This course introduces students to the dynamics of interpersonal communication and conflict resolution. Participants identify and evaluate interpersonal conflicts, assess communicative options from different ethical frameworks, and make ethical and effective decisions through conflict resolution practices.
The course fosters development of the knowledge, skills, and abilities associated with two general education requirements: ENGCOM B and ETHICS ULRs.
Course Prerequisite: Successful fulfillment of EngCom A
UNIVERSITY LEARNING REQUIREMENT OUTCOMES:
ENGCOM ULR Level B: Demonstrate empathic and critical listening, production of written texts and oral communication of complex ideas to audiences using English.
1. Comprehension/Interpretation: Ability to use empathic and critical reading, listening, viewing, speaking, and writing skills to understand information and ideas; to distinguish among diverse genres of communication; to identify a point of view and its explicit support; and to locate significant points of agreement and disagreement among multiple perspectives.
2. Analysis/Evaluation: Ability to use empathic and critical thinking skills to understand why different perspectives exist on a given topic and to assess their merits.
3. Presentation: Ability to use oral and written communication ethically, effectively, and competently.
ETHICS ULR: Demonstrate skill in recognizing, analyzing and resolving real-world ethical problems using diverse approaches to ethical decision-making.
1. Identify and describe actual ethical problems or dilemmas and those who are affected by them
2. Analyze the dilemma from the multiple perspectives of those affected
3. Articulate and acknowledge one’s own deeply held beliefs and assumptions as part of a conscious value system
4. Describe and analyze relevant perceptions and ethical frameworks for decision making
5. Demonstrate considered reflection of the above when identifying the available range of options as well as their anticipated consequences
· Josina M. Makau & Debian L. Marty, Cooperative Argumentation: A Model for Deliberative Community (Waveland Press, 2001)
· Participants will be asked to identify and secure a number of additional instructional resources (from the Internet, Library Learning Complex, and other sources)
· Interpersonal Communication Skills Reflective Essay (due February 8)
· In-Class Essay Exam (March 6)
· Empathic Listening Exercise (Due March 13)
· Oral Presentations (March 27 and March 29)
· Conflict Resolution Exercise (Due April 10)
· Position Paper (due April 24)
· In-Class Critical Review (May 10)
· Draft Argumentative Essay (Due May 10)
· Final Argumentative Essay (Due May 17)
Assessment & Grade Distribution:
· Reflective Essay: 5%
· Empathic Listening Exercise: 10%
· Conflict Resolution Exercise: 10%
· In-Class Essay Exam: 15%
· Oral Presentation: 10%
· Position Paper: 5%
· Argumentative Essay: 20%
· In-Class Critical Review: 10%
· Participation & Contributions:* 15%
*NOTES REGARDING PARTICIPATION AND CONTRIBUTIONS:
Given the nature and goals of this learning experience, all enrollees are expected to participate actively in class discussions, group work, and other learning activities. Absence from a class session prevents the participant from contributing to the learning community, as well as compromising the individual’s ability to stay fully in tune with the community’s efforts. The learning process in this skill-based class is incremental. Active participation is therefore key to fulfillment of the course goals. For these and related reasons, it is important for class members to attend all sessions to the extent possible. It is understood that special circumstances (such as a death in the family, illness, etc.) can require an enrollee to miss class. If special circumstances of this kind require a student to miss a class discussion or other learning activity, she or he is responsible for consulting with and securing notes from classmates, as well as for completing all work required in order to get “up to speed” on material covered during his or her absence. It is not possible for the instructor to “replicate” the day’s learning experiences. It is therefore important for students to avoid requesting assistance of this type from the instructor.
Participants are expected to arrive in class on time (late arrivals disrupt the flow of learning for the entire learning community and are therefore deeply problematic). The learning community’s success depends as well upon participants’ timely and thoughtful review of required readings. All participants are expected to come to class well prepared to contribute meaningfully.
Shutting down personal electronic equipment (cell phones, pagers, personal computers, and other equipment) is key to developing and sustaining a respectful and successful learning environment. Computer and related technological resource use must be limited strictly to “official” communal learning activities. All participants must be sure to turn off their personal computers, cell phones, and other equipment prior to each class session.
Below is an overview of assessment criteria for each student’s participation and contributions:
14-15pts: Attends all class sessions (barring extreme circumstances); arrives on time, well prepared for each session’s learning experience; participates actively and meaningfully; contributes significantly to group activities; provides valuable insights throughout the semester; demonstrates respect and regard for fellow class mates; significantly contributes to fulfillment of class goals.
12-13pts: Attends nearly all class sessions; arrives on time, prepared for each session’s learning experience; participates actively and meaningfully; contributes valuably to group activities; provides meaningful insights throughout the semester; demonstrates respect and regard for fellow class mates; contributes valuably to fulfillment of class goals.
11-12pts: Attends most class sessions; arrives on time, prepared for each session’s learning experience; participates actively; meets minimal standards in contributing to group activities; offers insights during at least half of class sessions; demonstrates respect and regard for fellow class mates; demonstrably seeks to contribute to fulfillment of class goals.
