Interpersonal Communication

Interpersonal Communication


Fall 2010
08/23/2010 - 12/12/2010

Course Information

Section 011
MW 13:25 - 14:45
CYP1 1105
Kelly Stockstad

Office Hours

No office hours have been entered for this term


REQUIRED TEXTBOOK: Interpersonal Communication: The Whole Story, 1st ed., by Kory Floyd (ISBN13: 9780073406640)

Additional readings will be supplied in the course packet, which is distributed to each student on the first day he or she attends the class.

Course Requirements

For the complete course syllabus, please visit my website at

Scavenger Hunt: You will complete the online Scavenger Hunt assignment in Blackboard, using information in our course packet and Blackboard site. This assignment helps orient you to the class. You must complete and submit this Scavenger Hunt assignment to have access to the online quizzes in this course. This assignment is worth 2% of your course grade. 

Self-Concept Inventory:  You will complete a self-concept inventory that allows you to compare your self-perception with how others perceive you. You will write a short paper as part of this assignment. A full description of the assignment will be given in the course packet.  The due date for the assignment will be listed on the course calendar. This assignment is worth 10% of your course grade. 

Listening Skills: You will work with several other members of class in a group to discuss your viewpoints about a controversial situation. Your goal is to listen actively to your group members and respond appropriately to what they’ve said. This assignment is worth 5% of your course grade. 

Personal Reflection Paper:  You will complete one graded paper that applies course concepts to your interpersonal communication interactions. A full description of the paper assignment will be given in the course packet.  The due date for the paper will be listed on the course calendar. This assignment is worth 15% of your course grade. 

Group Discussion: Improving an Interpersonal Relationship: You will research a specific area of interpersonal communication that can be improved in a specific relationship. You will create a research summary (not a research paper) reporting your findings. You and your group members will discuss your findings during a class meeting. THIS ASSIGNMENT IS NOT A PRESENTATION—it is, rather, a casual discussion of your findings so that all of the class members can benefit from your findings. The due date(s) for the discussion will be listed on the course calendar. This assignment is worth 15% of your course grade. 

Quizzes:  You will complete one multiple-choice quiz per chapter.  Together, the quizzes will be worth 6% of the course grade.  These quizzes are mastery learning, meaning that you may take each quiz multiple times to earn the best score possible.   ALL ONLINE QUIZZES MUST BE COMPLETED IN BLACKBOARD to receive credit for the quiz; you should plan to take each quiz in advance of the due date.  I will assign a date by which you must complete each chapter quiz.  The purpose of these quizzes is two-fold:  1) to help motivate you to keep up with the reading assignments, and 2) to prepare you for the exams. 

Exams:  You are required to successfully complete four written exams.  Each exam will be worth 8% of the course grade, for a total of 32% of the course grade.  I have chosen to give four exams so that there will be fewer chapters covered on each exam.  These exams will consist of 75 multiple-choice and true/false questions for each exam; the exams will be completed on a Scantron form during a class session. Each exam will include 5 extra-credit questions, which may be multiple choice, true/false, matching, or any combination of these.

Learning Activities:  During class meetings, we will complete in-class activities, which may include analysis of communication concepts in film or television programming.  This class meets 32 times during the semester, and you will receive 10 points per class meeting for participating actively in the in-class activities during that meeting. If you are absent from class or are not actively participating, you will lose all of the points for that day’s in-class activities. All of the in-class activities that we complete during the semester will be worth 14% of the course grade. 

Course Subjects

For the complete course calendar, please visit my website at

Week 1

Introduction to the course
Ch. 1: About Communication

Week 2

Ch. 2: Culture and Gender
Ch. 3: Communication and the Self

Week 3

Wrap up Ch. 1, Ch. 2, and Ch. 3
Self-Concept Inventory assignment due

Week 4

Exam #1
Ch. 4: Interpersonal Perception

Week 5

Continue discussion of Ch. 4
Ch. 5: Language

Week 6

Ch. 7: Listening

Week 7

Wrap up Ch. 4, Ch. 5, and Ch. 7
Listening Skills Discussions

Week 8

Exam #2
Ch. 6: Nonverbal Communication

Week 9

Continue discussion of Ch. 6

Week 10

Ch. 11: Deceptive Communication
Ch. 8: Interpersonal Communication is Social Relationships

Week 11

Wrap up Ch. 6, Ch. 8, and Ch. 11
Exam #3

Week 12

Personal Reflection Paper due
Ch. 9: Intimate Relationships

Week 13

Ch. 10: Interpersonal Conflict

Week 14

Continue discussion of Ch. 10

Week 15

Group Discussions: Improving Interpersonal Relationships
(Research Summary due on discsussion date)
Ch. 12: Emotion

Week 16

Wrap up Ch. 9, Ch. 10, and Ch. 12
Exam #4



Course Attendance Policy: I expect you to attend class punctually and regularly.  Many graded assignments and activities will be presented only during class meeting times.  Missing a substantial number of classes will hinder your ability to do well in the course.  In-class activities and quizzes will not be able to be made up, regardless of the circumstances.

Each student is responsible for recording his/her attendance for each class.  I will bring the attendance notebook, which will contain sign-in sheets for each student.  If you do not sign in, you will be counted absent. If you are more than 10 minutes late to class or leave before class is dismissed, you are counted absent.

Your attendance will affect your final course grade in the following manner:

  • 0 absences= A bonus of three (3) percentage points added to your final course average. (Example: Your final course average turns out to be 87%, but since you’ve had perfect attendance, your bonus takes the average up to 90% and you receive an A for the course.) NOTE: If you miss class for any reason, you are not eligible for this increase.
  • 1-4 absences= No impact on your final course average.
  • 5 or more absences= A penalty of three (3) percentage points per absence assessed to your final course average. (Example: Your final course average is 81%, but since you missed 5 classes during the course of the semester the penalty takes your final average down to 78% and you receive a C for the course.)

Student Learning Outcomes/Learning Objectives


  • Understand the characteristics of competent communication in interpersonal interactions
  • Develop an ability to assess the appropriateness and effectiveness of interpersonal strategies used in various interpersonal situations
  • Recognize the need to self-monitor personal communication competence
  • Develop skill in selecting and using a variety of communication strategies and responses based on situational contexts, goals, and human needs
  • Understand the theories that explain interpersonal interaction
  • Recognize the ethical dimensions of interpersonal communication
  • Understand how perception affects communication and the importance of perception-checking
  • Send and interpret verbal and nonverbal messages with accuracy
  • Evaluate listening habits and practice effective listening skills
  • Recognize the role of communication in determining the nature and quality of interpersonal relationships, as well as how and why relationships develop
  • Understand how the transactional nature of communication promotes defensive or supportive climates
  • Practice effective interpersonal conflict management principles
  • Understand the competencies related to communicating with those from other cultures