Topic Name Description
Course Introduction Page Course Syllabus
1.1: Defining Communication URL Defining Communication and Communication Study

Read Chapter 1 for an introduction to the study of communication: the exchange of information or meaning between individuals. While you read, pay 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. 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 Elements of Communication

Watch this brief video about the most common elements of human communication. The presenter highlights the 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 and written communication. These will be addressed in more detail later in this course.

Page What is Communication?

This brief video defines communication and discusses how communication is part of our daily lives. 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 Verbal Communication

Read Chapter 2 for an in-depth discussion of verbal communication and its functions. As you read, pay attention to the definition of verbal communication as a rule-bound system of symbols. Understanding the basic function of verbal communication in our lives is a critical component of human communication. Complete the discussion questions and write definitions for the key terms listed at the end of the chapter.

URL A Primer on Verbal Communication

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

1.3: Nonverbal Communication URL Nonverbal Communication

Read Chapter 3 for an in-depth discussion of nonverbal communication and its functions. The authors reinforce the notion that our actions (nonverbal communication) often speak truer or louder than verbal communication. After you read, complete the discussion questions and write definitions for the key terms listed at the end of the chapter.

Page Understanding Nonverbal Communication

In these two videos, a class discusses the concept of nonverbal communication and how we use it in our daily lives. It addresses eye contact, gesture, personal space, haptics, and clothing/appearance using common examples. Because our gestures and other non-verbal communication behaviors are often subconscious, non-verbal communication can reinforce or conflict with consciously-constructed verbal messages.

1.4: Perception and Impression Management Page Impression Management

Read these lecture notes for a summary of impression management, also known as identity management. This is how you manage your identity when you communicate with others. Impression management goes hand-in-hand with the perception process.

1.5: Ethical Communication URL Understanding the Ethics of Public Speaking

Read this chapter, which discusses ethical communication. Attempt the exercises at the end of each section, as well as the chapter exercises. 

1.6: Intercultural Communication URL Intercultural Communication

Read Chapter 12 for an introduction to intercultural communication – the effects of culture on communication. Pay attention to the many cultural factors that influence how you communicate in your own culture or when you are confronted by unfamiliar cultures. After you read, complete the discussion questions and write definitions for the key terms listed at the end of the chapter.

Page Culture and Communication

Watch this video for a thorough discussion of the relationship between culture and communication. Pay attention to the examples of how communication and culture are intertwined and the challenges involved in intercultural communication. What is the role of language in communication? How is communication influenced by Maslow's hierarchy of needs and self-concept?

Page Effective Cross-Cultural Communication

Because we live in an increasingly global world, individuals need to develop intercultural sensitivity to be successful. This short lecture defines intercultural communication using a "diversity wheel" to compare cultural differences and similarities. 

1.7: Introduction to Communication Theory URL Communication Theory

Read this chapter for an introduction to communication theory, which we will start to apply later in this course. After you read, complete the discussion questions and write definitions for the key terms listed at the end of the chapter.

1.7.3: Attribution Page Attribution Theory

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

1.7.4: Constructivism Page Constructivism

This short video defines constructivism and demonstrates some applications of it from the perspective of teaching and learning. The 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 Elaboration of Likelihood Model

Read the section on 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 Social Judgment Theory

Read the Social Judgment Theory section. This theory of persuasive communication predicts that individuals are more likely to agree with messages 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 prepared you can be to modify your message to align with their judgment. This theory is critical to understanding persuasive communication.

1.7.8: Uncertainty Reduction Page 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 predict their behavior more easily.

1.7.9: Groupthink Page Groupthink

Read this overview of the theory of groupthink, which helps us understand how communication practices and deference to others in group decision-making can hurt 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 Rhetorical Criticism

Read Chapter 7, which covers rhetorical criticism and its place in communication theory. Pay attention to its historical underpinnings and uses today. After you read, complete the discussion questions and write definitions for the key terms listed at the end of the chapter.

1.9: Gender Communication URL Gender Communication

Read Chapter 13, which discusses gender communication theory. Pay attention to the applications of gender communication theory. After you read, complete the discussion questions and write definitions for the key terms listed at the end of the chapter.

Page Communication and Gender

The first lecture discusses how language affects gender in society, the use of language and symbols, and how these affect our interpretations of ourselves and others. It provides insights into communication barriers and strategies for improving interpersonal interactions based on gender communication theory. The second lecture addresses nonverbal cues in the communication process.

2.1: Interpersonal Communication URL Interpersonal Communication

Read Chapter 9 for an in-depth discussion of interpersonal communication and its functions. After you read, complete the discussion questions and write definitions for the key terms listed at the end of the chapter.

URL Interpersonal Communication Processes

Read this chapter. You have seen some of these concepts already, but this chapter reinforces the elements of interpersonal communications and relationship-building.

