COMM 120 Theories of Development Communication Discussion
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Studying communication and the various theories that apply to human interaction can be a valuable asset in your personal and professional lives. If used properly you can improve your relationships, your ability to persuade others, your chances at career advancement, and a host of other benefits that becoming a better communicator provides. In order for you to gain a deeper understanding of these concepts, it will be important for you to begin applying them. Theory without application will not allow you to use what you’ve learned and thus, you are less likely to benefit from it. Therefore, this assignment is designed to give you a hands-on experience with watching communication in action and using some of what you have learned in class to analyze what you observe.
To aid you in this process you will be required to choose a setting in which others are communicating with one another. The form of communication you choose to observe depends on your own preference. You can observe people interacting directly through conversation, playing sports, working together, etc. or you can observe examples of indirect communication such as strangers in public, intimate partners spending time with each other without actually speaking to one another, or someone reacting to something they have witnessed. You can also conduct your observation by watching footage online or virtually of people communicating. You should try to avoid movies or fictional television programs and focus instead on documentaries, interviews, or live television broadcasts like the news.
You will observe the people interacting in whichever setting you choose, and provide your analysis regarding what you thought to be significant about the communication that took place, in the form of an observation paper. To aid you in your writing you will need to choose three (3) specific course conceptsor theories that relate to your observations. You will find these concepts in the Chapter Outlines outline located on Canvas in the Modules Section. You can choose any concept you want from any of the chapters, whether or not we have covered yet.
Some examples of concepts from the Chapter Outlines that you can choose include:Selection – this is defined as the various factors that determine what a person will pay attention to when communicating. If you chose this concept you could write about what forms of stimuli were present in the situation and how did the communicators respond or negotiate those stimuli during their interaction? Another concept you might choose is Social Roles – which is defined as the various behaviors we adopt depending on the social context we find ourselves in. If you choose this concept you may address what social roles you picked up on and what was it about the interaction that communicated those roles? Finally, another example comes from the chapter on Nonverbal Communication and is called Repeating – which is defined as nonverbal gestures that reinforce what the communicator is saying verbally. This includes pointing to a sign while talking or waving your hand while saying “Hello”. If you decided to use this concept you could discuss whether or not you noticed any particular gestures that the communicators used to reinforce what they were saying verbally?
These are just a few examples of concepts you can choose from, but please, do not feel that you have to choose just these three concepts! You can choose whatever three concepts you want from any of the chapter outlines on Canvas, so be creative!
Once you have selected (3) three concepts to work with and explained how they functioned in the situation you observed, you will then need to provide an analysis of what you learned from this experience. For example: what are your thoughts about what you witnessed? Did it confirm or disconfirm any of your assumptions about communication? Was there anything that surprised you? If so, what was it and why did it surprise you?
Since you will be choosing textbook concepts for this assignment,you will need to provide in-text references that include the definition of each of your concepts as well as a reference page including citations in APA style.Please refer to the APA Template on Canvas as well as the Sample Observation Paper for examples of in-text citations and reference page citations. Both are found in the “Modules” section under “Observation Paper”.
Your paper will be judged according to the following criteria:1. Your ability to support your analysis through the use of relevant examples2. Your ability to connect classroom learning to your observations3. The application of appropriate communication concepts and/or terminology from lecture or the textbook4. The demonstrated ability to think critically about what you observed (quality of your writing/insights)5. Proper grammar, spelling, and overall formatLearning ObjectivesThis assignment is designed to help you:1. Apply interpersonal communication concepts to real-world scenarios and personal observations2. Organize information and facts into a cohesive, coherent essay3. Improve your critical thinking and writing skillsAssignment RequirementsPage limit: 3-5 pages, double-spaced, typed, 12-point font, with APA-style references using the APA Template located on Canvas in the Modules section Points: 100 points
Adler, R. B., & Proctor II, R. F. (2011). Looking Out, Looking In (13th ed.). Boston, MA: Wadsworth Publishing. ISBN: 9780495796213
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