Topic Name Description
Course Introduction Page Course Syllabus
Page Course Terms of Use
1.1: Defining Communication URL Laura K. Hahn, Lance Lippert, and Scott T. Paynton's Survey of Communication Study: "Chapter 1: Foundations: Defining Communication and Communication Study”

Please read Chapter 1 for an introduction to the study of communication: the exchange of information or meaning between individuals.  While reading, please pay close attention to the definition of communication, the linear model of communication, and the transactional approach to communication.  These models are the foundation for human communication and the remainder of this course.  After reading the chapter, complete the discussion questions and write definitions for the key terms listed at the end of the chapter.  These assignments will help prepare you for the final course exam.

Page US India Business: "Elements of Communication"

Watch this brief video lecture about the most common elements of human communication. The presenter highlights basic features of verbal and written communication processes. These features include verbal and non-verbal cues; the importance of listening and feedback; and the effectiveness of verbal communication and written communication. These are the essential building blocks of human communication in general, and will be addressed in more detail in other units of this course.

Page University of Amsterdam: MOOC ICS: "What is Communication?"

This brief video provides a definition of communication and an overview of how communication is part of our daily lives. The presenter also reminds us that communication is studied by a number of other science and humanities disciplines. It is the core of the human experience. The communication pyramid is one model for identifying the importance of communication in society today.

1.2: Verbal Communication URL Laura K. Hahn, Lance Lippert, and Scott T. Paynton's Survey of Communication Study: "Chapter 2: Verbal Communication”

Please read Chapter 2 for an in-depth discussion of verbal communication and its functions. As you read, pay close attention to the definition of verbal communication as a rule-bound system of symbols.  Understanding the basic functions and operations of verbal communication in our lives is a critical component of the many forms of human communication.  After reading the chapter, complete the discussion questions and write definitions for the key terms listed at the end of the chapter. These assignments will help prepare you for the final exam.

URL A Primer on Communication Studies: "Chapter 3: Verbal Communication"

Read this chapter for an overview of the concept of verbal communication and the elements that must be considered as we construct our verbal communication in many situations. Some of the elements to keep in mind include meaning and symbols, connotation and denotation, abstraction and concrete language.

Page Saylor Academy: "Oral vs. Written Communication"

This brief video compares and contrasts written and spoken communication. The presenter provides and overview of the most common model of transactional communication and shows how written communication and spoken communication have advantages and disadvantages for conveying different messages.

Page Glass in the Class: "The Power of Verbal Communication"

This lecture, presented by a group of practitioners and educators, provides an interesting discussion of common applications of verbal communication skills in our daily lives. These examples include applications in our personal lives with family and friends, as well as examples in our work lives with supervisors and coworkers. The presenters address the importance of verbal communication using traditional and new media.

1.3: Nonverbal Communication URL Laura K. Hahn, Lance Lippert, and Scott T. Paynton's Survey of Communication Study: "Chapter 3: Nonverbal Communication”

Read Chapter 3 for an in-depth discussion of nonverbal communication and its functions.  Pay close attention to the definition of nonverbal communication.  Understanding the basic functions and types of nonverbal communication in our lives is a critical component of the many forms of human communication.  The authors reinforce the notion that our actions (nonverbal communication) often speak truer or louder than our articulated verbal communication.  After reading the chapter, complete the discussion questions and write definitions for the key terms listed at the end of the chapter.  These assignments will help prepare you for the final exam.

Page Bethany College: Dr. Carl Isaacson's "Nonverbal Communication"

In these two videos Professor Carl Isaacson and his class discuss the concept of nonverbal communication. During the classes Prof. Isaacson discusses theories of nonverbal communication and how we can use our understanding of this human communication construct in our daily lives. Using common examples he addresses elements of nonverbal communication such as eye contact, gesture, personal space, haptics, and clothing/appearance to name just a few.

1.4: Perception and Impression Management URL Fox Valley Technical College: Mary Brignall's "The Perception Process"

Work through the interactive reading, completing the summary activity and watching the media clips.  This interactive reading explains interpretation in the common three-step process of perception.

URL Fox Valley Technical College: Mary Brignall's "Selection: The First Stage of the Perception Process"

Work through the interactive reading, completing the summary activity and watching the media clips. This interactive reading explains selection in the common three-step process of perception.

