BUSN20017 - Effective Business Communications
Term 1 - 2017


All details in this unit profile for BUSN20017 have been officially approved by CQUniversity and represent a learning partnership between the University and you (our student). The information will not be changed unless absolutely necessary and any change will be clearly indicated by an approved correction included in the profile.

Overview

Effective business communications develops your understanding of professional communication and behaviour in the workplace. The unit introduces you to elements of effective oral communication for participation in business meetings, presenting training sessions and cross-cultural and team/group interaction and for constructing written communications to both internal and external clients. The unit also considers the importance of non-verbal communication (body language) and listening for effective inter-personal communication. Self-reflection and peer assessment are emphasised as tools for self-management appropriate for future success in a professional career. You will gain an understanding of Australian industry employer requirements and the skills required to competently participate in the selection process for graduate positions.

Details

Career Level Postgraduate
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band 3A
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Offerings

Term 1 - 2017
  • Brisbane
  • Distance
  • Melbourne
  • Sydney
  • Townsville

Website

This unit has a website, within the Moodle system, which is available two weeks before the start of term. It is important that you visit your Moodle site throughout the term. Go to Moodle

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Postgraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Class Timetable

Assessment Overview

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Presentation and Written Assessment 50%
2. Written Assessment 50%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%). Consult the University’s Grades and Results Procedures for more details of interim results and final grades.

All University policies are available on the IMPortal.

You may wish to view these policies:

  • Grades and Results Procedure
  • Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework)
  • Review of Grade Procedure
  • Academic Misconduct Procedure
  • Monitoring Academic Progress (MAP) Policy and Procedure – Domestic Students
  • Monitoring Academic Progress (MAP) Policy and Procedure – International Students
  • Refund and Excess Payments (Credit Balances) Policy and Procedure
  • Student Feedback – Compliments and Complaints Policy and Procedure
  • Acceptable Use of Information and Communications Technology Facilities and Devices Policy and Procedure

This list is not an exhaustive list of all University policies. The full list of University policies are available on the IMPortal.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Feedback Source Recommendation
The overall feedback suggests that the students are satisfied with the course. Formal evaluations It is recommended to continue with the elements of the course that are positively evaluated.
Some of the qualitative responses focused upon the large number of students enrolled. Formal evaluations It is recommended adding more offerings of the courses especially in Sydney and Melbourne.
Student wanted to receive more timely feedback on assessment. Formal evaluations It is recommended that the training presentation is modified. All students should be required to submit a video of their presentation at the same time. Doing this will allow for all of the presentations to be marked and returned to students in a more timely manner.
On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
  1. assess verbal and nonverbal communication processes.
  2. analyse interpersonal communication within a professional context.
  3. evaluate the links between communication and professional networks and networking.
  4. effectively select the appropriate communication medium for the given professional context.
  5. deliver a variety of oral and written professional communication genres including training presentations, interviews and team/group and cross cultural interaction; business writing and academic writing.

This unit does not link to any specific external professional accreditation.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes

Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
0 - Presentation and Written Assessment      
2 - Written Assessment  

Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes

  • Professional Level
  • Advanced Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1. Knowledge      
2. Communication
3. Cognitive, technical and creative skills      
4. Research          
5. Self-management  
6. Ethical and Professional Responsibility    
7. Leadership    

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes

  • Professional Level
  • Advanced Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
0 - Presentation and Written Assessment      
2 - Written Assessment    

Prescribed Textbooks

Communication for Business and the Professions: Strategies and Skills
Author/s: Dwyer, J Year: 2016
Edition: 6th edn Publisher: Pearson Australia
City: Sydney State: NSW
Country: Australia
View textbooks at the CQUniversity Bookshop
Note:

An electronic version of this textbook is available. However, if you prefer a paper text, they are still available at the CQUni Bookshop here: http://bookshop.cqu.edu.au

IT Resources

You will need access to the following IT resources:
  • CQUniversity Student Email
  • Internet
  • Unit Website (Moodle)
All submissions for this unit must use the American Psychological Association (APA) referencing style (details can be obtained here). For further information, see the Assessment Tasks below.
Unit CoordinatorJan Lewis (m.lewis@cqu.edu.au)
Note: Check the Term-Specific section for any additional contact information provided by the teaching team
Week Begin Date Module/Topic Chapter Events and Submissions
Week 1 06-03-2017

Communication: Understanding the Process

Chapter 1 Communication Foundations in your text:

Dwyer, J. (2016). Communication for Business and the Professions: Strategies & Skills. (6th ed.). Pearson: Australia.

Discuss core communication concepts and preview the structure of the unit

Week 2 13-03-2017

Presentations: Communicating to an Audience:

Chapter 17 Communicating Through Visuals and Chapter 18 Oral Presentations and Public Speaking in your text.

