Interpersonal Communication Syllabus for 2021-2022
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Instructor Information

Office Location

Parcells Hall 204M

Office Hours

Summer Office Hours:

Available virtually or in-person by appointment.

If you need to meet with me, just get in touch with me via email and we will set up a meeting that works for both of us.

You can message me through our course in Blackboard, or through my college email as listed above.

Course Information

COVID-19 Protocols

Recording Policy

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If you find you are unable to access material in an accessible format please contact the Disability Services Office at (806) 345-5639 . This office will work in conjunction with other campus resources to address and accommodate your issue in a timely manner.

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As a student you may experience a range of issues that can cause barriers to learning, such as strained relationships, increased anxiety, alcohol/drug problems, feeling down, difficulty concentrating and/or lack of motivation. These mental health concerns or stressful events may lead to diminished academic performance or reduce a student's ability to participate in daily activities. Amarillo College offers services to assist you with addressing these and other concerns you may be experiencing. If you or someone you know are suffering from any of the aforementioned conditions, you can learn more about the broad range of confidential mental health services available on campus by calling the AC Counseling Center at 806-371-5900. The AC Counseling Center website is . Also, if you are in need of social services (affordable housing, utilities, transportation, food, clothing, childcare, medical/dental/vision, legal), please call the AC Advocacy & Resource Center at 806-371-5439. The AC Advocacy & Resource Center website is

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The Tutoring for Success policy applies to any student whose grade or performance in the course falls below a departmentally determined minimum threshold. In either of those cases, the instructor will direct the student to the appropriate tutoring service, which may be faculty-led, discipline-specific, and/or general. Under this policy, the instructor will follow specific departmental guidelines governing the use, duration, and grade component of the tutoring need.

Administrative Drop Policy

Students who do not attend class on or prior to the census date will be administratively dropped. Effective Fall, 2016

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Students who wish to withdraw from a course must complete all steps indicated on the Academic Withdrawal Request form by the course withdrawal deadline.

NOTE: Students who are attending Texas institutions of higher education, for the first time fall 2007 and later, may not withdraw from more than six courses during their academic career. This withdrawal limitation does not include dual credit or developmental classes (Senate Bill 1231 Rule 4.10.) For more information on Drop and Withdrawal Policies, please visit the Registrar's Office Web site.

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SPCH-1318-001 Interpersonal Communication


Course Description

Application of communication theory to interpersonal relationship development, maintenance and termination in relationship contexts including friendships, romantic partners, families and relationships with co-workers and supervisors.

Student ResourcesStudent Resources Website

Department Expectations

Occupational License Disclaimer

Notice to Students enrolled in an educational program for preparation of issuance of certain occupational licenses:

Students enrolled in an educational program in preparation for obtaining certain occupational licenses are potentially ineligible for such license if the student has been convicted of an offense. For further information, please contact:

Melodie Graves
Justice Involved Advocate
Student Service Center 117
Make appointment at

You can also contact the Legal Clinic, or the faculty member in charge of the educational program that you seek to enroll in. The further information you will receive will include notification to you of your right to request a criminal history evaluation letter from the licensing authority in order to clarify your particular situation.


(3 sem hrs; 3 lec)

Class Type

On Campus Course

Syllabus Information


Interpersonal Messages, 4th edition by Joseph Devito. You need the bundle package that includes Revel (this is the online book access code you will need to complete some online activities, worth 20% of your grade).

When you purchase the textbook code at the AC bookstore, the publisher will send a paper copy of the textbook to your home address if you request one.


  • Personal Computer with reliable internet access. Contact the AC bookstore for information on renting a laptop 371-5000; or visit the Underground on Washington Street Campus to use a campus computer 

  • Recommended browsers - Firefox or Chrome

  • Access to Microsoft Word or Google Docs to type and submit papers (you have access to Google docs through your Amarillo College email account)

Student Performance

Through reading the current literature, researching recent communication findings, and participating in group and individual oral assignments, the student will:

  1. Exhibit understanding of interpersonal theories and principles.
  2. Demonstrate ability to analyze and critique verbal and nonverbal interactions in mediated and face-to-face contexts.
  3. Identify perceptual processes as they relate to self and others.
  4. Demonstrate critical thinking ability by effectively researching, evaluating, and applying communication theories in oral and/or written assignments.
  5. Demonstrate understanding of the relevance of cross-cultural, co-cultural, gender and age influences on human communication.
  6. Demonstrate ability to identify, evaluate, and apply conflict styles and conflict management techniques in dyads and/or groups.
  7. Identify types of and barriers to effective listening.

