COM 301: INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION
Professor: Joanne Gilbert
Office: SAC 328
Office Hrs: MW 2:00-4:30 and by appt.
COURSE OBJECTIVE: This course is based on the assumption that relationships are created and negotiated through communication, and that interpersonal communication skills can be acquired, changed, developed, and/or improved. Further, it is assumed that certain communication skills are more effective than others in creating and sustaining interpersonal relationships, and that those skills vary depending upon the requirements of the relational and cultural context within which we are communicating. This course is designed to help you:
increase your awareness of the process of interpersonal communication
identify your own interpersonal communication strengths and weaknesses
increase your sensitivity to the influences of culture on communication
increase your competence as an interpersonal communicator
TEXTS: Adler, R. B., Rosenfeld, L. B., & Proctor, R. F. (2001). Interplay: The process of interpersonal communication, 8th ed. Orlando, FL: Harcourt Brace.
Braithwaite, D. O., & Wood, J. T. (2000). Case studies in interpersonal communication: Processes and problems. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Jampolsky, G. G. (1979). Love is letting go of fear. Berkeley, CA: Celestial Arts.
Assistance: I am always happy to help you with difficulties you encounter in your work for this course. I am available during office hours or by appointment if you are unable to attend office hours. Please come to see me with specific questions. The more you have already thought about your problem(s), the more I can help you.
Attendance: You are allowed 2 unexcused absences. Each unexcused (i.e., not a medical or other emergency) absence over 2 will result in a 1 point per absence deduction from your final grade. Every 2 tardies (over 5 minutes late) = one absence.
Participation: Simply showing up and metabolizing does not count as participation
in this class. You are responsible for reading the assigned material, completing
the assigned activities on time, and coming to class prepared to raise questions,
offer comments, and, in general, deal with the material (assigned material serves
as background for topics covered in class). You are also expected to demonstrate
active involvement in class activities. This includes regular attendance and participation
in discussions, small group activities, and class experiences. Evaluation of class
involvement is based on what you contribute to the class, determined by the answer
to the following
question: If you were not in this class, what would the other members of the class have missed?
Service Learning 30%
Evaluation: Research Paper 20%
Dyadic Encounter 15%
Final Assessment 15%
Group Project 10%
Scale: A (94-100 pts.) exceptional
AB (87-93 pts.) excellent
B ( 81-86 pts.) very good
BC (75-80 pts.) good
C (69-74 pts.) adequate
CD (63-68 pts.) questionable
D (56-62 pts.) deficient
DE (50-55 pts.) seriously deficient
E (0-49 pts.) unacceptable
ASSIGNMENTS: All written work must be typed! Late work loses 2 points per day for each day late, including weekends and holidays. You are responsible for all work in class, whether you are here or not. If you miss a class, it is your responsibility to contact me or a classmate about assignments, notes, handouts, changes in schedule, etc.
What takes place in this class is private. Information shared is privileged. This means that you are not to discuss with people outside the class any specific comments and behaviors of members of the class. Of course, you may share material covered in the class, as well as your own reactions, insights, etc. The following are brief descriptions of course assignments. Detailed descriptions will be distributed in class, well in advance of the due date.
Service Learning: This semester, you will have a unique opportunity to develop your interpersonal communication competence while interacting with a community member involved in hospice or home care. You will attend weekly meetings with this individual, listen and learn her/his life story, and tape record and transcribe this narrative. Ultimately, you will 1) produce a finished version of this memoir, using Pagemaker software, 2) write a brief paper that reflects upon your experience, and 3) present your work to the class.
Research Paper: You will investigate a specific aspect of interpersonal communication by reading, summarizing, and integrating recent relevant research (8-10 pp.).
Dyadic Encounter: You may either: (1) develop a new relationship with an individual of your choice using the "Dyadic Encounter: A Program for Developing Relationships" or (2) enhance an already ongoing relationship with one other person using the "Dyadic Encounter: A Program for Developing Ongoing Relationships." You will use the data you gather to answer a series of questions in a short paper.
