Course Overview: Is this the course for you?

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Interpersonal Communication

SDS 4410 Online Course

Instructor: Courtney Allen

Email: (Please email through E-Learning) UF Email for emergencies:

Office: Norman Hall 1209 Dept. Phone: 352-273-4332

Course Overview: Is this the course for you?

This course is designed to help you take a closer look at the dynamics of

communication and your role in that process. The activities were developed to examine your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and challenge your perceptions of yourself and others. Offering this course in an online platform presents unique opportunities that we will utilize and explore throughout the semester. It also presents challenges that will require you to be self-motivated and at the same time, patient. Consider the following in determining if this course is for you.

Course Structure

The content of the course will primarily be found in the Floyd textbook (ISBN: 978-0-07-340664-0). You may purchase the ebook version of this text (ISBN: 978-0-07-728579-1) instead of the hard copy. To buy the ebook version you can go to with that ISBN and purchase it directly. Each week there are slides available to help your understanding of this material as well as supplemental material available in each week’s activity folder.

You will be assigned a group (approx. 20 people/group) during the first week of school and your group will be assigned a Teaching Assistant with whom to work. (This will happen automatically after the end of drop/add…you do not need to sign yourself up). The teaching assistants for this course are graduate students in Counselor Education. Your teaching assistant will be responsible for answering any questions you may have and for giving you written feedback on your


There are 4 exams in this course. All exams are open book and timed. If you require extra time on exams and are registered with the Office of Disabilities, please send your eligibility letter to Norman 1215 (Attn:Courtney Allen) as soon as possible. There is also 1 ten question quiz during the second week that will test you on the syllabus and your knowledge of the E-Learning system (specifically the FAQ for Students section of the E-Learning website).

If you have any technical (computer/internet) problems during an exam or quiz, you must call the UF E-Learning Help Desk at 392-HELP (392-4357) immediately and acquire a ticket number in order to verify that you have had difficulty and may need accommodations.


You may use your book and personal notes on the exam; however, you may not ask for assistance from any person during the exam. You are NOT allowed to

take the exam in the same room as another class member unless you are supervised by an official monitor approved by the instructor.

In addition to formal tests, you will be asked to write a total of 5 (at least 1.5 pages in length) reflection papers and 3 media reviews (television and film, at least 2 pages in length). If you do the journal assignments then you will get full credit for them if they are satisfactory. Unsatisfactory entries include work that is incomplete (i.e. short or does not answer the question) and work that is not

thoughtful in nature. The Media Analysis will be graded more critically. Your Media Analysis grade will be based on whether you met the format/length

requirements, were thoughtful, and used the content from the specified chapters to effectively analyze the film or show of your choice. Unsatisfactory assignments will be docked points or not accepted at all. All assignments in this course should be:

• 12 pt. font, Times New Roman, double spaced with 1 inch margins. • In essay format, submitted as an attached word document.

• Have your name and title as part of the header. (i.e., put them in the margins…do not take up writing space with these details). • Submitted via E-Learning by clicking on the assignment,

attaching your word document and clicking ‘submit’.

Assignments emailed directly to your TA will not be accepted. It is your responsibility to make sure your assignment is submitted on time. Be sure to click submit and wait for confirmation! Finally, I expect you to actively participate in the weekly discussions posted on E-Learning. Your input and reflections really help make this online class much more interpersonal. Because I value this so much, I have made it part of your grade in the form of participation.

Special Considerations in taking an online course

I have designed this course to hopefully offer the same richness as a face-to-face course; however, because of the nature of the internet, there will need to be special considerations made. Communicating online can be very exciting…full of possibilities for some and completely daunting for others. As in other areas of our lives, as time goes on we start to develop online personalities. This can be very individualistic; however, for the purpose of this course, please incorporate the following universal goals:

• Always be considerate of your audience. This is an academic course so

profanity should be limited and respect for your peers must be shown at all times.

• Be careful about ‘reading between the lines’. Text based communication


ambiguity. Many things can be taken in multiple ways so when you read something, try to see it in the best light possible.

• Be patient with your peers and instructor. Although the speed of the

internet can make for quick communication, technical glitches will occur. Computers will crash, the internet will go down, items will be lost,

etc…these things happen and we will deal with them when they do.

• If you have a problem or concern, please bring it to me as soon as possible.

Although you will not actually ‘see’ me or your TA on a regular basis, we are here to assist you in this process in the best way that we can.

• Contact your TA and/or instructor prior to posting a negative comment on

the discussion boards. Posts are permanent and one negative post amongst many positive ones can have a damaging effect to the course experience.

Special Requirements for taking this online course

You must take exams during times when the helpdesk is open and can provide you with a ticket number if you have a problem. The helpdesk is open Monday through Thursday 8:30 am to 10 pm, Friday from 7:30 to 5 pm and

Sat/Sun from noon to 6 pm.

