Starting A Successful Business … Course Syllabus


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Starting A Successful Business … Course Syllabus

  1. 1. Page 1 SW 214 Methods of Communication (Course Syllabus) Session: Spring Session - 2009-2010 Competences: Two competence course. H-3-X, S-3-X, FX Location: DePaul Naperville Campus (SNL) Time: Thursday Evening. 6:30 – 9:30 PM Instructor: Ed Paulson, Ph.D. General Description Working with others requires some form of communication and modern communication technology enables communication in ways not previously possible. But all methods of communication are not right for all situations, potentially creating problems instead of solving them if used incorrectly. Communication success depends on: 1) understanding the goal of a given communication situation, 2) determining the correct message for a given situation, 3) selecting the right form of communication such as a memo, email, presentation, phone call or others, and 4) effectively using the chosen form of communication. This course is designed to teach students methods for assessing their communication possibilities, evaluating their intended audience and then selecting the communication most likely to achieve the desired outcome. Special emphasis is placed on understanding the Paulson Communication Matching Method. Students will learn about written, verbal, group, electronic and multimedia communication methods. Special emphasis is placed on making effective presentations. Upon completing this class, students will be better prepared to successfully select and apply the right method of communication for a given personal or business situation. Instructor: Ed Paulson, Ph.D. * * Phone: 312-476-4313 * Email: Competences: H-3-X, S-3-X, FX Faculty Biographical Sketch Ed Paulson is a professional communicator who works with various medium to achieve specific performance, information delivery and persuasive outcomes. He is the author of seventeen published books, a member of the DePaul SNL Resident Faculty, and a professional speaker. Ed worked as a Silicon Valley high-technology salesperson, has a theater background, has presented on television and radio and has an active consulting practice. Further biographical information is available from his Web site, He can be reached by e-mail at or by phone at 312-476-4313. Competencies BA-1999 Competencies: H-3-X, S-3-X, F-X, H-3-X: Can effectively communicate and/or present information to groups or audiences. S-3-X: Can use communication technology to share information efficiently. FX: Can evaluate, identify and apply the proper method(s) of communication to achieve desired objectives or goals. Spring 2010 Methods of Communication Syllabus Dr. Edward Paulson Copyright © 2007-10 by Ed Paulson. All Rights Reserved.
  2. 2. Page 2 Required Text Books Essentials of Business Communication, 7th Edition by Mary Ellen Guffey. Thomson South- Western. ISBN: 9780324313925. Make sure you look for the 7th edition (one edition older than the current 8th edition). You should be able to find the book used and online for much less than the 7th or 8th edition listed price of over $100. I did a quick search and found many used sources for under $20. ( – used books). Order your book at least two weeks before the start of class to increase the likelihood of having it for the start of the quarter. Of course, you can always purchase the 7th Edition book new if you prefer. Do a Google search for price comparison. This book is a solid reference guide that students will likely keep on their bookshelf and use as a reference for many years. Readings will also be assigned from Ed’s upcoming “Outcome Oriented Communication” book. Readings will be provided either as a handout or as a file at the course Blackboard site. Learning Experience Class sessions will involve a combination of information presentation by the instructor and extensive class discussion about the topics presented. Students will be required to submit work as applicable throughout the class as well as make informal and formal presentations to the class. Students will constructively critique each other’s work as applicable. Instructor intends to use Blackboard as part of the course. Students should ensure that their respective Blackboard account and information is up to date before the start of class. Late work will automatically lose 10% per day it is late. Any work submitted more than one week past the due date will automatically receive zero points. The instructor may use TurnItIn to verify academic integrity of student work, so students should simply do their own work. All electronically submitted work should be in Word format to facilitate the instructor more effectively providing feedback. Evidence Students Will Submit and Criteria for Assessment Evidence of learning and grading will constitute quizzes (2 at 20% each=40%), homework assignments as applicable (20%), presentation (20%) and instructor evaluation (20% also outlined below) for a total of 100%. 90+% = A, 80-89% = B, 70-79% = C, 60-69% = D, <60 = F. Plus/minus grades will be given as applicable. Presentations Class members will select a topic of their choosing that must be approved by the instructor to ensure no duplication of topic. Students will present their topic two times to the class - once for practice and feedback, and a second time for grade. The class will evaluate the presentations according to a specified criteria and the presenting student will receive a grade based on the average of all classmate responses to the second presentation. Students generally find that their presentation skills improve dramatically after completing this class. Spring 2010 Methods of Communication Syllabus Dr. Edward Paulson Copyright © 2007-10 by Ed Paulson. All Rights Reserved.
