CQUniversity Unit Profile
COMM11003 Communication in Professional Contexts
Communication in Professional Contexts
All details in this unit profile for COMM11003 have been officially approved by CQUniversity and represent a learning partnership between the University and you (our student).
The information will not be changed unless absolutely necessary and any change will be clearly indicated by an approved correction included in the profile.
General Information

Overview

This unit introduces you to elementary professional communication concepts. Topics include communication theory and practice, small group communication, oral and written communication, teamwork, and ethical issues. All topics are discussed with an emphasis on practical exercises and application.

Details

Career Level: Undergraduate
Unit Level: Level 1
Credit Points: 6
Student Contribution Band: 10
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load: 0.125

Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

There are no requisites for this unit.

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Offerings For Term 2 - 2017

Distance

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Class and Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Class Timetable

Bundaberg, Cairns, Emerald, Gladstone, Mackay, Rockhampton, Townsville
Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney

Assessment Overview

1. Written Assessment
Weighting: 35%
2. Written Assessment
Weighting: 35%
3. Presentation and Written Assessment
Weighting: 30%

Assessment Grading

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%). Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades.

Previous Student Feedback

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Feedback from Student feedback and Annual Program Review meeting.

Feedback

Feedback overall is currently excellent. Students on the whole appreciated and enjoyed the unit. Slight adjustments will be made to account for future possible inclusion as a core unit in Business.

Recommendation

Continue with the broad format of the unit. Change the blog assessment to six activities, three of which will be compulsory.

Feedback from Student feedback and Annual Program Review meeting.

Feedback

Some students found the group work problematic and the weighting of 40 percent too high for a group assessment.

Recommendation

The value of learning group work, including negative experiences, outweighs any argument for its removal. Group work will be maintained. The weighting of the group report to be changed to 30 percent. Change from groups of two to groups of three to take into account problems if one student in the group drops out.

Unit Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate oral, written and interpersonal communication in professional contexts
  2. Explain the relationship between communication and technology in professional contexts, including information management and knowledge transfer
  3. Discuss ethical use and dissemination of information in professional contexts
  4. Identify effective communication in intrapersonal, interpersonal, small group and intercultural contexts
  5. Communicate effectively in a variety of business and academic communication genres, both written and oral.

Skills

By the end of this unit, you will be able to communicate effectively with peers and superiors. You will have improved your skills in the core areas of:

  • writing
  • oral communication
  • interpersonal communication
  • research.

Alignment of Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Graduate Attributes
N/A Level
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Professional Level
Advanced Level

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes

Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Written Assessment - 35%
2 - Written Assessment - 35%
3 - Presentation and Written Assessment - 30%

Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes

Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
5 - Team Work
6 - Information Technology Competence
7 - Cross Cultural Competence
8 - Ethical practice
9 - Social Innovation

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes

Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
1 - Written Assessment - 35%
2 - Written Assessment - 35%
3 - Presentation and Written Assessment - 30%
Textbooks and Resources

Textbooks

Prescribed

Communication Skills for Business Professionals (2015)

Authors: Phillip Cenere, Robert Gill, Celeste Lawson and Michael Lewis
Cambridge University Press
Melbourne Melbourne , Victoria , Australia
ISBN: 978-1-107-65662-8
Binding: Paperback

IT Resources

You will need access to the following IT resources:
  • CQUniversity Student Email
  • Internet
  • Unit Website (Moodle)
Referencing Style

All submissions for this unit must use the referencing style: American Psychological Association 6th Edition (APA 6th edition)

For further information, see the Assessment Tasks.

