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Xbcom/275

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| Course Syllabus School of Business XBCOM/275 Version 3 Business Communications and Critical Thinking | Copyright © 2013, 2012, 2011 by University of Phoenix. All rights reserved. Course Description

This course introduces students to the foundations of communication in a business setting. Students will develop skills in critical thinking and decision making through the forms of written communication, including memos, e-mails, business letters, and reports. Other topics include communication ethics and cross-cultural communications, personal communication styles, solving organizational problems, and the evaluation of an organization’s strategic direction. Policies

Students will be held responsible for understanding and adhering to all policies contained within the following two documents:

University policies: You must be logged into the student website to view this document.
Instructor policies: This document is posted in the Course Materials forum.

University policies are subject to change. Be sure to read the policies at the beginning of each class. Policies may be slightly different depending on the modality in which you attend class. If you have recently changed modalities, read the policies governing your current class modality.

Course Materials Moore, B. N., & Parker, R. (2012). Critical thinking (10th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Quintanilla, K., & Wahl, S. (2014). Business and professional communication: Keys for workplace excellence. (2nd ed.) Los Angeles, CA: Sage.

All electronic materials are available on the student website.

Week 1 | Details | Due | Points | Objective | 1.1 Explain the steps in the communication process. | | | Course Preparation | Read the course description and objectives. | | | Course Preparation | Read the instructor’s biography and post your own. | | | Reading | Read Ch. 1 of Business and Professional Communication. | | | Reading | Read Ch. 2 of Business and Professional Communication. | | | Reading | Read Ch. 1 of Critical Thinking. | | | Reading | Read Ch. 2 of Critical Thinking. | | | Reading | Read this week’s Electronic Reserve Readings. | | | Reading | Read the University of Phoenix Material: Communication Process. | | | Participation | Participate in class discussion. | Various | 30 | Discussion Questions | Respond to weekly discussion questions. | Day 2 and 4 | 30 | CheckPoint Communication Process Model | Write a 350-word paper about one misunderstanding you have experienced. Please use a business- or work-related example rather than a personal example. Identify the receiver and sender of the message, the communication channel used to deliver the message, what caused the misunderstanding, and how you could have avoided it. State what you learned from this misunderstanding and how you could improve in future communications.Format your paper consistent with APA guidelines.Submit your CheckPoint to the plagiarism checker (turnitin) accessed via the school’s library and attach a copy of the report with your CheckPoint. (Please go to course materials forum for directions on how to submit if you are not sure how to submit the turnitin report)Upload your CheckPoint and Turnitin Results to the assignments link as a Microsoft® Word attachment and post. Please note: CheckPoints not submitted as a Microsoft Word document will not be accepted. | Day 3 | 30 |