  3. 3. Page 3 Instructor Personal Overall Student Evaluation The instructor evaluation is a subjective one that reflects the instructor’s assessment of the level to which the student contributed to the overall class learning experience, the level of in- class participation and the degree to which the student assimilated the presented concepts beyond the basic material presented. Class attendance and participation as well as demonstrated levels of integration of concepts and the information presented are key criteria for receiving the highest level of instructor evaluation. Class Schedule – Subject to change Prior to first class: Read Guffey Chapters 1 & 2 Session 1: Course Overview and Introduction to Communication Course Overview What is communication? Relating personal and business communication The important role of the audience Understanding communication models Homework for next class: Read Paulson Chapters 1 and 2 and complete assigned problems. Session 2: Outcome Oriented Communication (OOC) Overview Problem identification and solving Communication as a problem solving tool Homework for next class: Read Paulson Chapters 3 and 4 and complete assigned problems. Session 3: Paulson Communication Matching Method (PCMM) The role of sender and receiver experience, perceived risk and uncertainty in communication Task complexity and ambiguity concepts Medium richness overview Paulson Communication Matching Method (PCMM) overview Homework for next class: Read Guffey Chapter 5, Ch. 6 p. 134-137, and Chapter 9 and complete assigned problems. Session 4: Selecting the Right Written Format (Email, memos, reports, etc.) Matching written communication to the desired communication outcome The benefits and challenges of written communication Structuring informal reports Structuring effective email Structuring personal letters Active and passive voice concepts Homework for next class: Read Guffey Chapter 11 and complete assigned problems Session 5: Verbal Communication Overview Quiz #1 (On sessions 1 to 4 - 45 minutes) Matching verbal communication to the desired communication outcome The benefits and drawbacks associated with verbal communication Effectively using the telephone and teleconferencing Spring 2010 Methods of Communication Syllabus Dr. Edward Paulson Copyright © 2007-10 by Ed Paulson. All Rights Reserved.
  4. 4. Page 4 Homework for next class: Read Guffey Chapter 12 and complete assigned problems Session 6: Managing Meetings and Presentations Matching face-to-face communication to the desired communication outcome The basics of effective meeting management Basic presentation concepts and skills Homework for next class: Read Guffey Chapter 7 and Paulson special sales handout Session 7: Persuasive Communication Understanding the OOC for use in sales situations Stages of the sales process The special communication needs of each sales stage General guidelines for persuasive communication Determining when to use written work, meetings and presentations for sales situations Homework for next class: Read special project communication handout and complete assigned problems Session 8: Managing Projects Understanding the OOC for use in project management situations Effective use of communication in project management Homework for next class: Prepare presentations for practice run Session 9: Dry Runs for Final Presentations Quiz #2 (On sessions 5 to 8 – 45 minutes) Student practice presentations (likely in smaller groups) Homework for next class – Finalize presentations for final graded run Session 10: Final Session – Presentations – Attendance Mandatory Course evaluation completion Presentations to the entire class for grade Class Attendance Attendance of all classes is highly recommended and will be considered by the instructor when awarding his percentage of the grade. Students cannot miss more than two (2) full class sessions throughout the entire quarter. Students who miss more than (2) full class sessions will automatically be ineligible for a passing grade except in very rare cases which must be brought, in writing, immediately to the instructor’s attention. Students wishing to withdraw from the class should do so by the last drop date. Vincentian Values All feedback and assessments will occur in the context of the four values of this Vincentian institution: clarity, flexibility, empathy and integrity. Spring 2010 Methods of Communication Syllabus Dr. Edward Paulson Copyright © 2007-10 by Ed Paulson. All Rights Reserved.
