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 1 - 2019

Brisbane
Bundaberg
Cairns
Gladstone
Mackay
Melbourne
Noosa
Online
Perth
Rockhampton
Sydney
Townsville

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: 40%
2. Reflective Practice Assignment
Weighting: 20%
3. Group Work
Weighting: 40%

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 evaluations

Feedback

Students appreciated the range and variety of assessment items.

Recommendation

The unit is core in a number of courses in term 1 with the main cohorts being professional communication, digital media and creative arts. Other cohorts include business, property and aviation. Given the number of cohorts and their varying abilities and interests, it is recommended to maintain a range and variety of assessment items to help engage these cohorts.

Feedback from Student evaluations

Feedback

Students appreciated the support given by unit coordinators. They appreciated having two coordinators in a large unit.

Recommendation

The unit has large numbers and is core in a number of courses. It is recommended that having two coordinators be maintained in order to give the different cohorts the support and help they need to succeed in the unit.

Feedback from Student evaluations

Feedback

Some students expressed concerns about the group work assessment.

Recommendation

The benefits of group work assessment outweigh the concerns. In fact, some students stated they enjoyed the group assessment. It is recommended that the group work assessment remains.

Feedback from Coordinators, teaching staff and student feedback.

Feedback

In term 2, 2018 a change of unit proposal was submitted based upon a clearer understanding of teaching and coordination responsibilities for such a large cohort in both terms 1 and 2.

Recommendation

It is recommended to reduce three large assessment items to two key assignments and an ongoing engagement activity. This will ensure good support for students as well as a manageable marking load for teaching staff.

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 - 40%
2 - Reflective Practice Assignment - 20%
3 - Group Work - 40%

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 - 40%
2 - Reflective Practice Assignment - 20%
3 - Group Work - 40%
Textbooks and Resources

Textbooks

Prescribed

Communication skills for business professionals 1st (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

Additional Textbook Information

Copies are available for purchase from the CQUni Bookshop here: http://bookshop.cqu.edu.au (search the Unit code)

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
Tris Kerslake Unit Coordinator
t.kerslake@cqu.edu.au
Lynette Costigan Unit Coordinator
l.costigan@cqu.edu.au
Schedule
Week 1: Introduction to communication concepts Begin Date: 11 Mar 2019

Module/Topic

Introduction to communication concepts in a professional context.

What is professional communication? What is transmission theory? Why are we all going to be professional communicators? This week, we look at the basics.

Chapter

See Weekly Lesson 1 for associated readings

Events and Submissions/Topic

Reflective exercise 1

Week 2: Audience and context Begin Date: 18 Mar 2019

Module/Topic

Audience and context.

Every instance of effective communication must begin with an understanding of your audience. Why? And what do we mean by 'Context'? We begin constructing communication.

Chapter

See Weekly Lesson 2 for associated readings

Events and Submissions/Topic

Reflective exercise 2

Week 3: The medium and the message Begin Date: 25 Mar 2019

Module/Topic

The medium and the message.

When is an email not just an email? Can you ever send an SMS text to your CEO? What are the critical differences between communication media? This week we look at communication options.

Chapter

See Weekly Lesson 3 for associated readings

Events and Submissions/Topic

Reflective exercise 3

Week 4: Information gathering Begin Date: 01 Apr 2019

Module/Topic

Information gathering: research and information literacy.

There is a world of information out there and as a university graduate, you'll be paid to be able to access it. This week, we show you how.

Chapter

See Weekly Lesson 4 for associated readings

Events and Submissions/Topic

Reflective exercise 4

Week 5: Writing for understanding Begin Date: 08 Apr 2019

Module/Topic

Writing for understanding.

It's not enough these days to be skilled in specialist knowledge; you need to be able to communicate this knowledge, especially in writing.

Chapter

See Weekly Lesson 5 for associated readings

Events and Submissions/Topic

Reflective exercise 5

Break Week Begin Date: 15 Apr 2019

Module/Topic

Break week.

Relax, unwind or use the time to catch up.

Chapter


Events and Submissions/Topic


Week 6: Intercultural communication Begin Date: 22 Apr 2019

Module/Topic

Intercultural communication.

You will not only be working in a team after you leave university but increasingly, in a team populated by people from all over the world. This week we examine communication across cultures.

Chapter

See Weekly Lesson 6 for associated readings

Events and Submissions/Topic

Reflective exercise 6

Week 7: Oral presentations Begin Date: 29 Apr 2019

Module/Topic

Oral presentations.