You MUST use a browser that is supported by E-Learning. If your exam crashes because you are not using a supported browser, you will not be allowed to retake the exam. A list of supported browsers can be found on the E-Learning website under FAQ’s for students. The current list includes:

For Windows: Firefox 3.x, Internet Explorer 8.x or 7.x For Mac: Firefox 3.x

Instructor Access

During the week I check email multiple times; however, please allow me 24 to 48 hours to respond to your emails. Most often, I will be able to do so immediately, but because of the large amount of students enrolled in this course, I may not be able to respond right away. Please utilize your TA for questions concerning the course as well. Also, your TA and I will only respond to emails sent via E-Learning. Please do you not use our private accounts for this

course. Also, I am also available to meet in person by appointment. Course Policies

Attendance: Although we do not meet face-to-face each week, you will be

expected to attend online regularly via email and discussion boards. The amount of time you spend on discussion boards may vary; however, I would like you to at the very least know what is being discussed and supply some comment on it each week. Discussion guidelines will be posted along with the first topic for


discussion. Your participation grade is based on your participation in group discussions.

Late Assignment and Make-Up Policies: Because assignments are posted in

advance and may be turned at any time during the week they are due, late

papers and make up exams will NOT be accepted. Please do not ask

unless you have legitimate documentation as to why you were unable to turn your work in on time (e.g., medical documentation).

Plagiarism: The University of Florida has an honor code that will be respected in

this class. Plagiarism or cheating in any form will not be tolerated. On all work submitted for credit by students at the University of Florida, the following pledge is implied:

“On my honor, I have neither given nor received

unauthorized aid in doing this assignment.”

Extra Credit: Periodically, extra credit may be offered during this course;

however, this is not guaranteed. Moreover, late extra credit will not be accepted for any reason.

Overview of Assignments

1 Quiz 10 points

3 Exams 180 total (60 each)

3 Media Analysis 60 total (20 each) 5 Journaling Assignments 75 total (15 each) Active participation in discussions 25 points

Total 350 points

Course Calendar

Week Assignments

1 Aug 22-Aug 26 • Course Overview and becoming familiar with E-Learning

• Be sure to buy your book this week! You may buy the online version if you like. • Groups assigned by instructor

• Ch. 1 About Communication 1 Aug 29-Sept 2 • Ch. 2 Culture and Gender

• Journal 1: Mental Imagery Activity “Who I am”

• Discussion posts begins

• Quiz 1 (Mon 8:30 am- Fri 5 pm) 3 Sept 12-16 • Ch. 3 Communication and the Self


4 Sept 19-23 • Exam 1 (Mon 8:30 am-Fri 5 pm) 5 Sept 26-30 • Ch. 4 Interpersonal Perception

• Journal 3 6 Oct 3-7 • Ch. 5 Language

• Media Analysis 1 covers Ch. 5 7 Oct 10-14 • Ch. 6 Nonverbal Communication

• Extra Credit Media Analysis (15 pts, choose from Ch. 1-4 or 6)

8 Oct 17-21 • Exam 2 (Mon 8:30 am-Fri 5 pm) 9 Oct 24-28 • Ch. 7 Listening

• Journal 4

10 Oct 31-Nov 4 • Ch. 8 Interpersonal Communication in Social Relationships

• Media Analysis 2 covering Ch. 8 • Homecoming Parade-Friday 11 Nov 7-11 • Ch. 9 Intimate Relationships

• Journal 5

• Friday-Veteran’s Day

12 Nov 14-18 • Exam 3 (Wed 8:30 am-Fri 5 pm) 13 Nov 21-25 • Ch. 10 Interpersonal Conflict

• No assignment this week

• Thanksgiving Break-Thurs and Fri 14 Nov 28-Dec 2 • Ch. 11 Deceptive Communication

• Media Analysis 3 covering Ch. 11 15 Dec 5-9 • Ch. 12 Emotion

• Extra Credit Survey (5 questions, 5 pts) • Reading days-Thursday and Friday 16 Dec 12-16 • Exam 4 (Mon 8:30 am-Fri 5 pm)

Grading Scale A 94-100% 329-350 points A - 92-93.9% 322-328 B+ 90-91.9% 315-321 B 87-89.9% 304-314 B - 85-86.9% 297-303 C+ 79-84.9% 276-296 C 74-78.9% 259-275 C - 72-73.9% 252-258 D+ 68-71.9% 238-251 D 63-67.9% 220-237 D - 61-62.9% 213-219 F 60.9% or less 212 or less


Required Text

Floyd, K. (2009). Interpersonal Communication: The Whole Story. Boston: McGraw-Hill.

Suggested Reading List (no specific order)

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…And It’s all Small Stuff

Richard Carlson, Ph.D.

How to Win Friends and Influence People

Dale Carnegie

Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book that Changes Lives

Dan Millman

The Tao of Pooh

Benjamin Hoff

The Road Less Traveled

M. Scott Peck, M.D.

Daily Reflections for Highly Effective People

Stephen R. Covey

Who Moved My Cheese

Spencer Johnson, M.D.

The Two Sides of Love




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