Students Rights and Responsibilities

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Log in using the AC Connect Portal

In order to receive your AC Connect Email, you must log in through AC Connect at .

If you are an active staff or faculty member according to Human Resources, use "Exchange". All other students, use "AC Connect (Google) Email".

Expected Student Behavior

Many communication courses ask students to engage in a level of self-disclosure not usually characteristic of other courses. Different people will feel comfortable with varying levels of self-disclosure. While I would like you to draw from your personal experience, you may choose to talk about yourself or someone you know. If it is the latter, in the interest of confidentially they should remain nameless. Interpersonal Communication is an interactive course, meaning you will be learning from each other’s personal experiences and examples. For this reason it is encouraged for you to be open to sharing with the class. Additionally, because some individuals will be sharing personal stories, I expect there to be a level of confidentiality among the members of the class and respect for their classmates' privacy. 


Due to the current pandemic and the possibilities of having to move to remote learning, I would like to cover some online rules in case we are required to adapt to working together virtually.

Online etiquette, often referred to as "netiquette," is essential for life lived in the Internet.  As a society, it's oftentimes too easy to use keystrokes as missile attacks against others, and it's oftentimes too easy to mistake someone's keystrokes as personal attacks.

Because of those two elements, we will follow these guidelines:

We Honor Our Differences

  • Behind every keystroke is a living breathing soul.  They have people who count on them, love them, and trust them.  They may have a life story different from ours, but it is our duty to the integrity of the classroom environment to keep our classmates safe.  Safe from harassment, safe from bullying, safe.
  • When differences arise, use the tools we are learning in this course to ask for clarification.  Differences can be anything from personal beliefs to questions about truth of assertions.  
  • When differences do arise, take the time to understand the other point of view.  In the process, you may change your viewpoint, or may strengthen your own argument.  Either way, the only way to achieve this wisdom and knowledge is to put forth the effort to listen and understand your classmates. 
  • Find your voice.  Speak with clarity and kindness.  Always seek the truth.  Question everything.  Never make enemies, instead, build allies.  If you would not say it to their face, do not type it.
  • Your voice is not without a name.  A server records your every keystroke.  Participate with integrity.
  • Even if it is housed on a server, this is a college classroom.  Please respect the educational setting just as you would a traditional classroom.

We Honor the Craft of Communication

  • In this class, we are learning how to communicate.  We will practice that skill in every dimension during our time together.
  • TYPING IN ALL CAPS IS AKIN TO SHOUTING.  Do not shout, please.
  • Speaking fluent sarcasm is a gift many have; however, as of yet, there is no sarcasm font.  Be cautious when using humor and sarcasm in an online environment.  Insulting your audience will dilute your effectiveness as a communicator. 
  • When possible, check previous postings for content redundancy.  
  • Edit and review your online writing before submitting it.
  • LOL, OMG, SMH are perfectly fine when texting; however, this is a college classroom.  Write as a college-level student.  The same thing with emojis.  Use your words.
  • Know when to use email versus a discussion board.  Things to keep in mind:
  • Personal matters = email (i.e., asking instructor a question, finding out information about a campus event, etc.)
  • Class matters = discussion boards (i.e., if will benefit at least three other people in the class)

Grading Criteria





200 (20%)


200 (20%)

Love Lyrics Project

100 (10%)


100 (10%)

Final Paper

200 (20%)

Revel Bookwork

200 (20%)

Total Points                




Participation Activities:
This class relies upon two major things 1) your active participation in class exercises and discussions and 2) a close, meaningful analysis of your own communication tendencies with family, friends, co-workers and people you meet. If these things occur along with attention to assignments and class readings you will find tools to better understand your own communication skills, relate better with others and succeed in this course.

