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AB114

Communication Management Fundamentals

Academic Year : 2010-2011 Semester : 1


Course coordinator : David Yew
Pre-requisites : None Number of AUs : 2

Course description and scope

Communication Management Fundamentals introduces students to the crucial communication skills required of today’s
job hunters, employees and young entrepreneurs.

Getting that target job and success in one’s career are often symptomatic of a job-hunter who is good at developing
work relationships, collaborating with and across teams, and conveying ideas clearly. More than ever before, the
ability to communicate well determines an employee’s capacity to thrive in his or her career, and be in demand with
employers. Entrepreneurs must also communicate well in order to articulate and sell their ideas to customers,
suppliers, the government, and other partners in the business ecosystem.

This course is structured to hone students’ business communication skills, especially to prevail in a job hunt or
employment situation, and to communicate a positive-informative message at work or in business generally. Students
will be assessed on their ability to devise clear communication strategies, write effectively, prepare and deliver
compelling oral presentations, and gather and address feedback.

The importance of social media and its profound impact on the way people communicate today will be explored, as
will be the most effective manner in which such platforms are harnessed for employees and entrepreneurs alike.

Course learning objectives

This course aims to develop students’ skills in communication management: writing; speaking; listening; and group
interaction. Specifically, there are three key objectives:

1. Written communication: Students will learn to strategize and organize a positive-informative message in a
professional, high quality business document.

2. Oral communication: Students will learn to deliver a professional, high quality presentation, demonstrate
appropriate verbal and nonverbal communication skills, develop compelling content, and use technology effectively.

3. Social media communication: Students will learn to identify and critique good social networking profiles,
promote themselves on social media to attract potential employers and career opportunities, and appreciate the
increasing importance of social media for networking and entrepreneurship.

Learning and teaching methods

The course will be conducted over a 14-week period covering 31 August to 1 December 2010, with one two-hour
seminar per week. There will be a recess in Week 8, encompassing 19 October and 20 October 2010.

Week 1 will be Orientation Week, and Career Services will introduce “Career planning,” “Writing effective cover letters
and resumes,” and “Handling job interviews with confidence” to all seminar classes from weeks two to four. Career
Services course material has been woven into the Communication Management Fundamentals syllabus in close
collaboration with NBS Communication Management instructors.

Week 9 will be “eLearning Week,” in line with university requirements. During this week, students will work with their
respective lecturers through an online platform to discuss their thoughts about attractive social networking profiles,
and to fine-tune their individual social networking profiles, in preparation for their eventual internship and job search.

The course aims to help students become better at communicating orally and in writing. Students are, thus, expected
to interact openly and provide constructive feedback at all seminar classes, and especially during discussions, writing
tasks, presentations, and tutor and peer feedback sessions. Depending on a seminar group’s specific needs, the
schedule may be adjusted occasionally.
Course assessments

Components Marks Individual/Group


Social media communication: Group critique 10 Group
Social media communication: Individual profile 10 Individual
Written communication 30 Individual
Oral communication 30 Individual
Class participation 20 Individual
Total 100

Assessment plan

Course learning objective Assessment method

1. Social media communication (Group critique): Students A written assignment evaluated for insights on
will discuss and write a critique on social networking profiles profile development, specifically, profile “summary,”
that stand out and why such profiles work for them. attractiveness and design, and for critique language
control.

2. Social media communication (Individual profile): Students A written assignment on an online social networking
will learn to promote themselves on social media in order to platform evaluated for organizational strategy,
attract potential employers and business opportunities. content development, language control and design.

3. Written communication: Students will learn to strategize A written common test evaluated for organizational
and organize a positive-informative message presented in a strategy, content development, language control
professional, quality business document. and design.

4. Oral communication: Students will learn to deliver a A short scenario analysis presentation assessed for
professional, quality presentation, demonstrate appropriate content development, verbal delivery and non-
verbal and nonverbal communication skills, develop verbal delivery using PowerPoint as a visual aid.
compelling content, and use technology effectively.

