Suffolk County Community College – Grant Campus
COM 101 - Introduction to Human Communication
Dr. Steven Epstein Email: email@example.com
Room S22 South Cottage My website: http://www2.sunysuffolk.edu/epsteis/
631-851-6318 (I seldom answer the phone Course Web Site:
if I’m in conference. E-mail will get faster Desire 2 Learn TBA
Office Hours: T & Th 11:00 – 1:00 Text web site :
Wednesday 2:00 – 4:00 http://wps.ablongman.com/ab_seiler_commumakin_6
Occasionally I may need to be in meetings
during these times. To make a specific Links at http://www.pearsoncustom.com/link/
appointment call x6833.
This introductory course will cover broad areas in human communication with special emphasis
in interpersonal (one to one), small group (one with a few) and public speaking (one to many)
settings. Many topics will be teasers in the sense that entire courses are offered in many of the
areas we will discuss in just a few hours. Class sessions will be spent in lectures, discussions,
exercises, and speeches.
Students will be able to:
Demonstrate comprehension of various communication concepts (such as; perception, language,
interpersonal relationships, and effective listening) through oral and written exercises and
performance on exams
Demonstrate ability to function effectively in small group problem solving and decision making
Prepare outlines, carry out audience analyses (such as gender/cultural factors), research and
deliver different kinds of speeches that seek to accomplish different results (including but not
limited to informative and persuasive speeches)
Demonstrate ability to evaluate speeches critically
Understand the use of emerging technology where appropriate to enhance the communication
skills taught in class
While some courses provide information that can only be used far in the future, this course will provide
you with a skill set that can be used in your personal life, your college life, and your professional life.
The application of this information is immediate, yet the knowledge gained will stay with you for your
entire life. Hopefully, you will leave this course recognizing that you have learned to communicate more
skillfully and effectively. You may even desire to take additional communication courses in the future.
Required materials for all sections:
Seiler, William J. and Melissa L. Beall. COMMUNICATION: Making Connections, 7th Edition, Boston:
Allyn & Bacon, 2008. (Other editions acceptable)
A journal will be used as you process the information of the course in your own words. We will use
“blue books” that I will supply. I will distribute and collect the blue books at each class session.
Please bring your text, notebook and pen(s) & journal to every class.
You will also need a stapler, a dictionary, and a pocket folder.
You will also need to arrange for the use of a digital camcorder.
There will be frequent open book quizzes that you will take outside of class. Each quiz will consist of
10-15 multiple-choice & true-false questions. These quizzes will be taken on-line; you will have 20-30
for each quiz. You may take each quiz three times. The computer system will automatically keep track
of your highest score. By obtaining a score of 70 or higher you are demonstrating that you have read and
understood the text material in a timely fashion. By obtaining scores of 80 and above, you are showing
you are striving for a grade of A or B in the course. (THIS IS A GOOD THING TO DO, MORE
Failure to complete a quiz on time will result in a score of zero for the chapter(s). Allowing you to
retake the quizzes allows each student to work toward the grade he or she wants in this course. The
quizzes will be available online before we begin class discussion of each chapter. They will be blocked at
10 p.m. on the Sunday indicated.
I ask you to read the text and take a quiz before class discussion and class activities so you can better
contribute to and assimilate the class discussion. This insures that all students are ready to learn at the
pace of the entire class. It also assures that all students are ready to contribute to the preparation for the
group exam. NOTE: Failure to take at least half of the quizzes is grounds for dismissal from the course.
Your classmates want to know that all who are in the class are here to learn and come prepared.
These quizzes are open book and open friend. Students who take these quizzes with one or more
other students do better on the quizzes, on the group midterm, and better on the final. Please,
make a friend with one new person this term and study together, it really works.
I AM Assignment
We will do an in class activity that is designed to help you understand who you are…or who you think
you are. You will continue this out of class and produce a reflective paper dealing with your self concept
and how you manage the impression that others have of you.
First Speech – Speech of Introduction
Craft a speech that informs the class where you came from, where you are now, and
where you are going.
