Indiana University Northwest

COAS-S122 Syllabus



Indiana University Northwest

Department of Communication


S122 Interpersonal Communication

Fall 2012

3 credit hours     No Prerequisites     Enrollment Limit - 25 



Dr. Dorothy W. Ige 
219-980-6880 or 219-980-6781

(See Dr. Ige’s Welcome Video Posted in “Podcasts”
 on the Oncourse Course Management Website for the course)

See the attached COURSE SCHEDULE for specific
Session Topic Readings, Resources, Assignments and Due Dates


Course Description
     Practical consideration of human interaction is explored.  Special attention is given to perception, verbal and nonverbal language, and attitudes in dyads and small groups, in face-to-face, digital, or mediated situations.  No prerequisites.

Course Objectives and Learning Outcomes 

     Through oral, nonverbal, and written assignments within the virtual classroom environment, students should be able to acquire and apply knowledge that demonstrates effective intrapersonal (self) and interpersonal (relational pair or small group) communication in various contexts upon completion of the course.  General Course Objectives include:

Explaining the Methods of Inquiry Used in Communication as a Social Science
Students will Identify major Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Communication Theories and Methods of Studying Relationships;  Verbal, Nonverbal, and  Listening Interactions via Face-to-Face, Social, and other Media; and Conflict Management Messages. 

Explaining Behavior Using Communication Theories and Concepts
Students will describe the Communication Process and Relational Communication Terms, and Identify Components on at least One Model of Communication.  Students will Adapt Study to Real-Life Situations, and Assess Relational Communication Problems and Solutions Toward Interpersonal Competence. 

 Explaining Communication Factors that Influence How Different Societies Organize Themselves and How Individual Differences Influence Human Communication Activity
Students will Analyze and Apply Knowledge of Communication Processes and Roles in Various Situations such as Cultural, Family, Friendships, Work, and Social Group Settings.

EVALUATION:  All Course Objectives are Assessed through Graded Dynamic Assignments, Interactive Discussions, and Exams/Quizzes, and are tied to IU Northwest General Education Student Outcomes.


The Course is Organized Per the Following MODULES (Units):


                                 ·            MODULE #1 -Interpersonal Communication Importance in a Multi-Generational, Digital   Age

                                 ·            MODULE #2 -Multi-Cultural Communication Inclusion in an Inter-Generational Digital Age

                                 ·            MODULE #3 -The Technology Gap and Multi-Generational Communication at Home, Work & Play

                                 ·            MODULE #4 -Self-Awareness, Perception & Communication in a Multi-Generational Digital Age


                                 ·            MODULE #5 – Listening & Sharing Information at Home, Work, and Play in a Multi-Generational Digital Age

                                 ·            MODULE #6 - Nonverbal Communication and Interpersonal  Multi-Generational Digital Age Interactions

                                 ·            MODULE #7 - Verbal Communication and Interpersonal  Multi-Generational Digital Age Interactions


                                 ·            MODULE #8 - Relationships & Power in Multi-Generational Digital Age Interactions

                                 ·            MODULE #9 - Extended Family, the Information Age, and Interpersonal Communication

                                 ·            MODULE #10 – Group Dynamics and Team Work in a Multi-Generational Digital Age

                                 ·            MODULE #11 - Interpersonal Ethics and Conflict Management in a Multi-Generational Digital Age


Course Materials 

Required Text

 Joseph A. DeVito, The Interpersonal Communication Book (Boston: Pearson, 2013).  (MyCommunicationLab is optional). Specific pages listed are from the textbook. Various course handouts, websites, digital media, and other readings may be added later.  A copy of the textbook is on Reserve in the IU Northwest Library.


Recommended Optional Readings: 

 Andersen P. “When One Cannot Not Communicate: A Challenge to Motley’s Traditional Communication Postulates,” Communication Studies, 1991 (42) 309-325.

}  Floyd, K.  Interpersonal Communication. (NY: McGraw-Hill, 2011).

}  Ige, D. & Montalbano, L. “Enhance Your Critical Listening and Group Communication Effectiveness,” in Public Speaking and Responsibility in a Changing World (Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt Pub., 2012), pp. 57-81.

