SSW101 - Interpersonal Communications

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-07-20 11:54:44.067
Last review date 2018-07-20 11:54:56.876

Subject Title
Interpersonal Communications

Subject Description
This course is an introduction to the skills required to understand and improve one?s own communication style thereby enhancing one?s ability to consciously and effectively relate to others. Students will be expected to demonstrate an appropriate level of competence in interpersonal communication skills and self-awareness. The course will further enable students to explore the impact that one?s interpersonal skills and attitude might have on their professional relationships with others as they work with diverse populations. As a pre requisite to interviewing and assessing clients, this course will assist students to become more aware of aspects in communication in the worker/client relationship such as power dynamics, active listening and being present with others.

Credit Status
One Credit

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

  1. Recognize and understand their own communication style.
  2. Articulate theory and the specific skills involved in effectively communicating with others.
  3. Recognize and understand various factors (self-concept, culture, gender, race, age, ability, class, etc.) which shape communication style.
  4. Demonstrate active listening and feedback skills to build effective professional relationship.
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of assertive communication and conflict resolution strategies as experienced during in class group activities and presentations. 
  6. Track and identify their growth in interpersonal communication skills.
  7. Demonstrate strategies for self-care in the helping profession.
  8. Begin to understand guidelines for non-oppressive communication.
In addition to the above learning outcomes, students are expected to attend all classes and participate fully. Confidentiality, courtesy and respect for peers and faculty are expected at all times.  All of the above knowledge and skills will be teacher- evaluated and self-evaluated on an ongoing basis through assignments and classroom activities.

Essential Employability Skills
Communicate clearly, concisely and correctly in the written, spoken and visual form that fulfils the purpose and meets the needs of the audience.

Respond to written, spoken, or visual messages in a manner that ensures effective communication.

Apply a systematic approach to solve problems.

Use a variety of thinking skills to anticipate and solve problems.

Show respect for diverse opinions, values, belief systems, and contributions of others.

Manage the use of time and other resources to complete projects.

Take responsibility for one's own actions, decisions, and consequences.

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.

This course is a pre-requisite for SSW201, SSW212, SWL247, SWK257.

Topic Outline
Interpersonal Communication
Culture and Interpersonal Communication
Perception of Self and Others
Listening in Interpersonal Communications
Verbal Messages
Nonverbal Messages
Emotional Messages
Conversation Messages
Interpersonal Relationships
Interpersonal Communication and Conflict
Interpersonal Communication and the Workplace

Mode of Instruction
Classroom lectures, small group discussions, videos and self awareness exercises.

Prescribed Texts
DeVito, Joseph A: Shimoni, Rena; Clark, Dawne: Messages-Building Interpersonal Communication Skills, Fifth Canadian Edition,  Pearson Education Inc. 2016, ISBN# 9780133081671

Reference Material
A Writer's Resource, 3rd edition
by Maimon, Peritz, Rubens, McGraw Hill, ISBN#9780070685840

Required Supplies

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online ( or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation
Term Work and Final Examination Requirements:

Students must attain a grade of at least 50% to pass the course. 

If you are unable to complete the Final Exam/Assignment in this subject, you must provide documentation to support the absence to the instructor within one week.  If necessary, this information will be presented at the promotion meeting for consideration in determining and recommending the final grade.


All term work assignments must be completed prior to the time of the final examination. Unless students have been granted an extension in advance, late assignments will be penalized accordingly. There is no provision for rewriting late assignments, regardless of the grade awarded.  Students must contact faculty in advance of due date to discuss extensions.

All assignments must be correctly documented using APA -  and follow the criteria established by the instructor, unless otherwise noted.

If an assignment is missed due to class absence, any official documentation that might be grounds for arranging a make-up opportunity must be submitted to the faculty member on or before the next scheduled class.  Make-up opportunities do not apply to all graded assignments.


Test and Exam dates have been pre-arranged and are non-negotiable.  If a test/exam is missed, the student must provide official documentation to support the reason for the absence within one week to the instructor.  Make-up tests or exams will be granted for extenuating circumstances only and at the discretion of the faculty.

For further information on evaluation and academic standing, please refer to the Seneca College Academic Policy

Grading is based on the following marking scheme:

Assignment Percentage
Group Presentation 25%
Mid-term exam 25%
Personal Growth Profile assignment 25%
Final Exam 25%
Total 100%

Student Success:
Please come prepared to participate in class.  Make sure you bring your course text to each class, participate in class discussions, hand in any assigned work on time and attend each and every class.  Following these suggestions will increase your chances of success.


Approved by: Sandra Noble