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COM Homework Assignments
The homework assignments for our COM 201 course will ask you to describe a
communication situation. You will get points for using appropriate definitions and
vocabulary from the course. You will get points for including a personal example showing
the same type of communication issue.
Answers with ?general? vocabulary will score less. Answers without examples will score less.
RUBRIC FOR GRADING HOMEWORK
4-5 Marks
Answer shows both accurate
recall and ability to interpret
and apply the concept(s) and
vocabulary
– evidenced by originality,
examples and paraphrasing
2-3 Marks
Answer shows accurate
recall of information, but
little or no interpretation
is made ? inflexible -answer appears to be
memorized or copied,
vocabulary too general
1 Mark
Answer shows partial recall
or partial understanding
– answer is incomplete or
not focused on the right
area ? noticeably shorter
than required
0 Marks
Answer does not reflect
understanding of the
concept or the
vocabulary needed to
discuss the question
Scenario:
John is a student. He is sitting in his English class right now, but he can?t really focus. The teacher just
asked him a question, but he was not paying attention. Later today, he has a Calculus exam and he is
very nervous about it.
In terms of Communications, describe the situation and what is John experiencing. Include at least
one definition in your own words. Give an example of a similar experience you have faced and
describe what you did.
COM 201 sem211 Assessment #1
Directions:
Read the scenario below and decide what communication problems are shown. There may be more
than one. Then, write 1 paragraph (about 150-200 words) explaining the actions, using
vocabulary/ideas from the textbook. Include necessary definitions of the vocabulary (prove you know
and understand the idea) and include an example of the idea that is separate from the scenario below.
NOTE: You will need to use COM vocabulary on the assessment to get a good result. You can use your
COM Textbook and any material on our LMS. (No other sources are allowed ? and will be severely
penalized.) Direct copying of any source is a violation of PSU regulations.
Write your answer on a Word document and then submit it to the Turnitin link on the LMS.
Your score is determined by this rubric (and converted to a % score).
4-5 Marks
Answer shows both accurate
recall and ability to interpret
and apply the concept(s) and
vocabulary
– evidenced by originality,
examples and paraphrasing
2-3 Marks
Answer shows accurate
recall of information, but
little or no interpretation
is made ? inflexible -answer appears to be
memorized or copied,
vocabulary too general
1 Mark
Answer shows partial recall
or partial understanding
– answer is incomplete or
not focused on the right
area ? noticeably shorter
than required
0 Marks
Answer does not reflect
understanding of the
concept or the
vocabulary needed to
discuss the question
Scenario:
Bob is on vacation in France but he can?t speak French. He leaves his
hotel for a walk and is soon completely lost. He stops an old man in the
park and asks for help. The man looks at him sadly and says something
in French. Then the old man smiles at Bob and points to a police station
across the street. Bob smiles and shakes hands with the man.
COM 201 Ch. 2
Perception:
What we are aware of – through seeing, hearing, touching, smelling? (5 senses)
It is Active
your mind is working ? It?s a process
It is Subjective
your unique understanding based on what you sense (people sense things
differently) WHY?
Physiological Factors
your body (eyes, ears brain?.) ?these make your perception unique
Past Experiences and Roles:
Perceptual constancy Your past experiences lead you to see things ?your way? (Hard to change)
Role
the part you ?play? in social contexts: ex. son / brother / classmate / etc
Your behavior changes according to your role.
Present Feelings and Circumstances
(are you having a ?good day?? ?or not?)
What occurs (happens) in Perception?
?
Selection
What you focus on and what you ignore
Selective exposure
You make choices to watch (or listen to) ?X? – (My kids select MBC 3, but not
MBC 4 ? They expose themselves to cartoon programs rather than drama.
Selective attention
You focus on certain things and ignore other things
Selective perception
You see what you want to see, hear what you want to hear, ?
Selective retention
You remember what you want to remember and forget other things
?
Organization
Grouping information into meaningful units
Figure and Ground:
Figure
The focal point of your attention
(1 face in a crowd of people)
Ground
background
(the faces of the other people in the crowd)
Closure
You fill-in the missing pieces to make a whole (both verbal and nonverbal)
Shows the mind is CREATIVE
Proximity
how close (or far away) things / stimuli are from each other is meaningful
Similarity
the mind groups things together if they resemble each other in shape, size, color?
Interpretation
What does ?X? mean to us? ? How we assign meaning to stimuli ?X?
The context is very important! -What the receiver understands?
Errors in Perception:

