Course Syllabus


 Note: This is a sample course without any student data included. The instructor generously offered to share this with us.

Printable version of syllabus

Welcome to IMC 454! Here are a list of priority items for you to get off to a quick start in the course:

  • Get familiar with the course site: I'll make this really simple for you: The "Modules" link has everything you really need for each week of class. The session outline lays out all of the readings, exercises, discussions, and assignments for each week, so that will be your "base of operations" each week. 
  • Make sure you have the reading materials: See my note below for a description of the different materials that you'll need to purchase. 
  • Do the intro discussion board: To us all get to know each other, answer the introductory discussion questions by Friday, March 28. 
  • Put the March 31 welcome session on your calendar: We will have our first of three live sessions on Monday, March 31 at 8:30 P.M. Central. These sessions aren't mandatory, but try to make it if you can. If you can't make it, you'll be able to watch a replay of the session. 
  • Check your preoccupation about grades at the door: For those of you who sweat over your grades and think the purpose of grad school is to see how many A's you can accumulate on your report card, I'm going to need you to chill out for the next 10 weeks. As I'll explain in the welcome session, this course will likely be quite a bit different than other courses you have taken in what it sets out to accomplish and how we measure ourselves. 
  • Dates: The course officially kicks off on March 31; that's the first day of session. And we will wrap up around June 8. 



This course pulls in readings from a variety of sources, which is kind of a double-edged sword. It's good for you because it means you'll get exposure to a bunch of different perspectives on communications. But it's bad because I know it's extra work for you guys to track down the different materials. But these are all quality publications, so I'm confident that it will be worth effort for you.  

Main coursepack: The majority of the readings are in the digital course pack, which can be purchased through the Northwestern Norris bookstore.  Select: Department = IMC | Course = 454-6 | Section = 20.

Harvard ManageMentor Plus - Communicating For Results: This is a collection of interactive exercises and readings. There are two ways to purchase it:

  1. Online Edition $99.95: 
    - OR - 
  2. CD-ROM Edition $49.95:
    The drawback of the CD-ROM is that it only works on PCs and not Macs.

Harvard Business Review (HBR) articles: There are four HBR articles throughout the course. There are two ways to access these articles: 

  1. Buy the course pack I created on HBR's website using this link:
    I believe this will cost about $16. This course pack will only include the four required articles.

  2. Buy the HBR book, "On Communication." This books contains the four required articles, plus six other articles about communications. You can buy the book online for $18, the last time I checked. 

Getting to YesThis is a classic book on negotiations. You've probably seen it on one of your coworker's shelves so feel free to borrow their copy.
Fisher, R. & Ury, W. Getting to Yes. (1991) Houghton Mifflin: New York. ISBN: 0-395-63124-6

Made to Stick: This is a really cool book that looks at the characteristics of ideas that are memorable vs. ones that are quickly forgotten. 

Heath, C. Heath, D. (2007) Made to Stick Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die.Random House, Inc. ISBN: 1400064287

HBR Guide to Better Business Writing: This has the readings for Session 4.
Garner, B. HBR Guide to Better Business Writing. (2013) Harvard Business Review Press. ISNB: 978-1422184035 (Link on Amazon

HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations: This has the readings for Session 9.
Durante, N. HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations. (2012) Harvard Business Review Press. ISNB: 978-1422187104. (Link to Amazon



Course Summary:

Date Details Due