One of the fastest-growing methods of business and corporate communication these days is the use of presentation and conferencing technologies. We show you how to use them effectively.

Chapter

See Weekly Lesson 7 for associated readings

Events and Submissions/Topic

Reflective exercise 7


Essay or Report Due: Week 7 Friday (3 May 2019) 6:00 pm AEST
Week 8: Non-verbal communication Begin Date: 06 May 2019

Module/Topic

Non-verbal communication.

What is non-verbal communication? How can you use it to your advantage? How do you avoid the obvious problems? This week, we make you smile.

Chapter

See Weekly Lesson 8 for associated readings

Events and Submissions/Topic

Reflective exercise 8

Week 9: Teamwork, conflict resolution and negotiation Begin Date: 13 May 2019

Module/Topic

Teamwork, conflict resolution and negotiation.

At some point, everyone will work in a team of some type. Big teams, small teams, teams filled with people you'll never meet except online. We begin your teamwork here.

Chapter

See Weekly Lesson 9 for associated readings

Events and Submissions/Topic

Reflective exercise 9

Week 10: Understanding yourself Begin Date: 20 May 2019

Module/Topic

Understanding yourself and others.

Before you can manage and communicate to your own team, you need to understand your own motivations and communication style. This week, you explore yourself.

Chapter

See Weekly Lesson 10 for associated readings

Events and Submissions/Topic

Reflective exercise 10

Week 11: Ethics in a professional context Begin Date: 27 May 2019

Module/Topic

Ethics in a professional context.

There are fewer limitations and restrictions on how people communicate today. This means there is a growing pressure of ethical expectation on how professionals communicate. We explore this.

Chapter

See Weekly Lesson 11 for associated readings

Events and Submissions/Topic


Week 12: Review Begin Date: 03 Jun 2019

Module/Topic

Review.

This week is allocated to a review of the key elements of the unit, so that you are able to incorporate them into your final assignment.

Chapter

Weekly Lesson 12 reviews key unit concepts discussed throughout the term

Events and Submissions/Topic

Weekly Engagement Reflections Due: Week 12 Friday (7 June 2019) 6:00 pm AEST
Week 13 Begin Date: 10 Jun 2019

Module/Topic


Chapter


Events and Submissions/Topic

Group Blog Due: Review/Exam Week Monday (10 June 2019) 6:00 pm AEST
Week 14 Begin Date: 17 Jun 2019

Module/Topic


Chapter


Events and Submissions/Topic


Term Specific Information

WORD COUNT for written assignments:

The word count is considered to be from the first word of the introduction to the last word of the conclusion. It excludes the cover page, abstract, contents page, reference page and appendices. It includes in-text references and direct quotations.

In COMM11003 (and other COMM units), paraphrasing of information is preferred rather than the use of direct quotations.

Assessment Tasks

1 Written Assessment

Assessment Title
Essay or Report

Task Description

Essay OR Report: 1,800 words (40 Marks)


Your task is to produce either a formally written essay or a formal business report on the following topic:


Organisations today often use social media (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin etc.) to communicate with the outside world. Discuss why is it important that the information they make public is accurate and reliable.


Use real examples of corporate social media activities (both good and bad) to discuss the importance of having accurate, ethical and reliable information online.


Write a 1,800 word essay or report on this topic as a Word document (no zipped files, pdf or rtf files).


Attach a copy of the assignment marking sheet at the end (after your references).


You are to use a minimum of five (5) CARS compliant sources in addition to the unit text in the referencing of your assignment. Your sources should include at least two (2) journal articles accessed from the Library databases. You are to use the American Psychological Association (APA) style of referencing.


CARS checklist

C = is the source CREDIBLE? Does it make sense? Is it a place that usually provides unbiased/impartial information?

A = is the source ACCURATE? Is it up to date? Are the statistics/data recent or relatively 'fresh'?

R = is the source RELIABLE? Is it a place you can always count on to be correct and trustworthy?

S = is the source SUBSTANTIATED? Do you know who wrote/designed/hosts it? Do you have a name you can check up on?


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 7 Friday (3 May 2019) 6:00 pm AEST

This assignment is due on Friday of Week 7 by 6pm AEST (Australian Eastern Standard Time).