Teaching Contacts
Lynette Costigan Unit Coordinator
l.costigan@cqu.edu.au
Schedule
Week 1 Begin Date: 10 Jul 2017

Module/Topic

Introduction to communication concepts in a professional context

Chapter

See Weekly Lesson 1 for associated readings

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 2 Begin Date: 17 Jul 2017

Module/Topic

Audience and context

Chapter

See Weekly Lesson 2 for associated readings

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 3 Begin Date: 24 Jul 2017

Module/Topic

The medium and the message

Chapter

See Weekly Lesson 3 for associated readings

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 4 Begin Date: 31 Jul 2017

Module/Topic

Information gathering: research and information literacy

Chapter

See Weekly Lesson 4 for associated readings

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 5 Begin Date: 07 Aug 2017

Module/Topic

Writing for understanding

Chapter

See Weekly Lesson 5 for associated readings

Events and Submissions/Topic

Vacation Week Begin Date: 14 Aug 2017

Module/Topic

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 6 Begin Date: 21 Aug 2017

Module/Topic

Intercultural communication

Chapter

See Weekly Lesson 6 for associated readings

Events and Submissions/Topic

Essay or Video Script Due: Week 6 Friday (25 Aug 2017) 6:00 pm AEST
Week 7 Begin Date: 28 Aug 2017

Module/Topic

Oral presentations

Chapter

See Weekly Lesson 7 for associated readings

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 8 Begin Date: 04 Sep 2017

Module/Topic

Non-verbal communication

Chapter

See Weekly Lesson 8 for associated readings

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 9 Begin Date: 11 Sep 2017

Module/Topic

Teamwork, conflict resolution and negotiation

Chapter

See Weekly Lesson 9 for associated readings

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 10 Begin Date: 18 Sep 2017

Module/Topic

Understanding yourself and others

Chapter

See Weekly Lesson 10 for associated readings

Events and Submissions/Topic

Communication Blog Due: Week 10 Friday (22 Sept 2017) 6:00 pm AEST
Week 11 Begin Date: 25 Sep 2017

Module/Topic

Ethics in a professional context

Chapter

See Weekly Lesson 11 for associated readings

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 12 Begin Date: 02 Oct 2017

Module/Topic

Review

Chapter

Weekly Lesson 12 reviews key unit concepts discussed throughout the term

Events and Submissions/Topic

Review/Exam Week Begin Date: 09 Oct 2017

Module/Topic

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Group report Due: Review/Exam Week Monday (9 Oct 2017) 6:00 pm AEST
Exam Week Begin Date: 16 Oct 2017

Module/Topic

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Assessment Tasks

1 Written Assessment

Assessment Title
Essay or Video Script

Task Description

Essay or Video Script: 1,300-1,500 words (35 marks)

Your task is to write an Essay OR a Video Script on one of the following topics:

1. Why is an understanding of non-verbal communication important in business and professional contexts? Explain with examples.

OR

2. There are many channels available to business professionals today. In the previous decades channels such as Facebook, Blogs, Twitter and so on have emerged. Discuss the value and potential risks of social network sites for business professionals.

You are to use at least FOUR sources in addition to the textbook in your referencing of this assignment, Your sources should include journal articles accessed from the Library databases. You are to use the American Psychological Association (APA) style of referencing.

Further details on this assessment and a criteria sheet are provided on the Moodle unit website. Please review all assessment information before beginning this assignment.


Assessment Due Date

Week 6 Friday (25 Aug 2017) 6:00 pm AEST

This assignment is due on Friday of Week 6 by 6pm AEST (Australian Eastern Standard Time).


Return Date to Students

Week 8 Friday (8 Sept 2017)

Marks and feedback will normally be returned within two weeks of submission.


Weighting
35%

Assessment Criteria

This assessment task relates to the general assessment criteria below:

  • Written argument
  • Use of sources to support argument
  • Structure
  • Writing standard
  • Referencing


Referencing Style

Submission
Online

Submission Instructions
Submit essay/script to be marked via the unit Moodle site. Attach the marking criteria sheet at the end of the document before submitting to Moodle.

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • Demonstrate oral, written and interpersonal communication in professional contexts
  • Explain the relationship between communication and technology in professional contexts, including information management and knowledge transfer
  • Discuss ethical use and dissemination of information in professional contexts
  • Identify effective communication in intrapersonal, interpersonal, small group and intercultural contexts
  • Communicate effectively in a variety of business and academic communication genres, both written and oral.


Graduate Attributes
  • Communication
  • Critical Thinking
  • Information Literacy
  • Cross Cultural Competence

2 Written Assessment

Assessment Title
Communication Blog

Task Description

Communication Blog: 1,250-1,500 words (35 marks)

Students are expected to engage with the unit material and each other in this task. Specifically, you will:

Set up a blog on blog program Wordpress (https://signup.wordpress.com/signup/). Use your name or a (professional) title for the blog - do not use the unit name or code in the title.

