Interpersonal Communication (COMM 3393)

Fall, 2009

(Tentative Syllabus—Check with instructor to confirm.)

Instructor: James L. Heflin, Ph.D.
Office: 112 Music Building
Office Phone: 581-2426
Office Hours: Posted on website

Course Description:

Improving communication between persons.  Discovering and overcoming obstacles in person-to-person communication. 

Self-awareness of the student’s own communication behavior as well as that of others.


Miller, Sherod and Phyllis A.  Core Communication. Evergreen, CO.: Interpersonal Communication Programs, Inc., 1997.

Lane, Shelly D.  Interpersonal Communication:  Competence and Contexts. (second edition)  Boston:  Allyn & Bacon, 2010.

Goals and Objectives:

  1. Identify interpersonal communication theory that reflects recent research findings in human relationships.
  2. Demonstrate a practical use of interpersonal communication theory through classroom activities and assignments. 
  3. Master Miller’s Awareness Wheel model of communication.
  4. Understand human behavior in conflict situations. 
  5. Identify the impact of cultural diversity in interpersonal relationships. 
  6. Apply writing skills in the development of a written project on an interpersonal communication variable. 
  7. Identify ethical variables in interpersonal communication.
  8. Identify the variables in the development of relationships related to a significant other, friendship, and work-related relationship. 
  9. Apply interpersonal conflict resolution strategies to a relationship. 

Course Assignments:

  1. The student will read assigned materials in their textbooks and journals.
  2. The student will take eight (8) exams from the materials covered in the course.
  3. The student will write one paper on  narrative theory.
  4. The student’s final grade will be based on an average score of the following  items: eight (8) exams and one (1) narrative paper .
    1. Exams 1-8 (100 points each)
    2. Paper   200 points.
    3. Total points  1000.
  5. The student is given class schedule.  This schedule may change during the course.  Please contact the professor when a class is missed for details and handouts.
  6. Make-up exams MUST be taken within seven days of the original exam period.


Upon the 7th absence on MWF Classes, (unless an agreement has been arranged in advance with the professor), the student will receive an “F” for the course.  In 16 week night classes, the student is allowed two absences.

Grading Schedule:

900 - 1000 An “I” will be given under extreme conditions agreed upon by student and professor.  The “I” must be completed within ONE semester or date determined by professor.  
800 - 899
700 - 799
600 - 699
000- 599

Classroom Participation:

Student participation in any class is paramount.  This is especially true of a course in interpersonal communication. The student is encouraged to actively participate in class discussion, exercises, and group activities.  The student is asked to look at issues and concepts in regard to interpersonal communication and relationship development.  The student is asked to focus attention on how communication within relationships and group activities can be improved.  The student is asked to demonstrate a tolerance and appreciation of divergent opinions presented by students.  An attitude of mutual respect between the instructor and the student and any speaker is critical to optimize the learning experience.  As a result, any student who creates distractions during class by talking, eating, or being disrespectful to others will be required to leave the class, and will not be  permitted to return to the class unless the professor determines the student has adopted an appropriate attitude of mutual respect and trust.

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