}  Knapp, Mark L., and Gerald R. Miller. Handbook of Interpersonal Communication. (Minneapolis: Sage Publications, Inc., 2002).

}  Mehrabian, A.  Nonverbal Communication, 3rd ptg. (Rutgers, NJ: Transition Publishers, 2009).



<> <>Grading Information<> <> 

      Grades will be determined per the information below.  Detailed descriptions of Assignments and Discussions Due Dates are available in the attached Course Schedule document.

-Most of your submitted ASSIGNMENTS are to be posted to the Instructor in Oncourse “ASSIGNMENTS.”   -Most of your submitted DISCUSSIONS are to be posted for all (students and instructor) in Oncourse “FORUMS”

Specific Grade Weightings:       

  • PRE-POST COURSE GRADED WORK                                                             (Graded as “Assignment” or                                                                                        

A) Pre-Quiz (repeatable until 80% accurate by due date),                       “Discussion” Points. See below)

     1 Face-to-Face,  Real-Life Orientation Meeting in Hawthorn 454 very

     highly recommended *(see the instructor about the face-to-face

     live Orientation if you live 60+ mi. from the IUN campus),

      Bio & Response to Bio of others,  optional posted Oncourse

      Photo (if not already there), & other Introductory Exercises as
      needed.  (Photo—taken at Savannah Gym ticket booth
      or by clicking on Oncourse “My Work Space,” “Profile.”

B) Post-Quiz (repeatable until 80% accurate by due date).  Other

     post-activities as needed

  • MAJOR TEST I                                                                                                         200 Points
  • MAJOR TEST II                                                                                                                200  Points
  • MAJOR TEST III                                                                                                             200  Points
  • MAJOR TEAM PRSENTATION through Second Life virtual world                                
     (A single Team Outline using PowerPoint, in “notes” format,
    required, & to be submitted to all affiliated with the class well in
    advance of the group presentation). The team can work on
    early versions of the 1 Group Outline together through Google Docs,

Email/chat, Word’s text editing, & practice in Second Life or Skype.

are 4 Teams of 6-7 members each.  Each will present for 30-40

minutes.  See the attached Course Schedule for Details & Due Dates      200 Points

  • DISCUSSIONS (20 pts.  X 5 Discussions). Quality Contents,
     Quantity, Appropriate Online Etiquette & Promptness
    Considered).  See attached Course Schedule for Details & Due Dates:                                                                                                      

-          Disc. #1 - Bio & Response to 2 other Students                                         20 Points

-          Disc. # 2 - Response to 1 other student’s Cyber-Bullying analysis        20 Points

-          Disc. #3a-d  - Teams 1 & 2 will hear/see ea. others’  Group

Presentation in Second Life & submit completed evaluation

forms.   Teams 3 & 4 will do the same                                                        20 Points

-          Disc. #4 – Your Conflict Case Study Analysis submitted  in Oncourse

“Forums”                                                                                                          20 Points

-          Disc. #5 – Reaction to 2 other students’ Conflict Case Study

Analysis (preferably with one whom you have had little or no

Interaction & who wrote on the  same Conflict Case)                             20 Points

  • ASSIGNMENTS (20 pts. X 5 Assignments).  Quality Contents,
    Quantity, Appropriate Online Etiquette & Promptness con-

-          Assignment # 1 - (The Pre-Quiz; 1 prompt, In-Person,  
Real life, Face-to-Face Class Orientation Meeting in Hawthorn-

Rm. 454 very highly recommended; Optional Photo Posting, if

needed; & Post-Quiz count as 1 Assignment).   See the Course

 Schedule in the Oncourse “Syllabus” section & Oncourse

“Modules” section for specifics                                                                      20 Points                                                                                                                                              

-          Assignment #2 – Communication Model Identification/Explanation      20 Points

-          Assignment #3 – Cyber-Bullying Case Study Analysis                                 20 Points

-          Assignment #4  -  Create Avatar, Visit a Classmate in  Second Life

& describe the experience & relevance to future interpersonal

communication                                                                                                  20 Points

-          Assignment # 5 – Team Presentation Pre-Planning                                    20 Points                                                                                                    