(Many people ?most? ? don?t even realize that these are errors)
Stereotyping groups ? everyone in the group is the same? a generalization
Prejudice
individuals st
1 Impressions (Based on ??) appearance ? in as little as 3 seconds! – Hard to change
How to avoid these errors:
-Perceptual Checking (Process) 1/ describe 2/ suggest interpretation 3/ ask for verification
(see p. 38)
Who Are You? (and how did you become you?) (P. 39)
Personal Identity (can be changed)
Symbolic Interactionism
How we develop the ?self? based on feedback we receive from other
people (and from our own intrapersonal ?conversations? in our thoughts)
(This is how we really know who we are.) 2 sources
How do you Present Yourself? (What do other people see when they look at you?) (see p. 41)
Identity Management
Trying to control your image
If you don?t like how other people see you (their impression of you) how can you adjust or change this?
(p. 43) Question:
How do you change your behavior when you know someone is watching you?
For Example:
If you wanted to be elected to the PSU Student Council, what would you change (behavior, appearance?)
to create the right impression?
COM 201 Chapter 1
1.
Review of Communication Principles:
Communication?
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
2.
Involves SELF + Others
Content + Relational
Complicated (many things happen at the same time)
Quantity does not equal Quality
Inevitable (happens whether you want or not)
Pervasive It is everywhere around us all the time
Irreversible (can?t ?unsay? something)
Unrepeatable (it won?t be the same the next time ? experience changes both ?S? and ?R?)
Review of Communication Components:
1. People (Sender and Receiver)
2. The Code (system of words, letters, symbols which carry meaning)
3. Encoding and Decoding (process of changing ideas into codes, and changing the received codes
back into ideas
4. The Message (the encoded thought or idea)
5. The Channel (what carries the message from sender to receiver)
6. Feedback (Reaction of the receiver)
7. Noise (Anything that distracts the sending or receiving process)
8. Context (The situation in which the communication happens)
3.
Communication Contexts
1. Intrapersonal Generate meaning within the SELF (the basis for all other forms of COM)
2. Interpersonal
a.
Dyadic (between 2 people only) 1-to-1 dialog?
b.
Small Group (1 Source, small number of Receivers)
3. Public (1 Source, many receivers who are with the source and give direct feedback)
4. Mass
(Source is isolated (uses radio, TV, newspaper?) mediation to send messages to unseen
receivers) One-Way Communication No direct feedback
5. Computer Mediated
4.
e-mail, blog, chat room, BBS, etc. (may be synchronous or nonsynchronous = real-time or delayed)
Communication Competence
?
(effective at exchanging info through a common system of
symbols and/or behavior
(shared)
Problems:
S?s and R?s goals may not fit together – (conflict) (struggle)
?
?
?
5.
Different points of view (perception)
Different understandings of the relationship
Cultural differences (many variables)
Ethical Communication (within the context of the Communications discipline) (p. 21)
?

Ethics = set of moral principles and values
Note: (standards derived from ?Western? concepts)
People should be open, honest and reasonable
Respect for other people and their messages is essential
Need access to information and people
Responsible behavior (on all sides)
The Communication Process
Channel
message
Sender
(Source)
Receiver
(Target)
?
All communication starts with the SELF ? with an idea in the mind of the sender.
?
The sender translates his idea into a CODE (verbal , nonverbal or both) ?this process is called
ENCODING- and there are many different types of code.
?
A CHANNEL is the means through which the message moves from Sender to Receiver and there
are many different types of channel. (sound, sight, radio, SMS, internet, phone?)
?
The Receiver DECODES the message (DECODING) and decides what it means (INTERPRETING) but this does not always happen correctly. The different characteristics of both the Sender and
Receiver may cause problems with understanding.
?
The Receiver may then give FEEDBACK to the Sender (this is his REACTION or RESPONSE to the
message). Feedback can often be non-verbal. Sometimes verbal ? especially with PARAPHRASING
?
The Sender can check to be sure his message was received and understood correctly by
watching for feedback.
Since all communication begins as an idea in the sender?s mind, we can say that all communication
begins as INTRAPERSONAL. Intrapersonal communication is only within the mind. We use
intrapersonal communication when we make plans or daydream. Our dreams are also intrapersonal.
This is not to be confused with INTERPERSONAL communication ? which is communication between
sender(s) and receiver(s).
Benefits of the study of Communications are: Improve the way you see yourself / Improve the way
other people see you / Increase what you know about human relationships / Learn important life skills /
Increase your chances of professional success ?
M. Perry 2015

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