Discuss presentations and Assessment 0.


Week 3 20-03-2017

Academic Writing: Demonstrating your Knowledge

Chapter 23 Writing Reflective Journals and Chapter 24 Academic Writing in your text.

Discuss academic writing and Assessment 0 and 2.

Week 4 27-03-2017

Business Writing: Genres of Written Business Communication

Chapters 19 to 22 in your text.

Week 5 03-04-2017

Interpersonal Communication: Working Together

Chapter 3 Interpersonal Communication in your text.


Assessment 0: Part 1 Group academic report ONLY is due to be uploaded in Moodle by Friday 7th April at 2PM AEST.

Part 1. Group academic report and Part 2. Group academic presentation Due Friday (07 Apr 17) 02:00 PM AEST
Vacation Week 10-04-2017
Week 6 17-04-2017

Organisational Communication: Communicating within the Organisational Structure

Chapter 7 Communication Across the Organisation in your text.


Week 7 24-04-2017

Communication Media and Networking: Choosing the Medium and Connecting with Others

Chapter 2 Social Media in your text.

Week 8 01-05-2017

Soliciting Information: Interviews and interviewing

Chapter 25 The Job Search, Resumes and Interviews in your text.

Assessment 0: Part 2 Group academic presentation is due to be uploaded in Moodle by Friday 5th May at 2PM AEST.

Week 9 08-05-2017

Communicating in Teams and Groups: Process Communication

Chapter 9 Team and Group Communication and Chapter 10 Effective Meetings: Face-to-face and Virtual in your text.

Week 10 15-05-2017

Special topics in professional communication.

Chapter 16 Critical thinking, argument, logic and persuasion in your text.

Week 11 22-05-2017

Cross Cultural Communication: Transcending Boundaries

Chapter 6 Intercultural Communication in your text.

Week 12 29-05-2017

Informal student presentations based on self reflection assessment and some Business Communication secrets revealed by experts.

Self-reflection Essay: Interpersonal Communication. Due Friday (02 Jun 17) 02:00 PM AEST
Review/Exam Week 05-06-2017
Exam Week 12-06-2017

0 Presentation and Written Assessment

Assessment Title Part 1. Group academic report and Part 2. Group academic presentation
Task Description

Part 1 Group academic report

Weighting: 20%

Word count: 1,000 words maximum

Due Week 5 of term on Friday at 2PM AEST.

Task Description

You will need to form groups as early in the term as possible for both parts of Assessment 0.

The purpose of this assessment is to provide students with the opportunity to work collaboratively with colleagues to prepare a group presentation and written report that reflects a real business communication issue. You are to choose a real business communication issue that interests you and will assist you with Part 2 of Assessment 0: Group presentation. Please ensure that you read both parts of the assessments before starting part 1.

Your chosen business issue must have a theoretical model as its basis, for example Berlo’s Model. Your task is to write about the relationship between the business issue you have chosen and your chosen model. You will need to introduce concepts, relevant theories and models of communication which you must define and reference and then apply to your chosen communication issue so that the issue can be solved.

As this will be an academic report you will need to correctly reference your work, both in-text and in the reference list using APA referencing. On-campus students should take advantage of any workshops provided by the Academic Learning Centre with regards to writing and speaking English, delivering oral presentations and academic writing to name just a few topics.

Only one copy of the report can be uploaded and it must clearly identify all members of the group, with full name (as appears on University enrolment) and student numbers. Multiple submissions of the same report can trigger academic misconduct or plagiarism investigations but all group members must have contributed equally to the report. You can use headings and sub-headings within the report to make it easier for markers to read and mark and to reflect report format. You must include a reference list with at least 10 academic references, therefore you will need to do a lot of research to find journal articles published after 2010.

Due Week 5 of term on Friday at 2PM AEST.


Part 2 Group academic presentation

Weighting: 30%

Word count: 10-15 minutes maximum

Due Week 8 of term on Friday at 2PM AEST.

Task Description

You are to prepare a PowerPoint presentation and to record this with your voice over using the real business communication issue that you researched in Part 1 of Assessment 0: Group academic essay. Based on feedback received from Part 1, you can make any changes that you feel are necessary for your presentation.

For all students, the Moodle submission of your PowerPoint file with voiceover will be due at 2 pm AEST Friday Week 8.Students can record their presentation through PowerPoint's "Record Slide Show” function, and submit their PowerPoint file (with recording) through the Unit Moodle website. Students may prefer to use other technologies such as Zoom or Camtasia. One copy of the presentation can be uploaded and it must clearly identify all members of the group, with full name (as appears on University enrolment) and student numbers. Multiple submissions of the same report can trigger academic misconduct or plagiarism investigations.

