Syllabus

COMM 1310: Fundamentals of Human Communication

Section L52- MTWHF @ 10-11:40 in Cent. 103

Instructor: Ms. LesLeigh Conway
Email: lrc65@txstate.edu
Office Location: Centennial 311
Office Hours: MWF 8-10:00 AM or by appt.

Course Textbook and Guidebook (Required)

  • Beebe, S. A., Beebe, S. J., & Ivy, D. K. (2013). Communication: Principles for a Lifetime (5th ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon. (Available at Bookstore – A La Carte text with binder and Online Access Code for Student Speeches)
  • Houser, M. L. (2013). Fundamentals of Human Communication: COMM 1310 Guidebook 2014. (Available at University Bookstore ONLY)

Lab Objectives

  1. Gain value and appreciation for human communication
  2. Reinforce communication knowledge and practice skills through activities
  3. Discuss and clarify lecture concepts through discussion
  4. Apply knowledge and relate communication principles to your life

Class Participation

I want this class to be a fun and an enjoyable experience for us all. I will do my very best to have exciting and engaging activities for us to do, however no activity is fun if only a few students participate. I promise to foster a positive communication environment where all of your ideas, comments, and thoughts will be respected. I will NOT tolerate disrespect of any student or their ideas. Communication is central in building strong communities and confident people; therefore, I encourage positive, respectful communication. Please embrace this time to share and ask questions about everyday life issues dealing with communication. After all, that is what this class is all about!

Attendance

You are allowed to miss two (2) OR three (3) lecture/lab classes without penalty (the number of days that you can miss is dependent upon if you are scheduled for MWF or Tues./Thurs), regardless of reason. Think of these days as sick days at work. For any subsequent absence, 10 points will automatically be deducted from your final point total.

We do NOT distinguish between “excused” and “unexcused” absences. I recommend saving the “free” absences for emergencies. While I empathize with life-altering events, it is impossible to make exceptions with so many students.

If you are attending a Texas State sanctioned event (athletics, conferences, etc.), it is your responsibility to bring me a list of the dates you will be out of class at the beginning of the semester. You will need to notify me via email or in person two to three days prior to the date you will be absent so I have time to make proper documentation of it.

During lab, I request that you refrain from the following: texting, talking excessively with your neighbor, arriving late, leaving early, and sleeping. Punctuality is defined as being NO MORE than ten minutes late to class and staying until class is officially dismissed. If extenuating circumstances require you to arrive late or leave early, please let me know in advance.

During each lab, I will call roll. This is how I track attendance. It is YOUR responsibility to be in your seat at the time of roll call. If you arrive late, it is your responsibility to come see me after class to let me know that you are present for that day. It is also your responsibility to check updated attendance records on TRACS. Notify me immediately if you believe I have made an error in recording your attendance.

Good news! If you maintain perfect attendance, you will be awarded 10 bonus points to be added on to your final point total for this class. If you are to miss class because of a university sponsored event, points will not be deducted from your grade, but you will no longer receive the 10 “bonus” points for being present for EVERY class.

Grading Procedures

Grades are determined based on the following scale. There will be no exceptions to the grading policy. Grades are determined based on your accumulated total rather than a percentage, as noted below.

A note about grades: YOU decide your grade. I am just the record keeper who records the grade you earn. Remember, you CAN fail because of attendance. Please keep this in mind and make responsible choices that will help you to earn the goals you have set for yourself.

As instructor, it is my responsibility to grade assignments and post them to TRACS in a timely manner. As a student, it is your responsibility to review your grades and bring to my attention any discrepancies or disagreements that you may have.

Important note: I DO NOT accept late or incomplete work. This means that assignments are due DURING CLASS TIME!!! I will not accept assignments after class has been dismissed! It is up to you to manage your time properly and ensure you have correctly completed all assignments. Make-up exams will only be given in extreme circumstances. I must be notified of the reason you miss an exam in a timely manner. Do not wait to discuss this with me.

Course Assignments

I would use this sheet to keep up with your grades for the course!

Course Requirements

Points

Your Score

Attendance

+/- ____ total points

Extra Credit

+/- ____ total points

General Assignments

Pre-Post Tests

10

Diversity Board Cultural Assignment

30

Three Multiple Choice Exams

Exam #1

100

Exam #2

100

Exam #3

100

Oral Presentations

Informative Presentation

Informative Initial Outline, Turnitin,& Audience Adaptation Plan

Informative Revised Outline

100

20

10

Persuasive Presentation

Persuasive Initial Outline, Turnitin, & Audience Adaptation Plan

Persuasive Revised Outline

100

20

10

Total Points

560

600-540 = A 539-480 = B 479-420 = C 419-360 = D 359-0 = F

Extra Credit

In addition to the 10 points you may earn for perfect attendance, there will be an opportunity to earn an additional 5 bonus points. Opportunities to earn the 5 points are listed here. It is your responsibility to pay attention to the extra credit opportunities and the due dates for every extra credit opportunity. Again, these extra credit opportunities are due DURING CLASS! I will not accept extra credit opportunities after class has been dismissed!