                                                              TOTAL                                                                   1000 Points



   Approx. Grade Points Breakdown:

                A 94-100% (935-1000)

                 A- 90-93     (895-925)

                 B+ 87-89    (865-894)

                 B 83-86 (825-864)

                 B- 80-82 (795-824)

                 C+ 77-79 (765-794)



C 73-76  (725-764)

C- 70-72 (695-724)

D+ 67-69 (665-694)

D 63-66 (625-664)

D- 59-62 (593-624)

F    0-58 (0-592)

FN = Failure for nonattendance
I = Incomplete
W = Withdrew






Assignment & Discussion Grading Criteria (Rubric)  – Online S122 Interpersonal Communication Course – D. Ige




17-20 Points

Satisfactory to Good Contribution

13-16 Points

Below Average Contribution

1-12 Points



Assignments & posts clearly demonstrate critical thinking in understanding communication concepts through applying theory in a highly substantive and compelling manner


Uses ethical, credible, & impactful supporting material (Examples, questions,  visual aids, new media, etc.), that can inspire creativity and advance learning in self and in message receivers


Responses are professional looking with dynamic oral tone, effective delivery, or writing mechanics (correct grammar, sentence/ paragraph structure, logical organization of message beginning, central idea, transitions, and end)


Replies/interactions are timely presented or submitted with effective strategic frequency-- distributed throughout the course


Unless requirements state otherwise, the length is 75-100 words

Assignments & posts mostly demonstrate 

critical thinking in applying communication theory in a substantive manner





Partially uses ethical, credible, & appropriate    supporting material (Examples, questions,  visual aids, new media, etc.) for the message receivers




Responses are adequate, with sound oral tone, appropriate delivery, or writing mechanics (correct grammar, sentence/ paragraph structure, logical organization of message beginning, central idea, transitions, and end)


Replies/interactions are mostly timely presented or submitted with adequate frequency distributed throughout the course


Unless requirements state otherwise, the length is 50-74 words

Assignments & posts  demonstrate little critical thinking, substance, and forethought toward applying communication theory



Uses irrelevant,  inappropriate, or no ethical, & credible supporting material (Examples, questions,  visual aids, new media, etc.) for the message receivers



Responses are inadequate  in oral tone, or show unconvincing delivery or weak writing mechanics (grammar, sentence/ paragraph structure, logical organization of message beginning, central idea, transitions, and end)



Replies/interactions are presented late or not submitted with regularity-- distributed throughout the course


Unless requirements state otherwise, the length is only 25-49 words (0-24 pts. = Unsatisfactory contribution)


Team Presentation Rubric is in the Team Presentation Assignment


Due dates for all Discussions & Assignments are noted in the Course Schedule <> <> 



Grade Enhancement

                Your grade can be enhanced by effectively completing all assignments, discussions, and tests on time.  Correct spelling, grammar, and pronunciation will be noted in all oral and computer-generated assignments.  It is the student’s responsibility to safely keep any returned, graded assignments for future reference.   Frequent Online interpersonal  interactions are necessary for the Discussion activity grades.    


Class Policies Regarding Graded Work

The following policies are in effect for all individual deliverables throughout the semester, unless noted otherwise.  


Late Work

Late work will not be accepted. Due dates will be on or before 10pm on Wednesdays for written Discussions, Team Presentations with prior PowerPoint Outlines distributed, and Assignments; and on or before 10pm Sundays for Major Tests.  Major Tests are not repeatable.


Regular online presence  is expected.  Emergency changes may occur.  Students may withdraw automatically from the course by the deadline withdrawal date—usually during the first nine weeks (See the Course Schedule).  There are no withdrawals after the automatic withdrawal date.  Incompletes are almost never given. 


<> <> Meetings <> <>

With the exception of a very highly recommended Orientation face-to-face gathering, this class meets 100% online and all work will be given and graded online. After the single Orientation meeting, we will NOT meet again in person as a course group. (Students who live more than 60 miles from campus should contact the instructor about the Orientation at 219-980-6880 or 219-980-6781). The 90 minute Orientation meeting will be held in Hawthorn Hall, Rm. 454, Fri., Aug. 31, 2012 either at 12 noon or at 6:30pm (You are only to attend this 1 face-to-face meeting during the entire course).  Much of the course is asynchronous (completed online on your own time).  However, some assignments (such as Team Assignments) will need to be synchronous—group members and their audience members present online at the same time.  



