Course Syllabus

Fayetteville State University

College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Performing and Fine Arts




Semester: Spring Year: 2006

Course No: SPEE 210-01 Course Name: Interpersonal Communication Credit Hrs: 3

Day/Time Class Meets: TTH 3:30-4:45 Room/Bldg: BU 359

Instructor: Dr. Jeanie Almeida

Office Location: 206 CC Office Phone: 672- 2031

Office Hours: MWF 12-1:45, TR 12-1:45 E-mail:




An introduction to the process of dyadic communication including functions, models, and theories. Variables affecting interpersonal relationships will be explored along with the effects of intrapersonal variables on communication.



Stewart, J. (2002). (ed.) Bridges not walls: A book about interpersonal communication. Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill Co.



At the end of the course, the student will:


(1) Demonstrate an understanding of the five–part model of communication

(2) Demonstrate an understanding of different approaches towards the study of interpersonal communication

(3) Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of perception and effective listening including:

(a) empathic listening

(b) dialogic listening

(c) analytic listening

(4) Demonstrate an understanding of the process of self-negotiation including:

(a) expression of ideas

(b) expressing social, cultural and personal selves

(5) Demonstrate an understanding of relational systems

(6) Demonstrate an understanding of principles of effective conflict management

(7) The student will acquire facility in interpersonal communication skills of:

a) negotiation of personal, cultural and social identity

b) analyzing relational communication problems

c) appropriate self-disclosure

d) sensitivity response options

e) conflict management skills


(1) Use a variety of formal and informal assessments aimed at meeting program goals and positive student learning including in-class exercises, field exercises, small group discussion, interpersonal research papers, informal oral presentations, and exams.



(1) Reflect on and evaluate teaching and learning through:

a) in-class exercises

b) small group discussion

c) assigned papers



(1) Apply new technologies to teaching, learning and research including:

a) Internet assignments

b) establishing an e-group for group discussion



(1) Understand the differences that exist among people and their cultures and the ways in which these differences affect individuals’ view of the world, their values, and their interpretations of the events of their lives.



(1) Collaborate with colleagues, parents, local schools, agencies and the community to support learning and achievement for all students.

a) collaborative group assignments

b) collaborative oral presentation

c) collaborative research





INTASC #1 The teacher understands the major concepts, assumptions, debates, processes of inquiry and ways of knowing that are central to the discipline he or she teaches.



INTASC #9.4 The teacher is committed to reflection, assessment, and learning as an ongoing process.



NCDPI #8.3 The teacher uses assessment strategies to involve learners in self

assessment activities to help them become aware of their strengths and

needs, and to encourage them to set personal goals of learning.



INTASC #6.13 NCDPI #6.4 The teacher knows how to use a variety of media communication tools, including audiovisual aids and computers, to enrich learning opportunities.



INTASC #3 The teacher understands how students differ in their approaches to learning and creates instructional opportunities that are adapted to diverse learners.



INTASC #10.12, NCDPI #10 The teacher establishes respectful and productive relationships with diverse home and community situations, and seeks to develop cooperative partnerships in support of learning and well being.




