Welcome to Comm. 230: Interpersonal Communication!

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Welcome to my welcome letter haha! I am looking forward to working with you this semester if you decide to enroll in the class. This course is my absolute favorite class to teach because it is about all of the ways in which we connect (or don’t) with each other; what you’ll learn about communication in this class will enrich your relationships with friends, family, co-workers, and lovers. 

Instructor (me)

An imae of me--your instructor. Around age 50, white, shortish honeyish colored hair. Big smile, wearing a white collared shirt.

Hey there! I'm Beth-Ann Dumas--students call me Prof. D or Ms. D. A little about myself: I’ve been teaching at Cuesta for over 20 years and teaching is more than a job to me; it is my passion and my calling. I once saw a saying that went something like this: find a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life. That’s how I feel everyday because I get to help you harness the immense power of team communication to make your own life and your world better.

My 2 priorities are to #1 help you succeed in this class and #2 facilitate your learning about interpersonal communicating with connection and disconnection.

Email Address:bdumas@cuesta.edu  I respond quickly when the Spring or Fall semester is in session. During Summer break I occasionally check email and begin checking it regularly the first week of August. During Winder break I occasionally check email and begin checking it regularly the week prior to the start of the Fall semester.

What's This Class About?

Basically, this course is about all of the ways in which communication connects two people. Among the topics of your communication Jedi Knight training we'll cover are the power of words, emotion, nonverbal communication, listening, friendship, romantic relationships, conflict, and many others. Catalog description: Applies theory and research to communication in interpersonal relationships in personal and professional contexts. It examines effective and appropriate uses of verbal and non-verbal messages in the initiation, development, maintenance, and termination of interpersonal relationships. Transfer CSU, UC 

Our Class Community and Student Expectations  

*This is 100% online class; we hold one mandatory Zoom class meeting Wednesday of the first week of class (8/31) from 6:00 - 8:30 pm. Our online class begins Monday, August 29th.

Accelerated 16 Week Class (but essentially 14 week)

This is a late start class beginning 2 weeks after the start of Cuesta's full semester; since I give students a break for Thanksgiving week (even though Cuesta is in session until Wednesday of that week) and the last week is not instructional, it's essentially a 14 week class. This means you'll have more module weekly module work than in a full semester class.

Different kind of Online Class

You may be wondering how we can do an online interpersonal communication course together. There are many ways to teach and learn about communication, but all of them involve interaction. The majority of your interpersonal interaction will occur through FlipGrid video posts and replies and via virtual face to face interaction called Interacts through GoReact, which is incorporated into your digital textbook. You will interact with each other in a see/hear way (remotely at your computers, tablets, or phones) more in this class than what you're probably used to in other online courses. Your success in this course depends on your own efforts and commitment. To a great extent, you get out of this course what you put into it and we all get out of the class what collectively we put into it. 

Expect to spend approximately 8-10 hours a week doing the module work.

For each module, you will: 

  1. Read  the corresponding textbook chapter and answer the textbook study guide (tsg) questions for each chapter. And read any assigned readings and answer the assigned reading questions.
  2. View  the Videos for each topic/module. Some of these I have created as narrated PowerPoints and some are from others who can shed light on the topics you’ll be learning about. You'll answer video questions, some that are included in the text study guide (tsg) and some that are included on the video page.
  3. Complete the module quiz

For some modules, you will:

  1. Interact with each other via an app included in your digital textbook (GoReact)
  2. Post and respond mostly via videoYou will post and respond to others in your discussion groups. Most of these will be video posts/replies using Flipgrid directly from the Canvas page. 
  3. Complete 3 Trials Tests. These are not multiple choice tests, but are alternatives to these kinds of traditional tests that provide you with several options to dig deeper into course information of your choice and creatively demonstrate what you've learned.

Other Assignments: In addition to the weekly readings and posts, you will complete other major assignments that allow you to connect your own experiences to specific communication topics.

Textbook and Technology

You will absolutely need the textbook for this class: We'll be using Kory Floyd's Interpersonal Communication, 4th edition through the publisher's digital platform. The textbook is part of Cuesta's first day program which means the $58.81 cost of the text with access to the digital platform that also includes the interactive app GoReact is included with your registration fee for the class. You'll be using GoReact to communicate with each other for the virtually interactive assignments.

 Review the computer requirements to be sure you have the necessary technology to participate in the class. Because of the interaction nature of this class, you will need a computer for much of the coursework—a phone will not suffice. Computer requirementsLinks to an external site. 

Wifi Access: You'll need consistent wifi access sufficient to access Canvas and to participate in your team meetings and to attend class in the event we are required to convert to a complete online course.

Additional computer equipment required: A webcam and microphone—many laptops and computers already have these features built in, but you need to make sure and purchase them if your computer doesn't include these. You can find affordable plug and play webcam/microphones at many office supply stores like Staples or at AmazonLinks to an external site..

Optional but important to succeeding on quizzes: Access to a printer. Printing out your weekly text study guide (tsg) answers, assigned reading answers, and video answers may help you to score well on the quizzes so you are not wasting time navigating back and forth between windows and scrolling to find what you need.

Interaction App. Pronto: A social media app for our class that allows me and you to connect with the entire class and to each other. Once you register for the class, more instructions will be provided for you on Canvas. 

Technical support: Go here for help with CanvasLinks to an external site.. But first try using another browser such as Chrome, Firefox, or Edge.

Course Environment 

This online course will be using Canvas to provide the framework for all aspects of the course. Once you register and I open the Canvas course--usually about a week before the semester begins, you will be able to access our course via Canvas.

Accessing Canvas:  You can access Canvas by selecting the Canvas tab at the top of the Cuesta website or by typing the Canvas address (https://cuesta.instructure.com/) into your browser address bar. 

If you are not familiar with logging into canvas, please refer to the  Canvas Quick Reference GuideLinks to an external site.

If you are having difficulty logging into Canvas after the start of class and need assistance please email me or technical support at this email address: support@my.cuesta.edu.  

Online Learning 

If you have never taken an online class or this is your first experience with Canvas, please be patient with yourself. Online classes are not inherently easier, although they may be much more convenient for many students. You should expect to spend at least as much time, if not more on this course as you would on a course that meets face to face. Much of this time will be self-directed and there will be a substantial amount of reading, viewing, studying, and assignment work required.


Your learning environment is best accessed from a desktop or laptop computer, using Firefox or Chrome.   

 Course & College Policies: 

Accommodations: This course is designed using an accessible Learning Management System and course materials have been created with ADA compliance in mind. I happily accommodate learning or physical challenges in accordance with Cuesta's Disabled Student Program and Services (DSPS)Links to an external site.. Be sure your accommodations are authorized by DSPS. Please inform me at your earliest convenience so I can work with you to meet whatever your need is.

Add/Drop Policy:  Email me for an add code Thursday or Friday prior to first day of the semester. You won't be able to use the code until the first day of the course (Cuesta's policy). I will not add students after the first week of class. I will give priority to students in the order of the waitlist. You must log in within first 2 days of the course, and also view the How our Class Works video.

Cuesta's Add Policy Links to an external site.

Please review  Cuesta’s Waitlist PolicyLinks to an external site. and instructions.

Also, check out Cuesta's Student Code of ConductLinks to an external site. and Student Computer Technology access Agreement

 I'm excited about our Interpersonal Communication Journey this semester!


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