Discussion Notes / Assignments (Class Moodle)
We live in our communication, and no form of communication occupies more hours our days than our interpersonal interaction with others in dyads (pairs, couples, twos, etc) and informal small groups. It is in our interpersonal communication, more than anything else, that defines who we are and the nature of our relationships with others. Interpersonal communication is not just something we do, it is something we live. It is the dominant form of communication in most of our lives, whether we are talking to parents, friends, significant others, spouses, salespeople, coworkers, bosses, employees, etc. Even if we make a career in the mass media as journalists or broadcasters, it is our interaction with others (interpersonal interviews and interactions with colleagues) that will shape our careers and career opportunities.
This course is a reflective exploration of our face-to-face communication, one of the oldest forms of human communication, and its variants, including the many technological mediated interpersonal communication systems that you use every day (telephones, cell phones, texting, instant messaging, computer conferencing, etc. The course will mix theory with research and daily practice as we look for ways to improve our friendships, relationships, and our social and business interaction with others.
Wood, Julia T. Interpersonal Communication: Everyday Encounters, 7th Edition. (Make sure you get the 7th Edition and not a prior edition.
The Wood text is the leading textbook on Interpesonal communication. It is expensive to buy (about $150) in its paper edition, but much less expensive in electronic editions. I recommend getting a electronic copy that runs on your computer, tablet, or e-reader. Both Barnes and Noble and Amazon rent electronic version of the text for roughly a third that price ($40-$50) and sell it for about $130. Prices of used copies in the bookstore and online will vary, but be sure to get the 7th edition. I have not provided the bookstore with information about this text, but there were eight copies there on Thursday.
The electronic version works on computers, tablets, and smartphones as specified by the supplier (Amazon, B&N, etc). Amazon supplies free Kindle software that you can download to your computer to read the text. So does Barnes and Noble. I read my copy on my iPad using the Kindle tablet application for iPad. Other e-book software should work with electronic editions available from other booksellers, including Barnes and Noble. I find the electronic version more readable than the text version, but it's your choice. The only option you don't have is to NOT read the assigned chapters in the text.
Students should understand a variety of interpersonal communication theories well enough to usefully apply them to improving their own communication and understanding the communication successes and failures of others.
Attendance is required for all classes, including the final exam period. Please be on time.
The reading and writing load for this course is moderate, but needs to be done. If you can't keep up with the readings, papers, or other assignments, you may want to drop the course early on and try again in another semester.
Attendance is mandatory. The Brooklyn College Bulletin states that "Students are expected to attend all scheduled sessions of every class for which they register. Students late for class may be excluded from the room. An instructor may consider attendance and class participation in determining course grade." While I am unlikely to lock the door, I will take account of missed class time in computing grades. You should not, as a general note, ask me for "permission" to miss class. While I will try to be understanding of documented emergencies, the basic reality (which has more to do with your ability to learn when you aren't in class than anything else) is that absences make your grade grow smaller.