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COMM 1500-D Interpersonal Communication (CRN 486)

Spring 2019, MW 11-12:15 a.m., IC-205


Professor: Peter Boltz, Ph.D. E-mail:


Office: Alumni House Upstairs and to the left.  Office Phone: 678-359-5257

Office Hours: MW 1:30-3:30 p.m., TTh 8-10 a.m. or by appointment.


Course Description: One of the distinguishing marks of humanity is our sophisticated level of communication.  Most of us take our language and complex communication for granted – this course is meant to wake you up to the fragile nature of human interpersonal communication and not take it for granted.


Course Objectives:  This course should help you have more satisfying relationships with those close to you by improving your interpersonal communication skills. By the end of this course you should be able to match concepts with concrete examples.


Textbooks:           Looking Out, Looking In, Ronald B. Adler and Russell F. Proctor II, 2017.


Course Requirements:

All students are expected to:

                1. read assigned materials in the text for the course;

                2. attend class and participate in class discussions and activities;

                3. complete written assignments as scheduled;

                4. and complete quizzes, the midterm and final exams as scheduled.




1.  Attendance Required: Roll will be taken daily. After two absences, you will lose 7.5 points (of 100) for each absence. If a graded assignment is missed for absence, tardiness or leaving early, a zero will be recorded for that assignment.


2.  Tardiness: Chronically tardy students will lose 5 points from their attendance grade every time they are late for class, or leave early.


3.  Late Work: I do not accept late work. 


4.  Written Assignments:   All written assignments will be graded against professional and collegiate standards and will be typed.  The assignments will follow the form explained by the professor.  Spelling, grammar, and/or usage are graded.  Factual correctness is also required.


5.  Academic Dishonesty:  This includes plagiarism and cheating. The penalty for academic dishonesty is failure of the assignment, of the course and/or further prosecution by the college. Ignorance is not a defense.


6.  Emailing: I encourage students to write me and send me their drafts for review using their Gordon accounts, but I may not be able to answer students in a way that fits their timelines. I check my e-mail on a regular basis, but this does not guarantee immediate or timely response. I am not responsible for e-mail that does not reach me.


7.  Consultations: Grades are private and protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. I will discuss your grades only with you and in private.


8.  Keeping Track of Your Grade: I do not keep a running average of your semester grade. All of your graded assignments are returned to you, so you can calculate an average on your own.



9.  When you are absent or tardy, speak with a classmate outside of class about what you missed.


10.  I reserve the right to adjust this syllabus any time during the session. Students will be consulted and informed of changes during class periods.


11.  Cell phones etc. will not be allowed for use in the classroom. If you are caught looking at your phone, you will receive a warning for the first offense. Subsequent offenses will cost 20 points each time from your attendance grade. If you look at your electronic device during a quiz or an exam, you will receive a zero on that quiz or exam.


12.  If you need academic accommodations for a disability, you need to make an appointment with student counseling. The number for that office is 678-359-5585.  


13.  Scantrons. You are required to purchase 12 Scantrons from the campus bookstore for use in this class for quizzes and exams. You will hand them in to me during class on the assigned day (see Assignment Due Dates below). Students who have not done this will not be allowed to take quizzes or exams.


14.  Submissions of papers. The deadline for the D2L submission and the hard copy submission will be the end of the class period the due day.



Grading Weights


Chapter quizzes (average of all quizzes)                    20 percent

Written assignments (average of all papers)              25 percent

In-class exercises                                                        10 percent

Attendance                                                                  5 percent

Midterm exam                                                            20 percent

Final exam                                                                  20 percent




Jan. 14                   Scantrons

Feb. 13                  Paper 1 due.

Feb. 27                  Paper 2 due.

Mar. 4                    Last day to drop without failing.

Apr. 10                  Paper 3 due.

Final exam           May 7, 8 a.m.


Expect quizzes and graded exercises during the week chapters are being discussed.















Tentative Class Schedule


Week 1                         

        Jan. 9                                Course introduction.


Week 2

        Jan. 14, 16                       Chapter 8 Listening


Week 3                         

        Jan. 21                            MLK Holiday

        Jan. 23                             Paraphrasing exercise, page 265.