  1.  Facebook Extra Credit– See handout! Worth up to 5 points of extra credit!
    2. Diversity Board Extra Credit– Worth 3 points of extra credit- See guidebook for directions!
    3. Exam 1 Review– Compete exam 1 review pages of the guidebook. Be mindful that you do have to complete ALL of the learning objectives as well as the multiple choice questions, if you do not complete the learning objectives AND the multiple choice questions, the assignment will not be accepted! – Worth 1 point of extra credit.
    4. Exam 2 Review– Complete exam 2 review of the guidebook. Be mindful that you do have to complete ALL of the learning objectives as well as the multiple choice questions, if you do not complete the learning objectives AND the multiple choice questions, the assignment will not be accepted! – Worth 1 point of extra credit.
    5. Midterm Reflection– Complete a reflection on likes/dislikes about the lab portion of the class. Your reflection can include likes and dislikes about me, likes and dislikes about the in class activities, or likes and dislikes about any other component of the class. The reflection must be 3 pages double spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font, and 1” margins. Also, simply put a header on the paper for your name and date! If the paper is not by these specifications, the reflection will not be accepted! – Worth 3 points of extra credit.
    6. Informative Speech Extra Credit– You may go to the Comm Lab to practice your speech. Be mindful that you DO have to set up an appointment. When you receive your initial outline back from me with my corrections, you may set up an appointment at the Comm Lab to practice your speech. Please go to the Comm Lab prepared to do your speech and work with the lab assistant to make your speech better. Due- the day that you deliver your informative speech! Worth 1 point of extra credit.
    Here is the link to set up an appointment with the COMM Lab: Comm Lab
    7. Problem/Solution Speech Extra Credit– You may go to the Comm Lab to practice your speech. Be mindful that you DO have to set up an appointment. When you receive your initial outline back from me with my corrections, you may set up an appointment at the Comm Lab to practice your speech. Please go to the Comm Lab prepared to do your speech and work with the lab assistant to make your speech better. Due- the day that you deliver your persuasive speech! Worth 1 point of extra credit.
    Here is the link to set up an appointment with the COMM Lab: Comm Lab
    8. Exam 3 Review- Compete exam 3 review pages of the guidebook. Be mindful that you do have to complete ALL of the learning objectives as well as the multiple choice questions, if you do not complete the learning objectives AND the multiple choice questions, the assignment will not be accepted! – Worth 1 point of extra credit.

Description of Assignments:

  • Pretest and Posttests:

You will are required to complete a pretest at the beginning of the semester. These are designed to examine how much you know about communication studies before we begin the class, with this being said, it is important that you complete these pretests as soon as possible.

You will be required to complete a posttest at the end of the semester. These posttests are designed to examine how much you know about communication studies towards the end of our class, with this being said, it is important that you complete these posttests in a timely manner.

With the completion of the pretest and posttest you will earn 10 points. You will not earn 5 points if you complete one or the other. You must complete both tests (pretest and posttest) in order to receive the ten points.

  • Diversity Board Assignment: 

This assignment is designed to learn more about diverse populations. For this assignment, index cards will be distributed with a number and a diversity role written on the card. I will then call out the number and you will raise your hand to let me know that you have that diversity role. You are not required to say your diversity role aloud. If you represent your diversity role, you MAY NOT research it for this assignment. You will be required to change it. If you feel uncomfortable about your assigned diversity role, you will have 24 hours to contact me to see if it will be acceptable to change your diversity role to another. If you wait until after the 24 hour mark to change your diversity role, you WILL NOT be allowed to change the diversity role.  After you have been assigned a diversity role, you will be expected to write a paper over this diversity role. You will be required to answer ALL of the questions about your diversity role on pg. ?? of the guidebook. I want you to organize your paper by writing a paragraph per question and write your questions in the order of the questions in the guidebook. You will be required to write this paper in 12 point font, Times New Roman, double spaced, 1” margins, and make sure that you have a cover page that looks like the examples in the guidebook. You will also be required to find research. You must include a references page and intext citation of these references. This will need to be in APA format. For further questions about APA format please refer to the Purdue Owl: Purdue Owl

* You will be required to turn in an ORIGINALITY REPORT with a percentage less than 20%! NO EXCEPTIONS!!!

