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  1. 1. Royal Oak/Southfield Campus Fall 2009 ENGLISH 1350 Business Communications (3 Credits) ONLINE—12 WEEKS Carolyn D. Harrison Office: B-202 Royal Oak Campus 739 S. Washington Ave. Royal Oak, MI 48067 Phone number: (248) 246-2646 Office Hours: Tuesday 7:30-8:30 am Wednesday 9 am-2 pm Thursday 7:30-8:30 am Also by appointment at campus E-Mail: Text: Essentials of Business Communication, Seventh Edition, by Mary Ellen Guffey Course Description: Students will identify the basic elements of the oral and written communication in careers. Based on these elements, which include principles of organization, purpose, proofreading, graphics, technology, and language structure, students will produce communications appropriate to the careers of their choice. General Education Attributes and Learning Objectives: 1. To communicate effectively: • To write acceptable documents using business formats • To write acceptable job-search documents • To obtain outside information and utilize this information in producing writing 1
  2. 2. Class Methodology: This is an online class. Students must have a specific plan for accessing information and completing projects. Schedule your class work in an organized manner. Be sure to schedule time in your calendar or planner for the class. Late Work: Respect deadlines. In most fields, work not completed on time is work not counted. Due to online nature of the class and the 12 week schedule, I am unable to accept any late assignments after the deadlines stated on the Assignment Schedule. Please remember that drafts for each Project and at least two peer reviews, using the form provided in the assignment, are due by the deadlines to earn the full five points. Lack of Participation: If you miss three assignments, I will assume that you have stopped “attending” and will remove you from the class and group. Please keep in touch. Course Goals/Outcomes: You will have opportunities to develop skills and strategies for organizing your thoughts for effective business communication for your current position and for the future. You will use strategies for revision and respond to current events and business issues. You will work in electronic groups and use peer reviews of your writing. You will be exposed to formal text information as well as to other literature for critical thinking, relevant discussion, peer review and group work. You will be required to include outside credible sources to add value and weight to your writing. Placement: The difficulty level of this course is equal to or greater than English 1060. If you placed into English 1055 (Academic Literacy I) on the COMPASS Writing Sample, you are strongly encouraged to complete English 1055 before taking this course. This course will not allow you to bypass the English course sequence. Assignments: Since college is a preparation for careers and life, we will create a professional atmosphere simulating the work environment in terms of deadlines and communication. Be mindful of online communication. Since we cannot see facial expressions or hear tone, be sure to use professional and civil language. Each assignment is a project; each project may have various parts; each project will be worth points that equate to letter grades. Helpdesk: if you experience technical difficulties, Technical Help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year at 888-341-myIT (6948) or at At the end of the semester, it is my hope that you will have a relevant portfolio of business and job-related strategies. A professionally formatted letter discussing your learning experience in the class will be due the last class Class Policies: STUDENTS WILL BE EXPECTED TO: • Keep up with the readings as listed on the Assignment Schedule and in the reminder Announcements and emails. 2
  3. 3. • Regularly access email and the Blackboard site ( or through the link on Distance Learning on OCC’s homepage; I will be monitoring within one/two days unless I notify you differently. • Post on the Discussion Board (posting must be at least 100 words in length—a little less than ½ of a double-spaced typewritten one-page paper). Points may be deducted for incomplete postings. • Post Drafts and Peer Reviews as assigned on the Group Board, using the required Peer Review form. (5 points will only be awarded for postings of both a draft and at least two PRs, using the Peer Review form within each Assignment, submitted per the due date). Please make sure that all members of your group have reviews. • Submit 3 Projects including pre-writing activities and drafts and readings. • Submit a Mid-Term Exam • Create a Reflective Letter on their learning experience in the class. Grade Distribution: 3 Discussion Board Postings 5 points each = 15 points 3 Group Board Drafts + 2 Peer Reviews each 5 points each = 15 points 3 Projects: 1. Employment Search Plan (multiple documents) 10 points 2. Professional Interview (3-4 pages) 10 points 3. Company Report (4-5 pages plus research) 20 points Library Exercise 10 points Mid-term Exam 20 points Reflective Letter 0 points Grading Policy: The only grades given in this course are A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D and F and will be equated to a point amount. Grading Scale 100-95 A 83-80 B- 69-68 D+ 94-90 A- 79-77 C+ 67-66 D 89-87 B+ 76-74 C 65-0 F 86-84 B 73-70 C- 3