9-10: Attends more than 70% of class sessions; arrives on time most days; contributes to group activities; offers insights during at least a third of class sessions; demonstrates respect and regard for fellow class mates; seeks to contribute to fulfillment of class goals.
Fulfillment of General Education Requirements:
Students who participate actively in class discussions and learning activities, submit all assignments on due dates, and demonstrate a satisfactory level of competency--meeting a satisfactory level of performance on course assignments--will earn a grade of “C” /2.0 or better. Students who meet or exceed this standard of performance throughout the semester will be certified as having fulfilled the Ethics and Second Level EngCom University Learning Requirements.
Participants’ Rights and Responsibilities:
1. Presence & Participation: As noted above, on-time presence and informed, active, respectful participation in class discussions and other learning activities are expected of all participants. If a student must miss a class discussion or other learning activity, she or he is responsible for consulting with and securing notes from classmates, as well as for completing all work required in order to get “up to speed” on material covered during his or her absence. The instructor is responsible for being well prepared to facilitate learning through respectful engagement with students and their learning processes, and to provide thoughtful, responsible, and responsive assessment of student learning.
2. Meeting Deadlines and Fulfilling Outcomes: all assignments are to be submitted at the beginning of class on the due date unless other arrangements are negotiated in advance with the instructor. Valid reasons to negotiate extensions include serious illness or personal emergency. All paper assignments are expected to be typed, double-spaced, and following other guidelines presented in class. The instructor is expected to provide assignment guidelines and to assess student work in a timely fashion (three weeks maximum) with comments and assessments of student learning (as appropriate). Students are entitled to discuss their assessment with the instructor.
3. Plagiarism gravely undermines the integrity of the learning process. Students must be sure to provide clear and appropriate citations for any information, text, or copy taken from books, magazines, peers, tutors, friends, the Internet, or any other outside source. Failure to do so on any assignment will be considered a serious violation of academic integrity. The instructor is obligated to uphold strict sanctions against such practices throughout the semester.
1/23: Introduction to Each Other & to the Course
Overview of Conflict Resolution Case Options
1/25: Introduction to Ethics and EngCom B ULRs
Interpersonal Communication Exercise
Exploration of Case Study Options
Readings: Makau and Marty, pp. 1-16
1/30-2/1: Guidelines for Ethical and Effective Dialogue
Introduction to Cooperative Argumentation
Selection of Case Study and Groups
Readings: Makau and Marty, pp. 45-110
2/6-2/8: Moral Relativism and Moral Reasoning
Introduction to Diverse Ethical Frameworks
Introduction to Moral Development Theory
Truthfulness and the Principle of Veracity
Readings: Jaksa and Pritchard, Communication Ethics: Methods of Analysis,
pp. 9-13 & pp. 60-102 (e-reserve)
A. Rich essay
Video: Bill Moyers interview with Sissela Bok
Reflective Essay Due February 8
2/13-2/15: Moral Development & Interpersonal Communication
Applying Diverse Ethical Frameworks
Interpersonal Communication Case Studies in Truthfulness & Deception
Readings: Jaksa and Pritchard, pp. 60-102
Other readings TBD
2/20: Reason, Logic, and Emotion in Conflict Resolution
Cynicism vs. Critical Judgment
Ethics, Interpersonal Communication, and Emotional Intelligence
Readings: Makau & Marty, pp. 12-54; 81-110; 113-115; and 244-245
S. Cisneros essay
2/22: Group Work (Preparation for Empathic Listening Exercise and Presentations)
Readings: Group research
2/27: Reflections and Preparation for In-Class Exam
3/1: Group Work (Preparation for Empathic Listening Exercise and Public Presentations)
3/6: In-Class Exam
3/8: Conflict Resolution Across Cultural Boundaries
Cultural Relativity and Cross Cultural Values
Readings: Universal Declaration of Human Rights (e-reserve)
Makau & Marty, pp. 111-115
Videos: Samples of Cross-Cultural Values
3/13-3/15: Forum Preparation
Identifying key terms and issues
Identifying roles and responsibilities
Readings: Makau & Marty, pp. 130-237
Empathic Listening Exercise Due March 13
3/20-3/24: Spring Break
3/27-3/39: Group Forums and Deliberations
4/5: Introduction to Family Life Issues
4/10-4/12: Preparing the Argumentative Essay
Introduction to Family Life Issues
Conflict Resolution Exercise Due April 10
Weeks Thirteen & Fourteen:
4/17-4/26: Preparing the Argumentative Essay
Assignment guidelines & criteria for assessment
Identifying assumptions, values, and commonplaces
Readings: Makau & Marty, pp. 239-285
Position Papers Due April 24
5/1-5/3: Preparing the Argumentative Essay
Responsiveness to the deliberative community
Identifying and applying an ethical framework to conflict resolution
Tools for evaluating arguments
Readings: Makau & Marty, pp. 239-285
5/8: Reflections and Preparation of Final Essays
5/10: In-Class Review Exercise
Draft Essay Due May 10
Final Essay Due May 17