Professor: Dr. Ecarma Office: MC108; Hrs:TBA
Phone: (864) 977-7139 E-mail:

Nature of the Course:

This course attempts to provide a limited and brief overview of the field of human communication. Introductory topics include discussion of current communication theories, which affect, in practice, real interaction between human beings. Real and symbolic communication, as well as interaction that manipulate rather than serve people will be examined. Theoretic assumptions, whether from scientific (objective) or interpretive and several other traditions in the field of communication theory will be addressed, including their practical and philosophical implications. Since context in communication is critical, therefore several communication contexts will be covered: interpersonal, group & public, computer mediated and mass media.

Purpose and General Objectives of the Course:

Obviously, human communication has continued over a long period of time. The classical view has often been contradicted by contemporary views, while current views often do not answer the “why” and other ultimate questions. Also, facing flawed human communication has been a particular challenge for communication scholars. Especially over the past 60 years, communication as a discipline has developed. New comers of communication would do well in learning the traditional theories as well as cultural and cutting edge theories. After considering such perspectives, thinking through the thicket of theories may bring healthier communication in individuals, families and community. So this course, in general, and this professor in particular, invite you to join this debate about the nature, functions and processes underlying communication, including its assumptions and purposes. After considering the theories and practical/cultural aspects of this field, what are your views and why do you hold them? Join the on-going discussion and continue to learn about yourself, others and communication. From a Christian Worldview perspective, let us review, criticize or support the major communication approaches/theories.

Specific Objectives:

1. To encourage students to build upon open and honest family communication (concepts such as self-respect, respect for others in authority, and self-disclosure will be discussed);
2. To better equip students to develop conflict resolution skills at home, work and with friends (concepts to be discussed include nonverbal and effective verbal communication);
3. To assist students in the development of a Christ-centered approach to open communication (concepts to be discussed include honesty, humility and servant leadership);
4. To educate students about conflict resolution methods (concepts to be discussed include listening, mediation, trust and clear communication);
5. To encourage students to appreciate the strengths and possible problem areas in group communication (concepts to be discussed include teamwork, sharing and synergy);
6. To develop skills in public relations and computer mediated communication;
7. From a Christian Worldview perspective, to develop analytical skills in relation to mass media;
8. To point students, for their consideration, the Christian ideals related to human communication (concepts to be discussed openly include the value of forgiveness, bearing each others’ burdens, truth and the golden rule).


2 exams (each exam is worth 150 points) = 300 pts A = 90%
1 paper* w/individual presentations @ 200 pts. = 200 pts B = 80%
1 group paper & presentation @ 200 pts. = 200 pts C = 70%
Communication Activity analysis = 100 pts D=60%
Outlines/Terms/Exercises (Total 16 x 6 pts each) = 96 pts F=59.9%
Total: 896 pts
Required Texts (3):
Verderber, K.S. & Verdeber, R.F. . Inter-Act: Interpersonal Communication Concepts, Skills, and Contexts. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Thompson Learning.
Hoeft, M. & Rubin, S.A. Inter-Act Student Workbook: Interpersonal Communication Concepts, Skills, and Contexts. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Thompson Learning.
Schultz, Q.J. (2000). Communicating for life: Christian stewardship in community and media. Grand Rapids, MI: BakerAcademic.

Expectations and Policies:

Class Format: During this class: lecture, group discussion/exercises, videos, written work, student presentations and exams will, in various degrees, be employed. Participation is vital in learning and is encouraged. To facilitate vigorous discussion, the chapter that will be discussed in class must be read by each student prior to the class. Small and large group discussions will be utilized at appropriate times. Personal and professional anecdotes as well as reliable research will be considered to explain and relate theories and concepts to students’ experiences. Some discussion of student presentations and written work, as well as special projects may be intermeshed with some of the chapter discussions.


The two (2) written papers (worth 100 pts. each) will be in conjunction with the two presentations (worth 100 pts. each). The two written papers consist of one individual paper and one group paper, and the two presentations will consist of one individual presentation and one group presentation. These papers and presentations will be detailed in class along with handouts.


Two exams are comprised of true/false and/or multiple choice questions, matching and/or fill in the blanks/short essay from assigned readings and class lectures. The exams will allow students to learn while being held accountable for readings and class lectures. These exams will primarily concentrate on the ideas discussed in class, so your attendance is critical to learning, as well in the exam.

Chapter discussions and individual written research papers, presentations and activities: The active chapter discussions and projects/activities/exercises/assignments will allow students to be held accountable for class readings as well as encourage them to relate readings to life experiences (personal, professional, societal).