Final Assessment: This short paper allows you the opportunity to evaluate your interpersonal communication competency by discussing your strengths and weaknesses in the context of material learned in class from both the assigned reading and the discussions with your peers.
Group Project: In groups of 3 or 4, you will choose from among several topics regarding interpersonal communication in popular culture messages. You will present a 20 minute symposium of your findings to the class. Peer evaluation will comprise one third of your grade for this project.
Involvement: Active involvement in class is described above, under the heading of "Participation." This is an ongoing assignment, encompassing your daily contributions to the class.
DAILY SCHEDULE (subject to change with sufficient notice)
The following schedule is tentative in the sense that if we hit on a topic that sparks a great deal of interest, we will stay with it longer than the schedule below would seem to allow. This means that we all need to stay alert to changes in the schedule, assignments, etc. You are responsible for all assigned work, regardless of whether it gets covered in class.
Classes will be primarily experiential, that is, a typical class will consist of activities and small group and whole class discussions. To ensure that each class is successful, it is essential for you to read assigned material prior to the first class date indicated in the schedule.
9/4 Introduction and Course Overview
9/6 Interpersonal Process
READ: Ch. 1 of Interplay (IP)
9/11 & 9/13 Culture and Communication
READ: Ch. 2
RESEARCH TOPICS DUE
9/18 & 9/20 Communication and the Self
READ: Ch. 3, IP; Intro. And case studies 1-5 in Case Studies (CS)
9/25 & 9/27 Listening
READ: Ch. 7
10/2 & 10/4 Perceiving Others
READ: Ch. 4 (IP)
DYADIC ENCOUNTERS DUE
10/9 & 10/11 Language
READ: Chs. 5-6 (IP); case study #9 (CS)
RESEARCH PAPER OUTLINES DUE
10/16 Nonverbal Communication (cont.)
10/18 FALL BREAK - NO CLASS
10/23 Love and Fear
READ: Jampolsky (entire book)
10/25 & 10/30 Emotions
READ: Ch. 8
RESEARCH PAPER DRAFTS DUE
11/1 NCA CONVENTION--NO CLASS
11/6 Dynamics of Interpersonal Relationships
READ: Ch. 9 (IP); case studies #14 and #16 (CS)
11/8 & 11/13 Intimacy and Distance in Relationships
READ: Ch. 10 (IP); case studies #8 and #12 (CS)
GROUP TOPICS DUE
11/15 Communication Climate
READ: Ch. 11 (IP); case studies #27 and #29 (CS)
11/20 Managing Conflict
READ: Ch. 12 (IP); case studies #19, #20, and #23
RESEARCH PAPER DUE
11/22 HAPPY THANKSGIVING - NO CLASS
11/27 Family Communication
READ: case studies #11, #22, and #25
11/29 SERVICE LEARNING PRESENTATIONS
12/4 & 12/6 GROUP PROJECTS & Course Wrap-up
FINAL ASSESSMENTS DUE
COM 123 COMMUNICATION, PERFORMANCE, AND INTERPRETATION
Professor: Joanne Gilbert
Office: SAC 328
Office Hrs: MTWTH - 3:00-4:00 PM and by appointment
COURSE OBJECTIVE: This course assumes that perspective taking is one of the most important communication skills we can develop. In order to develop students' perspective taking abilities, the goal of this course is: To understand and value"difference" by 1) inhabiting other selves through performance, and 2) engaging in community service. This course asks students to explore cultural texts and contexts, primarily the oral histories they collect from members of the Gratiot County community. Students will simultaneously participate in community service and study performance as a way of communicating texts, ultimately creating and staging a group production of their work. Through written analyses, and individual and group performance, students will explore issues of interpretation, identity, subjectivity and culture. This is not an "acting" class, and no previous performance experience is necessary.
REQUIRED MATERIALS: Readings will be distributed in class
Evaluation: Daily Fragments 20%
Service Learning Script 20%
Service Learning Analysis 20%
Service Learning Performance 20%
Assistance: I am always happy to help you with difficulties you encounter in your work for this course. I am available during office hours or by appointment if you are unable to attend office hours. It is important, however, that you come to see me with specific questions. The more you have already thought about your question(s), the more I can help you.