However, on campus students will also deliver their presentation in a regularly scheduled class from Week 8 onwards, depending on their local lecturer/tutor's scheduling. Distance students will be asked to present during a weekly Zoom session from Week 8 onwards in their Thursday session or if you are not available at that time, at a time which is mutually convenient.

This is pass fail activity.

· On-campus students MUST be present for their presentations, actively participate and be available to answer questions, to receive a grade for the presentation component of this assessment.

· Similarly distance students must be in a group and upload their presentation and supporting materials by the due date. Distance students MUST be available to present during their Thursday Zoom session or at a time which is mutually convenient.

Due Week 8 of term on Friday at 2PM AEST.

Notes:

· You do not need to read the in-text referencing or references on the slides when recording your voice for the PPT presentation.

· When recording, you should use a headset with microphone preferably or speak loudly if you use the inbuilt microphone on your laptop/computer. Please make sure your voice is clear, can be heard and understood when playing the Powerpoint slides BEFORE you upload your work into Moodle.

· The Powerpoint slides and Word script will need to be uploaded in Moodle under the “Assessment 0: Part 2” link.

· Do NOT insert your audio as a .wav file into the slides because we will not be able to hear you if it is not embedded in the file. To check if it works, you could send your PPT file to a friend and see if they can hear it. Please do not send to the Lecturer or Unit Co-ordinator to check.

· For hints on how to convert a PowerPoint slide to a presentation with voice over, please view the link below. Adding

· Voice Over to PowerPoint Presentations in 5 Easy Steps: http://www.emergingedtech.com/2012/12/add-voice-over-to-powerpoint-presentations-in-5-easy-steps/

· Turnitin will most likely not be able to process your file, so it is up to you to ensure you have referenced all ideas both on the slides and in the reference list.

This presentation should be less than 15 minutes and use only 7 PowerPoint slides with bullet points. The slides should follow this structure:

  • 1. Title of presentation, student names as shown in Moodle plus student ID numbers

  • 2. Introduction

  • 3. Real business issue that the group is addressing

  • 4. Communication model used

  • 5. Solving the issue

  • 6. Conclusion

  • 7. Reference list only for those references used in your slides.

Assessment Due Date Week 5 Friday (07-Apr-2017) 02:00 PM AEST
Part 1. Group academic report only due in Week 5, Part 2. Group academic presentation due Week 8 on Friday at 2PM
Return Date to Students Week 7 Friday (28-Apr-2017)
Part 1. Group academic report will be returned in Week 7; Part 2. Group academic presentation will be returned as soon as the presentations have concluded.
Weighting 50%
Assessment Criteria

Part 1. Key criteria:

Use of the APA referencing to correctly cite all sources used.

Ability to prepare and present a formal business report.

Demonstrate a breadth and quality of research by using a minimum of 10 academic sources from recommended texts and journal articles published after 2010.

The ability to use conceptual models as the basis for analysing the relevant communication and/or organisational issue.

Demonstration of understanding of relevant communication models and concepts in relation to effective communication.

Definition of key communication concepts and terms.

Title page with student names as shown in Moodle plus student ID numbers

Please refer to the Moodle website for marking rubrics for each piece of this assessment.

Part 2. Key criteria:

· Ability to prepare and deliver a formal business presentation that involves all members of the group and conveys the critical information required.

· Ability to utilise appropriate audio-visual and other media to enhance communication.

· Deliver the presentation within the prescribed time.

· Use of the APA referencing to correctly cite all sources used.

· Please refer to the Moodle website for marking rubrics for each piece of this assessment.

As Masters students you are required to engage in research as per the Australia Quality Framework (AQF) guidelines.

Students need to demonstrate “a body of knowledge that includes the understanding of recent developments in a discipline and/or area of professional practice, and demonstrate "knowledge of research principles and methods applicable to a field of work and/or learning”.
Each unit in the MBA has a number of required weekly readings in terms of academic texts, journals and business publications that represent the appropriate body of knowledge and recent developments referred to by the AQF. In order to demonstrate the ability to engage in appropriate research, students should read and utilise these texts and journals and publications, and as Masters students, indicate a willingness to research beyond this minimum standard through additional texts, journals and studies that demonstrate an ability to engage in independent research.
Students should insure that they understand the specific research that is required for each assessment piece and recognise that if they meet this minimum requirement, you will receive the minimum grade for demonstrated research.
Your attention is drawn to the University’s stated position on plagiarism. THE WORK OF OTHERS, WHICH IS INCLUDED IN THE ASSIGNMENT MUST BE ATTRIBUTED TO ITS SOURCE (a full list of references must be submitted
as part of the assessment).

Referencing Style American Psychological Association (APA)
Submission Online
Group submission

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

1. assess verbal and nonverbal communication processes.