<> <> Original Work <> <>  

You are expected to complete all of your own writing assignments, take your own exams and quizzes without assistance, and post original discussions and responses onto Oncourse

Plagiarism is a serious issue. Plagiarism is Academic Misconduct and is not Tolerated at Indiana University Northwest (See the Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct.

 Plagiarism is defined as presenting someone else’s work, including the work of other students, as one’s own. Any ideas or materials taken from another source for either written or oral use must be fully acknowledged, unless the information is common knowledge. What is considered “common knowledge” may differ from course to course.

    1. A student must not adopt or reproduce ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another person without acknowledgment.
    2. A student must give credit to the originality of others and acknowledge indebtedness whenever:
      1. directly quoting another person’s actual words, whether oral or written;
      2. using another person’s ideas, opinions, or theories;
      3. paraphrasing the words, ideas, opinions, or theories of others, whether oral or written;
      4. borrowing facts, statistics, or illustrative material; or
      5. offering materials assembled or collected by others in the form of projects or collections without acknowledgment.

Turnitin is a program that checks for plagiarism.  Throughout the course, you or the instructor may occasionally submit assignments through Turnitin. Learners often appreciate knowing that all students are fairly being held to the same standards.  Thus, Turnitin it is employed as an educational tool.


NOTE: Completed grades will appear in the  online class Grade Book. Students are responsible for contacting the instructor if they do not receive any grade by 10 days after the assignment submission date.



Your Course Progress Feedback

The university uses a FLAG Early Alert System to provide real-time feedback on your course performance.  Periodically, the instructor must enter data on factors such as your class attendance, participation, and success with coursework.  This information should indicate how you might improve your performance.  You should be able to access the information in the student center:  Onestart > Student Services page > Student Center > My Academics and Grades > My Grades.  


Course Requirements
Success in this course requires significant effort as well as effective time management skills to produce original, quality materials.  Online courses are not the best choice for everyone.  The course is also offered in traditional settings--(See the campus Schedule of Classes).  The course is writing and reading intensive and students will be required to make a presentation in a format that can be viewed with other students in the course.

You must be able to:

  • Use a reliable Internet connection and  Oncourse
  • Use current Word Processing Programs
  • Submit assignments and written discussions through Oncourse, per instructions, by the assigned dates and times
  • Use a web camera, email, discussion boards, and chat/forum.  Combination ear phones with a microphone will help filter noise from computer microphones
  • Be willing to learn & use “Second Life” (virtual computer world)
  • Be able to complete and submit timed tests 
  • Be able to deliver original, quality work independently per the due dates
  • For Oncourse assistance, contact the IU Help desk by calling 219-980-HELP 

Instructor’s Teaching Philosophy
     To provide thoughtful and effective pedagogical experiences and resources that empower students to be excellent, ethical, critical thinkers who adapt effectively in managing their internal, interpersonal, mediated, and public communication messages and relationships for personal and professional advancement, positive community engagement, and lifelong learning in a multicultural, globally connected, and environmentally-conscious world.


3 Major Tests online (Individual Tests: Twenty per cent ea. x 3 equals 60% of course grade)
While there are several other written assignments, the 3 tests  are in combined Multiple Choice, Matching, and Fill-in-the-Blank formats.  They cover all readings and class materials (including the major PowerPoint lecture notes).  BONUS POINTS – Test Reviews include some significant hints to upcoming test questions, and can be considered Bonus Points.  These will be timed computer exams.  Major Tests are to be completed on or before 10pm on Sunday.  No make-ups are allowed for Major Tests. (200 pts x 3 tests equals/worth 600 points)

(10% of course grade)

     This includes submitting Assignment work to the instructor.  Includes Pre/Post Quizzes, one-time highly recommended 90 min. face-to-face Orientation on Fri., 8/31/2012 in Hawthorn Hall, room 454 at either 12 noon or at 6:30pm., and appropriate Photo posting (if not already present)—Photos taken at Savannah Gym Ticket Booth or in Oncourse, click “My Work Space,” “Profile” for photo posting.