Week 2 | Details | Due | Points | Objective | 1 2.2 Describe the roles of listening and responding in the communication process. | | 0 | Individual Demonstrative Communication Paper | Write a 700- to 1,050-word paper describing demonstrative communication, which includes nonverbal and unwritten communication and involves such things as facial expressions, tone of voice, and body language. Include the following elements in your paper: Provide examples showing how demonstrative communication can be effective, ineffective, positive, and negative for the sender and receiver. * Explain how demonstrative communication involves listening and responding. * Format your paper consistent with APA guidelines. * Submit your assignment to the plagiarism checker (turnitin) accessed via the school’s library and attach a copy of the report with your assignment. (Please go to course materials forum for directions on how to submit if you are not sure how to submit the turnitin report)Upload your assignment and Turnitin Results to the assignments link as a Microsoft® Word attachment and post. Please note: Assignments not submitted as a Microsoft Word document will not * be accepted. | Day 7 | 100 |
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Week 3 | Details | Due | Points | Objective | 2 3.3 Analyze the validity, credibility, and reliability of data. | | | Reading | Read Ch. 4 of Critical Thinking. | | | Reading | Read Ch. 5 of Critical Thinking. | | | Reading | Read Ch. 6 of Critical Thinking. | | | Reading | Read Ch. 7 of Critical Thinking. | | | Participation | Participate in class discussion. | Various | 30 | Discussion Questions | Respond to weekly discussion questions. | Day 2 and 4 | 30 | Nongraded Activities and Preparation Debate Paper Preparation | Select a topic to be used for a debate. The topic should be controversial and phrased to allow a yes or no answer. Examples include “Should guns be outlawed?” or “Should the U.S. military leave Afghanistan?”Submit your topic to your facilitator for approval in Week Three.Read the Debate Paper assignment requirements located in Week Nine. | Day 3 | 0 | CheckPoint Validity, Credibility, and Reliability | Write a 350-word response answering the following question:What are some reasons you might consider data or information to lack validity, credibility, or reliability? Explain your answer by using examples. * * Format your paper consistent with APA guidelines. * Submit your CheckPoint to the plagiarism checker (turnitin) accessed via the school’s library and attach a copy of the report with your CheckPoint. (Please go to course materials forum for directions on how to submit if you are not sure how to submit the turnitin report)Upload your CheckPoint and Turnitin Results to the assignments link as a Microsoft® Word attachment and post. Please note: CheckPoints not submitted as a Microsoft Word document will not * be accepted. | Day 3 | 30 |
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Week 4 | Details | Due | Points | Objective | 3 4.4 Evaluate arguments for validity. | | | Individual Article Rebuttal | Locate an article about a controversial subject where the author makes an argument you do not agree with.Write a 500 to 700 word rebuttal to the article using valid arguments and supporting data. In your rebuttal, offer an analysis in which you do the following: Analyze the reliability, credibility, and validity of the data used by the author.Identify any logical fallacies in the argument. * Format your rebuttal consistent with APA guidelines.Submit your assignment to the plagiarism checker (turnitin) accessed via the school’s library and attach a copy of the report with your assignment. (Please go to course materials forum for directions on how to submit if you are not sure how to submit the turnitin report)Upload your assignment and Turnitin Results to the assignments link as a Microsoft® Word attachment and post. Please note: Assignments not submitted as a Microsoft Word document will not be accepted. | Day 7 | 70 | Individual Debate Paper Outline | Create an outline for the Debate Paper due in Week Nine. Include all references to be used in the paper. | Day 7 | 10 |
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Week 5 | Details | Due | Points | Objective | 4 5.5 Analyze the needs and receptivity of the audience. | | | Reading | Read Ch. 10 of Business and Professional Communication. | | | Reading | Read this week’s Electronic Reserve Readings. | | | Participation | Participate in class discussion. | Various | 30 | Discussion Questions | Respond to weekly discussion questions. | Day 2 and 4 | 30 | CheckPoint Audience Analysis and Reception | Write a 350-word response answering the following question:You are preparing to write a formal report to be presented to management at your workplace. What are some potential needs for this audience you should be aware of when writing the report? What are the risks of not considering the audience’s needs? * * Format your paper consistent with APA guidelines. * Submit your CheckPoint to the plagiarism checker (turnitin) accessed via the school’s library and attach a copy of the report with your CheckPoint. (Please go to course materials forum for directions on how to submit if you are not sure how to submit the turnitin report)Upload your CheckPoint and Turnitin Results to the assignments link as a Microsoft® Word attachment and post. Please note: CheckPoints not submitted as a Microsoft Word document will not * be accepted. | Day 3 | 30 |
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Week 6 | Details | Due | Points | Objectives | 5 6.6 Determine appropriate channels for communication. 6.7 Create effective messages. | | | Individual Knowing Your Audience Paper and Communication Release | Resource: “Over 30 Workers Trapped After Chilean Copper Mine Collapse” article located on the student websiteResearch additional articles and information about the Chilean mine collapse.Write a 700- to 1,050-word paper using this and other articles as a resource. Because communications must be designed with the audience in mind, answer the following questions: * What are some considerations to remember given the different roles and people in the audience? * What would be the potential needs of the miners’ families in receiving a message about this incident?What would be the potential needs of the company’s employees when receiving a message about this incident? What actions must you take before and after the message is delivered to ensure that it was received as intended? Format your paper consistent with APA guidelines.Draft two communications from the mining company announcing the accident, using what you have learned about audience and effective messages. One communication should be directed to the families of the trapped miners and the other should be an internal news release to the company’s employees. For both, identify the most appropriate channel—face-to-face, e-mail, video, memo, and so on.Submit your assignment to the plagiarism checker (turnitin) accessed via the school’s library and attach a copy of the report with your assignment. (Please go to course materials forum for directions on how to submit if you are not sure how to submit the turnitin report)Upload your assignment and Turnitin Results to the assignments link as a Microsoft® Word attachment and post. Please note: Assignments not submitted as a Microsoft Word document will not be accepted. | Day 7 | 100 |
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Week 7 | Details | Due | Points | Objective | 6 7.8 Develop persuasive communication using effective language. | | | Reading | Read Ch. 9 of Business and Professional Communication. | | | Reading | Read Ch. 10 of Business and Professional Communication. | | | Reading | Read Ch. 12 of Critical Thinking. | | | Reading | Read this week’s Electronic Reserve Readings. | | | Participation | Participate in class discussion. | Various | 30 | Discussion Questions | Respond to weekly discussion questions. | Day 2 and 4 | 30 | CheckPoint Persuasion | Write a 350-word response answering the following question:What different persuasive approaches would you use with the following audiences: a manager, a peer, a challenging person, and an open-minded person? Why would your approach differ with each? * * Format your paper consistent with APA guidelines. * Submit your CheckPoint to the plagiarism checker (turnitin) accessed via the school’s library and attach a copy of the report with your CheckPoint. (Please go to course materials forum for directions on how to submit if you are not sure how to submit the turnitin report)Upload your CheckPoint and Turnitin Results to the assignments link as a Microsoft® Word attachment and post. Please note: CheckPoints not submitted as a Microsoft Word document will not * be accepted. | Day 3 | 30 |
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Week 8 | Details | Due | Points | Objectives | 7 8.9 Develop valid arguments. 8.10 Evaluate communications for ethical, moral, and legal soundness. | | | Individual Group Debates Analysis Paper | Write a 500 to 700 word debate paper in which you discuss the benefits and drawbacks associated with group debates.Format your paper consistent with APA guidelines.Submit your assignment to the plagiarism checker (turnitin) accessed via the school’s library and attach a copy of the report with your assignment. (Please go to course materials forum for directions on how to submit if you are not sure how to submit the turnitin report)Upload your assignment and Turnitin Results to the assignments link as a Microsoft® Word attachment and post. Please note: Assignments not submitted as a Microsoft Word document will not be accepted. | Day 7 | 100 |
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Week 9 | Details | Due | Points | Objective | 8 9.11 Evaluate communications for potential cultural diversity issues. | | | Reading | Read Ch. 3 of Business and Professional Communication. | | | Reading | Read this week’s Electronic Reserve Readings | | | Participation | Participate in class discussion. | Various | 30 | Capstone Discussion Question | Respond to the capstone discussion question.As a manager for a large multinational corporation, you travel around the world giving presentations and conducting meetings. You always try to include humor as an icebreaker. What potential barriers could you face when delivering your presentation in the United States, China, the United Kingdom, and India? Are you able to give the same presentation in all four locations? Why or why not * * | Day 2 | 30 | * | | | Final Project Debate Paper | Resource: Debate Paper OutlineWrite a 1,750- to 2,100-word debate paper in which you create a debate of a current event or other controversial topic and provide an analysis of arguments presented for both sides. Complete the following sections in the paper:Introduction: Introduce the issue that is the subject of the debate.BodyInclude a minimum of two but no more than four arguments for the pro and con sides of the debate.Evaluate any potential ethical, moral, or legal issues.ConclusionIdentify what you determined is the more persuasive argument. Reflect on the arguments presented and reveal your consensus.Base the conclusion solely on the pro and con arguments.Include a rebuttal of weaker arguments.Explain why the selected arguments were more persuasive.Cite at least three sources.Format your paper consistent with APA guidelines.Submit your assignment to the plagiarism checker (turnitin) accessed via the school’s library and attach a copy of the report with your assignment. (Please go to course materials forum for directions on how to submit if you are not sure how to submit the turnitin report)Upload your assignment and Turnitin Results to the assignments link as a Microsoft® Word attachment and post. Please note: Assignments not submitted as a Microsoft Word document will not be accepted. | Day 7 | 200 |
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Discussion Questions Week One Discussion Questions