                                        GRADE DISTRIBUTION


                                        Class Participation            100 points

                                        Paper #1                             200 points

                                        Paper #2                             200 points

                                        Individual presentations    200 points

                                        Exams                                 300 points

                                        Total Points                        1000 points



Date Topic   Assignment

1/10  Overview of Course


1/12  A Teacher’s Approach Bridges, Ch. 13

         A Counselor’s Approach Bridges, Ch. 14

1/17  Martin Luther King Jr Holiday

1/19  A Spiritual Approach Bridges, Ch. 15

         A Philosopher’s Approach Bridges, Ch. 16

1/24  Five-part model of interpersonal comm.. Bridges, Ch. 2, pp. 15-42

1/26  Five-part model Bridges, Ch. 2, pp. 15-42

1/31  On Communication, Interbeing, Bridges, Ch. 2, pp. 45-55

         The Communication Panacea

         Constructing Selves Bridges, Ch. 3, pp. 57-72

2/2  Constructing Selves Bridges, Ch. 3, pp. 57-72

       The Rudiments of Social Intelligence Bridges, Ch. 3, pp. 74-83

       Meaning and Values Bridges, Ch. 3, pp. 83-93

2/7  Maintaining the Self in Communication Bridges, Ch. 3, pp. 93-107

       When Miss America Was Always White Bridges, Ch. 3, pp. 108-115

       Review for exam #1


2/9  Exam I Chapters 13-16, 2 & 3

2/14 Verbal & Nonverbal Dimensions of Talk Bridges, Ch. 4, pp. 116-143

2/16 Communication and Nonverbal Behavior Bridges, Ch. 4,pp. 149-157

        Functions of Nonverbal Behavior Bridges, Ch. 4, pp. 157-162

        Paying Attention to Words Bridges, Ch. 4, pp. 143-149

2/21 Interpretive Competence Bridges, Ch. 5, pp. 167-184

        It’s Only Skin Deep Bridges, Ch. 5, pp. 184-191

2/23 Empathic and Dialogic Listening Bridges, Ch. 5, pp. 208-227

        Listening and the Rhetorical Process Bridges, Ch. 5, pp. 191-197

        Listening Bridges, Ch. 5, pp. 197-208




3/7 The Roots of Debate.... Bridges, Ch. 12, pp. 568-578

      Can Dialogue Be Taught? Bridges, Ch. 12, pp. 596-611

3/9 A Conversation With a Center Bridges, Ch. 12, pp. 578-585

      Dialogue’s Basic Tension Bridges, Ch. 12, pp. 585-596

      Language of the Heart Bridges, Ch. 12, pp. 611-616.


3/14 Being Open & Expressing Bridges, Ch. 6, pp. 232-253

       What It Means to be Assertive Bridges, Ch. 6, pp. 254-262

3/16 What to tell Bridges, Ch. 6, pp. 276-282

        Immediacy Bridges, Ch. 6, pp. 262-276

        Review for Exam #2

3/21 Exam 2 Bridges, Chs. 4, 5, 6 & 12


3/23 Building Relationships Bridges, Ch. 11, pp. 519-534

        Same and different Bridges, Ch. 11, pp. 534-551

3/28 The Story of Sarah Together, Ch. 11, pp. 551-559

        When Black Women Talk With... Bridges, Ch. 11,pp. 559-567

3/30 What’s a Family Bridges, Ch. 7, pp. 287-300

        Our Friends, Ourselves Bridges, Ch. 7, pp. 325-338

4/4 Intimacy and Closeness Bridges, Ch. 7, pp. 300-318

      Eating Mindfully, The Fifth Tuesday Bridges, Ch. 7, pp. 318-325

      In Search of an Ethics Bridges, Ch. 7, pp. 338-346


4/6 Intimate Relationships Bridges, Ch. 8, pp. 351-363

      Moving Beyond Sex and Gender... Bridges, Ch. 8, pp. 363-374

      Gendered Standpoints... Bridges, Ch. 8, pp. 374-383

      Making Marriage Work Bridges, Ch. 8, pp. 383-389

      How To Resolve Issues Unmemorably Bridges, Ch. 8, pp. 389-397

4/11 Messages that Hurt Bridges, Ch. 9, pp. 403-415

        Defensive Communication Bridges, Ch. 9, pp. 442-448

4/13 Deception, Betrayal and Aggression Bridges, Ch. 9, pp. 415-431

        Patterns of Interactional Confirmation and.... Bridges, Ch. 9, pp. 431-442

        Conflict and Interaction Bridges, Ch. 10, pp. 451-464

4/18 Lead into Gold Bridges, Ch. 10, pp. 464-471

        Communication Spirals..... Bridges, Ch. 10, pp. 471-486

        Taking Responsibility without..... Bridges, Ch. 10, 486-596

4/20 Handling the Breakup of..... Bridges, Ch. 10, 496-504

        New Forms of Eloquence Bridges, Ch. 10, 504-516.

        Final Exam Review Chs. 7-11.

4/25 Final Exam




Paper #1 (200 points)

3-5 page paper discussing your reflection of your self-assessment scores.

Paper #2 (200 points)

5-6 page paper analyzing a relationship(s) in terms of concepts presented in the text.


Individual presentations (200 points)

Students will lead discussion on two essays from Bridges, Not Walls. Students should prepare a short summary of the material in the essay and then prepare discussion questions for the class to consider. Students will make two presentations, one presentation from an essay selected from chapters 4, 5, 6 & 12, and the second presentation from an essay selected from chapters 7-11.


Exams (300 points)

Exams will be a combination of different types of questions, e.g., multiple choice, matching, short answer, and essay questions. There will be three exams as scheduled on the Course Outline with Course Assignments in this syllabus.


Class Participation (100 points)

As a good deal of the class is taught in a "discussion mode." class participation is essential to completion of the course assignments. For most units, there will be either general class discussion or small group discussion, and in-class exercises. Students who miss in-class exercises or small group discussions will lose points (there is no make up for missed in- class exercises or small group discussions).




The teaching strategy adopted in this class could be best labeled an "experiential approach." Students are provided with reading material to read and learn and then bring their understanding of the material to the class in participatory discussion groups, guided in-class exercises, and general class discussion. Student's personal understanding of the material is built into the writing assignments and many of the exam questions. Detailed written instructions will be given to students prior to each major assignment.



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