Approved by Faculty Senate


University Studies Course Approval Form

1. Department or Program Communication Studies
2. Course Number 287
3. Semester Hours 3
4. Frequency of Offering Yearly
5. Course Title Conflict and Communication
6. Catalogue Description:
This course examines the impact of communication  behaviors on conflict escalation
        and resolution. Principles of negotiation and conflict management are examined
       within the context of interpersonal, inter-cultural and international relationships.

7. This is an existing course previously approved by A2C2 Yes

8. This is a new course proposal No

9. University Studies Requirement this course would satisfy Social Sciences

10. Department Contact Person for this Ted Reilly ereilly@winona.edu

11. General Course Outcomes

This course is designed to provide students with a conceptual foundation of the nature of
conflict, the communication forces that serve to escalate or contain its progression, and the
principles of conflict management and negotiation. Various contexts and settings will be
examined, with particular emphasis being placed on conflict as it emerges in interpersonal
and small group situations. Some attention will be paid to third-party intervention and to
the tools of peer negotiation. How to disagree effectively and handle derailing remarks issues
by others will be addressed. Finally, fundamentals associated with stress management, will
be addressed. Knowledge acquisition is facilitated by reading and writing assignments, lectures,
class discussions, exercises, and through a group teaching assignment of a conflict principle.

12. Course Outcomes

A. understand humans as individuals and as parts of larger social systems;

Students not only become aware of their own sources and
patterns of conflict, but the study conflict processes in the
interpersonal, family, group, organizational, and intercultural
settings. Students are required to keep a portfolio documenting
their understanding of the individual and larger social system
processes of conflict. Students also have the opportunity to
study an issue of conflict in an in-depth research presentation
project.

B. understand the historical context of the social situations;
The historical context of conflict is presented in the textbook and
class lectures. Included in these presentations are discussions of
the history of violent conflict in this (US) and other societies,
and are also required to include the historical context of conflict
in their graded projects.

C. identify problems and frame research questions relating to humans and
their experience;
Students are required to write a research paper on a conflict issue
of their choice. This paper requires that students review the
academic research conducted in their chosen area, and then
formulate an orignal research question that could be studied.
Students will write a prospectus of a proposed research project to
help them understand how researchers identify problems, frame
research questions, and propose a plan for researching the
questions.

D. become familiar with the process of theory building and theoretical
frameworks used by the social science;
Theoretical perspectives of conflict are discussed throughout the
course of the semester and are presented in the textbook.
Students will explore frameworks for conflict theory in their
group project and research prospectus. Each project requires that
the student report on the theoretical grounding of their research.

E. understand research methods used in the social sciences;
Research methods are also discussed throughout the semester
and are used to frame the research prospectus. Student will be
required to write a research question in their prospectus and
based on that question, choose an appropriate research method
with which to study the question. They will be required to detail
their method plan for the research question.

F. describe and detail discipline-specific knowledge and its applications;
This requirement is fulfilled through textbook readings, class
lectures and discussion, student exploration of a conflict topic of
his or her choice, and through written assignments. The group
presentation project is specifically aimed at enhancing the
understanding of a conflict concept by creating an interactive-
application presentation that illustrates and grounds the concept
with real-life examples.

G. understand differences among and commonalities across humans and
their experience, as tied to such variables as gender, race, socioeconomic status, etc.
Again, this requirement is fulfilled through textbook readings,
class lectures and discussion, and written assignments.
Specifically, the issues of intra-group and inter-group,
intercultural, and gender conflict are addressed.

Sample Syllabus

Communication Studies 287

Conflict and Communication

Required Text: Cupach, W.R. & Canary, D.J. (1997). Competence in Interpersonal Conflict.
New York: Mc Graw Hill.

Course Description and Goals:

This course is designed to provide students with a conceptual foundation of the nature of
conflict, the communication forces that serve to escalate or contain its progression, and the
principles of conflict management and negotiation. Various contexts and settings will be
examined, with particular emphasis being placed on conflict as it emerges in interpersonal
and small group situations. some attention will be paid to third-party intervention and to
the tools of peer negotiation. How to disagree effectively and handle derailing remarks
issues by others will be addressed. Finally, fundamentals associated with stress
management, will be addressed. Knowledge acquisition is facilitated by reading and
writing assignments, lectures, class discussions, exercises, and through a group teaching
assignment of a conflict principle.