What are some ways in which receivers of messages provide feedback when listening to or reading a message? What effect does this have on the message? Provide examples. *
What are some ways in which senders might receive feedback from their messages? How might this feedback affect the sender and the message? Why is this important? *
Which step in the communication process do you consider most important? Why do you think this? Which of these steps is most uncomfortable for you? Why is this? How might you work to change this?

How has technology changed the communication process? Has technology changed the way people communicate in business? Provide examples. *
Week Three Discussion Questions

Consider the following statement: Most disagreements or differences of opinion are more often a result of faulty, misunderstood, or confusing premises rather than faulty reason from a valid premise. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Explain your answer. *
Chapters 5 & 6 of Critical Thinking cover fallacies and rhetoric. According to the text, what are two examples of persuasion that are not valid arguments? Why are these invalid arguments? *
What are some methods you might use to determine the reliability of data you gather? Why is it important to analyze your data to determine if it is reliable? Week Five Discussion Questions

What suggestions would you offer new employees to help them effectively communicate in your workplace when meeting face-to-face, sending an e-mail, and participating in a meeting? *
What would be the most effective channel to communicate with your manager? Why is this? Why are other channels less effective? *
What do you consider to be the most important features of effective communication? Explain your choices. DQ:

Week Seven Discussion Questions *
Consider the list titled “In Depth: Critical Thinking, The Long Version” in Ch. 1 of Critical Thinking. Which do you consider to be the most important points? Why? *
What is the difference between persuasion and manipulation? How do arguments and language affect the way in which they differ?

What keys or tips can raise suspicion about the validity of arguments presented verbally and in writing? Cite specific examples.

Copyright University of Phoenix® is a registered trademark of Apollo Group, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. Microsoft®, Windows®, and Windows NT® are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. All other company and product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies. Use of these marks is not intended to imply endorsement, sponsorship, or affiliation. Edited in accordance with University of Phoenix® editorial standards and practices.

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