You are expected to attend each class meeting on time and for the duration. Attendance will be taken every day and will be accounted for in your final grade. Unexcused absences will be counted and after four (4) absences, whether excused and/or unexcused, the student will receive an XF (an XF warning will be given when a student is absent four times.

Tardiness and Staying in class for the duration: Regarding tardiness, if a student comes after the class has started and/or disrupts the class, the professor will automatically consider this as partial absence. Regarding leaving a class early, if a student leaves early without permission and/or disturbs the professor or the class, the student will earn a partial absence from his or her final total for each infraction. Students are responsible for any change of schedule, including changes to assignment/exam date, whether present at the lectures or not. Most important ideas will be mentioned first in class, so timeliness is in order. So, if a student is late or leaves early and misses important schedule or other changes or announcements, he or she is still responsible and will have no justifiable excuse for failing to make note of the facts missed. Again, the ideas discussed in class will be the primary area for the assigned exams. Being present in a timely manner and for the duration will be critical in relation to your final grade! For extreme circumstances, the student must ask permission from the professor to arrive late or leave early.

Late Work: If a student is absent when assignments are to be submitted in person, the student will receive a zero (0), unless a documented, authorized reason for absence is brought in and accepted by professor, along with the assignment during the next class session. With written documentation and acceptance by professor, the student may receive full credit; without written documentation, the student who submits late work will receive a zero. Late work (with documentation) will be submitted no later than the next class meeting, except for lengthy emergencies, such as a long illness; both must have written documentation. Assignments must be submitted in person to receive full credit; if received through e-mail or other means without written documentation for absence, a zero or partial credit will be earned. Finally, the professor reserves the right to accept late work but a minimum of 10% of the grade will be deducted for each late day.

Missed exams: NO MAKE-UP EXAMS unless already excused and rescheduled; medical emergency with a doctor’s note or death of a family member are the only exceptions. To obtain a make-up speech or full credit for assignment, formal/proper documentation must be provided prior to receiving an excused absence. If a student has an authorized, written excuse, the student can present their speech the first day they return to class; it is always best to call & leave a message or e-mail the professor before presenting the written, authorized excuse, especially when a make-up presentation or exam is requested for.


Failure to follow instructions will result in grade penalties. Unacceptable behavior will result in a failing grade or lower of the course grade. Cell phones and pagers must be turned off during class. Students may not talk while the professor or other students are presenting material. Respect goes a long way!


Students with disabilities who need special accommodation should inform the professor at the beginning of the course to facilitate the needs of all parties involved.
Bad Weather: If a delayed class schedule is announced, class will meet and assignments will be due. If class does not meet due to severe weather, then the class assignments for that day will take place at the next class meeting.

Motto: “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” President Teddy Roosevelt
Verse: “I have taught you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in right paths.
When you walk, your steps will not be hindered, and when you run, you will not stumble.
Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go; keep her, for she is your life. Proverbs 4:11-13 (NKJV)

Values: The things that will destroy us are:
Politics without Principle
Pleasure without Conscience
Wealth without Work
Knowledge without Character
Business without Morality
Science without Humanity
And Worship without Sacrifice (Author Unknown)
Prayer & Hymn “Lord, let me never, never
Outlive (out-think) my love for thee” (from O Sacred Head hymn)

Tentative Class Schedule (the professor reserves the right to change the syllabus as well as the schedule)

