COMM 4410 Syllabus
COMM 4410 - Conflict Resolution and Negotiation
3 Credit Hours
This is an upper division course that examines the nature of conflict in the workplace. This includes what causes it; what its effects, benefits, and costs are; what can be done to maximize the benefits (engage in constructive conflict); and, to limit the costs (prevent, manage, and resolve destructive conflict). Historically, the American workplace has been located primarily outside the home. Today, however, not only is the workplace more likely to be at least part-time inside the home, but work can also take place in transit from a briefcase, a laptop, iPad, or via the phone. This course will not only explore the traditional theories of people management and conflict resolution, but will also focus on aiding students in the development of their own personally-centered approaches to conflict management and negotiation in their professional environment.
This course will provide a forum for the student to acquire practical tools for recognizing, preventing, and mediating conflict situations in the workplace, and to learn how to better manage the human dynamics of negotiation with people whose personalities, backgrounds, values, and expectations differ from their own.
In this course students will learn:
- The nature of conflict and the types of conflict that most commonly occur in the workplace.
- The components of negotiation and mediation.
- The types of people management and conflict management theories, conflict management styles, as well as the importance of assessing one's own style.
- The influence of personality on conflict management and negotiation styles.
- The importance of positive communication techniques and the influence of gender and cultural differences, persuasion, perception, and power in helping to prevent conflict from developing, and in establishing a conflict resolution plan.
- Proactive techniques to frame conflicts as "both-win" or "win-win," instead of "win-lose" or "lose-lose" contests.
- The various costs and consequences of unresolved conflict in the workplace.
- The link between effective negotiation skills and effective leadership.
Junior or senior status, and a willingness to learn and apply theoretical concepts to real problems and situations.
This course is an upper division course that examines the nature of conflict in the workplace, including what causes it, what its effects, benefits, and costs are, and what can be done to maximize the benefits (engage in constructive conflict) and to limit the costs (prevent, manage, and resolve destructive conflict).
Historically, the American workplace has been located primarily outside of the home. Today, however, not only is the workplace more likely to be at least part-time inside the home, but work can also take place in transit, from a briefcase, a laptop or I-Pad, or on the phone. Therefore, this course will not only explore the traditional theories of people management and conflict resolution, but will also focus on aiding students in the development of their own personally-centered approaches to conflict management and negotiation in their professional environment.
This course has 8 units/modules. For each module students will read from 65 to 125 pages of textbook and online lecture materials. Some modules include short videos, visual exercises, or audio, as well. A reading synopsis is assigned for seven modules to assess comprehension of the materials, and a 2-3 page case study is required in seven modules in order to allow students to apply some of the ideas in the module to real-to-life situations.
In order to encourage discussion among students and the application of ideas from the course to real life/real world situations, students are also required to respond to one another in online discussions that will focus on the module topics.
Textbooks, Supplementary Materials, Hardware and Software Requirements
Please visit the Virtual Bookstore to obtain textbook information for this course. Move your cursor over the "Books" link in the navigation bar and select "Textbooks & Course Materials." Select your Program, Term, Department, and Course; then select "Submit."
Minimum hardware requirements can be found here.
Minimum software requirements can be found here.
Common applications you might need:
Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab (for APA, MLA, or Chicago style)
The Writing Center Online Writer's Handbook
- Technical support information can be found on the TN eCampus Help Desk page.
- Smarthinking virtual tutoring is available FREE of charge. to access Smarthinking, visit the course homepage and select Smarthinking under Course Resources. You also view sample sessions to see what Smarthinking offers and how it works.
- Information on other student issues or concerns can be located on the TN eCampus Student Resources page.
Please see "Instructor Information" in the Getting Started Module for instructor contact information, virtual office hours, and other communication information. You can expect to receive a response from the instructor within 24-48 hours unless notified of extenuating circumstances.
Participation, Assessments, & Grading
No examinations are planned, unless it becomes obvious to the instructor that online learners are not reading and effectively applying the course materials.
Seven of the eight units have a Reading Synopsis worth 40 points which includes a response to a classmate worth 10 points, and either a Case Study or a hands-on exercise worth 100 points. All students are expected to participate in the course online discussion by reading the class posts and posting at least 20 comments and responses of their own, spread out at the rate of about 3-4 comments per unit. These comments should relate what they are learning in the class to the current news or life situations. Participation in this discussion is also worth 75 class participation points. Both a final case study worth 200 points and a final evaluation of the course by the student worth 25 class participation points are due in the eighth module, for a semester point total of 1350 points.
You must complete all assignments to receive an "A". The grade you earn is the grade you will receive. NO INCOMPLETES will be awarded.
A = 1215 - 1350 pts.
B = 1080 - 1214 pts.
C = 945 - 1079 pts.
D = 810 - 944 pts.
F = 0 - 809 pts.
7 Reading Synopses and Responses @ 50 pts. ea. = 350 pts. (26% of final grade)
2 Discussions @ 50 pts. ea. = 100 pts. (7% of final grade)
6 Case Studies @ 100 pts. ea. = 600 pts. (45% of final grade)
1 Final Case Study @ 200 pts. ea. = 200 pts. (15% of final grade)
Class Participation @ 100 pts. = 100 pts. (7% of final grade)
Total points = 1350
Case studies will be assigned for six modules. These will typically require a 2-3 page (500 - 800 word) analysis that applies your knowledge of the assigned readings to real-to-life conflict situations. It is important that you review and adhere to the requirements provided on the Case Study Guidelines page.
