COMM 3560
INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION
3 Credit Hours

Course Information

Course Description:

The dynamics of the communication process as it functions in intercultural contexts; training for successful cross-cultural communication interactions.

Course Objectives:

There is a common misconception that if you learn the language of another culture you will be able to interact easily and successfully with a person from that culture. This view overlooks the myriad of problems that can occur due to differences in nonverbal communication, values, perceptions, social norms, etc. Therefore, the primary goal of this course is to sensitize you to important similarities and differences that affect the success of interpersonal interactions with people of diverse cultures. By the end of this course, each student should be able to accurately describe and evaluate the effectiveness of communication patterns in regards to various cultures. Ultimately, a raised awareness of conscious and unconscious decisions one makes about culture and communication will increase the effectiveness of the student's own communication behavior.

Prerequisites and Co-requisites:

There are no prerequisites or co-requisites for this course.

Course Topics:

  1. The challenge of intercultural communication
  2. Understanding culture
  3. The deep structure of our culture
  4. Language and culture
  5. Nonverbal communication
  6. The business setting
  7. The educational setting
  8. The health care setting
  9. Recognizing and dealing with difference
  10. Becoming a competent intercultural communicator

Specific Course Requirements:

You must be familiar with a word-processing software such as Microsoft Word in order to submit your papers.

Textbooks, Supplementary Materials, Hardware and Software Requirements

Required Textbooks:

Please visit the Virtual Bookstore to obtain textbook information for this course: http://rodp.bkstr.com

Supplementary Materials:

No supplemental materials are required for this course.

Hardware Requirements:

The minimum requirements can be found at http://www.rodp.org/students/hardware_software.htm.

Software Requirements:

The minimum requirements can be found at http://www.rodp.org/students/hardware_software.htm.

Instructor Information

Please see the separate page inside the course to find instructor contact information.

Assessment and Grading

Testing Procedures:

No tests are required for this course.

Grading Procedure:

Discussion: Your online discussion will be evaluated on the basis of the following Ideas and Interaction criteria:

 

Ideas:

A = At least three of the student's weekly discussion posts must: have ideas that are original, effective, thoughtful, related to chapter material; add new material (web pages, books, articles, etc.); tell of their experiences and those of others, use much vivid, concrete detail; respond effectively and diplomatically to classmates; excellent quantity (at least 3 well developed posts on 3 different days for each unit). Student must read all discussion posts (note that the WebCT Tracking function displays for your instructor the number of posts that you've read and haven't read).

B = At least three of the student's weekly discussion posts must: have ideas that are thoughtful, related to chapter material; state experiences and opinions using some vivid, concrete detail; respond to classmates; good quantity (at least 3 developed posts on 3 different days for each unit). Student has read most discussion posts.

C = The student had three or fewer discussion posts; ideas were average; many messages were brief; stated experiences and opinions with little vivid, concrete detail; respond to some classmates; fair quantity; read some discussion posts.

D = The student had two or fewer posts; ideas were poor, mostly stated opinions; most posts were brief; poor quantity; read few discussion posts.

F = Did not participate, or little participation; posts had little substance; content was not separated into threads; read very few or no discussion posts.

 

Interaction:

A = Quality interaction with others (at least 3 posts that respond to/engage another student's post for the unit).

B = Quality interaction with others (at least 2 posts that respond to/engage another student's post for the unit).

C = Average interaction with others (only 1 posts that responds to/engages another student's post for the unit).

D = Poor, barely developed interaction for the unit.

F = No interaction or severely underdeveloped interaction.

 

Dropbox essays: Your dropbox essays will be evaluated on the basis of the following criteria:

A = The student's essay shows all of the following: thoughtful, insightful, excellent discussion and application of chapter theory and concepts; vivid, concrete examples used to support ideas; well organized; appropriate use of grammar and spelling. "A" papers are above and beyond what is expected, and are always of very high quality.

B = The student's essay shows all of the following: thoughtful, good discussion and application of chapter theory and concepts; examples used to support ideas have some vivid, concrete detail; well organized; appropriate use of grammar and spelling. "B" papers are good, but lack the excellence need for an "A" grade.

C = The student's essay shows all of the following: some application of chapter theory and concepts; dearth of examples with vivid, concrete detail to support ideas; fair organization; some grammar and spelling errors; some directions ignored; "C" papers are usually shorter than required and lack evidence of the time and thought that goes into an "A" paper.

