week 1 characteristics and utility of interpersonal communication

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INTRODUCTION

Week 1: Characteristics and Utility of Interpersonal Communication

Constantly talking isn’t necessarily communicating.


Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

All interpersonal communication begins with a need to convey a message to another person. Until very recently, this has primarily meant speaking face-to-face, handwriting a letter, or calling by phone. Now, technologies such as e-mail, text messaging, instant messaging, social media, and video chat applications offer even more popular interpersonal communication options. Today, there are a myriad of ways to communicate, but no matter which you choose, you are still faced with the responsibility to communicate well so that others may understand you.

In order to be a clear communicator, you must first understand how interpersonal communication is structured and what elements influence effective communication. This week, you will focus on some of the basic theories, principles, and models of communication. You will consider guidelines for being a more effective interpersonal communicator.

Through the Discussion and the Assignments, you will apply learning and insights to your own interpersonal relationships—a reflective first step to developing new communication skills. You will also be introduced to your Final Project. Work on this assignment begins in Week 1. It is therefore recommended that you carefully review the Final Project guidelines early in this week.

Learning Objectives

Students will:
  • Explain the importance of the principles of interpersonal communication
  • Define interpersonal communication
  • Apply basic models of interpersonal communication to your own life
  • Evaluate the skills of interpersonal communication competence

Learning Resources

Required Readings

Communication in the Real World: An Introduction to Communication Studies. Retrieved from
http://open.lib.umn.edu/communication/

Landin, M. (2017, November 15). Principles of Interpersonal Communication. Retrieved from
https://prezi.com/view/DvZR62AKgrKvDOubGgnc/

Document: Week 1 Application Worksheet: Interpersonal Communication Models and Competency Guidelines (Word document)

Required Media

Laureate Education. (Producer). (2016a).
Characteristics of interpersonal communication [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 7 minutes.


(PART 1 HOMEWORK)

Discussion: The Transactional Model of Communication and You!

The best way to define interpersonal communication is by focusing on what happens between people, not where they are or how many are present.

—Julia T. Wood,
Interpersonal Communication: Everyday Encounters

Over the years, as researchers have studied interpersonal communication, the ideas about how communication works in relationships and the role each person plays in a conversation have changed and grown. Communication is now seen as a transactional and systemic process. This means that when we communicate with another person, the communication from both people is at the same time, can take place within different contexts and change based upon the context, and is ongoing. For this week’s discussion, you will work with some of the models of interpersonal communication that researchers have made over the years and apply them to your own interpersonal communication. The transactional model of communication is widely accepted as the most complete of the three as it contains the most parts.

To prepare:

Read Chapters 1 and 2 of the textbook Communication in the Real World: An Introduction to Communication Studiesfound in the Week 1 Resources. Think about some of models of communication described.

View the media located in this week’s Learning Resources. Think about how Sandra’s understanding of the transactional model of communication helped her to understand noise that gets in the way of communication and how communication can change during the process.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post by Day 3 a 1 to 2-paragraph discussion. In this post you should answer the following:

Using the transaction model of communication to analyze a recent conversation you had:

  1. Describe the conversation briefly.
  2. Identify, within your conversation, each part of the model (who were the communicators; what was message; channel; what was the feedback, etc.)

Be sure to support your ideas by connecting them to the week’s Learning Resources, or to something you have read, heard, seen, or experienced.

(PART 2 HOMEWORK)

Assignment: Week 1 Worksheet: Interpersonal Communication Models and Competency Guidelines

Over the years, as scholars have studied interpersonal communication, the ideas about how communication functions in relationships and the role each individual plays in a communication exchange have changed and grown. Communication is now seen as a transactional and systemic process. This means that when we communicate with another person, the communication from both parties is simultaneous, can take place within various contexts and change based upon the context, and is ongoing.

For this worksheet assignment, you will work with some of the models of interpersonal communication that scholars have developed over the years and then engage with the guidelines for developing your own interpersonal communication competence.

In preparation:

  • Review this week’s required readings.
  • View the media located in this week’s Learning Resources.

The Assignment:

Refer to the Week 1 Application Worksheet, “Interpersonal Communication Models and Competency Guidelines.”

  • Download the worksheet to your computer.
  • Save the worksheet with this submission title (using your own name): “WK1Assgn1+last name+first initial.doc”
  • Type your answers to the questions in the space provided in the worksheet and not in a separate file.
  • Save your work in preparation to upload the file for grading.
  • Return the completed worksheet to the submission link in the Week 1 Assignment area for your Instructor to grade.

Part 3 homework

Project: Final Project: Movie Analysis

For this class, you will be working on a project that will provide you with an opportunity to apply what you are learning this term to interpersonal relationships in a movie of your choosing. You will be able to evaluate communication skills as you analyze the movie.

This project will have three parts for you to complete.

Part 1: You will be asked to choose a movie that allows you to analyze significant interpersonal relationships. Thus you will be asked in Week 1 to submit a movie choice with a summary of what the movie is about, who the characters are, and who holds the significant relationships. Please read the requirements in Weeks 3 and 5 before choosing a movie. It is vital that you choose one that will allow you to address the topics of the last to part of this project. The first part of your project will be worth 50 points.

Part 2: In Week 3, you will submit part 2 of your final project. Here you will be asked to analyze the verbal and nonverbal communication present in the major relationships of the movie. You will be asked to choose a scene and analyze the communication that takes place in that scene. For more information on this part of your project, please go to the Project link under Week 3. The second part of your project will be worth 100 points.

Part 3: In Week 5 you will submit the final portion of your project. You will be asked to choose 2 scenes. You will need one scene where two characters from different cultural backgrounds (race, age group, nationality, etc.) interact with each other. You will also need a scene where two characters are having a deeply emotional conversation (anger, sadness, fear, etc.). You will be asked to analyze the communication in these scenes. For more information on this part of the project, please go to the Project link under Week 5. This part of your project will be worth 150 points.

The rubrics for these assignments can be found in Course Information area.

Part 4 homework

Project: Final Project: Part 1

For this class, you will be working on a project that will give you a chance to apply what you are learning to interpersonal relationships in a movie that you choose. You will be able to evaluate communication skills as you analyze the movie.

To prepare:

Look for a movie that you enjoy that meets these requirements:

  1. A large amount of interpersonal communication that takes place between the characters.
  2. A scene where the communication between characters allows for you to analyze the verbal and nonverbal communication between characters.
  3. A scene where different cultures (race, age group, nationality, etc.) affect the communication between the characters.
  4. A scene where two characters are having a deeply emotional conversation (anger, sadness, fear, etc.).

It is important that you enjoy this movie because you will be writing about it a lot!

The Project:

Write a 1-page paper that includes the following:

  1. The title of the movie
  2. A brief description of the movie
  3. A list of the main characters
  4. A detailed description of the relationships and cultures in the movie

Important: Reference the Week 1 Project Part 1 Rubric located in the Course Information area as you write. This rubric can be used as a checklist to help make sure you are including everything in your assignment.

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