URL Fox Valley Technical College: Mary Brignall's "Organization: The Second Stage of the Perception Process"

Work through the interactive reading, completing the summary activity and watching the media clips. This interactive reading explains organization in the common three-step process of perception.

Page University of Notre Dame's OpenCourseWare: Jessica Collett's "Class 14: Impression Management”

Read these lecture notes for a summary of impression management.  This chapter discusses impression management, also known as identity management.  This is how you manage your identity when you engage in communication transactions with others.  Impression management goes hand-in-hand with the perception process as important components of human communication.

1.5: Ethical Communication URL Stand Up, Speak Out, v1.0: "Chapter 2: Ethics Matters: Understanding the Ethics of Public Speaking” 

Read this chapter.  Attempt the Exercises at the end of each section as well as the Chapter Exercises. This chapter discusses ethical communication, an important component of all human communication transactions.

1.6: Intercultural Communication URL Laura K. Hahn, Lance Lippert, and Scott T. Paynton's Survey of Communication Study: "Chapter 12: Intercultural Communication”

Read Chapter 12 for an introduction to the study of intercultural communication--the impact of culture on communication.  Pay close attention to the definition of intercultural communication and the many cultural factors that influence the way you communicate in your own culture and when you are confronted by unfamiliar cultures.  After reading the chapter, complete the discussion questions and write definitions for the key terms listed at the end of the chapter.  These assignments will help prepare you for the final exam.

Page Krishna Kanda Handique State Open University: Dr. K.V. Nagrajan's "Culture and Communication"

Watch this video for a thorough discussion of the relationship between culture and communication. Pay particular attention to the numerous examples Dr. Nagrajan uses to illustrate how communication and culture are intertwined and the challenges involved in intercultural communication. Consider what Dr. Nagrajan says about language and its role in communication, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and the self-concept in light of what you read from the Chapter 12 reading you just completed.

Page Project IDEA: "Effective Cross Cultural Communication"

Watch the video lecture about intercultural communication, also known as cross-cultural communication. Because we live in an increasingly global world, it is important for individuals to develop intercultural sensitivity to be successful in our daily work and leisure encounters. In this short lecture the presenter defines intercultural communication using the diversity wheel to compare cultural differences and similarities. 

1.7: Introduction to Communication Theory URL Laura K. Hahn, Lance Lippert, and Scott T. Paynton's Survey of Communication Study: "Chapter 5: Communication Theory"

Read this chapter for an introduction to communication theory.  Pay close attention to the definition and functions of communication theory.  Additional discussions of the application of communication theory will be part of other units of this course.  After reading the chapter, complete the discussion questions and write definitions for the key terms listed at the end of the chapter.  These assignments will help prepare you for the final course exam.

1.7.1: Coordinated Management of Meaning Page Fordham University: Michael D. High's "Coordinated Management of Meaning"

This article gives summaries of several common human communication theories that will be applied throughout this course. Theories like this one help us understand how different individuals make sense of the world around them and how we share these messages with others.

1.7.2: Symbolic Interactionism Page Fordham University: Michael D. High's Communications and Media Studies Course: "Symbolic Interaction Theory"

Read this overview of Symbolic Interaction Theory. Be sure to take note of the examples. This website provides summaries of numerous common human communication theories that will be applied throughout this course.

1.7.3: Attribution Page Saul McLeod's "Attribution Theory"

The attribution theory attempts to explain how individuals interpret events and messages. The theory provides evidence that we attempt to predict the behavior of others by attributing their actions to known events.

1.7.4: Constructivism Page Jessica M. Clarkson's "Constructivism"

In this short video, Constructivism is defined and applications of the theory are presented from the perspective of teaching and learning. The Constructivism or Constructivist theory implies that people construct their understanding of the world around them based on their interactions with information and events around them.

1.7.5: Elaboration of Likelihood URL Stand Up, Speak Out, v1.0: "Chapter 17, Section 1: Persuasion: An Overview: Elaboration Likelihood Model” 

Scroll to the section titled Theories of Persuasion. Under this section, read the description and applications for the Elaboration of Likelihood Theory. This theory of persuasive communication attempts to predict how much thought people give to analyzing messages and why they do or don't analyze messages. This theory is the heart of persuasive communication.