Note: Please refer to Appendices 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 for a further description of how components will be assessed. All
students are expected to adhere fully to the university’s honour code, and pledge not to commit plagiarism, which is
to use or pass off as one’s own, the writings or ideas of another, without acknowledging or crediting the source from
which the ideas are taken, and/ or collusion, which is submitting an assignment, project or report completed by
another person and passing it off as one’s own, or preparing an assignment, project or report for a fellow student
who submits the work as his or her own. Collusion may or may not involve a monetary transaction. Such cheating
may result in students being asked to resubmit the assignment, receiving an F grade, or failing the course.

Main reading and other references

Main reading -- Locker, Kitty O., & Kaczmarek, Stephen, Business Communication: Building Critical Skills , 4th edn.

Call number Copy Material Location

HF5718.L815B 2009 3 Book Business Library, RBR (Level B2)

NB: Circulates for 2 hours only

Other reference -- Locker, Kitty O., Business and Administrative Communication


Call number Copy Material Location

HF5718.L815 2008 1 Book Business Library, RBR (Level B2)

NB: Circulates for 2 hours only


Other reference -- Guffey, Mary Ellen., Essentials of Business Communication
Call number Copy Material Location

HF5718.3.G941B 2008 1 Book Business Library, RBR (Level B2)

NB: Circulates for 2 hours only

Other reference -- Guffey, Mary Ellen, Business Communication: Process and Product
Call number Copy Material Location

HF5718.3.G941B 2006 2 Book HSS Library, Reserve Bk Room

NB: Circulates for 2 hours only

Note: There are multiple copies of other editions of the above references in the Business and HSS libraries. Besides
the above textbooks, course information, course assignments, readings on current business communication topics
and some relevant articles from various academic and public sources will be posted on the AB114 main course site on
edveNTUre. Announcements will also be posted on the site. Each seminar group also has its own edveNTUre seminar
site that is maintained by the tutor. Relevant material and tasks will be uploaded to supplement learning.