  4. 4. Plagiarism: Plagiarism is stealing, using another’s words and ideas as your own, without giving credit to the source. A student who plagiarizes will earn an “F” on the assignment and may face academic discipline. Check the Academic Plagiarism Pledge under Course Documents. Prior to Project 3, I will ask that you review, sign, and send it to me. Miscellaneous: If you buy your textbook online, order with plenty of time and make sure it’s the student copy, NOT an instructor’s copy. Read your semester schedule and learn important dates. You must initiate an official withdrawal in the campus Enrollment Services Office or online at If you continually fail to complete assignments or contact me with problems and do not drop the class, you will earn an “F,” based on points earned. A class “incomplete” is by contract arrangement only and is done rarely. For an incomplete, a student must have completed 80-90% of the assignments, have a “C” average or better and can document extenuating circumstances. Our Syllabus and Assignment Schedule may be modified as necessary; you’ll be informed. If you are taking this class to satisfy CPA requirements, please check with the Michigan Board of Accountancy to confirm acceptance of online credits. Need more help? OCC offers many opportunities for students who experience difficulty with their course work in this or other classes: the Academic Support Center (ASC) for tutorials, the ACCESS Office; both departments offer tutoring. I will refer you to special services for tutoring and extra assistance if we decide it’s necessary; you may self-refer. Although this is an online class, I am happy to meet with you for extra help. ADA Notification: Students requiring special assistance (including those affected by the Americans with Disabilities Act) should contact the ACCESS Office at campus: RO (248) 246-2480; SF (248) 233-2780. FERPA: Due to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), no information regarding a student’s grades or class standing will be routinely given out over the phone or via email or to someone other than the student, unless the student gives prior consent in writing. By registering for an online class, it is understood that communication will be through the Course Management System Blackboard and by email. Students may access the website at for final grades. I reserve the right to makes changes if necessary. Participating students will be informed. PLEASE REVIEW QUALITIES FOR ONLINE STUDENTS (NEXT PAGE). DO YOU QUALIFY? 4
  5. 5. What Qualities Make For A Successful Online Student? • Good written communication skills Remember, your primary means of communication is through writing. Being able to send a well structured message will help with the communication process. • Comfort with the technology Make sure that you are able to easily maneuver through Blackboard. You should be aware of how to find assignments and course material, as well as be able to participate and post to discussions and send emails with attachments. You should be confident that you have access to the necessary hardware and software requirements to meet the needs of the course. Your local library will also be able to offer these tools. Make sure that you have a backup plan of where to go to complete your work. • Excellent attention to detail, particularly when following written directions Assignments, projects etc. are posted in the written form. Grades are drawn from work accomplished as directed. When grading assignments, he instructor will look for competence in the work submitted. This means that all of the required steps were followed and presented in a professional manner and on time. • Commitment to answer e-mails quickly The instructor will send and respond to emails on a regular basis. Pertinent information pertaining to the course will be given. It is necessary to have a smooth communication process, and your commitment to not only read but also respond to emails is crucial to your success. • Commitment to stay with the course to its completion, and to set a schedule to achieve success Assignments and projects are given specified due dates. These dates are non-negotiable. It is the student’s responsibility to turn in assignments on time. If the student is having trouble with a portion of a project, it is expected that contact be made with the instructor in enough time for the instructor to answer the question(s) and still allow time for the assignment to be turned in by the due date. • Enjoyment of working independently, with just occasional supervision The instructor’s job is to be a guide throughout the course. The instructor gives instructions and directions, but the student is responsible for doing the work without constant reminders. It is the student’s responsibility to take the course seriously and to be able to budget time to receive a successful grade. Student success will be marked by finishing assignments on time, submitting quality work, and reporting in regularly. The student must be good at self-pacing and allowing self plenty of time to work on an assignment. 5