Tell the class in interesting narrative that provides insight into one aspect of yourself that
is unique and different.
Expand on your “Personal Headline.” What is the story you can tell that fills the page
under the teaser.
The quizzes primarily assess knowledge of basic terminology and comprehension of key facts. The group
midterm will allow you to study with a group and apply your knowledge to a specific “real world”
All students in the group will earn an individual grade and a group grade. The group grade will be based
on the quality of the work of all members of the group. Groups will be formed by your instructor based
on quiz performance. So, take all the quizzes and do well if you want to work with a group of similarly
highly motivated students. Students who are not active and reliable participants in the class (read,
excessively late or absent) will not be placed in a group and will either be dropped from the class or given
an individual assignment. The individual portion of the test grade will be determined by all group
members after the test is taken.
Second Speech – Informative or persuasive speech
You will prepare and deliver a 4-6 minute speech that is designed to teach us something worth knowing
(informative speech) or persuade the class that they should agree with you on some controversial issue or
that they should take some specific action. As part of your preparation you will conduct an audience
survey to see where your audience is coming from to determine where you can lead it.
Classes which use the HDL format will have a number of assignments that will be completed via the
internet. These assignments will be communicated to you in class or via email. Timely completion is
expected and will impact, hopefully positively, your class participation grade. Failure to complete these
assignments at an acceptable level of performance will result in an appropriate reduction of your course
From time to time, classes which meet in the face-to face format will also have on-line assignments.
Writing and Speaking Journal
We will be gaining our understanding of the communication process in many ways. We will have a
textbook as a road map and this will be supplemented by primary source material that will range from the
writings of the ancient Greeks all the way to research reports and popular articles by contemporary social
scientists and social critics. We will also conduct exercises (experiments) designed to get you to explore
communication phenomena in a common manner. Experiencing the activities and reflecting on them is
part of the learning strategy of the course. As we experience communication phenomena, either directly
via the exercises or via the readings, we will write. As we write, we will speak. As we speak, we will
think…and reflect on the thinking of each other. Thus the class will become a collaborative place to
think, reflect, and to share.
The journal will be written in class and out of class in Blue Books . I will provide them and collect them
at the end of each class session. You entries in the journal will count a major part of your participation
grade in the course. You will be asked to keep your Blue Books all term and to turn them in at the end of
the semester with final thoughts.
Movie and a Meal
Let me rephrase, movie and food for the mind. You will be asked to watch one of several movies over
Spring Break and to write a short reaction paper to the film and how it relates to one or more of the course
There will be a course comprehensive exam at the conclusion of the course. Take notes as you read the
text and as you read the supplemental material. Take notes as you take the chapter quizzes. On the
course web site(s) you will find chapter outlines and PowerPoint slides that coordinate with the textbook.
You may find it useful to download these tools to use when you read your textbook and to have in class
during “lectures.” The short answer questions for the final will be taken from the same question pool as
are the quizzes. However, you may take this exam only once and it will be taken without access to
others or to the textbook. Save your quizzes and use them to study for the final.
The final will also consist of some short essays. You will be able to make use of your journal as you take
this portion of the final. In fact, the essay portion of the final will refer to what we have discussed and
experienced in class and then processed in your journal.
Most college courses require that students spend a significant amount of time outside of class in
individual study time. For all of your courses, you should plan to spend a minimum of two hours outside
of class for every hour in class. The actual in-class meeting time is short in college courses because it is
expected that students can and will work independently outside of class in order to meet the course
requirements. If this is taught via HDL, the class will miss one meeting each week. Your out-of-class
time will, therefore, be somewhat greater than for the traditional face-to-face section.
There will be examinations over the readings, class “lectures” and other materials as assigned. You will
prepare and deliver two short speeches or presentations. You are expected to participate in class. Grades
are a fact of life in our education system. It is expected that you will keep a record of all of your grades
for this course.
During the semester I am eager to discuss your progress in the course. Please arrange to see me during
office hours to do so. I do not discuss individual progress during class time; it is not the appropriate
context for such discussion; see me during office hours. Or, send me an e-mail. If you are an athlete and
need a progress report, you should also plan to see me during office hours.
