Interpersonal Communication

Interpersonal Communication


Fall 2011
08/22/2011 - 12/11/2011

Course Information

Section 005
TTh 10:30AM - 11:50AM
NRG4 4201
Cassandra Knobloch

(512) 318.3539

Office Hours

No office hours have been entered for this term.

Course Requirements



Attend class and participate in classroom activities, assignments, and discussions.

Read the textbook and any handouts as assigned. 

--The textbook is required in this course, and all chapters will be assigned.                                                                                 --Read the chapter assignments and handouts as soon as they are given, and review often. It is necessary to spend four-five hours weekly, outside of class time, reading and studying in order to keep up with course requirements.    

         --Be prepared for our classroom discussions and activities by reading all assigned material before the day it is listed on the Assignment Schedule on page 6 of this Syllabus.

--Bring your textbook and handouts to every class.

Complete two written Tests, described on page 3 of this Syllabus.

Complete three Skill Builder assignments, described in handouts and on page 3 of this Syllabus.


  • There are two written Vocabulary Tests. The learning objectives of the tests are:

(a) to demonstrate that you have read and understand the vocabulary terms and concepts in the textbook, and

(b) to apply the concepts to your daily interpersonal communication interactions.

1.   The tests are created and written outside of class by students.

2.  All students will write Test 1; students may choose to write Test 2 or Test 3.

3.  Choose 25 terms or concepts from the assigned chapters, and write the definition of the word or term. 

4.  Then write a three-to-four sentence narrative describing an interpersonal communication interaction from your own life that illustrates the term or word. 

5.  Choose terms and concepts that are personally relevant and meaningful, and incorporate a variety of relationships and communication contexts in your narratives. 

6.  Choose six terms from each chapter, plus one term from any of the assigned chapters, and be sure to include terms from all assigned chapters.

7.  Follow the Requirements for Written Work on page 4 of this Syllabus. 

8.  The tests cover the following chapters:

Test 1 - Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4  - Communication Process, Culture, Self, Perception

Test 2 - Chapters  5, 6, 7, 8 - Language, Nonverbal, Listening, Emotions

Test 3 - Chapters  9, 10, 11, 12  - Relationships, Climate, Conflict, Families & Work

9.  The following grade scale is used for the tests:

45 – 50  =  A

40 -  44  =  B

35 – 39  =  C

30 – 34  =  D

below 30  =  F

10.  Tests must be submitted by the due dates shown on the Assignment Schedule page of this Syllabus.   Tests may be submitted before the due date, but not after.

Skill Builder Assignments

  • There are three written Skill Builder assignments that demonstrate and amplify the theories and concepts involved in the interpersonal communication process.  Specific instructions will be provided on a written handout for each assignment.  Skill Builder assignments require active class discussion and participation from all students. 
  • Skill Builder One requires the completion of four Self-Assessment questionnaires on Interpersonal Relationships, Empathy, Self-Disclosure, and Cultural Sensitivity.  Skill Builder Two includes an observation and analysis of Nonverbal Communication, and requires a written group essay and an individual written report.  Skill Builder Three is on Friendship, and requires an individual written essay.
  • Skill Builder Assignments must be submitted by the due dates shown on the Assignment Schedule page of this Syllabus.  Skill Builder Assignments may be submitted before the due date, but not after.

Requirements for Written Work

All written work must adhere to the following guidelines: 

1.  Written work must be computer-generated.  The Northridge Computer Lab is located in Room 1203.  For assistance, see

2.  Enter your name and the date in the upper corner of the page.

3.  Do not use folders, binders, or cover sheets.

4.  Double-space and use standard 1” margins.

5.  Use one side of the paper only.

6.  Use a standard 12 point font.

7.  Staple or clip together multiple pages.

            8.  Proofread your work before submitting it. Revising and proofreading are separate, important steps in the writing process.  I will deduct up to 8 points from assignments that include errors such as misspellings, grammatical errors, and run-on or incomplete sentences.  The writing style should not interfere with the ideas in the paper.

  • The number of points possible for each assignment is as follows:

            Tests  - 2 x 50                                        100

            Skill Builders – 30 + 35 + 35              100

                                    TOTAL                            200

  • The final course grade is determined as follows:

180  -  200            A

160  -  179            B

                140  -  159            C

120  -  139            D

below 120            F


  • As Speech 1318 is taught from a Master Syllabus, there are no "extra credit" assignments.

A copy of the Master Syllabus is provided at the first class meeting.



Textbook:   Interplay:  The Process of Interpersonal Communication, 11th edition,

                                     Ronald Adler, Lawrence Rosenfeld, and Russell Proctor

Course Subjects



I.  Foundations of Interpersonal Communication                           Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4

    A.  interpersonal process

    B.  communication and the self 

    C.  perceiving others

    D.  culture and communication

II.  Creating and Responding to Messages                                    Chapters 5, 6, 7, 8

      A.  language

      B.  nonverbal communication

     C.  listening

     D.  emotions

III.  Dimensions of Interpersonal Relationships                              Chapters 9, 10, 11, 12

        A.  dynamics of interpersonal relationships

        B.  communication climate

       C.  managing conflict

       D.  communication in families and at work

Student Learning Outcomes/Learning Objectives



1.  To understand the theories that explain interpersonal interactions.

2.  To recognize the characteristics of competent communication in interpersonal interactions.

3.   To understand the role of the self in interpersonal communication.

4.  To understand how perception affects communication.

5.  To discover the roles of culture and gender in interpersonal communication.

6.  To send and interpret verbal and nonverbal messages accurately and effectively.

7.  To evaluate listening habits and practice effective listening skills.

8.  To recognize the ethical dimensions of interpersonal communication.

9.  To practice effective conflict management techniques.