Post the URL link of your blog in the Blog Discussion Forum by the end of Week 3. Invite reviews from your fellow students as well as offering your review of at least three other student blogs. The Unit Coordinator will monitor both the blogs and the reviews, providing feedback as necessary/helpful.

Write five (5) posts (250-300 words for each post). The posts will be improved if they are illustrated with a variety of communication media (e.g. written text, links to further information, photographs, diagrams, audio, gifs, videos etc.).

The first post must be published by the end of week 3. The remaining four posts are to be published in weeks 5, 7, 9 and 10.

Post 1 due in Week 3:

Firstly, introduce yourself: for example, what you are studying; what you hope to get out of your course and this unit; your interests, ambitions. Secondly, you are to review the orientation/welcome video and unit profile and then give an overview of what the unit is about, what is expected of you, and important dates (such as assignment due dates).

Posts 2, 3 and 4 due in Weeks 5, 7 and 9.

These three posts should respond to any three (3) of the following topics. You will need access to the textbook as the topics are review or reflection questions contained in the textbook.

  • What are 'soft skills'? Why are they important in business? (p. 21)
  • How does empathy affect our communication competence? Why is communication competence so hard to achieve? (p. 79)
  • Explain the difference between Aristotle's logical, emotional and ethical rhetorical appeals in the context of persuasion. (p. 122)
  • Explain how a deeper appreciation of culture can assist in effective business communication. (p. 193)
  • Explain whether good grammar and spelling matter in emails, as they are only a quick message. (p. 304)
  • Find a YouTube video of an oral presentation and do a brief analysis of body language, tone of voice and words spoken (see pp. 365-367). Include a link to the video.

Each of these three posts should have at least two information sources (references). The inclusion of relevant journal articles is highly recommended. You are to use the American Psychological Association (APA) style pf referencing.

Post 5 due in Week 10

In this post you are to provide a review of your previous blog posts and reflect on blog learning (e.g. what have you learned; can you see improvements throughout your blog posts; what would you like to improve upon; were there any challenges; what did you like or dislike; what would you do differently next time?).

Further details on this assessment and a criteria sheet are provided on the Moodle unit website. Please review all assessment information before beginning this assignment.


Assessment Due Date

Week 10 Friday (22 Sept 2017) 6:00 pm AEST

Posts throughout the term. Final submission by Friday Week 10, 06:00 PM AEST (Australian Eastern Standard Time).


Return Date to Students

Week 12 Friday (6 Oct 2017)

Marks and feedback will normally be returned within two weeks of submission.


Weighting
35%

Assessment Criteria

This assessment task relates to the general assessment criteria below:

  • Writing standard
  • Writing/presentation structure
  • Research and referencing
  • Link between response, topic and key communication concepts.
  • Attention to requirements of task


Referencing Style

Submission
Online

Submission Instructions
Upload the marking criteria sheet with your name and blog URL as a Word document by Friday of Week 10

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • Demonstrate oral, written and interpersonal communication in professional contexts
  • Explain the relationship between communication and technology in professional contexts, including information management and knowledge transfer
  • Discuss ethical use and dissemination of information in professional contexts
  • Identify effective communication in intrapersonal, interpersonal, small group and intercultural contexts
  • Communicate effectively in a variety of business and academic communication genres, both written and oral.


Graduate Attributes
  • Communication
  • Problem Solving
  • Information Literacy
  • Ethical practice

3 Presentation and Written Assessment

Assessment Title
Group report

Task Description

Group Report: 2,000 word written report OR 10-15 minute recorded presentation with slideshow (30 marks)

It is argued that "... the increasing complexity of business processes requires combinations of abilities and knowledge. Thus group-based activities (whether continuing processes or one-off projects) are increasingly common" (Cenere, Gill, Lawson, & Lewis, 2015, p. 150).