You will be required to assume the role as your diversity role. Be mindful that we do not need to hear accents or be offensive when assuming the diversity role. This is simply a discussion of what you have found in your research. Please do not be offensive and remain respectful.

This assignment is worth 30 points. You will have until the first exam to discuss this grade with me. Also, please remember that you will be required to come to my office to discuss grades.

  • Exam 1:

This exam is a 50 question, multiple choice exam. You will need a number 2 pencil to complete the exam. A scantron will be provided for you to complete your exam. There is no writing on the actual exam. Grades will be returned to you as soon as possible. You will have until exam 2 to discuss your exam 1 grade or go over answers.

  • Exam 2:

This exam is a 50 question, multiple choice exam. You will need a number 2 pencil to complete the exam. A scantron will be provided for you to complete your exam. There is no writing on the actual exam. Grades will be returned to you as soon as possible. You will have until the first day of informative speech presentations to discuss your exam 2 grades or go over answers.

  • Informative Speech:

In this course, you will be expected to deliver an interesting and organized informative speech. For this assignment, you will begin by selecting a topic. There is a topic selection worksheet in the guidebook. You will turn your informative speech topic selection worksheet. I will offer you feedback within the day on if your topic was approved or not approved. If your topic is not approved, you will be required to monitor your email to work with me in order to find a suitable topic for you.

****YOU MAY NOT CHOOSE A TOPIC THAT IS LISTED AS AN EXAMPLE IN THE GUIDEBOOK!!!****

****YOU MAY NOT CHOOSE A TOPIC THAT WAS USED DURING THE DIVERSITY BOARD ASSGNMENT!!!!****

Banned topics include: Anything involving religion, politics, abortion, gay marriage, other controversial topics, Duck Dynasty, or the Houston Texans.

You may not proceed to working on an initial outline until you have approved a topic with me. After you have approved your topic with me, you will work on an initial outline. Again, this will need to be 12 point font, Times New Roman, and 1” margins. There are examples of these outlines in  the guidebook. Your initial outlines will need to look EXACTLY like these. Again, you will be expected to research this speech topic. You will be required to have 3 credible sources in your reference list. This will need to be in APA format. You will need to cite one source in each main point of the speech. Intext citation will need to be used as well and you will also need to cite these references aloud when delivering your speech. For further assistance with APA format please refer to the Purdue Owl: Purdue Owl

Everyone will turn in a completed initial outline with a turnitin originality report, audience adaptation plan, and the rubric for me to grade your initial outline. A Turnitin originality report will be required for both informative and problem-solution speeches. You will print out your originality report and submit it with your initial outline (no points will be given for the outline if you fail to turn in your originality report). Your initial outline must be complete (See Guidebook examples) or you will be asked to resubmit your outline and obtain a New Originality Report (again under 20%). You will NOT be allowed to speak (and you will receive a zero for the entire speech) if you have not submitted an originality report with an adequate similarity index. Similarity Index should be less than 20%; the content of your speech must consist of at least 80% of your original work. If you use information that came from a source, you must directly quote or paraphrase that information as well as cite the source in your speech, outlines and bibliography. If you do not cite sources of information, you are plagiarizing.

You will choose your speaking day. This means that you are responsible for choosing a day that works with your schedule. This means that once you choose a day to speak, you will not be allowed to switch to another day. If you miss your speech day, you miss that grade. NO EXCUSES! Below, I have provided a blank for you to write the date that you speak.

I deliver my informative speech on: _______________________________________________________

Your graded initial outline will be returned to you on the class period before you speak. You will have approximately 2 days to practice, correct what needs to be corrected on your initial outline, and go to the COMM Lab if you choose to do so. On the day of your speech, these are the contents that need to be in your folder when you speak: all of the graded contents from your initial outline, a final outline, an updated turnitin originality report (if you were required to resubmit your outline to turnitin a second time), and the presentation rubric. Grades for all of the presentations will not be distributed until ALL of the students have delivered their speech. You will have until the first day of problem/solution speeches to discuss your informative speech grades.

  • Problem/Solution Speech:

In this course, you will be expected to deliver an interesting and organized problem/solution speech. For this assignment, you will begin by selecting a topic. There is a topic selection worksheet in the guidebook. You may structure your speech as two problems/one solution or one problem/two solutions. You will turn your problem/solution speech topic selection worksheet on. I will offer you feedback within the day on if your topic was approved or not approved. If your topic is not approved, you will be required to monitor your email to work with me in order to find a suitable topic for you. You will need to think outside of the box for this speech, think of small problems that you can think of a creative solution for!