1.7.6: Social Judgment URL Stand Up, Speak Out, v1.0: "Chapter 17, Section 1: Persuasion: An Overview: Social Judgment Theory” 

Continue reading within Chapter 7, Section 1. This time, read the description and applications for the Social Judgment Theory. This theory of persuasive communication predicts that individuals are more likely to agree with messages that they already judge as valuable. The more you know about the attitudes, beliefs, and values of the person you are trying the persuade, the better you are prepared to modify your message to align with their judgment. This theory is critical to understanding persuasive communication.

1.7.7: Social Penetration Page Fordham University: Michael D. High's Communications and Media Studies Course: "Social Penetration Theory"

Read this overview of the Social Penetration Theory. This website provides summaries of numerous common human communication theories that will be applied throughout this course. Theories like this one help us understand how communication contributes to the development of interpersonal relationships. Read the page in its entirety to better understand the theory and common applications of the theory. Be sure to examine the  provided examples.

1.7.8: Uncertainty Reduction Page Fordham University: Michael D. High's "Uncertainty Reduction Theory"

We are more comfortable with predictable interactions. People feel a need to reduce their uncertainty about others by learning more about them to more easily predict their behavior. Read the page to better understand the theory and common applications of the theory.

1.7.9: Groupthink Page Fordham University: Michael D. High's "Groupthink"

Read this article for an overview and some examples of the theory of groupthink, which helps us understand how communication practices and deference to others in group decision making can have a negative effect on outcomes.

1.7.10: Issues of Face Page "Face Negotiation Theory"

Face Management theory acknowledges that individuals are concerned about how others perceive them. This theory is often referred to as the politeness theory. We work at maintaining a public image and when we fail at keeping up that appearance we "lose face" and may suffer some embarrassment. Public image is created through our interpersonal communication.

1.8: Rhetorical Criticism URL Laura K. Hahn, Lance Lippert, and Scott T. Paynton's Survey of Communication Study: "Chapter 7: Rhetorical Criticism"

This reading covers rhetorical criticism and its place in communication theory.  Pay close attention to the definition of rhetorical criticism, its historical underpinnings and uses today.  Additional discussions of the applications will be part of other units of this course. After reading the chapter, complete the discussion questions and write definitions for the key terms listed at the end of the chapter.  These assignments will help prepare you for the final exam.

1.9: Gender Communication URL Laura K. Hahn, Lance Lippert, and Scott T. Paynton's Survey of Communication Study: "Chapter 13: Gender Communication"

This chapter discusses gender communication theory.  Pay close attention to the definition and applications of gender communication theory.  Additional discussions of the applications will be part of other units of this course.  After reading the chapter, complete the discussion questions and write definitions for the key terms listed at the end of the chapter.  These assignments will help prepare you for the final course exam.

Page Biola University: Dr. Tim Muehlhoff's Advanced Studies in Gender Communication Course: "Language Defines Gender" and "Nonverbal Communication Between Men and Women"

In the first lecture Professor Muehlhoff and his students discuss the use and impact of language on the way gender is defined in society. The discussion addresses the use of language and symbols and how these affect our interpretations of ourselves and others. He provides insights into communication barriers and strategies for improving interpersonal interactions based on gender communication theory. In the second lecture Professor Muehlhoff continues the discussion of gender communication by addressing the use of nonverbal cues in the communication process.

2.1: Interpersonal Communication URL Laura K. Hahn, Lance Lippert, and Scott T. Paynton's Survey of Communication Study: "Chapter 9: Interpersonal Communication"

Read this chapter for an in-depth discussion of interpersonal communication and its functions.  Pay close attention to the definition of interpersonal communication in our daily lives.  This chapter covers content for sub-subunits 2.1.1 through 2.1.6.  After reading the chapter, complete the discussion questions and write definitions for the key terms listed at the end of the chapter.  These assignments will help prepare you for the final exam.

URL A Primer on Communication Studies: "Chapter 6: Interpersonal Communication Processes"

Read this chapter. You have seen some of these concepts previously, but pay close attention because this chapter reinforces the elements of interpersonal communications and relationship building.

