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COMM 5110/6110/7110 Syllabus

Course Syllabus

COMM 5110/6110/7110 - Leadership and Communication

3 Credit Hours

Course Information

Course Description:

This course is designed to introduce students to leadership perspectives and the role communication plays in effective leadership and management strategies.

Theoretical and practical consideration of leadership in high-performing business organizations; detailed analysis of relevant organizational behavior concepts; particular focus on theories of motivation, styles of leadership, and emotional intelligence.

This course provides an examination of leadership from the perspective of the individual within the organization and the concept of self–leadership featuring topics that emphasize a variety of self-assessments, personal reflection, and a commitment to demonstrate leadership in a variety of venues. This course focuses on major themes of leadership and organizational behavior with the intent of identifying specific principles and behaviors that drive the attainment of organizational objectives and worker/employee engagement.

Course Outcomes:

After successful completion of this course, learners will be able to:

  • Understand the major theories, concepts, and principles of leadership and communication.
  • Develop positive work attitudes among employees while leading them through managing their emotions and stress in a work context.
  • Understand "what leaders are," "what leaders do," and "how leaders differ."
  • Develop critical thinking and writing skills in applying major theories, concepts, and principles of leadership and communication.
  • Develop an individual leadership style and personal plan for implementing for use in your professional work.
Prerequisites & Co-requisites:

Graduate Status

Course Topics:

The course will explore leadership approaches as it relates to interpersonal relationships, motivation, communication, emotional intelligence, ethics, risk taking, data analytics, mission/vision/values, collaboration, trust, community building, diversity and inclusion, and conflict resolution.

Specific Course Requirements:

Internet access, computer, Microsoft Word, and Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Textbooks, Supplementary Materials, Hardware and Software Requirements

Required Textbooks:

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."

Supplementary Materials:

Other article readings and media clips will be made available through Internet links in each course content module.

Hardware and Software Requirements:

Minimum hardware requirements can be found here.

Minimum software requirements can be found here.

Common applications you might need:

Web Resources:

Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab (for APA, MLA, or Chicago style)

The Writing Center Online Writer's Handbook

Student Resources:
  • 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.

Instructor Information

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

Grading Procedures:

Your grade is based on a total of 360 points, and all of your grades are calculated on a "points" basis. The final grade is determined by the number of points earned on all required assignments including discussion board posts, discussion board peer responses, module reflection papers, and major paper project. Your total points earned will be divided by the total points possible for a final percentage. Grades will be posted in D2L. NOTE: There is no guarantee that the Instructor will round-up total points at the end of the semester. For example, if a student has an 90.99 average, then the course grade will be a “B.”

Grading Scale:

Assigned Grade

324 - 360A
288 - 323B
252 - 287C
216 - 251D
214 and belowF


Graded Items

DeliverablesPoints Value
Critical Thinking Reflection Papers (4 @ 30 points)120
Discussion Board Posts (5 @ 20 points)100
Introduction Discussion Post5
Peer Discussion Board Responses (5 @ 7 points)35
Leadership Development Plan (LDP)100
Total Points360


Assignments and Projects:

Course assignments, activities, and due dates are listed in the Course Schedule location of the Getting Started module within D2L. URL links and assignment files are located under D2L course Assignments module.

Discussion Board Assignments: There are five (5) required discussion board assignments worth 20 points each. A minimum of 400 word count is required, but beyond 400 words is acceptable. Discussion Board assignments include article readings, media clip viewing, book chapter readings, and module activity completion prior to answering the discussion board assignment. Discussion board posts require the student's summation of important points gleaned from readings and media sources, and substantive thought contribution, and unique critique and added ideas for expanding colleagues' perspectives on important issues and concepts around communication and leadership. Discussion board posts for selected content modules are due on Fridays at 11:59 p.m. CST.

Peer Discussion Board Response: There are five (5) required peer discussion board responses worth 7 points each. For each discussion board assignment, students are to respond to at least one student colleague's post that entails substantive thought contribution, possible questions if needed, and/or comments including added content that is engaging and contributory towards a rich and thoughtful discussion around that discussion board assignment topic. Peer discussion posts for selected content modules are due on Sundays at 11:59 p.m. CST.

Module Reflective Paper: There are four (4) module reflective papers worth 30 points each. Each module reflective paper requires a minimum of seven double-spaced pages. The module reflective papers require critical thinking skills and strong written communication skills in applying ideas and solutions to real-world situations. Moreover, article readings, media clip viewings, book chapter readings, and other module activities are required to be completed prior to writing the module reflective paper. At minimum, the module reflection paper will require outlining and brief discussion of content and concepts found in article readings, media clips, module exercises/assessments, and assigned book chapters. Module reflective papers for selected content modules are due on Sundays at 11:59 p.m. CST.

Leadership Development Plan (LDP): The LDP is a unique, informative, and fun project activity and reflective paper that will help you to develop and enhance self-awareness and to formulate a plan for leading. This project activity involves interviewing three people around your leadership characteristics and style. Following, you will develop a leadership summary matrix and reflect on all aspects about your self and leadership style that will be laid out in a reflective paper. Since this project is a bigger portion of the course grade and requires much preparation and planning time, work on the LDP should begin at the beginning of the semester and throughout to the end.

Professional Document Formatting and APA Citations in Assignments: As graduate students and professionals, our documents should not only look professional, but also look good! If you were in business and working with clients, your documents and communication correspondence would demonstrate competence and high quality. Thus, the same professionalism will be expected of all course products produced that include discussion board posts, module reflective papers, and the Leadership Development Plan.

The APA formatting style will be used in this course for purposes of source citations in all written work. Source citations include both paragraph in-text citations and a reference page. Additionally, all written work is expected to be of your own writing and paraphrased without use of quoted material from sources used. Adhering to protocol inclusion of in-text citations, reference page, and paraphrasing in all written work will ensure no plagiarism violations.

Plagiarism: For more information around plagiarism, please visit:
TNeCampus Online Integrity website
Purdue Global Guide to Plagiarism and Paraphrasing
Community for Accredited Online Schools Understanding and Preventing Plagiarism

***Lastly, do not allow yourself to fall vulnerable to an integrity violation because of the urgent need to submit an assignment on-time under time constraints or in order to graduate. No situation justifies plagiarism–ever.

Class Participation:

Course participation includes creating graduate-level, high quality assignment products and timely completion of module activities, assignments, and discussion board posts for most course content topic modules. For content topic modules where discussion posts are required, discussion posts should be made on or before the Friday due date designated for that module. Moreover, posting by the Friday due date will allow your colleagues to read/review and respond to the discussion board post (required peer discussion board response) by the Sunday due date.

Late Policy:

The first late assignment will receive a 10% deduction. All other late assignments will receive a 25% deduction for each day late. At day four, the late assignment will be a 0. Please be sure to complete assignments in a timely and professional manner. Upload any late assignment into the late dropbox.

Course Ground Rules

The following two statements (1., 2.) were derived from the TBR System-wide Student Rules document, released January 2012:


Read the document in its entirety here.

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.

2. Review the TN eCampus Academic Integrity/Academic Honesty Policy:

  • 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.

Syllabus Changes

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.

Last Revised on May 17, 2021