****YOU MAY NOT CHOOSE A TOPIC THAT IS LISTED AS AN EXAMPLE IN THE GUIDEBOOK!!!****

****YOU MAY NOT CHOOSE A TOPIC THAT WAS USED DURING THE DIVERSITY BOARD ASSGNMENT!!!!****

Banned topics include: ALL international issues, littering, or recycling.

You may not proceed to working on an initial outline until you have approved a topic with me. After you have approved your topic with me, you will work on an initial outline. Again, this will need to be 12 point font, Times New Roman, and 1” margins. There are examples of these outlines in the guidebook. Your initial outlines will need to look EXACTLY like these. Again, you will be expected to research this speech topic. You will be required to have 3 credible sources in your reference list. This will need to be in APA format. You will need to cite one source in each main point of the speech. Intext citation will need to be used as well and you will also need to cite these references aloud when delivering your speech. For further assistance with APA format please refer to the Purdue Owl: Purdue Owl

Everyone will turn in a completed initial outline with a turnitin originality report, audience adaptation plan, and the rubric for me to grade your initial outline.  A Turnitin originality report will be required for both informative and problem-solution speeches. You will print out your originality report and submit it with your initial outline (no points will be given for the outline if you fail to turn in your originality report). Your initial outline must be complete (See Guidebook examples) or you will be asked to resubmit your outline and obtain a New Originality Report (again under 20%). You will NOT be allowed to speak (and you will receive a zero for the entire speech) if you have not submitted an originality report with an adequate similarity index. Similarity Index should be less than 20%; the content of your speech must consist of at least 80% of your original work. If you use information that came from a source, you must directly quote or paraphrase that information as well as cite the source in your speech, outlines and bibliography. If you do not cite sources of information, you are plagiarizing.

You will choose your speaking day. This means that you are responsible for choosing a day that works with your schedule. This means that once you choose a day to speak, you will not be allowed to switch to another day. If you miss your speech day, you miss that grade. NO EXCUSES! Below, I have provided a blank for you to write the date that you speak.

I deliver my problem/solution speech on: ____________________________________________________

Your graded initial outline will be returned to you on the class period before you speak. You will have approximately 2 days to practice, correct what needs to be corrected on your initial outline, and go to the COMM Lab if you choose to do so. On the day of your speech, these are the contents that need to be in your folder when you speak: all of the graded contents from your initial outline, a final outline, an updated turnitin originality report (if you were required to resubmit your outline to turnitin a second time), and the presentation rubric. Grades for all of the presentations will not be distributed until ALL of the students have delivered their speech. You will have until Exam 3 to discuss your problem/solution speech grades.

  • Exam 3: 

This exam is a 50 question, multiple choice exam. You will need a number 2 pencil to complete the exam. A scantron will be provided for you to complete your exam. There is no writing on the actual exam. Grades will be returned to you as soon as possible.

***** I WILL NOT ANSWER QUESTIONS ABOUT ANY ASSIGNMENT 24 HOURS BEFORE IT IS DUE, SO PLEASE ALLOW YOURSELF PLENTY OF TIME TO ASK ME ANY QUESTIONS THAT YOU MAY HAVE!*****

Academic Honesty

All Texas State students are expected to be familiar with and adhere to the honor code. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to: cheating on the exams, turning in previously prepared and delivered speech outlines, and plagiarizing from sources in your speech outline or during your presentations.

Addressing Acts of Dishonesty:

Students accused of dishonest conduct may have their cases heard by the faculty member. The student may also appeal the faculty member’s decision to the Honor Code Council. Students and faculty will have the option of having an advocate present to insure their rights. Possible actions that may be taken range from exoneration to expulsion.

Address Acts of Dishonesty

Texas State Student Honor Code

As members of a community dedicated to learning, inquiry, and creation, the students, faculty, and administration of our University live by the principles in this Honor Code. These principles require all members of this community to be conscientious, respectful, and honest.

  • We are conscientious. We complete our work on time and make every effort to do it right. We come to class and meetings prepared and are willing to demonstrate it. We hold ourselves to doing what is required, embrace rigor, and shun mediocrity, special requests, and excuses.
  • We are respectful. We act civilly toward one another and we cooperate with each other. We will strive to create an environment in which people respect and listen to one another, speaking when appropriate, and permitting other people to participate and express their views.
  • We are honest. We do our own work and are honest with one another in all matters. We understand how various acts of dishonesty, like plagiarizing, falsifying data, and giving or receiving assistance to which one is not entitled, conflict as much with academic achievement as with the values of honesty and integrity.