Page Glass in the Class: "Interpersonal Communication with Guest Larry Fournellier"

Watch this classroom video. In this episode of Glass in the Class, guest speaker Larry Fournillier provides examples of how interpersonal communication strategies have allowed him to develop relationships that have improved his business. 

Page Bethany College: Dr. Carl Isaacson's "Stages of Relationship Theory"

In this video Professor Carl Isaacson presents a classroom lecture on interpersonal communication and the stages of relationship development with examples from our daily lives.

Page Bethany College: Dr. Carl Isaacson's "Conflict I and You Messages"

In this video Professor Isaacson discusses how we use language to control or lose control during interpersonal conflict situations. He uses examples from daily life to help students understand conflict resolution.

2.2: Listening in Human Communication URL Stand Up, Speak Out, v1.0: “Chapter 4: The Importance of Listening”

Read this chapter, beginning with the chapter introduction.  This chapter discusses the importance of listening in human communication transactions.  Attempt the exercises at the end of each reading as well as the chapter exercises in section 4.6.

Page Dan Lok: "5 Simple Ways to Become a Better Listener"

Watch this short video by Dan Lok, in which he provides tips for improving your listening skills. Among these tips are genuine interest in the person speaking to you, comfortable eye contact, and taking notes, and asking questions.

2.3: Practicing Interpersonal Communication Skills URL The New Conversations Initiative: Dennis Rivers' Communication Skills for Personal and Professional Development: The Seven Challenges Approach

Please work your way through the seven challenges presented in Dennis Rivers' book. Each challenge PDF includes activities for practicing the interpersonal skills discussed in this unit. Complete all seven challenges to improve your communication skills and your understanding of interpersonal communication applications.

2.4: Interpersonal Communication Applications in Context Page PoliceMag: "Police Communications Skills"

Watch this video from Police Magazine. In this video interpersonal communication skills and conflict management skills are addressed in the context of the daily interactions of a police officer. This presentation reinforces concepts and shows direct applications of the concepts covered in Unit 2.

Page Bethany College: Dr. Carl Isaacson's "Nonverbal Communication"

Non-verbal communication is a critical element of interpersonal communication. Because our gesture and other non-verbal communication behaviors are often subconscious responses, non-verbal communication reinforces or may conflict with consciously constructed verbal messages. With your greater understanding of the goals of interpersonal communication, review these two companion lectures with Professor Carl Isaacson and watch for the examples of nonverbal communication in action.

2.5: Interpersonal Communication Theories Page Boundless Sociology: "Chapter 3, Section 2: The Symbolic Nature of Culture: Language and Perception"

Read this description of the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis, an interpersonal communication theory.

3.1: Group Communication URL Laura K. Hahn, Lance Lippert, and Scott T. Paynton's Survey of Communication Study: "Chapter 10: Group Communication"

Read Chapter 10 in its entirety for an in-depth discussion of group communication and its functions.  Pay close attention to the definition of groups and teams.  In this chapter, you will read about the formation of groups, our roles in these groups, and how communication facilitates production and decision-making. After reading the chapter, complete the discussion questions and write definitions for the key terms listed at the end of the chapter. These assignments will help prepare you for the final exam.

URL Organizational Behavior: "Chapter 9: Managing Groups and Teams”

Read this chapter, starting with the chapter introduction.  This chapter reinforces basic concepts of group communication challenges as encountered in the workplace.  Attempt the exercises at the end of each section as well as the chapter exercises in section 9.7.  

Page Glass in the Class: "Who Cares If I Can Work in a Group or Not?," Dr. Carl Isaacson's "Small Group Roles and Leadership," and Ryan Guy's "Chapter 6: Creative and Critical Thinking in Groups"

These three video clips give insight into how we communicate in small groups. In the first selection, Alexandra Riecke-Gonzales and her students discuss the process of group communication and how technology has changed our notions of groups from face-to-face collections of people to group members connected by technology. In the second selection, Professor Carl Isaacson gives an overview of the components of group communication, and he leads the class in a discussion of the conflicts that can occur during group decision making. Lastly, Ryan Guy discusses the process of creative and critical thinking that assist or hinder successful group communication.