Readings and Assignments: Each student is expected to come to class every day and be
prepared to discuss and/or work with the assigned material. Short, type-written assignments
will go hand-in-hand with the reading material to reinforce key ideas. Students are reponsible
for the mastery of the text and will be tested on this material.

Grade and Points Totals

Exam 1 100
Exam 2 100
Exam 3 100
Group project 300
Written Assignments 100
Prospectus 300

A=900-1,0000 B=800-899 C=700-799 D=600-699 F=0-599 or failure to complete ALL of
the graded assignments.

Assignments

Exams: Three non-cumulative exams will be administered over the course of the
semester. Exams will include multiple choice and true/false, as well as short answer
and application questions. Analysis questions will be included. Questions will be
drawn from lecture and the text.

Small Group Presentation: In order to facilitate involvement, enhance learning about
the respective theories addressed in the course, and provide an opportunity for students
to gain experience working in a small task group, students will work with 3-4 others, creating
an interactive-application presentation illustrating and grounding their assigned concept with
real life examples. The activity will be aimed at enhancing their peers understanding of a
respective conflict concept. Groups will be formed early during the term. Although some
group meeting time will be allotted in class, students should expect to meet with their groups
outside of class on a regular basis. Students will receive a group grade reflecting the quality of
their group s presentation and written accompaniments. They also will receive an individual
grade reflecting the quality and thoroughness of their submitted group project material, which
will be computed as part of student s written assignment grade. Students within each small
group will receive the same project grade unless there is a marked disparity in the amount or
value of individual contributions. Members of the other groups will critique each group.
However, the instructor will determine the grades received.

Written Assignments: Students will be asked to create a portfolio containing their application
papers and group materials. The assignments will serve as a spring board for class discussion
and provide a useful tool for later use. Students will receive points for their assignments
associated with the quality, depth and thoroughness of their work.

Prospectus: A paper in which the student proposes a research investigation on some aspect of
conflict communication. There is no actual performance of the research itself, but this paper will
outline how a research project would be conducted. Students will review the academic literature
on their subject and create a research question or hypothesis based on a gap in the literature.
Students will choose and describe a research method and plan that best suits the question or
hypothesis.

Tentative Schedule

Jan. 12 - Intro to Class
Jan. 14 - Chap. 1 - The Importance of Conflict in Interpersonal Relationships
(a, f, g)
Jan. 19 - Continue
Jan. 21 - Chap. 2 - A Competence-Based Approach to Interpersonal Conflict
(a, d, g)
Jan. 24 - Continue
Jan. 26 - Chap. 3 - Conflict Messages (a)
Jan. 28 - Continue
Jan. 31 - Chap. 4 - Background Influences on Interpersonal Conflict (a, d, g)
Feb. 2 - Continue
Feb. 4 - Chapter 5 - Proximal Influences: Spontaneous Reactions to Conflict
(a, d, g)
Feb. 7 - Continue
Feb. 9 - Continue
Feb. 11 - Test 1
Feb. 14 - Chapter 6 - Conflict Outcomes (a, g)
Feb. 16 - Continue
Feb. 21 - Chapter 7 - Intercultural Conflict Competence (a, d, g)
Feb. 23 - Continue
Feb. 25 - Chapter 8 - Competence in Organizational Conflicts (d, g)
Feb. 28 - Continue
Mar. 1 - Chapter 9 - Violence in Intimate Relationships (b, g)
Mar. 3 - Continue

SPRING BREAK

Mar. 20 - Chapter 10 - Mediating Conflict (a, g)
Mar. 22 - Continued
Mar. 24 - Chapter 11 - Looking Forward to Future Conflicts (b)
Mar. 27 - Continued
Mar. 29 - Continued
Mar. 31 - Test 2
Apr. 3 - Group Presentations (f)
Apr. 5 - Group Presentations
Apr. 7 - Group Presentations
Apr. 10- Group Presentations
Apr. 12 - Group Presentations
Apr. 14 - Group Presentations
Apr. 17 - Group Presentations
Apr. 19 - Group Presentations
Apr. 21 - Group Presentations
Apr. 24 - Group Presentations
Apr. 26 - Group Presentations
Apr. 28 - Group Presentations
May 1 - How to Disagree without being Disagreeable based on the book by
S.H. Elgin
May 3 - Continued
May 5 - Continued
May 8 - How to Get to Yes without Giving In based on the book by R.
Fisher and W. Ury
May 10 - Continued
May 12 - Continued (Prospectus Due) (c, e)
May 15 - Test 3