VU-Speech 148
 Interpersonal Communication

Welcome  to
Speech 148
Interpersonal Communication

Vincennes University
NBK Bremerton

Virtual Study
Office Hours by appointment via BoldChat
Meet me in the virtual study to discuss questions related to the course material or to talk about any other concerns.
Becky Cooper     
Mailbox: VU Office, Bldg. 853
To be eligible for Speech 148, you must have completed ENGL 009 and READ 009 with a grade of C or better or have achieved the appropriate placement test scores.

Required Texts and Materials
Inter-Act-Using Interpersonal Communication Skills, 7th ed.
Course Handouts
8-1/2 X 11" binder with dividers for assignment portfolio

Textbook Support Site   

Students are required to have all texts by the second class meeting. Textbooks are checked out from the Business Office at PSNS and are loaned free of charge to students. They must be returned directly to the Business Office at PSNS.

Course Description
Vincennes University Catalog: Speech 148 is “a course providing theory, actual practice, and criticism for examining and changing human interactions in work, family, and social contexts.  The course will focus on perception, message encoding and decoding, feedback, listening skills, causes for communication breakdowns, and other elements affecting interpersonal communication.”

In this class students will meet course outcomes by reading and discussing the assigned text; analyzing various interpersonal communication episodes, both as a participant and an observer; analyzing video segments that demonstrate specific interpersonal communication skills or problems; and writing communication goal statements, with ongoing assessment of progress in achieving communication goals.

 Major Course Outcomes
By the end of this course, you will have demonstrated your ability to do the following:

Set goals for improving your own interpersonal communication skills
Identify cultural and gender considerations relevant to particular communication situations
Identify language that is appropriate and inappropriate in particular communication situations
Demonstrate the characteristics of effective conversation
Demonstrate effective listening skills
Demonstrate effective interpersonal communication in group role functions
Analyze your own leadership style
Identify communication problems and their costs in specified scenarios and suggest solutions
Participate responsibly and effectively in class activities and group assignments as a valued member of the class learning community

During the intensive semester you will write one formal paper (3 to 5 typewritten pages) on an assigned interpersonal communication topic, in addition to a variety of informal in-class and homework papers. Final drafts of homework papers should be typewritten or word processed (double spaced), using the MLA format.

You will have a multiple choice/short answer midterm during the second class of Week 5, covering Chapters 1-6 and 12-13.

The final will also be multiple choice/short answer and will cover the entire text.

Content/Vocabulary Quizzes
You will have several content/vocabulary quizzes, as needed.

Regular Assignments
Journal- You will keep a communication journal in which you describe and analyze at least one interpersonal communication situation per week, for five weeks.  You may choose a conversation in which you participated or one that you observed.  Regarding a negative situation, you will identify the communication problems in the conversation, explain their cost, and suggest how they might be avoided.  If the communication episode is positive, you will identify the communication skills employed by each party and explain how they contributed to the success of the conversation. Your entries must be typewritten in a plain font with 1" margins. Entries may be shared and discussed before being collected.

Reading -Each week you will read assigned chapters in Inter-Act (see assignment calendar distributed at first class meeting).

You are required to maintain a portfolio of ALL Speech 148 work in a binder.  Please organize your work according to type of assignment and include a table of contents. They will receive a grade during the final week of class.

Timed Freewriting  
Class sessions will begin with a short timed freewriting assignment. I will collect them immediately and assign credit. Latecomers will not receive credit. These cannot be made up.

I will be available via e-mail to provide individual help, as needed.  If you would like extra help with any of the assignments or would just like to talk, please feel free to e-mail me or request an appointment.

Formal Paper
Journal & Informal Homework Papers
Class Assignments & Group Presentations
Midterm & Final
Good Citizenship & Active Participation
•  Class assignments may be made up if your absence is excused.
•  Late assignments will be accepted only in exceptional circumstances (upon my approval of  your typewritten letter of explanation) and may be subject to penalty.
•  Deliberate plagiarism will result in an "F" in the course and possible dismissal from Vincennes University.

Good Citizenship in Our Classroom Learning Community
Let's make this a productive and enjoyable quarter for all by offering constructive praise and respectful criticism when appropriate and by recognizing the right of others to express opinions that differ from our own.

Please turn off cell phones and pagers while in class, or use the vibrate option.

 IPC Course Calendar

Week of
Midterm Review
Midterm Exam                                  
 Formal Paper due
Final Exam

 Communication Journal Guidelines

Use the following questions to help compose your weekly journal entry, but please write the entry in full paragraphs.

1. Did the conversation have a positive or a negative outcome?

2. Who was involved in the conversation?

3. What was the relationship between the participants?

4. What were the roles associated with the participants (boss and employee, officer and enlisted, co-workers, friends, family members, spouses or partners)?   