Course instructors

Full-time instructors Office location Phone Email


A/P Ho Mian Lian S3-B2C-102 6790 5711 amlho@ntu.edu.sg

Ms. Aga Sypniewska S3-B2B-52 6790 6236 agasyp@ntu.edu.sg

Ms. Ulrike Murfett S3-B2B-54 6790 5669 aummurfett@ntu.edu.sg

Dr. Constance Wee S3-B1B-52 6790 4652 awlwee@ntu.edu.sg

Ms. Yang Mei Ling S3-B2B-68 6790 6242 amlyang@ntu.edu.sg

Mr. David Yew S3-B2A-15 6790 5729 dksyew@ntu.edu.sg

Part-time instructors Phone Email


Ms. Shirley Alexander 9790 3766 maryshirley@ntu.edu.sg

Ms. Nicola Ho 9615 3267 nicolahho@hotmail.com

Ms. Emma Jarman-Jones 9820 4110 mgmeans@pacific.net.sg

Ms. Brenda Lee 9147 3612 brenlee.tkf@gmail.com

Ms. Lee Hui Kwang 9767 7243 hui_kwang@hotmail.com

Ms. Jacqueline Lee 9838 9772 j.holee@gmail.com

Dr. Vivien Ler 9698 7347 lerslv@gmail.com

Mr. Wayne Kwan 9694 4220 awhkwan@ntu.edu.sg

Ms. Faith Tan 6737 7152 aftan@ntu.edu.sg

Ms. Kathleen Tan 9797 5882 kathleen@gajahgoogoo.com

Ms. Daisy Tan-Teh Li Na 9845 0352 daisytan@ntu.edu.sg


Tuesday seminars: room and instructor allocation by time

0830-1030 hrs Lab Instructor 1030-1230 hrs Lab Instructor


Seminar 17 CL1 Kathleen Tan Seminar 25 CL1 Kathleen Tan

Seminar 18 CL2 Daisy Teh Seminar 26 CL2 Daisy Teh

Seminar 19 CL3 Jacqueline Lee Seminar 27 CL3 Jacqueline Lee

Seminar 20 CL4 Shirley Alexander Seminar 28 CL4 Shirley Alexander

Seminar 21 CL5 Vivien Ler Seminar 29 CL5 Vivien Ler

Seminar 22 CL6 Wayne Kwan Seminar 30 CL6 Wayne Kwan

Seminar 23 CL7 Emma Jarman-Jones Seminar 31 CL7 Emma Jarman-Jones

Seminar 24 CL8 Nicola Ho Seminar 32 CL8 Lee Hui Kwang

Wednesday seminars: room and instructor allocation by time

0830-1030 hrs Lab Instructor 1030-1230 hrs Lab Instructor


Seminar 1 CL1 Yang Mei Ling Seminar 9 CL1 Ulrike Murfett

Seminar 2 CL2 Ho Mian Lian Seminar 10 CL2 Ho Mian Lian

Seminar 3 CL3 Faith Tan Seminar 11 CL3 David Yew

Seminar 4 CL4 Shirley Alexander Seminar 12 CL4 Shirley Alexander

Seminar 5 CL5 Aga Sypniewska Seminar 13 CL5 Aga Sypniewska

Seminar 6 CL6 Constance Wee Seminar 14 CL6 Constance Wee

Seminar 7 CL7 Emma Jarman-Jones Seminar 15 CL7 Emma Jarman-Jones

Seminar 8 CL8 Brenda Lee Seminar 16 CL8 Brenda Lee


Proposed weekly schedule

Week Topic Learning objectives Readings/ activity

1 •Student orientation •Read: Ch 2, 4-10, 13 in


preparation for Week 5
Week starting
30 August 2010

2 •Career planning •Understand the importance of •Read: Ch 26 of the main


--By Career Services tutors early career planning textbook
Week starting 6
September 2010 •Apply advice given on how
they can plan their career
•Target what employers are
looking for when they hire
fresh graduates and interns

3 •Writing effective resumes •Apply the fundamentals of •Read: Ch 27 & 28


and cover letters writing effective resumes and
Week starting •Announce: Career Services
--By Career Services tutors cover letters, focusing
13 September tutors to inform students of:
particularly on how students
2010
should “showcase” and “sell” --Resume and cover letter task
themselves so as to (posted on AB114 Main Site)
differentiate and submission to their
Communication tutor via
“Digital Dropbox” on the
edveNTUre course site

4 •Handling job interviews •Understand the qualities and •Read: Ch 29 & 30


with confidence competencies employers are
Week starting •Check: Tutors access “Digital
--By Career Services tutors looking for when they recruit
20 September Dropbox” on their respective
interns and fresh graduates
2010 edveNTUre course sites to
•Apply what they have learnt check for students’ resumes
on effective interviewing and cover letters
strategies

5 •Communication •Understand what is effective •Read: Ch 2, 4-10, 13


fundamentals communication
Week starting •Activity: Review a sample
27 September --What is communication •Use audience-centered positive/informative message
2010 --Audience analysis approach in communication: focusing on audience, goodwill
Identify audience types; and tone
--Audience benefits
Consider audience needs;
--“You” attitude •Homework: Students to write a
Select relevant information;
positive/ informative message
--Positive language Highlight audience benefits
and submit on Week 7
--Tone •Apply goodwill in
communication

6 •Fundamentals of effective •Learn how to adapt a •Read: Ch 10, 27, 28


business writing message to the audience
Week starting 4 •Activity: Discuss how audience
October 2010 •Understand how to be analysis and goodwill can be
sensitive to contextual applied to the students’ cover
requirements letters and resumes, or to
Career Services samples

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Week Topic Learning objectives Readings/ activity