The pledge for students

Students at our University recognize that, to insure honest conduct, more is needed than an expectation of academic honesty, and we therefore adopt the practice of affixing the following pledge of honesty to the work we submit for evaluation:

I pledge to uphold the principles of honesty and responsibility at our University.

TRACS and Texas State E-mail

You must have an active Texas State e-mail account for this course. You are required to use TRACS and your Texas State e-mail to receive announcements, check grades and attendance, and have access to other important information regarding the class. If you have a Texas State ID and you have registered for this course, you should be automatically added to our TRACS site. If you are unable to access our TRACS website, please see me.

Special Accommodations

If you need special accommodations for this course, please register with the Office of Disability Services (ODS) and notify me immediately.

Email Etiquette

You need to check your Texas State email frequently. I will send out emails with reminders, updates, instructions, etc. Not checking your email is not an excuse for being unprepared.

I encourage you to email me if you have any questions or concerns about your lecture or lab. However, please keep in mind that any and all emails should remain respectful, professional, and courteous. Emails containing hateful, disrespectful, or unintelligible writing will be disregarded.

I will only check emails at 9 AM and 5 PM. This means that if you email me after 5 PM I will assume that your email is meant for the following day, so please be mindful of this.

Lab Rules-to-Live-By:

  • Do not talk over other people. We all have important things to say! Listen respectfully and courteously, and others will do the same for you.
  • Thoughtful discussion is important for most classes, but it is absolutely vital for communication courses. Please contribute to the conversation—we’re curious and excited to hear from you!
  • Public speaking is a scary thing. Therefore, to create a feeling of security for all students, our lab will be a communication “safety zone.” Hateful or snide comments about anyone’s presentation or ideas are not welcome in this lab.
  • Turn off your cell phone, iPod, laptop, or any other electronic device you might have. Laptops or IPads are not allowed for note taking.
  • A note about cell phones: We are all addicted to our cell phones; I understand this. However, it is distracting to both your lecturer and me for you to be texting during the entire class. If your phone use becomes obvious and distracting, I will give you one warning to put your phone away; after that, I will ask you to leave class and you will be counted absent. NOTE: USE OF CELL PHONES WILL BE THE QUICKEST WAY TO PISS ME OFF!
  • Please do not leave the classroom once the class session begins. These interruptions are a distraction to the instructor as well as to other members of the class.
  • Bring your textbook and guidebook to EVERY lab. Not having your textbook or guidebook is NOT an excuse to not complete your work or participate in class.
  • Student speeches CANNOT be videotaped or recorded by other students.
  • A note about exams: Please email me in advance – at least the day before – if you have any questions regarding the study guide or any concepts related to the exam. I will not answer exam-related questions on exam day.
  • If you wish to speak with me about your grades, please come to my office hours in order to discuss the issue privately. Please do not try to discuss your grades with me before class or lab as there is not an opportunity for privacy.
  • Rude or disrespectful behavior will not be tolerated. Please be courteous and respectful to your fellow students as well as your lecturer and myself. If you display inappropriate behavior to any of your fellow students or me, I will ask you to leave class, in which case you will be counted as absent and will not be allowed back in class until you have made an appointment to speak with me in my office about the situation.
  • There will be opportunities for extra credit throughout the semester. Please take advantage of these opportunities as every point counts; it could mean the difference between a C and a D!
  • As aforementioned in this syllabus, I do not accept late work. However, if you have a legitimate, extreme emergency that prevents you from completing your work, please contact me immediately before class. If you can provide documentation of an extreme emergency, then I will work with you. However, if you do not contact me until much later or you cannot provide documentation of an extreme emergency, then you will not be able to make up the work, and you will receive zero points for the assignment in question. (Note: Being allowed to make up an assignment does not mean you will be counted as “present” in class; you will still have to take the absence.)

A Personal Note from LesLeigh

Dear students,

I am looking forward to having you all in lecture and lab! I promise to make this class as fun and engaging as possible. I do want you to come to me with any concerns or comments that you may have about the class. I personally enjoy the mentoring part of being a teacher, I love it when you guys come to me with questions about anything. I also love when students come to my office to hang out with me. Remember that office hours are your time! Use them how you wish! Also, I will give a lot of examples during class from my own experiences with communication. I encourage all of you to offer examples from your own life as well!

I am a firm believer that the more input that students provide during class the more exciting the labs and lectures will be so please do not be afraid to speak your mind, or offer your thoughts and opinions! I want to caution you that I feel like each and every student is responsible for his/her own grade in this class. You are not entitled to a grade, you earn your grade! Do not ever say that I GAVE YOU A GRADE!! You earned your grade.

LesLeigh Conway
Centennial Hall Rm. 311
lrc65@txstate.edu

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