BA 303 Business Communication


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BA 303 Business Communication

  1. 1. BA 303 Business Communication ONLINE COURSE SYLLABUS Summer 2008 Instructor: Dr. Janet Walker Class Day/Time: Online Office: BA Building, Room 321 Phone: 903-886-5685 Fax: 903-886-5693 E-Mail: Office Hours: By appointment as needed Welcome to Web-Based BA 303! The best way to contact me is by email. This is an online course; therefore, expect most communication to be online as well. I will respond to emails within a 48 hour time period. Please ONLY send emails to All emails must include BA 303 in the subject line. REQUIRED TEXTBOOK: Business Communication: Process and Product (6th Edition) Author: Mary Ellen Guffey, Publisher: Thomson, South-Western Publishing Company, 2007. ISBN: 978-0324542905 COURSE DESCRIPTION: A study of the fundamentals of writing both formal and informal reports and other forms of business communication. Included is the study of interpersonal communication and worldwide business communication. Course Prerequisite: Junior Standing COURSE OBJECTIVES: • Students will understand how business communicates through formal and informal communication networks. • Students will be able to differentiate between active, passive, and not listening behavior as well as strategies to listen effectively. • Students will be able to recognize communication meanings that are rooted in cultural experience. • Students have an understanding of the communication elements that are part of the communicating using the “you view.” • Students will be able to recognize the formats for “Direct and Indirect” Communication strategies. • Students will be able to differentiate between positive, negative, neutral and persuasive messages. • Students will become knowledgeable of formal and informal styles of reports and the techniques for organization and construction. • Students will learn how to assess information gathered from research and to draw accurate conclusions. • Students will learn techniques to graphically communicate information for written and oral communications. • Students will recognize strategies for designing interpersonal and collaborative messages.
  2. 2. General Policies for Web-Based Classes: The Instructor reserves the right to administratively drop any student who does not log into the class web site for three (3) consecutive days after the course officially starts. Any student who will not be able to log into the class web site for more than three (3) days (i.e., because of an extended business trip) should contact the Instructor in advance to avoid an inadvertent drop from the course. The Instructor urges registered online students to familiarize themselves with eCollege by going thru the eCollege tutorial or orientation process. This will ensure that each student will have sufficient knowledge on how to accomplish the requirements of the course. It is NOT the Instructor’s responsibility to teach students on how eCollege works. The Instructor assumes that each student has a working knowledge of eCollege and has a MyLeo e-mail address. First time eCollege users: eCollege is generally very user friendly; however, should you have any questions or concerns about it, you may want to complete an eCollege orientation. You can access the online eCollege Orientation by clicking on the following link: The home page will give you directions on how to proceed from there. Your login is your Campus-wide ID # and your password is the same as you use for Webtrax, which is now your MyLeo password. Hardware/Software Requirements: As the course is conducted totally online, students will be expected to have access to a reliable computer that is connected to the internet. Also, back-up access to required electronic resources is necessary for successfully completing this course. College and public libraries are a great resource for back-up technology resources. For those students in doubt about the necessary technology, refer to the following website: Password Protection: Only students with assigned passwords may access this course. Giving your campus wide identification number and pin number to others may result in class or university dismissal. Technical Support: If at any time you experience technical problems (e.g., you can't log in to the course, you can't see certain material, etc.) please contact the eCollege Help Desk, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Help Desk can be reached by sending an email to or by calling 1-866-656-5511. Additionally, you can click on the "Help" button located at the top of each page for more information. SERVICES FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES: Students requesting accommodations for disabilities must go through the Academic Support Committee. For more information, please contact the Director of Disability Resources & Services, Halladay Student Services Bldg. Room 303D, 903-886-5835. “Requests from students with disabilities for reasonable accommodations must go through the Academic Support Committee. For more information, please contact the offices of Advisement Services, BA 314, 903-886-5133.” Course Grading: Knowledge of the substantive material covered in the course is of central importance. Grading will include, where appropriate, consideration of content as well as grammar, style, and organization.
