COM 240-H81*: Interpersonal Communication

COM 240-H81*: Interpersonal Communication

COM 240-H81*: Interpersonal Communication

Winter 2018 - Thursdays, 4-5:58pm

Hillsdale Center, Room 12

Mindy S. Maples, M.A.


Course Description: Students will learn to improve communication in one-on-one and small group situations. In this course, students will examine basic verbal and non-verbal elements affecting communication between individuals in family, peer group, and work contexts. Specific units of discussion include intrapersonal perspective, conflict resolution, self-disclosure, message generation, intercultural messages and non-verbal communication.

*This section is a hybrid-learning class, which means a portion of your grade will be determined by your participation online. Please see assignments and grading rubric for more specific information.

Jackson College’s Board of Trustees has determined that all of our graduates should develop or enhance a variety of important skills while enrolled in courses. COM 240 fulfills GEO 2: Speak clearly, concisely and intelligibly.

JetNet will be used a great deal in this course. The following are steps to obtain access to JCC’s JetNet services:

1) Go to JCC Website:

2) Click on a tab at the top titled “online classes”

3) Login: first seven letters of last name, first seven letters of first name, middle initial. Use no spaces, for example Jennifer Ann Smith would login as: smithjennifea

4) Password for JC Accounts: Your password is your first and lasts initials, the two digit date

of your birth, the last two digits of your birth year and the last four digits of your student ID.

5) Click on this Comm 240 located on the bottom, left side of the page

6) On the next screen, click on “Latest News.” You will find all relevant material at this location.

Required Course Materials: Spiral bound notebook or section of a binder for journaling

Text: Interpersonal Messages (4th ed.) by Joseph A. Devito

Textbook Zero: An electronic version of the textbook (buy or rent) is available from

Reserve Copy: A reserve copy of the text is available at the Jackson College library in William Atkinson Hall on Central Campus. It is available for use in the library for 2-hour intervals. Please call ahead to make certain it is available.

Assessment of Grades:

*All work must be typed in 12-point, legible font. Handwritten work will not be accepted with the exception of journal work.

1.) Positive Participation and Preparedness/Johari Window Activity (100 points)

2.) Cross-Cultural Presentation (Group Project): Students will be assigned a group. Each group will choose another country’s culture to research and present to the class. Each student will research and present an aspect of that culture. Topics will come from the textbook only, particularly chapters 2 & 6, unless approved by instructor. A Power Point containing at least 3 slides and an outline are required from each student. Other visual aids or authentic food from that culture may also be included for extra credit. (100 points)

3.) Personal Discovery Project: Take an online personality test, either Meyers-Briggs at or a similar website.

Write about your personality type and your discoveries. A print out of your results is required as well as a 1-2 page written response. (50 points)

4.) Scene Analysis: Choose a scene from a TV show or movie that you like, one that demonstrates communication problems. The scene should be 2-3 minutes in length. The the analysis portion should be 2-3 minutes in length as well. First, show the class the scene. Then discuss what is happening in the interpersonal relationships depicted. Use a minimum of 7 terms or concepts from the textbook. A typed outline or bullet points are due with this assignment as well. Please bring 2 copies to class. (100 points)

5.) Family Culture Project: Students will create a written document that explores their family culture. They will write about their families based on all of the information integrated within the text regarding family life and family culture. A minimum of 1o concepts or terms must be discussed. 2-3 pages are required. (100 points)

6.) Journal Entries: At the start of each class students will be given a quote or question to which they will respond. A minimum of 5 sentences is expected for each entry. In addition, students may be asked to journal about their reactions to articles or video clips dealing with interpersonal communication. At times, they will be asked to work in groups as well. (50 points)

7.) Film Response Papers: Students will analyze interpersonal communication dynamics present within the films which we view together. In each paper, students should decide whether the relationships present in the film are healthy or dysfunctional or both depending upon the moment. This assignment is not a plot summary. Instead critical thought and analysis are required. Make a statement about a communication pattern or a relationship dynamic within the film and then give concrete examples from the movie to support this statement. Please include an introductory and concluding paragraph. 2-3 pages are expected per paper. Reference the textbook whenever applicable. The following questions must be addressed:

1) What communication problems are depicted?

2) How are they addressed/resolved/handled, if at all?

3) Are there any communication lessons or tools which could be applied to your life?

More specific questions may also be posted on JetNet pertinent to the movie.

(50 points each = 200 points)

8.) Chapter Notes: 2 pages minimum (typed, double spaced, 12 point font) are expected per chapter from the textbook. Bullet points or outlines are acceptable. Full-length sentences are not required. Notes must be in the student’s own words; the chapter must NOT be typed verbatim or no credit will be given. Notes are due the first day the chapter is discussed. See course calendar. Extra credit may be given for superb work. (11 @ 20 points each = 220 points)

9.) Online Discussion: Students are expected to post a paragraph each week regarding our discussion in class on Tuesday or our reading for the week. This post needs to be a minimum of 100 words and needs to be posted by Wednesday of each week by 11:59pm. Examples included: “What I found most significant from our class discussion on Tuesday was…”; or “the concept that I found most challenging was…;” or “the concept I have the most difficult time embracing is…” Students must then respond to two other students’ posts by Saturday @11:59pm. Responses must include more than simply, “nice post!” Please include a specific example on why the post worked or showed critical thinking. Additionally students must respond if someone replies to their posts (150 points)


Attendance: Attendance is crucial for success in this course. A significant portion of the student’s grade comes from in-class participation and in-class assignments. More than 2 absences will result in the reduction of the student’s final grade regardless of the reason. An attendance sheet will be passed around at the beginning of class. Students will be responsible for signing this sheet if they arrive late. Excessive tardies or consistently leaving early will also result in a reduction of points.

Missed Assignments: Exams, tests, and major projects may be turned in late or re-scheduled ONLY if the student has a legitimate excuse such as serious illness or emergency. (A doctor’s note or something similar will be required.) Students must make arrangements with the instructor within a week of the missed assignment. Chapter notes may be turned in late once during the semester, within a week after the due date, for a reduction in grade. If the student has more than 2 absences, late work will no longer be accepted.

Office Hours: By appointment only

Please email or call me if you need help outside of class. I will be happy to assist you. Remember, no question is a stupid question!

Tutors (plus additional services for academic success) can be accessed by calling 796-8415 or visit the Center for Student Success.

“Students requiring special assistance (including those affected by the Americans with Disabilities Act) should contact the Center for Student Success. This is the first step in acquiring the appropriate accommodations to facilitate your learning.”

Academic Integrity: Academic honesty is expected of all students. “Academic honesty . . . is the ethical behavior that includes producing their own work and not representing others’ work as their own, either by plagiarism, by cheating, or by helping others to do so. Faculty members who suspect a student of dishonesty may penalize the student by assigning a failing grade for the paper, project, report, exam or the course itself. The academic dean will be notified of the situation.” (JC Catalog)

Classroom Protocol: Please turn off cell phones or place them on vibrate upon entering class. Refrain from texting or accepting calls. If an emergency develops, please step into the hall to use your phone even to text. Nearly every class session, students will be asked to participate in discussions and teambuilding activities. Please refrain from side conversations or being disruptive. Come with a positive, supportive, and cooperative attitude.

Grading scale:

4.0 95%—100%

3.5 90—94

3.0 85—89

2.5 80—84

2.0 75—79

1.5 70—74

1.0 65—69

0.5 64 or under