spc 126 syllabus

Speech 126 – Interpersonal and Small Group Communication


Spring Semester - 2009                                                           Instructor: Nicole Allaire

Time: 11:15am – 12:40pm                                                      Email: nmallaire@dmacc.edu

Location: Bldg 2, Room #16                                                  Phone: (515) 231-1569 (emergency)

Office: Bldg 2, Room #29                                                      Office:  hours arranged





            I would like to welcome you to this Interpersonal and Small Group Communication course.  As your instructor, I am here to help you develop and improve your skills in relating to others.  As a student, I hope you are here to learn, to discover your perceptions, to challenge your opinions, and find new and effective ways to relate to others.  I am excited that you are here to take this journey of self-discovery and I hope by the end of this course you increase your competencies in communication – since it is an essential life-long skill you will use on a daily basis.  Enjoy the course and your communication journey!


Course Materials


1.  Required Textbook: Beebe, Beebe, and Redmond, Interpersonal Communication: Relating to Others, Fifth Edition, Allyn & Bacon, 2008.

2.  Bring a folder/binder to store all handouts and completed assignments.

3.  Bring paper, pencil/pen, and textbook to each class.

4.  E-mail access needed for course communications to instructor and classmates.

5.  Keep all returned assignments and exams in a folder throughout semester.



Course Competencies

Students will be expected to:

  1. Acquire a basic vocabulary for describing interpersonal communication;
  2. Explain influences on the self-concept, personal perceptions, and diversity on interpersonal communications.
  3. Analyze characteristics of communication in various levels of relationships;
  4. Relate interpersonal needs and theories to communication;
  5. Share feelings in interpersonal relationships following appropriate guidelines;
  6. Explain methods of creating supportive communication climates;
  7. Explain approaches to managing interpersonal conflict;
  8. Demonstrate active listening and response skills;
  9. Describe characteristics and functions of nonverbal communication;
  10. Acquire basic vocabulary describing group communication;
  11. Identify characteristics of small groups and communication in groups;
  12. Explain communication behaviors characteristic of participant roles in group discussion;
  13. Recognize influence and power factors affecting interpersonal communication in groups;
  14. Participate effectively in problem-solving groups;
  15. Demonstrate the ability to report outcomes of a small group to an audience;
  16. Apply standards for evaluating effectiveness of group discussion.

(Additional sub-points are available on-line at www.dmacc.edu/competencies)


Course Policies


1.  Read student handbook - Please read your DMACC student handbook where all official policies are listed.   I would expect as a responsible student that you know what is in the handbook and your expectations as a DMACC student. The following are some policies I would like to emphasize in our classroom:


2.  Be on time – the course only meets twice a week for 75 minutes and we will use the full class period for learning and fun activities – you won’t want to miss a minute of it.


3.  Technology use - Cell phones should be turned off and put away during class. No answering calls or text messaging during class. Laptops are not to be used during class unless there is support services documentation. No I-pods or listening devices during class. Any violations will result in loss of class activity points.


4.  Be respectful -  your Instructor and your classmates – Please pay attention during class, participate in activities, use appropriate language for the classroom, and be respectful of other gender and cultures.


5.  Academic honesty – All coursework is expected to be your own.  Please see the DMACC Educational Services Procedures ES 262 VII A and B for specific information on plagiarism, cheating, and appeals procedures. (See pages 14 and 63 in the student handbook)


6.  Support services – If you are a student with a documented disability, please notify me at the beginning of the class to ensure you are registered with support services and to discuss any necessary accommodations. I am very happy and willing to work with you to support your education.


7.  Student code of conduct – Please review pages 54-56 in the student handbook for the specific list for the code of conduct for each student at DMACC.


“You are expected to actively listen and respond in a way that demonstrates that you have been doing the reading and thinking about communication principles. Respect for yourself and others is mandatory. Informed involvement is expected. Please use Standard American English. Attending each class session is not enough to earn a passing grade; you must demonstrate a willingness to practice your communication competencies in class role-plays, group work, class discussions, and exercises. Studying for other classes during class sessions, failing to prepare for class sessions and failing to contribute to group presentations will be factored into your grade. You are further expected to demonstrate courtesies of professional life, which includes contacting your instructor if you will miss a class session.


Class climate is an essential ingredient for the success of this course. At various points during the semester, we may be examining sensitive and personal issues as they relate to aspects of interpersonal communication. Differences of experience, attitude, and values can be discussed meaningfully as long as we agree to respect norms of civil discussion.


Certain forms of classroom behavior are expressly prohibited. These include verbal attacks on the person and character of another; disparaging responses to another's group of origin or affinity, (e.g., age, gender, health status, physical or mental abilities, race, culture, sexual orientation, political philosophy, social views or religion); any form of behavior that manifests direct or implied sexual harassment; and any statement that questions the moral character or integrity of another. [Note: Some film clips shown in class contain vulgar language and inappropriate ways of managing emotions; your instructor does not condone this type of communication.]” (From: DeVito Instructor Manual 2008)


Course Attendance


            Regular attendance is essential in this face-to-face communication course.  Points will be given for in-class activities during each class session which cannot be made up – you must be in class to receive points for in-class activities.


