Department of Speech Communication
Interpersonal Communication for Business and Professions
(Business and Professional Communication)
SPEC 2623 Section ER6 (Course Code 31388); 3 Credits
Spring 2018; Thursday; 06:30-09:15PM
3407 Boylan Hall
Dr. Foulger


Discussion Notes / Assignments (Class Moodle)

Course Description

Business and Professional Communication: an applied course that seeks to improve workplace communication skills. We will cover a lot of ground in the course, including basic communication theory, intercultural communication, interpersonal communication, small group communication, interviewing, and presentations, but we'll try to do so in an practical and integrated way. You will do real work in groups that will be constructed using an interviewing process and which will do practical work. Along the way you'll wind up learning something about the stock market (which will be the focus of your research, group work, and presentations) as well.

Course Catalog Description for SPCH 2623:  Analysis and application of speech communication skills to the workplace for the purpose of increasing entry-level and career-related competencies.


Adler, R., Elmhorst , J.M. , and Lucas, K.L. (2012).  Communicating at Work: Principles and Practices for Business and the Professions, 11th Edition. McGraw-Hill. (Make sure you get the 11th Edition and not a prior edition).

The Adler, Elmhorst, and Lucas text can be expensive (about $110) in its paper edition (although the price has been coming down). I recommend getting a electronic copy that runs on your computer, tablet, or e-reader. Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and Vital Source ( rent electronic versions of the text for roughly lower prices (at low as $25) and sell it for a little over $100.  Used copies (and copies in other formats) may be available at better prices from other sources.  The publisher may also provides electronic access through McGraw-Hill Connect (  I do not know what their prices are, but at last check they provided a 14 day period where you can access it for "free".   Find the cheapest source you can find, but be sure to have it before class next week.

The electronic version works on computers and color tablets. Amazon supplies free Kindle software that you can download to your computer to read the text.  So does Barnes and Noble.  I read my copy on my iPad using the Kindle tablet application for iPad. Other e-book software should work with electronic editions available from other booksellers, including Barnes and Noble. I find the electronic version more readable than the text version, but your milage may vary and it's your choice. The only option you don't have is to NOT read the assigned chapters in the text.

Additional Materials

  1. My Discussion Notes for this class will be available via the Internet. See
  2. A Moodle electronic classroom (details below)

Outcomes Assessment

Instructions for Accessing the Moodle Discussion/Learning Space

  1. Point your web browser at
  2. Click on "Login" at the bottom of the screen.
  3. If you haven't accessed this Moodle before.
    1. Press the "Create New Account" button in the right column of the login screen.
    2. You'll be asked to fill in a series of fields that include your user ID, password, e-mail address, location, etc. Fill them in as accurately as you can. Remember your userid and password. You will need them to log in again.
    3. When processing of this page completes you will be sent an e-mail at the address you specify. Open that e-mail and confirm your registration by pressing the confirmation link in the e--mail.
    4. When you submit this page you will enter the moodle environment. If you see a button marked courses, press it. You will see this course ((Business Communication Spring 2018) listed. Select the course.
  4. If you are already registered for this Moodle, enter your user id and Password and then select "B(Business Communication Spring 2018".
  5. You will be asked for a key. It is "bpcs2018". Pay attention to case. All letters must be written in lower case.

Course Rules 

  1. Attendance is required for all classes, including the final exam period. Please be on time. 
  2. Complete reading assignments, questions, and think assignments prior to coming to class. Be prepared to discuss readings. 
  3. Write in your own words. Reference the ideas you use to the original sources. Plagiarism and cheating will are unacceptable. 
  4. Unexcused late papers will be penalized 1/2 of a letter grade if one period late and one full grade thereafter. 
  5. Like many of you, I come to Brooklyn College on the Subway. I endeavor to arrive on campus at least an hour before class every class day, but I don't control the Subways. If I am late for class and you have not heard directly from me that class is cancelled, do not leave. Instead, form groups to discuss the questions you posted from the reading assignments. I'll will ask you about those discussions WHEN I arrive. 
  6. We have a lot to do during the semester. If I seek to end a discussion (often by saying "let's discuss this after class) I have a good reason for doing so. Please respect the rest of the class by deferring such discussion when I ask you to do so. If you are afraid you'll forget, write down a few words about the issue on a piece of paper. That's usually all you'll need.

Good Advice

  1. You will get out of this course what you put into it. Learning is effortful. There are no shortcuts. 
  2. The reading and writing load for this course is moderate, but needs to be done. If you can't keep up with the readings or other assignments, you may want to drop the course early on and try again in another semester. 
  3. Keep a copy of anything you submit, just in case the original gets lost. It's good practice to write your questions and think assignments in a memo tool or text editor (but not a word processor) and then cut and paste from the editor to the Moodle. 
  4. Write your name on the front of any assignment you submit on paper, including your exams and anything submitted on paper. 
  5. Assuming you work on a computer, maintain backups of your paper in a reliable and convenient
    format. USB flash drives work on just about all computers now, can be readily obtained for less than $20.00, and are much less likely to fail than disks. Assume the worst. Maintain two backups. A virtual backup using Google Drive, Dropbox, or some similar service is a good idea. 
  6. If at any time you find yourself confused or have questions, especially in terms of the writing assignments, please ask me (either in class or in private) for help. One person's question may help countless others in class. If you can't meet me during my office hours, we can probably find another time. 
  7. Please speak with me confidentially if you have a disabling condition that may require some accommodation in class. I'm here to help.

Attendance Policy 

Attendance is mandatory. The Brooklyn College Bulletin states that "Students are expected to attend all scheduled sessions of every class for which they register. Students late for class may be excluded from the room. An instructor may consider attendance and class participation in determining course grade." While I am unlikely to lock the door and don't grade attendance directly, I will indirectly take account of missed class time in computing grades. You should not, as a general note, ask me for "permission" to miss class and I don't need an explanation. I will always try to be understanding of documented emergencies, but the basic reality (which has more to do with your ability to learn when you aren't in class than anything else) is that absences make your grade grow smaller. 

Communication with the Professor 

I encourage students who feel they need to talk to me about any issue to talk to me after class or during office hours. My office schedule and contact information can be found on my Brooklyn College Student web site Brooklyn College Student web site:

I have found e-mail to be a poor way to interact with students. If you must send me a message, use the message facility on the Moodle rather than e-mail. Don’t send me a message if you are missing class. While I’m sympathetic with the very real problems you may have during the semester, I don’t grade attendance and don’t need to know why you missed class. You are an adult and I trust you had a good reason. I do grade participation and will know if you were in class, but the best way for you to catch up on important work (every day of class is important) is to talk to other students and get a copy of their notes. If they don’t think anything important happened, find another peer in the class and talk to them. Do talk to me (preferred) or send me a message if you have missed a significant number of classes.

Disabilities Accommodation 

In order to receive disability-related academic accommodations, students must first be registered with the Center for Student Disability Services. Students who have a documented disability, or suspect they may have a disability, are invited to set an appointment with the Director of the Center for Student Disability Services in 138 Roosevelt Hall. If you have already registered with the Center for Student Disability Services please provide me with the course accommodation form and discuss your specific accommodation with me.

Religious policy statement 

Students who are unable, because of religious beliefs, to attend class or participate in any examination, study, or class-related activity on a particular day should contact the instructor ahead of the time to facilitate their absence without prejudice or penalty.