Attendance: This course meets from 1:00 -3:00 PM Monday through Thursday. Fridays will be reserved for you to work on your course projects. Consequently, each absence over one will result in a deduction from your final grade in the course (i.e., with 2 absences, an "A" becomes an "AB," with three, a "B," etc.).
Preparation: Although workshops and discussions are ungraded, prior preparation is essential-. It is a good idea to write any thoughts, questions, brilliant insights, etc. down as soon as you think of them (e.g., while reading). This will help you prepare for class and for your graded assignments. Also, please be sure that you bring the course readings and your responses to class every day.
Memorization: For the group performance, memorization is required. You will have ample time to memorize your lines and are expected to adhere to deadlines given in class.
Daily Fragments: Every day, you are expected to bring to class a one-page, typed, double-spaced (approx. 250 words) "fragment" of thought on the reading assigned for that day, questions raised in class discussion, or images examined during class (e.g. on video). This is your opportunity to muse a bit on a particular line of text, a particular line of reasoning, or a particular image. Fragments are precisely that--you are not expected to write an essay, simply to pursue something that strikes you as interesting and relevant to the material covered in class. Feel free to be creative--a fragment may be in the form of a poem, a personal anecdote, etc. If you turn in a fragment every day, you will get an "A" for this 20% of the course. If you miss even one day, you will get an "E" for this 20%--an "A" or an "E"--YOU DECIDE!!! (NB: Fragments are expected to adhere to rules of grammar, spelling and punctuation and be free of typos.)
Involvement: Involvement does not simply mean showing up and metabolizing. Your contributions to the class are a valuable and important source of information for your classmates. You are responsible for reading the assigned material, completing the assigned activities on time, and coming to class prepared to raise questions, offer comments, and, in general, deal with the material (assigned material serves as background for topics covered in class). You are also expected to demonstrate active involvement in class activities. This includes regular attendance and participation in discussions, small group activities, and class experiences. Evaluation of class involvement is based on what you contribute to the class, determined by the answer to the following question: If you were not in this class, what would the other members of the class have missed?
Service Learning Script: After you have audiotaped your service learning interview, you will transcribe a portion of this tape, and put it in script form. This will require several "drafts" in order for you to create an exact duplication of your interviewee's words. You will then work with your classmates in order to weave individual scripts into a group script.
Service Learning Analysis: You will write a 5-7 page paper that describes, interprets and evaluates your service learning experience (specific details will be provided in class).
Service Learning Performance: You will be paired with a member of the Alma community and asked to interview her/him. You will record part of these interviews on audiotape, transcribe a segment, and perform this text as part of a group production, using "Everyday Life Performance" (ELP) techniques learned in class. The performance will include additional material necessary for a coherent group production.
DAILY SCHEDULE (Subject to change):
Day Activity Reading
4/28 Course Overview
4/29 Communicating Trust
4/30 Reflective listening
5/1 Ethnographic Methods/Service Learning TBA
Visitors: Ms. Anne Ritz, Dir. Of Service
Learning; Ms. Anne Lambrecht, Dir. Of
Big Brothers/Big Sisters
5/2 "Fires in the Mirror" Deveare Smith
5/6 Personal Narratives
5/7 Interview Questions
5/8 "The Heart Broken in Half" Conquergood
5/9 Everyday Life Performance Gilbert
5/13 UNGRADED PERS. NARR. PERFORMANCE
5/14 Scripting Workshop
SER. LEARNING TRANSCRIPTS DUE
5/15 Scripting Service Learning Kleinau & McHughes
5/16 Scripting Service Learning TBA
5/18 KIDS' CARNIVAL - 12:00-2:00 PM
5/20 Service Learning Rehearsal
5/21 Service Learning Rehearsal
5/22 Service Learning Rehearsal
5/23 Service Learning Rehearsal
5/24 SERVICE LEARNING PERFORMANCE