Department of Communication Studies

Course Description

Oral Communication is a required part of Category 1b of the liberal arts core.

Oral Communication is a requirement because communication skills are necessary throughout one's life. The ability to speak clearly, eloquently, and effectively has been the mark of an educated person since ancient times. The College Board's report, Academic Preparation for College: What Students Need to Know and Be Able to Do, identifies reading,writing, listening, thinking, and speaking, as necessary skills college students should possess if they are to be successful. Business and industry employers also require employees to be effective communicators and thinkers. In addition, they require workers who can get along well with others in a diverse society. Speech communication provides the foundation for higher learning. In addition, communication is essential to the functioning of the individual in political, economic and social settings.

This course is designed to provide information, background, and experience on effective communication in a variety of settings (interpersonal relationships, group settings, and public speaking).  It also helps us understand the options we have in creating, maintaining and ending interpersonal relationships, decision-making and problem solving situations in groups, and in situations where we must make public presentations.

Special first year-only sections of 48C:001 will be offered for the next few semesters. And, for the next few semesters a large section of 48C:001 will be available for all currently enrolled students, which for spring 2011 will be section 27. Current students who have not fulfilled category 1b and are not first-year students will need to register for this specific section of the course.

In addition, a two-course sequence has been approved as an alternative to 48C:001. The sequence is comprised of the following which can be taken in any order --

Course 1 (take one of the following): 48C:011, Oral Interpretation: Texts in Performances, or  48C:071, Public Speaking, or 48C:074, Argumentation and Debate

AND

Course 2 (take one of the folloinwg): 48C:004, Interpersonal Communicatoin or 48C:031, Group Communication Skills.

Why Do I Have to Take Oral Communication at UNI?

Oral Communication is a required course for all students at UNI because we recognize that communication skills are necessary throughout one's life, no matter what a persons major is. The ability to speak clearly, eloquently, and effectively has been the mark of an educated person since ancient times. The College Board's report, Academic Preparation for College: What Students Need to Know and Be Able to Do, identifies reading, writing, listening, thinking, and speaking as necessary skills college students should possess if they are to be successful in their lives personally and professionally. Employers in business and industry also look for employees who are effective communicators, thinkers and problem solvers. In addition, they look for workers who can get along well with others in a diverse society, and who can be effective leaders and team members. Effective speech communication in any context is learned. We may think we are "natural" speakers, or we have a ?natural? ability to get along with others or be a leader in groups, but natural ability needs to be enhanced through the study and application of effective communication theories and principles. Oral Communication is an important part of the foundation that you will build what you achieve in higher learning, and for the rest of your life. In addition, our communication skills and abilities are an essential part of how we function successfully in political, economic and social settings. It's important that we all understand how to communicate in an ethical and civil manner in every context we encounter in our lives.

 


Course Objectives

This course is designed to increase your understanding of the principles of effective COMMUNICATION (speaking, listening, thinking, and writing) to help you develop effective habits of mind, and to improve your communication and thinking skills. You will prepare and deliver graded speeches, write research, analysis, and synthesis papers, and participate in group projects, class discussions and class activities (graded and non graded). See course guide for handouts and specifics.


Course Policies

(See a complete listing in the course guide)

Attendance Policy: You are expected to attend class each scheduled day. Absences may result in a lower semester grade. See your instructor for specific details. Due dates for all class work will apply whether or not you are present in class that day. Promptness is important, too, as we often cover due dates, detailed assignment information, and other important information in the opening minutes of class. It is important to be present for other speeches as well as for your own, as listening is a critical factor in the communication process. You are responsible to speak on all assigned dates. Any exceptions must be negotiated with instructors prior to the class. ALL ASSIGNMENTS MUST BE SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED IN ORDER TO PASS THIS CLASS.

Your specific instructor may have additional policies and procedures listed for their specific sections.


Plagiarism

You should be familiar with University policies on plagiarism. See UNI catalog for complete information. All plagiarized assignments will receive failing grades, further penalties may be given as well. When presenting information, keep this in mind: ALWAYS GIVE FULL SOURCE CITATIONS AND INDICATE MATERIALS THAT ARE QUOTED OR PARAPHRASED FROM OTHER SOURCES OR OTHER PEOPLE. A BIBLIOGRAPHY IS REQUIRED WITH EACH OUTLINE OR PAPER.


Grading Policies

Each assignment requires forethought, research, planning, and practice. You will be expected to display your understanding of reading assignments and class discussions in all assignments, papers, quizzes, and exams. Assignments must conform to the guidelines given for each. A's will be awarded only for outstanding work. B's will be assigned when the work clearly goes beyond the minimal requirements. C's will be assigned when the work adequately meets the requirements. D's and F's will be given when work does not fulfill the assignment and is below the expected standards of collegiate competence.


Topics

The Topics we will cover include:

  • The World of Communication
  • Perception and Communication
  • Communication and Personal Identity
  • Effective Listening
  • The Verbal Dimension of Communication
  • The Non-Verbal Dimension of Communication
  • Communication and Cultures
  • Foundations of Interpersonal Communication
  • Communication and Personal Relationships
  • Foundations of Group and Team Communication
  • Managing Conflict in Interpersonal and Group Communication
  • Effective Communication in Task Groups
  • Planning Public Speaking
  • Researching and Developing Support for Public Speeches
  • Informative Speaking
  • Persuasive Speaking
  • Persuasive Strategies
  • Organizing and Presenting Public Speeches
  • Communication and Technology