Extra Credit Opportunities:

Anyone who seeks tutoring at either the Writer's Corner in Ordway Hall or the Tutoring Center in the Ware Student Commons building will receive 5 extra credit points on the assignment you get help with. Both the Writer's Corner and the Tutoring Center send time-stamped email verification of your appointments, so you have to actually seek help and stay and work on the assignment(s) to qualify for the extra credit points. If you do so well on the paper that you do not need extra credit points, I will add them to your lowest grade in the course. 

Late Work Policy:

I do not accept late work. Assignment deadlines are set and you may view them below. It is your responsibility to manage your time and meet the deadlines. I do not make exceptions to the late work policy because of the 8-week format, it does not help you to be able to fall behind. Please let me know if you are dealing with extenuating circumstances and I will work with you, but as a general rule late work is not graded. I give you an entire class period off every week to ensure you have adequate time to complete assignments, please use your time wisely! 


Regular attendance is essential for satisfactory achievement. Due to the current global pandemic, attendance for this course will be counted a bit differently than in a typical semester. There will not be a grade for attendance because I do NOT want any of you to come to campus if you don't feel well - it's just too risky! I will record and grade a participation score based on your interactions in the class when you are in attendance, combined with a score for how many assignments you complete on time. If you turn in all work on time all semester and you actively participate in the class when you are present, that should be an easy extra 100 points for you at the end of the semester! We are all dealing with uncertain and stressful times right now, and I want to do whatever I can to make this class as helpful to you as possible. 

I count off for participation only when a student is not engaging in the class by: spending classtime on their phone, doing homework for other classes during lecture, distracting classmates from discussions, or derailing conversations consistently.


Week One: 8/23 - 8/29

Monday 8/23 names/syllabus/Revel/Covid/Speech 1 Instructions
Tuesday - Thursday: lectures for chapters 1 & 2/SPEECH 1 PRESENTATIONS DUE THURSDAY (8/26)

Week Two: 8/30 - 9/5

Monday 8/30 NO CLASS - REVEL CHAPTERS 1 & 2 DUE BY 11:59 PM
Tuesday - Thursday: lectures for chapters 3 & 4/Paper 1 instructions

Week Three: 9/6 - 9/12

Monday 9/6 NO CLASS - REVEL CHAPTERS 3 & 4 DUE BY 11:59 PM
Tuesday 9/7 PAPER 1 DUE
Tuesday - Thursday: lecture for chapter 9/personality test/goals

Week Four: 9/13 - 9/19

Monday 9/13 NO CLASS - REVEL CHAPTER 9 DUE BY 11:59 PM
Tuesday - Thursday: paper 2 assignment/lecture chapter 10/group assignment

Week Five: 9/20 - 9/26

Monday 9/20 NO CLASS - REVEL CHAPTER 10 DUE BY 11:59 PM
Tuesday - Thursday: TUESDAY (9/21) LOVE LYRICS PRESENTATIONS DUE/lecture chapter 11/hostages study

Week Six: 9/27 - 10/3

Tuesday - Thursday: Speech 2 Instructions/lecture chapters 5 & 6/Final Paper Instructions

Week Seven: 10/4 - 10/10

Monday 10/4 NO CLASS REVEL CHAPTERS 5 & 6 DUE BY 11:59 PM
Tuesday - Thursday: Lecture chapters 7 & 8/SPEECH 2 PRESENTATIONS DUE THURSDAY (10/7)

Week Eight: 10/11 - 10/14

Monday 10/11 NO CLASS REVEL CHAPTERS 7 & 8 DUE BY 11:59 PM

Additional Information

We are in unusual times. This is not the way I typically hold this class, but we are all working through changes these days. My priorities are to keep all of you safe while still giving you the best college classroom experience I can. I want this process to go smoothly for you, I know that little else is going smoothly for most of us. I am here for you, and I want you to know that teaching communication skills is an honor to me, and something that I take very seriously. So, please, let me know how I can help you become a better communicator through all of this. I look forward to a great semester with each of you!

Syllabus Created on:

08/21/21 5:37 PM

Last Edited on:

08/22/21 9:14 PM