This is designed to be an “A/B” course for those who want to work to earn either of these grades:
The quizzes, with the multiple retakes allowed, are clearly set up so that you may earn an A on
The speeches are prepared in such a way that you get practice and feedback before the speech is
graded and the team and group practice will insure maximum grades.
o You will have the grading rubrics for the outlines and the speeches so that you can even
grade yourself while you practice.
Sufficient time will be provided for all speeches and writing assignments so you can get support
from the college’s Academic Skills Center.
The final makes use of the same questions as are on the quizzes. If you study with at least one
other person you should be able to see all the test questions before the final.
I enjoy working with students who are seeking to earn superior grades. They are more interesting than
most, contribute more in class, and get the most out of this course.
GRADING CRITERIA Percentage
Class Participation (Includes attendance, in class journal, homework,
and knowledge of the material during class discussions.)
Quizzes (online) 10
“I Am” paper 10
Movie with a theme (Watch a flick, relate it to the course) 10
Group grade 5 10
Individual grade 5
Outline for Speech 5
Speech Grade 5 15
Self Critique 5
Audience Analysis for Speech 5
Outline for Speech 25
Speech Grade 15
Final Exam 10
NOTE: Participation assessment and journal grades are automatically reduced with latenesses and
COURSE GRADE CALCULATION
A+ = 95-100 A = 90-94.9
B+ =85-89 B =80-84.9
C+ =75-79 C =70-749
D+ =65-69 D =60-64.9
F = 0-59.9
NOTE: The college does not allow grades of A+ to be assigned. However, I do make note of it in my
records. The letter of recommendation for jobs, scholarships, and college admissions that I can write for
students who work at this level is truly outstanding.
COM 101 Tentative Course Schedule
Week Date Topic & Chapter Online & offline assignments
Introduction to Course Policies, Get Book and read chapter 1 & 2. Prepare
Syllabus & Classmates for quiz on chapters during class next week.
1 Communication Process &
Principles and Perception
Chap 1 & 2
2 Meet in Computer Lab Desire2Learn and take first quiz.
Self Concept and Speech “Who Am I “
Chap 3 & 10
4 Write “I Am paper”
Review of NY Times Editorials and Op-ed
Verbal Communication Intro Speech & Language Lecture
Chap 4 “I AM” Paper due
Nonverbal Communication Intro Speeches & Non Verbal Rules
Mid-term Exam Group evaluation
Listening & Thinking
9 Chap 6
See a movie
Interpersonal communication & Interpersonal
11 relationships Movie Report Due
Chap 13 & 14
Topic selection & gathering Topic selection and Research
12 information Topic Workshop – Data Collection
Chap 7 & 8 Workshop
Organizing & outlining Rough draft workshop
Individual Prep workshops
Informative & Persuasive Speech Two outline review and practice
Chap 11 & 12
Speech 2 Extra Credit Speeches
Final Exam Computer lab
Speech 2 as needed
The assignments above are only a sample. Additional homework will be assigned to leverage the
interplay between the text, the CD, and the Internet. Quiz dates will be posted on the course web site.
Make sure to check email often and take quizzes early and often.
Suffolk Community College
COM 101 – Introduction to Human Communication
Dr. Steven L. Epstein
I have read the course syllabus for Dr. Epstein’s section of COM 101 along with the general policies and
procedures document found on his website http://www2.sunysuffolk.edu/epsteis via a link to “Class
Policies”. I have had an opportunity to ask any questions I might have and I understand what will be
required of me this semester. I understand that the pace will be brisk, that attendance and participation
are expected and that the standards of performance are high. I believe I am prepared for this level of
college work and can devote approximately 6-8 hours per week outside of class to meeting course
I also understand that presentations and speeches may be recorded for purposes of analysis and classroom
instruction. I give my instructor permission to keep archives of my videos(s) and my written work and to
use them for instructional purposes this term and in the future. I further understand that the recordings of
my speeches will be posted on YouTube so other students can review them.
E-Mail (print clearly)__________________________________
Best Phone Number to reach you ________________________________