Welcome to Comm. 230: Interpersonal Communication (73604 & 73852)

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I am looking forward to working with each of you this semester. 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.

Beth-Ann Dumas--students call me Ms. D. A little about myself: I’ve been teaching at Cuesta for 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 share the secrets of what we know about communication and the powerful effects in can have on your life and your relationships. 

Email Address:bdumas@cuesta.edu  Note: during the break I check email occasionally. I begin checking and responding every day August 5th.

Course Description 

Basically, this course is about all of the ways in which communication connects two people. Among the topics 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 

 Late Start Accelerated Course 

12 week: This class is fully online and begins September 23rd and ends the last week of the traditional 18 week semester. Important: This class squeezes 18 weeks of course material into 12 weeks! It involves more work every week than a traditional 18 week semester does. Be prepared to spend about 12-15 hours per week on course work.


16 week: This is a 16 week course that begins August 26th and ends at the last week of a traditional 18 week semester. Important: This class squeezes 18 weeks of course material into 16 weeks! While it is not as work intensive as the 12 week course, It involves a bit more work every week than a traditional 18 week semester does. Be prepared to spend about 10-12 hours per week on course work.

Our Class Community and Student Expectations  

12 week: Please be prepared to spend 12 - 15 hour hours per week on coursework for this class;

16 week: Please be prepared to spend 10-12 hours per week on course work for this 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 through Zoom--called Interacts. 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. 

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/moduleSome 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 Zoom (a video conferencing method of speaking with each other from your computer.) 
  2. Post to the Discussion ForumsYou will post and respond to others in your discussion groups. Most of these will be video posts/replies. 
  3. Complete 3 tests (Unit 1, 2, and 3). These tests include approximately 3-4 chapters and/or modules.

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, create a Johari Window Padlet (which is like a virtual corkboard) or Video, and write a Relationship Film Analysis. The three exams are timed and are completed online, through Canvas.  

Text Book and Materials 

You will absolutely need the textbook for this class: Interpersonal Communication, 3rd edition, by Kory Floyd. This is available at the Cuesta bookstore or you can check out these sites for rent or purchase: EbayLinks to an external site. AmazonLinks to an external site.CheggLinks to an external site.. 



 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 or tablet will not suffice. Computer requirementsLinks to an external site. 

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

Interaction Apps:

Zoom: You will need a free ZoomLinks to an external site. accountLinks to an external site.. This is free for college students. Once you register for the class, more instructions will be provided for you on Canvas. 

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. 

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 the Friday 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: 

Add/Drop Policy: Email me for an add code after Sunday prior to first day of the semester. I will not add students after the second 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 complete the This is Me video post or you will be dropped.  

Cuesta's Add Policy Links to an external site.

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

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


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