Interpersonal Communication Theory and Practice – COMS 522

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 08/30/2021

Course Description

Analysis of theories and practices in interpersonal communication in such areas as self-concept, gender, culture, language, paralanguage, and competence in interpersonal relationships.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


This course is designed to help the student learn the theories regarding interpersonal communication. The course allows students to research the scholarship in the discipline. Because interpersonal communication is such a large division of the communication discipline, it is vitally important that students understand the theories and research in this area of study. This course will allow the student to explore much of the research in this area of communication.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussion: Video Class Introduction

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for this discussion. For the thread, the student must record a short video introduction answering the questions in the prompt. In addition to the thread, the student must respond to at least 2 classmates’ video introductions in written replies of at least 150 words each. Each reply must be supported by at least 1 course textbook reference in current APA style.

Discussions (2)

The student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each Discussions. Each thread must be at least 400 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. The thread should use current APA format, include at least 2 peer-reviewed source citations (in addition to the course textbook) and integrate at least 1 biblical principle. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 200 words, use APA format, and include at least 2 peer-reviewed source citations (in addition to the course textbook).

Interpersonal Communication Journal Entry Assignments (4)

Throughout the term, you will be completing 4 journal entries. You will choose a writing prompt from the Interpersonal Communication Journal Entry Prompts document to reflect upon and write about for that module. To receive full credit for this assignment, you must write several paragraphs – a minimum of 3/4 of a page (or three or four paragraphs double spaced) – for each entry, using personal examples and interacting with theory to discuss your thoughts and feelings on the topic. Through these journals, I want to see your process of self-reflection while deepening your understanding of interpersonal communication theory.

Each journal entry should be free of grammatical and spelling errors. Each entry should include the integration of scripture as well as include at least two documented sources (one can be your textbook).  Please reference your sources (scripture should be referenced in the content of the entry) at the conclusion of your entry.  As this assignment is not a formal paper, a cover page or reference page is not required.  The journal entry with references should be completed on a single page.

Listening Project Paper Assignments (2)

The primary purpose of your listening project is for you to engage in reflection, while learning about the transformational power of listening. This project is both academic and reflexive. You will learn more about yourself, listening to God and those around you. You are strongly encouraged to plan for this project early on in the term to gain the most from the experience.

Julia Wood says that being mindful “is being fully present in the moment.”[1] This is one of the most difficult parts of interpersonal communication. Many times, we enter into listening interactions with an agenda. It is important for you to know how you listen best, what your strengths and weaknesses are, and how can you better adapt to diverse listening situations. This exercise will give you some practice doing just that.

Choose a person – or a representative of a group – whose story might not ordinarily be listened to. This person must be someone to whom you would not normally listen, and is a challenging and stretching person for you to interact with due to their life experience or difference in beliefs. You must be able to prove how the person chosen is challenging to you in your paper. It should be clearly evident that thought and planning have been put into the listening event in order to receive a high grade on the project. The more you chose to stretch yourself, the more you will gain from this project. The person you listen to must be outside of the Liberty community.

You must interact with them for at least 1.5 hours and no more than 2.5 hours. If necessary, you may break the listening periods into two or three sessions. This must be an interpersonal interaction. You may not listen to someone on the phone or video chat. At the most, you may listen to a small group of others – no more than four. You may not go listen to a speech for this project. For example, if you want to learn about Muslim apologetics, you may not go to a mosque to hear an Imam speak, however, you may listen to one of your Muslim friends explain their faith to you. Remember, this assignment is to help you learn where the other person is coming from – not to interject your own opinions. Based on your own discretion, you may or may not choose to tell the other person why you are going to be listening to them. If they ask you to keep their identity or any information that they share with you in confidence, please do the utmost to assure that you honor their request. Any information that you share with me will be kept in confidence.

When you go to your interaction, it is a good idea to have some initial questions prepared, but after that do your best to let the speaker lead the dialogue where they find importance, try your best not to interject your own agenda into the conversation.

[1] Wood, J. (2016). Interpersonal communication: Everyday encounters (8th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Best of Interpersonal Communication Essay Assignment

The student will write a research-based paper in current APA format that focuses on an interpersonal communication theory and the practical application of that concept to their personal and/or professional life. The paper must include at least 5 references in addition to the course textbook and the Bible, and be at least 750 words.

Quizzes (2)

Each quiz will cover the Textbook material for the module(s): week(s) in leading up to the module: week in which it is assigned. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 10 essay questions, and have a 3-hour time limit.