7 •Social media •Appreciate the impact of •Read: Uploaded social media


communication social media on business communication material on
Week starting
communication and how it can edveNTUre
11 October 2010
influence career and business
•Review: two social media
success
communication assessments to
be completed by Week 9 and
12, both of which can be found
uploaded on the main course
site
•Check: tutors to collect the
positive/ informative
assignments from students

8
Week starting RECESS
18 October 2010

9 •eLearning Week* •Identify and articulate why •Read: Uploaded social media
selected social networking communication material on
Week starting
profiles are attractive edveNTUre
25 October 2010
•Social networking
•Appreciate what employers •Review: informative/ positive
communication: Group
look for when recruiting message task from Week 7
critique (10%) assessment
•Assessment: Students choose
the best LinkedIn profiles they
*Students do not need to
have come across and give a
(physically) come for classes, but
are expected to frequently check critique on why they the profiles
in on their edveNTUre sites during are attractive
the course of the eLearning Week

10 •Oral communication •Learn about crafting •Read: Ch 5, 20


fundamentals memorable speeches
Week starting 1 •Activity: Tutors should use
November 2010 --Crafting memorable speeches •Understand the verbal some time (~10 minutes) to
--Verbal aspects of communication aspects of communication that discuss presentation skills, and
(Taping)
facilitate effective do a presentation practice run
communication (each student presents a
•Written common test maximum of three minutes; ~1
(30%) assessment hour 10 minutes)
--Seminar class allocation to •Assessment: Students attend
venues on the main course site the written common test on
--Closed book, and similar to the Wednesday 3 November from
practice exercise in Week 7 1300 to 1430 hours at LKC-LT/
LT 23/ LT 24/ LT 25

11 •Oral communication •Identify non-verbal aspects of •Read: Ch 5, 20, 25


fundamentals communication that facilitate
Week starting 8 •Activity: discuss how students
effective communication
November 2010 --Visual and non-verbal aspects of can apply verbal, nonverbal and
communication
•Understand how to enhance visual techniques in preparation
oral presentations with visual for Week 14’s oral assessment
aids
•Review: practice sessions from
Week 10
•Check: Oral assessment details
uploaded on main course site

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Week Topic Learning objectives Readings/ activity

12 •No classes for the week* •Assessment: tutors to


ascertain that students have
Week starting
completed their LinkedIn
15 November
•Social media individual profiles
2010
communication: Individual
profile (10%) assessment

*Due to the Hari Raya Haji public


holiday

13 •Speaking with confidence •Learn how to anticipate •Read: Ch 17, 29


questions and think on your
Week starting •Activity: Conduct mock job
feet
22 November interview for three selected
2010 •Understand how to listen students/ volunteers
actively and effectively address (individually or as a panel). The
questions interview session should last
about 30 minutes, followed by a
30 minute class discussion on
the interviewees’ effectiveness
at thinking on their feet

14 •Oral assessment (30%) •Assessment: Individual


presentation; three minutes per
Week starting
student; two minutes for
29 November
students and tutors to clarify
2010
points; PowerPoint slides
(Taping) required
Appendix 1: Social media communication: Group critique assessment criteria

Profile development Low Mid High


1-2 3-4 5-6

Profile “Summary”
1. Does the critique convincingly state why the profiles were selected?
2. Does the critique explain coherently the strengths and/ or weaknesses of
the selected profile summaries?

Profile attractiveness
1. Are the claims about the profile’s appealing/unappealing elements well
supported?

Profile design
1. Does the critique adequately describe why and how the selected profiles
are easily grasped in terms of their layout?

Language control

1. Does the critique have correct grammar and spelling?


2. Does the critique have clear and logical progression of thought?
Appendix 2: Social media communication: Individual profile assessment criteria

Organizational strategy and content development Low Mid High


1-2 3-4 5-6
Personal summary
Does the profile introduction promote the job-seeker effectively?