  3. 3. Module Assignment Points Module 1 Chapters 1 – 3 Discussion 6 Module 1 Module 1 Writing Assignment 5 Module 1 Module 1 Exam (Chapters 1 – 3) 7 Module 2 Chapters 4 – 6 Discussion 6 Module 2 Module 2 Writing Assignment 5 Module 2 Module 2 Exam (Chapters 4 – 6) 7 Module 3 Chapters 7 – 10 Discussion 8 Module 3 Module 3 Writing Assignment 5 Module 3 Module 3 Exam (Chapters 7 – 10) 7 Module 4 Chapters 11 - 14 Discussion 8 Module 4 Module 2 Writing Assignment 8 Module 4 Module 2 Exam (Chapters 11 - 14) 7 Module 5 Chapters 15 - 16 Discussion 4 Module 5 Module 2 Writing Assignment 8 Module 5 Module 2 Exam (Chapters 15 – 16) 7 Module 5 Assessment Quiz 2 Total Points Possible 100 Minimum percentages for grade level are as follows: A = 90-100% of total points B = 80-89% of total points C = 70-79% of total points D = 60-69% of total points F = 0-59% of total points Exams: The exams and assessment quiz are worth 37% of your course grade. There will be five exams given throughout the semester. Each exam is worth 7%. Exams will be announced when available. However, please see the schedule on the last page of this document for an approximate timeframe. The exams will be timed and can only be accessed once; therefore, once you begin, you may not stop and come back to it later. NOTE: If a student experiences “technical difficulties”; is absent from the exam; or incorrectly submits the exam, a comprehensive make-up exam will be given to the student during final exam week. If a student cannot meet the scheduled exam deadline, contact the instructor for alternative arrangements one week PRIOR to the exam date. Assessment Test: The assessment quiz is a comprehensive multiple choice quiz to test your literacy on course concepts. This quiz is worth 2%. Writing Assignments: The writing assignments are worth 31% of your course grade. Each student is required to submit writing assignments. These assignments must be submitted correctly to the appropriate DropBox. Students can verify that the professor has received the assignment by looking in the Outbox portion of the student’s DropBox. Instructions for writing assignments are located within each Module in the eCollege course. NO LATE ASSIGNMENTS WILL BE ACCEPTED WITHOUT PRIOR WRITTEN AUTHORIZATION OF THE INSTRUCTOR.
  4. 4. Submitting papers: Save your paper on your desktop, then all written assignments must be submitted to the appropriate dropbox within eCollege and be produced in 12 point, Arial type, and double-spaced. Always use block left format with jagged right margins. Always use tabs at the beginning of paragraphs. Proofread carefully. Grammar, punctuation and style count heavily in this course. Don’t rely on Spell Check and Grammar Check alone. Discussion Board: The discussion board is worth 32% of your course grade. Different topics related to the assigned chapter(s) will be posted. Each student is required to make thoughtful posts as well as replies to other students’ posts for the assigned chapter(s). The discussion board will count for the class participation component of your grade. If you were attending class, you would be expected to contribute to each week’s class session, so you should treat the bulletin board as you would treat class participation. As a general guideline, your grade on this portion will be a function of the quality, quantity (60 suggested), and consistency (i.e., a somewhat even distribution of activity throughout the term) of your posts and replies on the bulletin board throughout the semester. Please be aware that 60 posts and replies is simply a suggestion. 60 posts of very low quality at the end of the semester will not hold as much weight as 50 high quality posts distributed evenly throughout the term. Please also note that heavy activity during the last few days cannot compensate for a lack of participation during the term. Plan to participate throughout the semester. Discussion Boards for each chapter will be opened at the beginning of the corresponding exam section and will be closed on the date of the exam. Please keep up with the scheduled readings for the week. Once the chapters have been closed, they will not be re-opened. Students do not have to post to every topic. However, to receive maximum points, it is suggested to post on several different topics per chapter. Keep in mind that the number of postings suggested is sixty (60); therefore, one could do 3 – 4 posts per chapter and be in good shape by mid-term and the end of the semester provided the posts are of high quality. It is critical that students read ALL the postings for each topic. This will ensure that you not only respond to the topic questions but to your colleagues’ comments as well. Also, it will help in ensuring against anyone plagiarizing your work. For each module, the class will discuss topics relevant to the chapters being discussed. Students are expected to post their thoughts, responses and/or ideas. Students may answer questions directly to the posts or respond to the ideas of other students. IMPORTANT POSTING RULES: 1) Postings may be a few sentences or a couple of paragraphs in length. The key to a quality post is that it provides clear analysis and insight into the topic or questions. Your postings will be carefully read. 2) Note that long-winded postings are not necessary. The idea is for quality rather than quantity. 3) Plagiarism among students (copying others’ postings) will NOT be tolerated. Please note that TAMU-C has explicit rules regarding plagiarism and will be subject to penalties. Students are advised to carefully read everyone’s postings to ensure that no one has plagiarized your answer. 4) Students with very FEW or NO SUBSTANTIVE postings will not receive the highest credit. 5) Proof your postings and eliminate any offensive references, poor sentence syntax, misspelled words, etc. Keep errors to a minimum.