Return Date to Students

Week 9 Friday (17 May 2019)

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


Weighting
40%

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/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
  • Critical Thinking
  • Information Literacy
  • Cross Cultural Competence

2 Reflective Practice Assignment

Assessment Title
Weekly Engagement Reflections

Task Description

Weekly Engagement Reflections: 100-150 words per week (2 marks per reflection, max. 20 marks)


Specifically, you will write a brief reflection each week (Weeks 1-10 only). Each reflection should identify a piece of knowledge you have learned from that week's materials or readings and give a brief discussion of why you feel it will help you, as well as an example of where you can use this information in your studies or private life.


The weekly reflection activity link is located in the weekly modules (Weeks 1-10).


Each reflection is worth a maximum of 2 marks, the total mark being calculated in Week 12. Teaching staff will review the reflections on a regular basis to ensure effective learning.



Assessment Due Date

Week 12 Friday (7 June 2019) 6:00 pm AEST

Reflections submitted throughout the term. Total mark will be calculated in Week 12.


Return Date to Students

Week 12 Friday (7 June 2019)


Weighting
20%

Assessment Criteria

  1. Engagement with learning materials
  2. Writing standard
  3. Written argument
  4. Critical thinking


Referencing Style

Submission
Online

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 Group Work

Assessment Title
Group Blog

Task Description

Group Blog: three blogposts per group member @ 350 words each (total approx. 3,000 words) (40 marks)

In groups of three, set up and design a free WordPress blog (https://signup.wordpress.com/signup/). Choose a professional name or title for the blog - do not use the unit name or code in the title. You will need to decide the blog's design between you.

Once the blog has been created, each group member must select three of the following nine tasks. When the selection has been made, the individual member will write a 350-word blogpost for each of the three chosen tasks. You will need to include your name (byline) with each of your blogposts. Each blogpost should also be given a title.

Task 1: Record a current affairs news report from the television/online on your mobile phone. Write an analysis of the report in 350 words, with reference to its ethical behaviour. Upload a link to your recording in the blogpost.

Task 2: Consider a recent advertisement you have seen in the last three months. Discuss the ways in which its key message(s) were communicated (e.g. tone, language, sender, non-verbal, etc.).

Task 3: Create a 3-slide PowerPoint with voiceover, discussing the latest development in digital music sharing in relation to your area of study. Include this PowerPoint in your blogpost along with the text of your voiceover (max. 350 words).

Task 4: Cenere, Gill, Lawson, and Lewis (2015) state that "as workplaces become more diverse, you have the opportunity of working with a variety of people who come from different cultures" (p. 170). Discuss the importance of understanding intercultural communication when working in team environments.

Task 5: Go here: https://ecoprojectsaustralia.com.au/about/. Examine the functionality of this webpage. Discuss how it could be improved for its audience.

Task 6: Go to your local council's website. Discuss how it shares information with reference to 'noise'.

Task 7: Select one of the Week 10 activities in this unit. Discuss its usefulness in understanding your own communication style.

Task 8: Using your mobile phone, capture two images of business logos. Discuss the importance of corporate logos using your two images as examples.

Task 9: Listen to this interview:

https://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/pm/hobart-uni-students-facing-eviction-due-to-housing-shortage/10608356. Create a sound file in which you discuss radio as an effective channel of communication. Include the sound file link in your blogpost, along with the transcript of your discussion.

In addition, your group should coordinate your activities so that each group member is able to complete one of these tasks:

Media: Video (Task 1)

Media: PowerPoint with voiceover (Task 3)

Media: Audio (Task 9)

Interest and focus should be added to each blogpost by including different types of media (e.g. written text, hyperlinks, photographs, diagrams, audio, gifs, videos etc.). Remember that all external media used must be attributed (referenced).

It is recommended that group members proofread, review and offer feedback on each other's blogposts in order to achieve a higher overall mark for the assignment.

Include an APA reference list at the bottom of each post of sources you have used in that post, including audio and visual credits.

On-campus students will be put into groups by their Tutor.

Distance students will be put into groups by the Unit Coordinators. Distance students should maintain regular contact with the Moodle unit website and with your group members through Zoom, email and/or phone.

Note: Further specifications of the group work component and assignment requirements are detailed on Moodle. A detailed marking criteria sheet is also provided on the Moodle unit website. Please review all assessment information before beginning this assignment.


Assessment Due Date

Review/Exam Week Monday (10 June 2019) 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

Exam Week Friday (21 June 2019)

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


Weighting
40%

Assessment Criteria

This assessment task relates to the general assessment criteria below:


Referencing Style

Submission
Online

Submission Instructions
Only ONE group member to submit group blog 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
  • 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?