5. Did one or more of the participants hold more power than the others?

6. Where did the conversation take place?  Did the physical context (or any of the other contexts discussed in the book) play a significant role in the outcome of the conversation?

7. What was the conversation about?

8. If the conversation was positive, what skills (see Appendix A in Inter-Act) were employed and how did they contribute to the success of the conversation?  In your discussion, be sure to refer to the problems listed in Appendix A.

9. If the conversation was negative, what problems arose and at what cost (see Appendix B in Inter-Act)?  How could the problem(s) have been avoided or solved?  In your discussion, be sure to refer to the problems listed in Appendix B.

10. What did you learn from reflecting on this conversation that you can use to improve your communication skills?

 Formal Paper

Here is the paper assignment, along with some very broad topic ideas.  You will need to narrow the topic you choose to suit your interest. After you've done so, let me know the thesis you would like to support in your paper before proceeding.

1.     Watch a movie from the following list; then, identify and relate the communication problems experienced by one or more of the characters to your own experience and compare the way those problems were resolved in the movie and in your own life.  What accounts for the differences in the way they were resolved?


2.     Watch a movie from the following list and analyze it in terms of one of the topics listed below.

Il Postino
Brothers McMullen
Smoke Signals
Gregorio Cortez
Mrs. Doubtfire
Suggest a movie (get my approval).

         Suggestions for Topics

the role of perception of self in interpersonal communication
the role of culture in interpersonal communication
the role of gender in interpersonal communication
non-verbal communication
communicative competence

Use the MLA style of documentation for this 3-5 page paper.
The paper will be due on                .

 Course Portfolio Checklist

Please organize your binder in four sections according to the following list.  At the front of your binder, include your Course Syllabus, Course Calendar, and Journal Guide.

I.     Conversation Journals: Place a check next to those for which you received credit.

     Conversation Journal 1

     Conversation Journal 2

     Conversation Journal 3

     Conversation Journal 4

     Conversation Journal 5

II.     Exams: (Enter the score.)


     Second Midterm



III.     Study Quizzes: Place a check next to those completed.


IV.     Class Activity Section: List the class activity handouts that you completed, and include them in your portfolio.

 University and Site Policies

Class Closures: If you wish to verify any possible class closures, please telephone the instructor, not the business offices.

Incomplete Grade: A grade of Incomplete will only be recorded in cases of emergency (with written documentation) when the student has completed all but some small item of the course.  The instructor must be notified immediately, and the course must be completed within three weeks after the end of the semester. An official Incomplete Contract must be filled out by the Instructor and signed by the instructor, site director, and the student and submitted with the instructor's Final Grade Sheet.  No “I” grades can be used without this documentation.

Grade Scale & Grade Allotment:
4.0 = A
(95 +)
3.0 = B
2.0 = C
3.7 = A-
2.7 = B-
1.0 = D
3.3 = B+
2.3 = C+
0.0 = F
(below 57)
Text Loan and Fines:  When you use the Loan System, you will sign out your books from the Central Office.  There will be one week after the semester ends to turn in your textbooks.  The only place texts can be returned is to the Business Office at PSNS.  Your instructor cannot accept textbooks.  Thereafter, the student's account will be charged for the full replacement price of the text.  

Student Conduct/Cheating/Plagiarism: All instances of deliberate cheating, including plagiarism, result in immediate failure of the course and referral to the site director for disciplinary action.

If a student discontinues attendance but does not complete an official Drop Form by the drop date, all tuition and fees become the responsibility of that student.  Instructors cannot “drop” students from classes.  Use the current VU Dateline for important dates related to your schedule.
TA Vouchers:  Tuition Vouchers must be submitted no later than the ADD Date.  Students will not be able to check out textbooks unless Tuition Vouchers are submitted.  If vouchers have not been submitted by the ADD Date, payment for full tuition will immediately become the responsibility of the student.  If payment is not received by the DROP Date, the student will no longer be able to attend class.

Refunds:  Assuming a zero beginning balance, all student payments made for tuition during the registration period for a particular semester, will be refunded 100% through the posted Drop Date for that semester.  No refunds will be made after the Drop Date unless a student has completed an official Drop Form.

 Student Questionnaire

Name                                                             Phone                                         E-mail address    

1. What are your goals?




2. What languages do you speak?

3. What is your first language?

4. What do you like to read?

5. What do you expect to accomplish during this course?

6. What is your greatest concern regarding your own interpersonal communication skills?

7. What are you going to do to ensure your success in this course?

8. What word best describes how you feel about this class right now?

9. Tell me anything else that you would like me to know.

10. What would you like to know about me?