug 19 Course Introduction Review Syllabus W Aug 21 Defining Interpersonal Communication: Models & Chapter 1, pp Myths F Aug 23 Interpersonal Communication Competence: Why Chapter 1, pp does it Matter? M Aug 26 What is a Theory? Theory Reading (posted on Learning Studio) W Aug 28 Understanding Self- Concept: Value & Self- esteem Chapter 3, pp F Aug 30 Presenting the Self: Image Management & Self- Chapter 3, pp Disclosure Case Study 1 M Sep 2 LABOR DAY NO CLASS NONE W Sep 4 Influences on Interpersonal Perception Chapter 4, pp F Sep 6 Interpersonal Attributions Chapter 4, Case Study 4 M Sep 9 Class Discussion Threaded Discussion 1 Threaded Discussion 1 W Sep 11 Language & the Power of Words Chapter 5, F Sep 13 The Influence of Gender on Language Chapter 2, Case Study 8 M Sep 16 Exam 1 Review Exam Review
10 COMM Interpersonal Communication Syllabus 10 W Sep 18 Exam 1 Exam 1 F Sep 20 IPC & Culture Chapter 2, pp M Sep 23 The Nature of Nonverbal Communication Chapter 6, pp W Sep 25 Culture, Sex, & Nonverbal Communication Chapter 6, pp Case Study 3 F Sep 27 Listening Chapter 7, pp M Sep 30 Barriers to Listening (and how to overcome them) Chapter 7, pp W Oct 2 Emotion in IPC Chapter 8, pp F Oct 4 Influences on Emotion Chapter 8, pp M Oct 7 Class Discussion Threaded Discussion 2 Threaded Discussion 2 W Oct 9 IPC in Friendships Chapter 9, pp F Oct 11 Communication, Friendships, & Social Media Case Study 13 M Oct 14 No class Fall Break Break None W Oct 16 Relationships in the Workplace Chapter 9, pp F Oct 18 IPC in Romantic Relationships, Part I Chapter 10, pp M Oct 21 IPC in Romantic Relationships, Part II Case Study 12 W Oct 23 IPC in Family Relationships, Part 1 RFCP Posted on ecollege F Oct 25 IPC in Family Relationships, Part 2 Chapter 10, pp M Oct 28 Film Analysis: Questions, Answers, & Discussion Review Film Analysis Assignment W Oct 30 Exam 2 Review Exam Review F Nov 1 Exam 2 Exam 2 M Nov 4 Class Discussion Threaded Discussion 3 Threaded Discussion 3 W Nov 6 Managing Interpersonal Conflict Chapter 11, pp F Nov 8 Intractable Conflict & Serial Arguments Chapter 11, pp Case Study 16 M Nov 11 The Dark Side of IPC Case Study 20
11 COMM Interpersonal Communication Syllabus 11 W Nov 13 Introduction to Deceptive Communication Chapter 12, pp F Nov 15 Deceptive Communication Deception (reading posted on ecollege) M Nov 18 Communication & Deception Detection Chapter 12, pp Case Study 18 W Nov 20 NO CLASS NCA NONE F Nov 22 NO CLASS NCA NONE M Nov 25 W Nov 27 F Nov 29 M Dec 2 W Dec 4 Class Discussion Threaded Discussion 4 FILM ANALYSIS DUE NO CLASS THANKSGIVING BREAK NO CLASS THANKSGIVING BREAK The So What? of Interpersonal Communication Exam Review Last day of class Threaded Discussion 4 Film Analysis Due Exam Review