Message development
1. Is the profile complete?
2. Does the profile provide details that would answer a potential employer’s
or business networker’s questions, and make it easier to understand the
strengths portrayed?
Developing reader benefits
1. Are there reader benefits in the profile for the potential employer?
2. Is each reader benefit developed, highlighting why the benefit matters to
the employer?
Conclusion
1. Does the profile end with a positive paragraph?

Language control

1. Does the profile use “you”-attitude and positive words for emphasis?
2. Does the profile use standard grammar and correct spelling?
3. Does the profile have correct sentence structure?

Document design

1. Is the style reader-friendly?


2. Is the overall layout of the profile inviting?
Appendix 3: Written communication assessment criteria

Organizational strategy and content development Low Mid High


1-2 3-4 5-6
Introductory paragraph
1. Does the first paragraph summarize the information or good news?
2. If the information is complex, does the paragraph list the basic parts of
the information, or information in the order in which the memo discusses
them?
Message development
1. Is all relevant information given in the message?
2. Does the message give details that answer readers’ questions, and make
it easier for understanding?
Developing reader benefits
1. Is there at least one reader benefit for each segment of the audience?
2. Is each reader benefit developed, showing why the benefit matters to
the reader?

Conclusion
3. Does the message end with a positive paragraph?

Language control

1. Does the message use you-attitude and positive words for emphasis?
2. Does the message use standard grammar and correct spelling?
3. Does the message have correct sentence structures?

Document design

1. Is the overall style easy to reader-friendly?


2. Is the visual design of the message inviting?
3. Is the format correct?
Appendix 4: Oral communication assessment criteria

Content Low Mid High


1-2 3-4 5-6
1. Presents relevant and useful information
2. Makes and supports claims with evidence
3. Makes presentation content interesting

Structure

1. Organizes content logically


2. Has strong opening and closing
3. Signals transitions and relationships between main points

Verbal

1. Articulates and pronounces words clearly and correctly


2. Speaks at appropriate speed and volume
3. Uses correct grammar and expression

Non-verbal

1. Stands poised and confidently


2. Gestures appropriately
3. Establishes meaningful eye contact with all members of audience
4. Looks animated and interested

Visuals

1. Develops a unified set of slides


2. Organises titles and sub-points logically
3. Presents slides that follow readability and design principles
Appendix 5: Class participation assessment criteria

Band Attitude Contribution Preparation Miscellaneous


1.  Attends at  Makes valuable  Gives evidence  Bonus marks
least 90% classes, contributions to class of having done the for anything else
and has valid discussions, by necessary over and above the
reasons when asking or answering preparation for class preceding
absent questions, making (and perhaps even
 Punctual and comments, etc. more), e.g. in
pays attention in  Makes valuable assigned readings
class, without contributions to
engaging in group discussions,
distracting often taking the lead
activities like text- rather than merely
messaging on the following
phone, etc.
2.  Attends at  Contributes to  Gives evidence
least 90% classes, class discussions, by of having done the
and has valid asking/ answering necessary
reasons when some questions, preparation for class,
absent making some e.g. in assigned
 Punctual comments, etc. readings
most of the time  Contributes to
and pays attention group discussions,
in class, without often taking equal
engaging in share with team-
distracting mates
activities like text-
messaging on the
phone, etc.
3.  Attends  Contributes  Does not give
about 80% classes, little to class much evidence of
and offers weak discussions, and only having done the
excuses for speaks when he/ she necessary
absences when has to preparation for the
asked  May contribute class, but relies on
 Often enters a little to group team-mates
class late, and discussions, but
occasionally seldom takes the
engages in initiative or says
distracting much
activities like text-
messaging on the
phone, etc.
4.  Misses about  Hardly says  Clearly has not  Generally an
25% classes, anything in class, done the necessary uncommitted
without valid even when called preparation for class student, not very
reasons upon interested in the
 Usually late  Quite passive subject or the class
for class, and often during group
engages in discussions,
distracting preferring to let
activities like text- others do the talking
messaging on the
phone, attending
to phone calls, etc

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