D = The student's essay shows little application of chapter theory and concepts; few if any examples with vivid, concrete detail to support ideas; several grammar and spelling errors; did not follow directions. If you earn a "D" on a paper, it is your responsibility to contact your instructor to discuss ways you can improve your performance.

F = The student did not turn in paper; did not complete all parts of the assignment; or turned in disorganized, error-riddled paper.

Grading Scale:

A = 90-100

B = 80-89

C = 70-79

D = 60-69

F = 0-59

Assignments and Participation

Discussion: You will read each chapter in the textbook and, several times a week, post your answers to discussion questions for that chapter. You will also respond to/engage other students' discussion postings. You must post at least 3 well-developed discussion posts for each chapter, *and*you must respond to/engage 3 posts from other students for each chapter. This is a minimum requirement to earn an A on a discussion unit. Post your answers and responses in threads. You must read all discussion posts (note that the WebCT Tracking function displays for your instructor the number of posts that you've read and haven't read). There are 10 discussion units (weeks 2-4, 6-7, 9-12, & 14, plus a non-graded introductory unit for week 1). Each unit is worth 7% of your course grade (70% of total grade).

 

Dropbox essays: You will write 3 essays (4 page minimum, double spaced, 12 point font) and submit them through the assignment dropbox. You will also post a page to 1 page summary of your essay on the appropriate discussion board. You will read each of the summaries (note that the WebCT Tracking function displays for your instructor the number of posts that you've read and haven't read). You will submit essays during the fifth, eighth, and thirteenth weeks of the course. Each essay is worth 10% of your grade (30% of total grade).

Class Participation:

You must actively participate in class discussion, and your participation must be timely. If you consistently wait until the last few hours of a discussion, the quality of your participation may suffer, as will your grade. Don't hesitate to ask questions and mention current events as part of your discussion, but please keep all discussion comments relevant to course material

Punctuality:

Keep up with deadlines by reading the calendar and the course schedule. You have a window of time in which to participate in discussion and in which to submit your papers. Once discussion time ends, you will not receive credit for further discussion on that unit's topics. After the deadline for an essay is past, you will receive a zero for that assignment. Technical problems aren't an excuse for late papers.

Course Ground Rules

In this course, participation is required. We cannot be a real class unless you participate. Learn how to navigate in WebCT, and let me know immediately if you experience problems. Keep up with any course announcements. Use the WebCT email located within the course, as opposed to a personal email address. Take care of technical problems immediately. Observe course netiquette at all times. 

Guidelines for Communications

Email:

  • Always include a subject line.
  • Remember without facial expressions some comments may be taken the wrong way. Be careful in wording your emails. Use of emoticons might be helpful in some cases.
  • Use standard fonts.
  • Do not send large attachments without permission.
  • Special formatting such as centering, audio messages, tables, html, etc. should be avoided unless necessary to complete an assignment or other communication.
  • Respect the privacy of other class members

Discussion Groups:

  • Review the discussion threads thoroughly before entering the discussion. Be a lurker then a discussant.
  • Try to maintain threads by using the "Reply" button rather starting a new topic.
  • Do not make insulting or inflammatory statements to other members of the discussion group. Be respectful of other's ideas.
  • Be patient and read the comments of other group members thoroughly before entering your remarks.
  • Be cooperative with group leaders in completing assigned tasks.
  • Be positive and constructive in group discussions.
  • Respond in a thoughtful and timely manner.

Web Resources:

Library

The Tennessee Virtual Library is available to all students enrolled in the Regents Degree Program. Links to library materials (such as electronic journals, databases, interlibrary loans, digital reserves, dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, and librarian support) and Internet resources needed by learners to complete online assignments and as background reading must be included in all courses.

Students With Disabilities

Qualified students with disabilities will be provided reasonable and necessary academic accommodations if determined eligible by the appropriate disability services staff at their home institution. Prior to granting disability accommodations in this course, the instructor must receive written verification of a student's eligibility for specific accommodations from the disability services staff at the home institution. It is the student's responsibility to initiate contact with their home institution's disability services staff and to follow the established procedures for having the accommodation notice sent to the instructor.

Syllabus Changes

The instructor reserves the left to make changes as necessary to this syllabus. If changes are necessitated during the term of the course, the instructor will immediately notify students of such changes both by individual email communication and posting both notification and nature of change(s) on the course bulletin board.

Technical Support

Telephone Support:

If you are having problems logging into your course,
timing out of your course, using your course web site tools, or other technical problems, please contact the AskRODP Help Desk by calling

1-866-550-7637 (toll free)

or go to the AskRODP website at:

http://help.rodp.org