These videos explain theories and models of group communication and give examples. Listen in particular for information about group development, group functions, and the applications of theory that make for successful group decision making. 

Page Ryan Guy's "Chapter 4: Group Formation"

In this short video Ryan Guy explains the stages of group formation and group development. These include forming, storming, norming, and performing. As you view this selection watch for the discussion of the four types of roles members take on in groups. These include task-oriented roles, social-emotional roles (relationship maintenance roles), procedural roles, and individual roles (also known as self-centered behaviors). 

Page Ryan Guy's "Chapter 7: Group Problem-Solving Procedures"

Watch these two short videos that explains the stages of group decision making. In the first video Ryan Guy explains the systematic model of group decision making, or problem solving. In the second video the diamond model of group participation is explained. Watch for the four components of problem-solving, which include: defining and analyzing  the challenge; determining measurement criteria; identifying solutions; evaluating solutions; and selcting a solution.   

3.2: Theories of Group Communication Page Boundless Sociology: "Chapter 6, Section 5: Group Dynamics: Groupthink"

This short reading explains the nature of groupthink as a deterrent to participatory decision making in groups.

Page Northwestern School of Education and Social Policy: Arpita Das Behl's "Groupthink: The Role of Leadership in Enhancing and Mitigating the Pitfall in Team Decision-Making"

This article provides additional insight into the challenges created by the group decision process and provides tips for avoiding groupthink.  

3.3: Conflict Management and Group Communication Page Ryan Guy: "Chapter 8: Managing Conflicts Productively"

In this video lecture Ryan Guy explains a number of strategies group members may use in managing conflict that can occur when working in groups. This video provides definitions of conflict and conflict management, and addresses types of conflicts along with possible outcomes of conflicts, including group member behaviors.

3.4: Small Group Communication in Action Page Association for Learning Technology: "Making Group-work Work"

Watch this video of a small group attempting to complete a class project about small group communication. Throughout the video members of the group exhibit examples of positive and negative group behaviors as they attempt to employ a problem-solving model. As you watch the video see how many principles from this unit you can identify. The actors in this video speak with accents and the video is quite soft at times, so be sure to turn the volume turned up appropriately and pause the video if you need to.

4.1: Organizational Communication URL Laura K. Hahn, Lance Lippert, and Scott T. Paynton's Survey of Communication Study: "Chapter 11: Organizational Communication”

Chapter 11 gives insightful overview of organizations and the use of communication in organizations.  Pay close attention to the definition of organizations and the role and function of human communication.  After reading the chapter, complete the discussion questions and write definitions for the key terms listed at the end of the chapter.  These assignments will help prepare you for the final exam.

Page Dynamic SME: "Internal Communication"

This short video provides an overview of organizational communication as a concept and some strategies a company might use to improve communication processes and employee engagement. It highlights the concept of organizational communication and the concept of communication as the foundation for organizations.

4.2: Communicating in Organizations URL Organizational Behavior, v1.0: "Chapter 8: Communication”

Read this chapter, starting with the chapter introduction.  This chapter discusses organizational communication in its practical applications.  As you read, pay close attention to the barriers to successful communication, the types of communication and channels, and the role of ethics in the workplace.  Complete the exercises at the end of each section as well as the chapter exercises in section 8.6.

4.3: Interpersonal and Intrapersonal Communication in the Workplace URL Business Communication for Success, v1.0: "Chapter 16: Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Business Communication”

This chapter provides an in-depth discussion of organizational relationships and communication in its practical applications.  Complete the Exercises at the end of each section as well as explore some of the additional resources in Section 16.7.  Note that this chapter reinforces concepts addressed in previous units of this course.

Page PhysicianHealthBC: "Reaching out to distressed colleague who refuses help - empathic" and PhysicianHealthBC: "Reaching out to distressed colleague who refuses help - realistic"

This collection of video dramatizations from PhysicianHealthBC show examples of coworkers in a hospital setting exhibiting interpersonal communication tactics. These videos provide examples of how we might use communication in the workplace to be more empathetic and manage conflicts to improve relationships in the workplace. For each scenario there is an empathetic interaction and a realistic interaction.

