Communications (COMM) 243

Interpersonal Communication (Revision 8)

COMM 243

Revision 8 is closed for registrations, see current revision

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online with eTextbook

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Applied Studies
(Business and Administrative Studies)

Prerequisite: None

Centre: Faculty of Business

COMM 243 has a Challenge for Credit option.

Télé-université du Québec equivalency: COM 5000


Communication plays a central role in everyone’s life. Most people value interpersonal relationships and find comfort in the bonds of friendship they maintain with peers, family members, and colleagues. Whether they are aware of it or not, people engage in communication in practically every aspect of their lives.

Many communication researchers and professionals believe that communicating well with others is necessary in order to maintain sound friendships, family relationships, romantic relationships and business dealings. In their opinion, communicating effectively improves the quality of a person's life while communicating poorly leads individuals to experience personal problems.

Getting along with others takes skill. Understanding how people manifest various competing needs, interests, personalities and abilities when they interact is not easy. Most often, people take such skills for granted, believing that communicating effectively with others is a “life skill” that they can practise effortlessly and efficiently. Rarely do individuals study formal techniques and skills of communication. Consequently, people who experience communication problems tend to manifest deep frustration and can feel at a loss when their interactions with others appear to fail.

To overcome interpersonal communication problems, you must learn to assess such problems creatively and fairly by considering others’ concerns and needs. In order to practise effective communication skills, you must learn to enhance your listening skills and your verbal and nonverbal communication techniques. As well, you need to keep in mind the particular social and cultural context in which you interact with others. You must also display an awareness of body language and communicate feelings and emotions properly in order to convey your intended meaning to others. Moreover, how you manage your “self-image” can alter the way that others perceive you.

Strengthening your interpersonal communication skills can improve your social relations at home, with your family, in the office or at social functions. The good communication skills you demonstrate to others help enhance the way people perceive you and how you consider yourself, as well. Communicating effectively boosts your self-confidence by making you more aware of your personal development and potential. It improves the way others value your presentation skills and communication competencies and thereby enhances your chances of interacting successfully with others.


  • Lesson 1: A First Look at Interpersonal Communication
  • Lesson 2: Communication and Identity
  • Lesson 3: Perception
  • Lesson 4: Emotions
  • Lesson 5: Language
  • Lesson 6: Nonverbal Communication
  • Lesson 7: Listening
  • Lesson 8: Communication and Relational Dynamics
  • Lesson 9: Improving Communication Climates
  • Lesson 10: Managing Interpersonal Conflicts


To receive credit for COMM 243, you must complete two written assignments and two online commentaries, achieve a minimum grade of D (50 percent) on the Final Examination, and achieve an overall grade of at least S (50 percent) in the entire course. The distribution of marks for the various credit activities is listed below:

Activity Credit Weight When to Complete
Assignment 1 25% After Lesson 5
Assignment 2 25% After Lesson 10
Collaborative Learning Activity

(Online Forum)

10% Before completing the course
Lesson Quizzes* 10% After each lesson
Final Examination 30% After completing all other activities
Total 100%  

*Quizzes not submitted for evaluation will receive a grade of 0 percent. Complete all 10 lesson quizzes to ensure you receive the highest possible overall grade.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Note: All examinations for this course are taken online, and must be taken at an invigilated location. It is your responsibility to ensure a computer with an Internet connection and a current web browser is available for your use at the invigilation centre

Course Materials


Registration in this course includes an electronic textbook. For more information on electronic textbooks, please refer to our eText Initiative site.

Adler, R. B., Rolls, J. A., & Proctor III, R. F. (2015). LOOK: Looking Out, Looking In (2nd Cdn ed.). Toronto, ON: Nelson.  ISBN 978-0-17-667341-3

A print version of the eText can be purchased from the publisher through a direct-to-student link provided in the course website

You can acquire a print version of the textbook on your own if you wish.

Other Resources

All other learning resources will be available online.

Challenge for Credit Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows you to demonstrate that you have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university-level course.

Full information about Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the COMM 243 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least D (50 percent) on the examination.

Online Exam (3 hours)

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 8, November 04, 2016.

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