Page More on Interpersonal Communication

Watch this classroom video, which gives examples of how interpersonal communication strategies can help you develop relationships to advance your career.

Page Stages of Relationship Theory

This lecture discusses interpersonal communication and the stages of relationship development with examples from our daily lives.

Page "I" and "You" Messages in Conflict

This lecture discusses how we use language to control or lose control during interpersonal conflict situations using examples from daily life.

2.2: Listening in Human Communication URL The Importance of Listening

Read this chapter, which discusses the importance of listening in human communication transactions. Attempt the exercises at the end of each section and the chapter exercises in section 4.6.

2.3: Practicing Interpersonal Communication Skills URL Communication Skills for Personal and Professional Development

Work your way through the seven challenges in this workbook. Each challenge includes activities for practicing the interpersonal skills we discussed in this unit.

2.4: Interpersonal Communication Applications in Context Page Police Communications Skills

In this video, interpersonal communication skills and conflict management skills are addressed in the context of a police officer's daily interactions.

3.1: Group Communication URL Group Communication

Read Chapter 10 for an in-depth discussion of group communication and its functions, group formation, our roles in groups, and how communication facilitates production and decision-making. After you read, complete the discussion questions and write definitions for the key terms listed at the end of the chapter.

URL Managing Groups and Teams

Read this chapter, which reinforces basic concepts of group communication challenges as encountered in the workplace. Attempt the exercises at the end of each section and the chapter exercises in section 9.7.

Page Group Formation

This short video explains the stages of group formation and group development, including forming, storming, norming, and performing. As you watch, pay attention to the four roles members take 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 Group Problem-Solving Procedures

These videos explain group decision-making stages, the systematic model of problem-solving, and the diamond model of group participation. Pay attention to the components of problem-solving: defining and analyzing the challenge, determining measurement criteria, identifying and evaluating solutions, and selecting a solution.

3.2: Theories of Group Communication Page Groupthink

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

Page The Role of Leadership 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 Managing Conflicts Productively

This lecture explains strategies group members can use to manage conflict. It defines conflict and conflict management, addresses types of conflicts, and discusses possible outcomes of conflicts.

4.1: Organizational Communication URL Organizational Communication

Chapter 11 gives an insightful overview of organizations and the use of communication in organizations. After you read, complete the discussion questions and write definitions for the key terms listed at the end of the chapter.

Page Internal Communication

This short video covers strategies a company can use to improve communication and employee engagement. It highlights the idea that communication is the foundation for organizations.

4.2: Communicating in Organizations URL Communication

Read this chapter, which discusses organizational communication in its practical applications. As you read, pay 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 and the chapter exercises in section 8.6.

4.3: Interpersonal and Intrapersonal Communication in the Workplace URL 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, and explore some of the additional resources in section 16.7.

Page Interpersonal Communication in the Workplace

These dramatizations give examples of coworkers in a hospital setting exhibiting interpersonal communication tactics. They discuss how we might use communication in the workplace to be more empathetic, manage conflicts, and improve relationships. For each scenario, there is an empathetic interaction and a realistic interaction.

4.4: Theories of Organizational Communication URL Communication in the Organization

Listen to "Lecture 15: Communication in the Organization", which reviews organizational communication theory, interpersonal relationships, and group relationships in the workplace.

4.5: Current Applications in Organizational Communication URL The Power of Introverts

This talk discusses the importance of organizational communication that ensures that both introverts and extroverts are included. After you watch, write a brief 300–500 word reflection that addresses how you would incorporate introverts and extroverts in your communications.

Page Social Media in the Workplace

This video discusses social media in the workplace, which has become a topic of concern in organizational communication as more employees use technology on the job and for personal gratification.

Page Age Matters: Generations Working Together

Watch this video to learn more about the four generations in the workplace: Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials (Generation Y). Members of Generation Z (Zoomers) are also joining our organizations now. Management teams must understand and appreciate the strengths each cohort brings to the company, including their communication preferences and technology acumen.

5.1: Mass Communication and the Media URL Mass Communication

Read Chapter 8, which discusses mass communication, its evolution, functions, and theories that explain how it has affected communication. After you read, complete the discussion questions and write definitions for the key terms listed at the end of the chapter.

5.2: Media Literacy Page Eight Key Concepts for Media Literacy
As mass media and social media continue to influence our daily interactions, it is important 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 Media Literacy

Watch this short video, which explains media literacy and gives tips for evaluating the validity of the media sources we use to learn about the world.

5.3: Applications of Mass Communication and Human Communication Page The Ethics of Social Media

Social media is the newest frontier of mass communication. Social media literacy is important for human communication and traditional mediated news communication. Today, social media crosses the boundary of personal communication into newsgathering and distribution. This raises concerns about privacy, which are discussed in this video.

Study Guide Book COMM001 Study Guide
Course Feedback Survey URL Course Feedback Survey