Wk 1 Overview of Course; distribute syllabus; discuss textbooks; Introductory activity; 1st homework: Read Chap. 12 Comm. In Intimate Relationships and do chapter outline/terms
Wk 2 Discuss Chapter 12 Communicating in Intimate Relationships: Friends, Spouses and
Family; Due chapter 12 outline and terms
Discuss family interview and paper (this is for individual paper and presentation)
Discuss Chap. 12 Communicating in Intimate Relationships; exercise 12.4 due;
Review family interview; discuss presentation order and expectations
Wk 3 Family Interview; Research/Writing; work on exercise 12.3
Family Presentations/Papers due; exercise 12.3 due;
Wk 4 Human Communication from a Christian Perspective; videos
Discuss Communicating for Life Chapter 1: assignment (related chapter 1 w/video)
Wk 5 Paper #1 due; discussion
Communication Activity #1: People watching (2 page analysis)
Wk 6 People watching analysis due
Discuss Inter-Act Chapter 1 Interpersonal Communication, pages 18-22
Wk 7 Discuss Communicating for Life Chapter 1, pages 19-22 Cocreating Culture
Communicating for Life: Chapter. 5 The Effects of Sin on Communication;
movie; James 1:13-15
Wk 8 Communication Activity #2
Discuss Inter-Act Chap 11 Managing Conflict; outline/terms due; James 4:1-8 (New Testament)
Wk 9 Discuss Inter-Act Chapter 11 Managing Conflict; exercise 11.3 due
Discuss Inter-Act Chapter 11 Managing Conflict; exercise 11.4 due; discuss exam
Wk 10 Review for Test
Test #1
Wk 11 Discuss Inter-Act Chapter 7 Listening Effectively; James 3; outline/terms due; exercise 7.1
Discuss Inter-Act Chap 8 Responding w/Empathy & Understanding; outline/terms due; exercise 8.1 due
Wk 12 Communicating for Life, Chapter. 8 Blessing or Curse: Role of Media;
Communicating for Life Chapter 8 Blessing or Curse: The Role of Media
Wk 13 Discuss Inter-Act Chapter 14 Electronically Mediated Comm (outline/terms due)
Discussing Communicating for Life Chapter 9 Mass-media mythology;
Discuss Group Paper & Presentation
Wk 14 Discuss Chapter 9 Mass-media mythology; Discuss Group Paper & Presentation
Discuss Chapter 9 Mass-media mythology
Discuss Group Paper & Presentation
Wk 15 Discuss Chapter 10 Radical Discipleship: Responsible Communication;
Group Presentation Due; discuss exam; course evaluations
Review for Exam
Final Exam Week begins: Final Exam to be announced

Criteria for Individual Paper (Com 2310) 750-1000 word paper

General guidelines:
3-4 full pages, typed, double space 12 font size,
1″ margins, top/bottom; 1″ margins, left/right

Sections Pages (7) Point total (100)
Title Page 1 10 ___
50 Word Abstract 1 10 ___
Introductory page with explanation .5 10 ___
Body with 3 main points 2 20 ___
Extensive Conclusion w/summary .5 10 ___
Bibliography (3 sources) 1 10 ___
Grammar 10 ___
Spelling 10 ___
Punctuation 10 ___
Total 100 pts _____

Criteria for Presentations (100 pts for each presentation) Name: _______________________
10 pts each: Date of Presentation:____________
___ 1.) Complete and Attention Getting Introduction

___ 2.) Presenting not reading the material

___ 3.) Relevance of material to Audience

___ 4.) Coherence

___ 5.) Organization

___ 6.) Visual aid

___ 7.) Length (must be at least 5 minutes long)

___ 8.) Submission of Complete Paper to Professor Prior to Presentation

___ 9.) Complete and Attention Getting Conclusion

___ 10.) Handling of question/answer (Q/A) session
___ TOTAL ____ GRADE

For students who desire to take this course as part of the honors program, they must fulfill these additional

1) Write a paper (4-5 pages) describing how the Judeo-Christian and other established communication principles learned in this class may be integrated in conflict resolution strategies in the context of home, work and educational settings. From authoritative sources, you may also include views that may differ with the principles discussed in class. This project would be related to intrapersonal, interpersonal and group communication. Besides the class material, the student will also need two or more sources that would support and/or differ, fully or in part, with the material discussed in class.
The format would be as follows:

Main Points
Point #1: Summary of Judeo-Christian and other communication principles
Point #2: Discussion of integration of the above principles in conflict resolution strategies; citation needed (from class readings)
Point #3: Discussion in agreement or disagreement of the above principles and strategies; citation needed (outside of class)
Conclusion (including summary of the main points and final thoughts from the student)

(For further details of the paper format, please see previous page). Due before the first exam.

2) Based on a short list from the professor, the student must view then analyze a movie based on its (1) possible purpose (role), (2) possible influence (cultural and moral) and (3) deal with the question of responsible communication. These three (3) points will be discussed in class, including further assigned readings. On a written paper (4-5 pages), the student should demonstrate how key principles from relevant class discussion and readings relate to the movie, as well as include sources that support and/or differ with ideas discussed in class.

The format will be as follows:
Main Points
Point #1: Summary of relevant key points from class discussion and readings
Point #2: Discussion of integration of key points with the movie; citation from class readings
Point #3: Discussion in agreement or disagreement of the above points; citations outside of class needed
Conclusion (including summary of the main points and final thoughts from the student)

(For further details of the paper format, please see previous page). Due before the final exam.

The professor may have the student present briefly the above findings to the class, as appropriate.

Comments are closed.