One Final Case Study is required of all students in the last module of the course. It will be based on a past conflict in your own experiences. The Optional Points to the Positive and Optional Classroom Chat forums will guide participants through the creation of the exercise module by module. Two elements are required: a Case Story and Case Study, each worth 100 points.
Discussion Questions & Reading Synopses:
Reading Synopses will be assigned for seven Modules. Discussion Questions will be assigned twice (Module 1 & 3). Students will respond to the discussion questions and other learners as part of their grade in this course. It is important that you review and adhere to the requirements provided on the Discussion & Reading Synopsis Guidelines page.
If you know in advance that you will miss an assignment for a legitimate reason, you must turn your work in early. For other issues contact the instructor IMMEDIATELY. There will be NO INCOMPLETES awarded.
Extra Credit: NO extra credit will be given. Please don't ask.
Participation in the Discussion Forum is a crucial part of the learning experience. Your regular participation is required in order to receive credit and a quality grade for the class. When deciding whether or not to fully participate, consider the following:
- You are paying for this class whether you participate or not.
- Class participation DOES affect your grade.
- This course material is very difficult to "catch-up" if you get behind.
- You are an adult.
Students are required to attend scheduled clinical experiences.
- If a student is thirty minutes late, the student will be sent home, which constitutes a clinical absence and has to be made up.
- Three (3) clinical absences will constitute a failure in the clinical course and the student will not be able to progress to subsequent courses.
Students must adhere to dress codes and standard of professional practice during any clinical experience.
Course Ground Rules
The following two statements (1., 2.) were derived from the TBR System-wide Student Rules document, released January 2012:
RULES OF THE TENNESSEE BOARD OF REGENTS STATE UNIVERSITY AND COMMUNITY COLLEGE SYSTEM OF TENNESSEE SYSTEMWIDE STUDENT RULES CHAPTER 0240-02-03 STUDENT CONDUCT AND DISCIPLINARY SANCTIONS
1. Standards of Conduct:
- Students are required to adhere to the same professional, legal and ethical standards of conduct online as on campus. In addition, students should conform to generally accepted standards of "netiquette" while sending e-mail, posting comments to the discussion board, and while participating in other means of communicating online. Specifically, students should refrain from inappropriate and/or offensive language, comments and actions.
- In their academic activities, students are expected to maintain high standards of honesty and integrity. Academic dishonesty is prohibited.
Such conduct includes, but is not limited to:
- an attempt by one or more students to use unauthorized information in the taking of an exam
- to submit as one's own work, themes, reports, drawings, laboratory notes, computer programs, or other products prepared by another person,
- or to knowingly assist another student in obtaining or using unauthorized materials.
Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited.
Students guilty of academic misconduct, either directly or indirectly through participation or assistance, are subject to disciplinary action through the regular procedures of the student’s home institution. Refer to the student handbook provided by your home institution to review the student conduct policy.
In addition to other possible disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed, the instructor has the authority to assign an "F" or zero for an activity or to assign an "F" for the course.
Other Course Rules:
Students are expected to:
- Participate in all aspects of the course
- Communicate with other students
- Learn how to navigate in Brightspace
- Keep abreast of course announcements
- Use the assigned course management (Brightspace) email address rather than a personal email address
- Address technical problems immediately:
- Observe course netiquette at all times.
Guidelines for Communications
- Always include a subject line.
- Remember without facial expressions some comments may be taken the wrong way. Be careful in wording your emails. Use of emoticons might be helpful in some cases.
- Use standard fonts.
- Do not send large attachments without permission.
- Special formatting such as centering, audio messages, tables, html, etc. should be avoided unless necessary to complete an assignment or other communication.
- Respect the privacy of other class members
- Review the discussion threads thoroughly before entering the discussion. Be a lurker then a discussant.
- Try to maintain threads by using the "Reply" button rather starting a new topic.
- Do not make insulting or inflammatory statements to other members of the discussion group. Be respectful of other’s ideas.
- Be patient and read the comments of other group members thoroughly before entering your remarks.
- Be cooperative with group leaders in completing assigned tasks.
- Be positive and constructive in group discussions.
- Respond in a thoughtful and timely manner.
The Tennessee Virtual Library is available to all students enrolled in TN eCampus programs and courses. Links to library materials (such as electronic journals, databases, interlibrary loans, digital reserves, dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, and librarian support) and Internet resources needed by learners to complete online assignments and as background reading will be included within the course modules. To access the Virtual Library, go to the course homepage and select the Virtual Library link under Course Resources.
Students with Disabilities
Qualified students with disabilities will be provided reasonable and necessary academic accommodations if determined eligible by the appropriate disability services staff at their home institution. Prior to granting disability accommodations in this course, the instructor must receive written verification of a student's eligibility for specific accommodations from the disability services staff at the home institution. It is the student's responsibility to initiate contact with their home institution's disability services staff and to follow the established procedures for having the accommodation notice sent to the instructor.
The instructor reserves the right to make changes as necessary to this syllabus. If changes are necessitated during the term of the course, the instructor will immediately notify students of such changes both by individual email communication and posting both notification and nature of change(s) on the course bulletin board.
The information contained in this syllabus is for general information purposes only. While we endeavor to keep this information up-to-date and accurate, there may be some discrepancies between this syllabus and the one found in your online course. The syllabus of record is the one found in your online course. Please make sure you read the syllabus in your course at the beginning of the semester. Questions regarding course content should be directed to your instructor.