In this task, you are to produce a report on working in groups in organisations today. You can research and write this from the perspective of an organisation or organisations in your study area or intended career. Points to consider in the report include (but are not limited to):

  • Why are group-based activities becoming so common today
  • Why is teamwork important in the the workplace today
  • What are the benefits for both organisations and employees
  • What factors are needed for team or group success
  • What are some potential problems and how can they be addressed

The written report must have correct report format. The recorded presentation must include a slide show (PowerPoint, Prezi or other form of slide presentation). You are required to research and include at least five (5) reputable references in the report/presentation. The inclusion of journal articles is highly recommended.

The report is required to be worked on in groups of three. All group members are required to contribute equally to the final result. In exceptional circumstances students may be permitted to submit the assessment as an individual. Please contact the Unit Coordinator if you believe your situation to be genuinely problematic.

Distance students are to use the discussion forum to seek group members. If you cannot locate group members, the Unit Coordinator will put you with other students. Distance students should maintain regular contact with the Moodle unit website and with your group members through Zoom or Skype, email and/or phone.

A Group Report Forum will be made available on the Moodle site to share questions/problems/ideas.

Group members will conduct a self and peer assessment. You will evaluate your performance and the performance of your group members for the report. Details on the self and peer assessment will be provided on the Moodle site. The assessment will not affect your overall grade unless it is clear there have been problems and in that case the coordinator will contact you. The self and peer assessment is an opportunity for you to reflect on your performance and the performance of your group members.

Further details on this assessment and a criteria sheet are provided on the Moodle unit website. Please review all assessment information before beginning your report.


Assessment Due Date

Review/Exam Week Monday (9 Oct 2017) 6:00 pm AEST

This assignment is due on Monday of Review/Exam Week by 6pm AEST (Australian Eastern Standard Time).


Return Date to Students

Marks and feedback will normally be returned within two weeks of submission.


Weighting
30%

Assessment Criteria

This assessment task relates to the general assessment criteria below:

  • Report structure (written/recorded presentation)
  • Use of sources
  • Argument
  • Writing/presentation standard
  • Referencing
  • Group work


Referencing Style

Submission
Online

Submission Instructions
Only ONE group member to submit report to be marked via the unit Moodle site. Attach the marking criteria sheet at the end of the document before submitting to Moodle.

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • Demonstrate oral, written and interpersonal communication in professional contexts
  • Explain the relationship between communication and technology in professional contexts, including information management and knowledge transfer
  • Discuss ethical use and dissemination of information in professional contexts
  • Communicate effectively in a variety of business and academic communication genres, both written and oral.


Graduate Attributes
  • Communication
  • Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking
  • Information Literacy
  • Team Work

Academic Integrity Statement

As a CQUniversity student you are expected to act honestly in all aspects of your academic work.

Any assessable work undertaken or submitted for review or assessment must be your own work. Assessable work is any type of work you do to meet the assessment requirements in the unit, including draft work submitted for review and feedback and final work to be assessed.

When you use the ideas, words or data of others in your assessment, you must thoroughly and clearly acknowledge the source of this information by using the correct referencing style for your unit. Using others’ work without proper acknowledgement may be considered a form of intellectual dishonesty.

Participating honestly, respectfully, responsibly, and fairly in your university study ensures the CQUniversity qualification you earn will be valued as a true indication of your individual academic achievement and will continue to receive the respect and recognition it deserves.

As a student, you are responsible for reading and following CQUniversity’s policies, including the Student Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure. This policy sets out CQUniversity’s expectations of you to act with integrity, examples of academic integrity breaches to avoid, the processes used to address alleged breaches of academic integrity, and potential penalties.

What is a breach of academic integrity?

A breach of academic integrity includes but is not limited to plagiarism, self-plagiarism, collusion, cheating, contract cheating, and academic misconduct. The Student Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure defines what these terms mean and gives examples.

Why is academic integrity important?

A breach of academic integrity may result in one or more penalties, including suspension or even expulsion from the University. It can also have negative implications for student visas and future enrolment at CQUniversity or elsewhere. Students who engage in contract cheating also risk being blackmailed by contract cheating services.

Where can I get assistance?

For academic advice and guidance, the Academic Learning Centre (ALC) can support you in becoming confident in completing assessments with integrity and of high standard.

What can you do to act with integrity?