Page PhysicianHealthBC: "Dealing with differing beliefs and values - empathetic" and PhysicianHealthBC: "Dealing with differing beliefs and values - realistic"

This collection of video dramatizations from PhysicianHealthBC show examples of coworkers in a hospital setting exhibiting interpersonal communication tactics. These videos provide examples of how we might use communication in the workplace to be more empathetic and manage conflicts to improve relationships in the workplace. For each scenario there is an empathetic interaction and a realistic interaction.

Page PhysicianHealthBC: "Resident is yelled at by a consultant - empathetic" and PhysicianHealthBC: "Resident is yelled at by a consultant - realistic"

This collection of video dramatizations from PhysicianHealthBC show examples of coworkers in a hospital setting exhibiting interpersonal communication tactics. These videos provide examples of how we might use communication in the workplace to be more empathetic and manage conflicts to improve relationships in the workplace. For each scenario there is an empathetic interaction and a realistic interaction.

4.4: Theories of Organizational Communication URL NJIT OpenCourseWare: Dr. Naomi Rotter's Organizational Behavior Course: "Lecture 15: Communication in the Organization"

Scroll down to "Lecture 15: Communication in the Organization" and click the "view in iTunes" link. Dr. Rotter provides an overview of communication in organizations and reviews organizational communication theory that addresses interpersonal relationships and group relationships in the workplace.

4.5: Current Applications in Organizational Communication URL TED: Susan Cain's "The Power of Introverts"

In her TED Talk, author Susan Cain discusses her ideas about the importance of organizational communication that ensures that both introverts and extroverts are included in corporate conversations.  As you watch the video, you may want to pause to take notes on concepts from this unit that are showcased in the talk.  Based on what you have learned, write a brief 300-500 word reflection that addresses how you would incorporate both introverts and extroverts in communication.

Page Social Media and Privacy in the Workplace

These videos give an overview and some insights from three companies about social media in the workplace, which has become a topic of concern in organizational communication. The presenters discuss social media applications, employee use of social media as part of employment and personal life, and work-life balance. These issues have become increasingly relevant as more employees use technology on the job and for personal gratification.

Page PublicResourceOrg: "Age Matters: Generations Working Together"

Watch this video to learn more about the four generations in the workplace. Today there are at least four generations represented in the workplace. These include Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y. And members of Generation Z are getting ready to join our organizations. Members of organization management must understand and appreciate the strengths each cohort brings to the company. This includes their communication preferences and technology acumen.

5.1: Mass Communication and the Media URL Laura K. Hahn, Lance Lippert, and Scott T. Paynton's Survey of Communication Study: "Chapter 8: Mass Communication”

As you read this chapter, please pay close attention to the definition of mass communication, its evolution, functions, and theories that explain its impact on human communication.  After reading the chapter, complete the discussion questions and write definitions for the key terms listed at the end of the chapter.  These assignments will help prepare you for the final exam.

5.2: Media Literacy Page Judith Comfort's "Media Literacy Key Concepts"
As mass media and social media continue to grow in variety and influence our daily interactions, it is important for individuals to understand how the media construct messages that influence our perceptions of others and the world around us. Read this short article about the eight key concepts of media literacy.
Page Dan Gillmor: "Renee Hobbs Discusses Media Literacy"

Watch this short video in which Professor Renee Hobbs is interviewed. She explains the concept of media literacy and gives tips for evaluating the validity of the media sources we consume as we develop our knowledge about issues in our world.

5.3: Applications of Mass Communication and Human Communication Page University of Wyoming Television: "Ethics of Social Media: A Wyoming Signatures Interview with Joe Ulatowski"

Social media is the newest frontier of mass communication. Social media literacy is important for human communication (for example, interpersonal communication) as well as traditional mediated news communication. Today social media cross the boundary of personal communication and news gathering and distribution. Social media and privacy is an issue that bridges these concepts of human communication and mediated communication. This brief video raises this concern.

Study Guides Page Unit 1 Study Guide: Foundations of Human Communication
Page Unit 2 Study Guide: Interpersonal Communication
Page Unit 3 Study Guide: Group Communication
Page Unit 4 Study Guide: Organizational Communication
Page Unit 5 Study Guide: Mass Communication
Course Feedback Survey URL Course Feedback Survey