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Department of Communication Studies

Communication Fundamentals

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Our Basic Course  in communication is one of the largest course offerings in the University of Rhode Island's General Education Program, teaching the three Core Skills of speaking effectively, examining human differences, and using qualitative data. Additionally, the course plays an important role in our Grand Challenge Program, Freshman Learning Communities, and Honors Program, and it serves as a prerequisite for Communication Studies majors and for many other departments, programs, and colleges at URI.

Communication Fundamentals Syllabus

Course Description

The purpose of this course is to provide students with theoretical background and practical experience in communicating interpersonally, in groups and teams, and in public presentations. Competent communication is based in the ability to create and share meaning effectively and appropriately in a variety of contexts. In this course, we take an approach that combines conceptual understanding of the theories and research regarding communication with the development of practical skills. As audience adaptation is a basic component of competent communication, understanding differences among people will be integrated with an examination of these contexts of communication. We explore ways in which differences shape identities and communication styles, to recognize the range of ways in which people communicate, and to improve our practical skills in communicating with a variety of people.


Course Objectives and Learning Outcomes

  • Recognize core concepts and theories of public speaking, interpersonal communication and small group communication.
  • Understand and apply the theory and skills necessary to be a competent communicator in diverse contexts and with diverse audiences.
  • Understand various styles of communicating and analyze the role of human differences in shaping communicative practices.
  • Analyze and evaluate the oral and written messages of others.
  • Collect original research and effectively utilize qualitative and quantitative data to support oral and written messages.
  • Construct effective arguments and communicate those arguments to diverse audiences in oral and written forms.
  • Demonstrate the highest standards of communication ethics and academic integrity to construct arguments, interpret message and communicate with others.