5. deliver a variety of oral and written professional communication genres including training presentations, interviews and team/group and cross cultural interaction; business writing and academic writing.

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Knowledge

2. Communication

3. Cognitive, technical and creative skills

4. Research



2 Written Assessment

Assessment Title Self-reflection Essay: Interpersonal Communication.
Task Description

The purpose of this assessment is to provide students with the opportunity to engage in reflective practice, using a range of diagnostic tools and feedback, so as to identify two key areas of personal capability that can be addressed (improved) so an to increase their communication effectiveness.
This assignment has three specific components.


1. Diagnosis and Reflection. 1000 words
a) Using a minimum of 5 diagnostic tools related to communication, such as the Johari Window, Communications Style Questionnaire, Assertiveness Questionnaires etc., you are to analyse your own communication style across various areas such as verbal communication, active listening, non- verbal, assertiveness perception etc. see Weeks 1 and 2 in The Schedule and also you can base this on your reflection from the first assessment of your oral and written presentation.
b) You are to present the findings of the tools and identify 2 of your key communication issues that you have identified as requiring development.
c) Reflect on two recent professional interactions that you have had within the past 12 months. Analyse these interactions from the perspective of the two key communication issues that are identified as requiring development.To what extent are these evident and support the need for personal communication development?


2.Literature review 1000 words
You are to identify and explain the two issues from your diagnosis and reflection. You are to define the concepts, outline key models and or behaviours that need to be developed so as to demonstrate effective practice. This literature review needs to outline both the conceptually (theoretical) and behavioural (interpersonal skills) that you need to acquire to demonstrate competence in your chose area of communication.


3. Action Plan 500 words
As a conclusion you are to develop an action plan of key events and activities that you can undertake over the next 6 months to acquire the knowledge, skills and behaviours identified as requiring development in component 1. This can include the following:
· undertaking specific short courses, to develop skills (must be actual courses),
· undertaking advanced post graduate communication courses at CQU or other institutions,
· a reading plan to acquire conceptual knowledge, that may include specific communication texts and self-help books (must be specified),
· maintaining of personal journals reflecting on communication interactions,
· Identification of a mentor (evidence must be provided).
This section must include actionable items with timelines (such as a Gantt chart) and an indication of how you will measure their successful completion.

Refer to the Moodle website for marking rubrics for this assessment.

This is a summative assessment so marks will not be released until after Certification of Grades.

Assessment Due Date Week 12 Friday (02-Jun-2017) 02:00 PM AEST
Return Date to Students Marked assessments will be released after Certification of Grades
Weighting 50%
Assessment Criteria

Definition of key communication concepts and terms.

Demonstration of understanding of relevant communication models and concepts as the basis for analyzing personal communication and organisational contexts that impact in effective communication.

The use of a minimum of 5 diagnostic tools and discussion of the results.

Identify short courses at AIM or other institutions, or specific electives and how these will address the developmental need identified in the earlier section.

Demonstrate a breadth and quality of research by using a minimum of 12 academic sources from recommended texts and Journal articles.

Ability to prepare a professional presentation in the nominated format.

Use of the APA in text referencing system to correctly cite academic sources.

As Masters students you are required to engage in research as per the Australia Quality Framework (AQF) guidelines.
Two specific requirements need to be considered. Students need to demonstrate “a body of knowledge that includes the understanding of recent developments in a discipline and/or area of professional practice, and demonstrate "knowledge of research principles and methods applicable to a field of work and/or learning”.
Each unit in the MBA has a number of required weekly readings in terms of academic texts, journals and business publications that represent the appropriate body of knowledge and recent developments referred to by the AQF. In order to demonstrate the ability to engage in appropriate research, students should read and utilise these texts and journals
and publications, and as Masters students, indicate a willingness to research beyond this minimum standard through additional texts, journals and studies that demonstrate an ability to engage in independent research.
Students should insure that they understand the specific research that is required for each assessment piece and recognise that if they meet this minimum requirement, you will receive the minimum grade for demonstrated research.
Your attention is drawn to the University’s stated position on plagiarism. THE WORK OF OTHERS, WHICH IS INCLUDED IN THE ASSIGNMENT MUST BE ATTRIBUTED TO ITS SOURCE (a full list of references must be submitted as part of the assessment).


Referencing Style American Psychological Association (APA)
Submission Online

Submit via Unit Moodle website

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

2. analyse interpersonal communication within a professional context.

3. evaluate the links between communication and professional networks and networking.

4. effectively select the appropriate communication medium for the given professional context.

5. deliver a variety of oral and written professional communication genres including training presentations, interviews and team/group and cross cultural interaction; business writing and academic writing.

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Knowledge

2. Communication

3. Cognitive, technical and creative skills

4. Research

5. Self-management




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