Week 4                                                                 

        Jan. 28, 30                       Chapter 1 A First Look at Interpersonal Communication

                                                  Writing assignment #1 due Feb. 13

Week 5                         

        Feb. 4, 6                          Chapter 2 Interpersonal Communication and Social Media


Week 6                                                                                                                                                 

        Feb. 11, 13                      Chapter 3 Communication and Identity

                                                  Writing assignment #2 due Feb. 27       

Week 7                         

        Feb. 18, 20                      Chapter 4 Perception


Week 8                         

        Feb. 25                            Midterm Exam. (Mar. 4 is the last day to drop without failing.)

        Feb. 27                            Review of midterm.


Week 9                                         

        Mar. 4, 6                          Chapter 5 Emotions: Feeling, Thinking, and Communicating


Week 10                       

        Mar. 11-15                      Spring Break


Week 11                       

        Mar. 18, 20                     Chapter 6 Language: Barrier and Bridge


Week 12                       

        Mar. 25, 27                     Chapter 7 Nonverbal Communication


Week 13                       

        Apr. 1, 3                          Chapter 9 Communication and Relational Dynamics


Week 14                       

        Apr. 8, 10                        Chapter 10 Interpersonal Communication in Close Relationships


Week 15                       

        Apr. 15, 17                      Chapter 11 Improving Communication Climates

Week 16                       

        Apr. 22, 24                      Chapter 12 Managing Interpersonal Conflicts

Week 17                      

        Apr. 29, May 1               Conflict


Final exam                             May 7, 8 a.m.




Title IX

Gordon State College is committed to providing an environment free of all forms of discrimination and sexual harassment, including sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. If you (or someone you know) has experienced or experiences any of these incidents, know that you are not alone. All faculty members at Gordon State College are mandated reporters. Any student reporting any type of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence or stalking must be made aware that any report made to a faculty member under the provisions of Title IX will be reported to the Title IX Coordinator or a Title IX Deputy Coordinator. If you wish to speak with someone confidentially, you must contact the Counseling and Accessibility Services office, Room 212, Student Life Center. The licensed counselors in the Counseling Office are able to provide confidential support. Gordon State College does not discriminate against any student on the basis of pregnancy, parenting or related conditions. Students seeking accommodations on the basis of pregnancy, parenting or related conditions should contact Counseling and Accessibility Services regarding the process of documenting pregnancy related issues and being approved for accommodations, including pregnancy related absences as defined under Title IX.


ADA and 504

If you have a documented disability as described by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504, you may be eligible to receive accommodations to assist in programmatic and/or physical accessibility. The Counseling and Accessibility Services office located in the Student Center, Room 212 can assist you in formulating a reasonable accommodation plan and in providing support in developing appropriate accommodations to ensure equal access to all GSC programs and facilities. Course requirements will not be waived, but accommodations may assist you in meeting the requirements. For documentation requirements and for additional information, contact Counseling and Accessibility Services at 678-359-5585.


House Bill 280

For information regarding House Bill 280, see the University System of Georgia at the following link:


Religious Holidays

Gordon State College acknowledges that the academic calendar can sometimes conflict with major holidays from among our diverse religious traditions. If a student must miss class due to the observance of a religious holiday, that absence may be excused. To be excused, the student must inform his/her instructors before the absence and make alternate arrangements for any work due at the time of the absence. An excused absence for the observance of a religious holiday does not excuse student from responsibility for required course work.


Hightower Collaborative Learning Center & Library

The Hightower Collaborative Learning Center & Library offers Gordon State students specialized library research assistance. Students can meet with their personal librarians for one-on-one help in each discipline, major, or course to search and evaluate information sources effectively. Go to to schedule an appointment by clicking the Personal Librarian tab or click

on the Presentation Practice Room tab to make a reservation. For immediate help, call 678-359-5076 or stop by the Circulation/Check-Out Desk. You can also Ask A Librarian or drop by the Circulation/Check- Out Desk. Check the library’s web site for hours, Electronic Resources, and LibGuides (subject- or class- specific research guides).


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