  5. 5. Page 5 Incomplete Policy I rarely give incomplete (IN) grades and students should not expect to get an incomplete grade except in highly unusual circumstances such as medical or other types of emergencies. Incompletes must be requested by the student and approved by me by email before students should assume an incomplete is applicable. Should you receive an incomplete grade, you will be expected to meet with me to determine what must be done to correct the incomplete and that work must be fully completed by the end of the quarter following the incomplete to receive a passing grade. It is my experience that incomplete grades are often not completed so students should resolve themselves to fully completing the course in the allotted time. Not completing an incomplete as agreed will result in an “F” grade. This is non-negotiable. Academic Integrity DePaul University is a learning community that fosters the pursuit of knowledge and the transmission of ideas within a context that emphasizes a sense of responsibility for oneself, for others and for society at large. Violations of academic integrity, in any of their forms, are, therefore, detrimental to the values of DePaul, to the students’ own development as responsible members of society, and to the pursuit of knowledge and the transmission of ideas. Violations include but are not limited to the following categories: cheating; plagiarism; fabrication; falsification or sabotage of research data; destruction or misuse of the university’s academic resources; alteration or falsification of academic records; and academic misconduct. Conduct that is punishable under the Academic Integrity Policy could result in additional disciplinary actions by other university officials and possible civil or criminal prosecution. Please refer to your Student Handbook or visit for further details. Protection of Human Research Participants Although unlikely, this course may involve research activities intended solely for classroom learning outcomes. Collecting data from human beings for such activities do not require institutional review if there is no intent to generalize, publish, or otherwise disseminate the findings. However, students must still abide by federally-mandated guidelines for the protection of human beings who may be the sources of such data. These include, but are not limited to, keeping persons’ identifiable characteristics confidential and taking care to minimize or entirely remove the possibility of mental, social, financial, or physical harm. If findings from your research activities may be disseminated beyond classroom discussion, your activities carry risk of harm to the participants, or the identities of the participants are ascertainable, students must obtain approval from the SNL Local Review Board and DePaul Institutional Review Board. Please consult with the course instructor and visit the website of the Office of Research Protections at DePaul University ( for additional information and guidance. For Students Who Need Accommodations Based on the Impact of a Disability Students who feel they may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the instructor privately to discuss their specific needs. All discussions will remain confidential. Spring 2010 Methods of Communication Syllabus Dr. Edward Paulson Copyright © 2007-10 by Ed Paulson. All Rights Reserved.
  6. 6. Page 6 To ensure that you receive the most appropriate accommodation based on your needs, contact the instructor as early as possible in the quarter, preferably within the first week of class, and make sure you have contacted: PLuS Program (for LD, AD/HD) at 773-325-4239 in the Schmidt Academic Center, room 220 or; The Office for Students with Disabilities (for all other disabilities) at 773-325-7290, DePaul University Student Center, room 307. Chronic Illness Initiative The Chronic Illness Initiative (CII) provides access to higher education for students disabled by chronic illnesses that unpredictably increase and decrease in severity such as chronic fatigue syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or illnesses requiring frequent hospitalizations. At SNL, staff and faculty are compassionate and committed to helping CII students achieve their educational goals. Contact CII at Writing Help For help with organizing your ideas, grammar, citing sources, avoiding plagiarism, sample SNL assignments and much more, see the Writing Guide for SNL Students at For on-campus and online tutoring, see the DePaul University Writing Centers at Spring 2010 Methods of Communication Syllabus Dr. Edward Paulson Copyright © 2007-10 by Ed Paulson. All Rights Reserved.