Course Participation


            Participation in the course is essential in order to get the most out of the course.  Participation will not be graded, but will be expected. Students who do not participate on a regular basis will be contacted individually by the instructor.


Course Assignments


1.  Exams:  There will be 3 exams for 10% each for 30% of total grade. Exams will be mainly multiple choice, true/false, matching, and short answer based on both readings and course lectures. Exams must be taken on date they are scheduled. If you cannot attend the exam, you must contact the instructor before the exam. The missed exam must be taken before the next class period and arranged with the instructor. Any missed exam will automatically have 10% of grade taken off, regardless of reason.


2.      Assignments/ homework: Read all chapters for assigned dates. Bring all homework to turn in at the beginning of the class period. Homework that is one class period late will be graded with 20% reduction, two class periods late, 40% reduction, 3 or more class periods late will receive a zero. = 20% of total grade


3.      In-class activities: Attend all classes. Points given for in-class activities. Must attend entire class period for activity grade and must participate in activity during class. = 30% of total grade


4.      Group presentation: A group presentation will be assigned in class. Groups will have time in class and need to meet outside of class to prepare the presentation.  More specific information will be given when groups are assigned = 10% of grade


5.      Conflict Communication paper. A short paper on conflict communication will be assigned = 5% of grade


6.      Self Disclosure paper: A short paper on self disclosure will be assigned = 5% of grade


7.   Extra Credit:  A few extra credit opportunities will be presented throughout the semester. More information will be provided later in the semester.


8.      Reading:  Read each chapter before it will be discussed. Please follow the tentative schedule. Instructor will note any changes to schedule.


Course Grading

Grades will be given on the following scale: 


95-100% = A                          80-82% = B-               67-69% = D+

90-94% = A-                           77-79% = C+              63-66% = D

87-89% = B+                          73-76% = C                 60-62% = D-

83-86% = B                             70-72% = C-               0-59 = F



A percentage of the total points will be taken to determine the grade. All major assignments and exams must be completed to receive course credit.  Incomplete assignments will receive partial credit and work not completed on time will receive a zero.


Assessment Statement Students’ assignments, speeches, and surveys may be used for department course assessment purposes.


DMACC Information


DMACC Homepage                           www.dmacc.edu


Student Handbook                             www.dmacc.edu/handbook


Add/Drop dates                                  www.dmacc.edu/academiccal.htm  (Spring 2009 – 3/31)


Refund Policy                                     www.dmacc.edu/refund.htm


Services for Students w/ Disabilities  www.dmacc.edu/student_services/disabilities.htm


Academic Advising                            www.dmacc.org/student_services/academic_advising.htm


Career Counseling                               www.dmacc.org/student_services/career_resource.htm


Academic Help  www.dmacc.edu/web2000/student_services/academic_acheivement_center.htm


Computer Help                                   www.dmacc.edu/helpdesk/HD_student.htm


Library                                                            www.library.dmacc.cc.ia.us




            “This syllabus is representative of materials that will be covered in class; it is not a contract between the student and the institution. It is subject to change without notice.  Any potential exceptions to stated policies and requirements will be addressed on an individual basis, and only for reasons that meet specific requirements.  If you have any problems with this class, please feel free to discuss them with me”


Software Notice


            All the software used in this course is copyrighted; therefore, it is not for distribution, copying or personal use.  The software is the property of DMACC.


Course Calendar       (Tentative - is subject to change)


1/13, 1/15                    Week 1            Introductions, Chapter 1 - Communication


1/20, 1/22                    Week 2            Chapter 2 - Self


1/27, 1/29                    Week 3            Chapter 3 - Perception


2/3, 2/5                        Week 4            Chapter 4- Cultural Diversity                                    


2/10, 2/12                    Week 5            Review Chapters 1-4             

Exam 1 (Chapters 1-4)


2/17, 2/19                    Week 6            Chapter 5 – Listening and Responding


2/24, 2/26                    Week 7            Chapter 6- Verbal Communication


3/3, 3/5                        Week 8            Chapter 7 – Non-Verbal Communication                  


3/10, 3/12                    Week 9            Chapter 8- Conflict Management

Exam 2 (Chapters 5-8)


3/17, 3/19                    Week 10          Spring Break – No Classes


3/24, 3/26                    Week 11          Chapter 9 – Understand Interpersonal Relationships  


3/31, 4/2                      Week 12          Chapter 10 – Developing Interpersonal Relationships


4/7, 4/9                        Week 13          Chapter 11- Managing Relationship Challenges


4/14, 4/16                    Week 14          Chapter 12 – Home, Work, Computer-Mediated      

Small Group Communication


4/21, 4/23                    Week 15          Small Group Communication


4/28, 4/30                    Week 16          Small Group Communication / Presentations


5/7                               Final Exam      10:30am - 12:45pm (Chapters 9-12 & small group)