     Assignments also include:  Communication Model identity & analysis; Cyber-Bullying Case Study; Creating a Human caricature & interacting and processing feedback about “Second Life” experience; and careful Team Presentation Planning.  Most of your submitted ASSIGNMENTS are to be posted to the Instructor in Oncourse “ASSIGNMENTS.”  Assignments are to be completed on or before 10pm on Wednesday.  Late work not accepted. (Worth 20 points each x 5 submissions equals 100 points.)

Discussions (10% of course grade)

This includes posting and answering questions for both the instructor and selected students. Includes: Bio & response to Bios of others; Response to Cultural Case Study analysis of others; Being Present & Evaluating Group Presentations of other Teams; Conflict Case Studies; & Reaction to Conflict Case Analyses of another. Most of your submitted DISCUSSIONS are to be posted for all (students and instructor) in Oncourse “FORUMS.”  Discussions are to be completed on or before 10pm on Wednesday.  Late work not accepted.  (Worth 20 points each x 5 posts equals 100 points).

Major Team Presentation Assignment (20% of course grade) 

Use Second Life virtual world.

 (A single Team Outline using PowerPoint, in “notes” format,
required, & to be submitted to all affiliated with the class well in
advance of the group presentation). The team can work on
early versions of the Team Outline together in Google Docs.

See the attached Course Schedule for Details & Due Dates.  You will

receive an individual grade for the group project.  Thus all 6-7 group

members of a team should contribute equally while presenting. There

are four Teams.  The presentation is approximately 30-40 minutes.

(Worth 200 points)

Topic Selections for the Team Presentation

  1. Communication with Infants and/or Senior Citizens at Work or Play
  2. Interpersonal Communication Challenges: Depression/Grief/Trauma, etc.    
  3. Communication Engagement/Disengagement With Relatives at a Distance: Those Relocated, on Military Assignment, Incarcerated, Divorced, etc.
  4. Interpersonal Skills in Careers, Service Learning, &/or Community Engagement
  5. Health Care, Diet, Happiness & Interpersonal Interactions
  6. Case Studies of Hollywood, Political/Sports Celebrities: an Interpersonal Communication Perspective
  7. Dating Behavior & Interpersonal Attraction: Traditional vs. Social Media/Skype, etc., at Work or Play
  8. Family/Extended Family Technology, and Interpersonal Communication
  9. 9.           Other (Subject to Instructor Approval): __________________________.           

GENERAL IU Academic Policies 

This course is offered and aligned with IU academic policies in the following areas.  Please refer to these general policies through searching the university’s website at  if you have questions or concerns.

  • Grading Guidelines
  • Writing Standards
  • Academic Integrity and Plagiarism
  • Course Evaluations
  • Students with Disabilities


 Additional Information


The home page of Oncourse has links, video tutorials and several tips and updates to help you navigate the Oncourse website. IU has prepared a reference page containing links to information about a variety of resources to help you function successfully in your online Oncourse class.  Other helpful links are:

Critiques of the students and instructor should be constructive, sensitive, and objective.  Appropriate communication is encouraged.  Avoid “Flaming” negative emails and messaging.  Always identify yourself when communicating.  Think carefully before posting, as words can be interpreted differently—especially without the benefit of nonverbals.  Find more information at:

 Right to Accommodation for Individuals with Disabilities

Indiana University is committed to creating a learning environment and academic community that promotes educational opportunities for all individuals, including those with disabilities. Course directors are asked to make reasonable accommodations, upon request by the student or the university, for such disabilities. It is the responsibility of students with documented physical or learning disabilities seeking accommodation to notify their course directors and the relevant campus office that deals with such cases in a timely manner concerning the need for such accommodation. Indiana University will make reasonable accommodations for access to programs, services, and facilities as outlined by applicable state and federal laws.

Campus support office:
Davetta Haywood, Disabilities Coordinator, Hawthorn 234;  219-980-6942
Student Support Services