  5. 5. Comment on Academic Honesty: Some people seem to believe that anything found on the Internet is free to use as they please. The "cut and paste" option also makes it quite tempting. However, information on the web must be properly cited just as you would any "hard copy" periodicals. Keep the following in mind: 1) It is generally not advisable to quote anything verbatim in a paper unless there is an overriding reason to do so, such as the use of a particular phrase or sentence that illustrates a point well and should not be changed. When you do so, you must provide place the statement in quotes in addition to a footnote at the end of the quote. Not placing the statement in quotes implies that the wording is your own. 2) Changing a few words in a sentence (for example, "large" to "big") may alleviate the need for quotes (depending on how much you change), but it is not the best way to go. If you are not going to provide a direct quote, then the material should be stated in your own terms. Changing a couple of words implies laziness. 3) Every idea you get from another source must be cited. Placing 100 citations in a paper does not imply that the work is not original, but that you did a proper job of giving credit where it was due. 4) The real danger in a "cut and paste" approach to report writing is that you end up including a lot of information that is related to the topic about which you are writing, but does not really address what you are trying to say. Putting things in your own words allows you to focus your comments more effectively. Any deviation from the guidelines concerning quotes and citations constitutes plagiarism, as it suggests that you are trying to submit someone else's work and creativity as your own. If you have any questions, please let me know. Academic Honesty: Plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. Instructors “are expected to uphold and support student integrity and honesty by maintaining conditions that encourage and enforce academic honesty. Conduct that violates generally accepted standards of academic honesty is defined as academic dishonesty. "Academic dishonesty" includes, but is not limited to, plagiarism (the appropriation or stealing of the ideas or words of another and passing them off as one's own), cheating on exams or other course assignments, collusion (the unauthorized collaboration with others in preparing course assignments), and abuse (destruction, defacing, or removal) of resource material.” See 13.99.99.R0.10 Academic Honesty at http://www.tamu- Note: The professor reserves the right to change the following schedule as circumstances may dictate. All changes will be announced. Your assignments may be submitted to TURNITIN.
  6. 6. Tentative Schedule Module Assignment Module 1 (July 7 through July 12) Read the chapters 1 – 3 Review the PowerPoint slides Participate in the discussion threads Complete Writing Assignment and upload to the correct DropBox Complete the Exam (This exam will open on July 11 and will close at 11:59 p.m. CST on July 12) All Module 1 components are DUE: Saturday, July 12, 2008 at 11:59 p.m. CST Module 2 (July 13 through July 19) Read the chapters 4 – 6 Review the PowerPoint slides Complete Writing Assignment and upload to the correct DropBox Complete the Exam (This exam will open on July 13 and will close at 11:59 p.m. CST on July 19) All Module 2 components are DUE: Saturday, July 19, 2008 at 11:59 p.m. CST Module 3 (July 20 through July 26) Read the chapters 7 – 10 Review the PowerPoint slides Complete Writing Assignment and upload to the correct DropBox Complete the Exam (This exam will open on July 20 and will close at 11:59 p.m. CST on July 26) All Module 3 components are DUE: Saturday, July 26, 2008 at 11:59 p.m. CST Module 4 (July 27 through August 2) Read the chapters 11 – 14 Review the PowerPoint slides Complete Writing Assignment and upload to the correct DropBox Complete the Exam (This exam will open on August 1 and will close at 11:59 p.m. CST on August 2) All Module 4 components are DUE: Saturday, August 2, 2008 at 11:59 p.m. CST Module 5 (August 3 through August 7) Read the chapters 15 – 16 Review the PowerPoint slides Complete Writing Assignment and upload to the correct DropBox Complete the Exam (This exam will open on August 6 and will close at 11:59 p.m. CST on August 7) Complete the Assessment Quiz (This quiz will be open on August 3 and will close at 11:59 p.m. CST on August 7) All Module 5 components are DUE: Thursday, August 7, 2008 at 11:59 p.m. CST Final Note: The instructor reserves the right to change this schedule as circumstances may dictate. All changes will be announced.