Skip Navigation

Communication for Today's Leader (11:607:380)

Fall 2018 Syllabus



Course Delivery

This course is fully online, and all assignments and activities will take place online. To access the course, go to (links to an external site). and log in under the "Students" menu, or log in directly at For more information about course access or support, you can contact the Online Learning Help Desk via email at or call 848-260-2941.

Course Description

3 Credits. If leadership is about "human communication that modifies the attitudes and behaviors of others in order to meet shared…goals" (Hackman & Johnson, p 11, 2013), then effective leadership is not possible without effective communication. In this course, students explore leadership and communication from a theoretical, as well as a practical, hands-on perspective. Students apply leadership theories and principles to personal leadership experiences, think critically to evaluate the subjects of leadership and communication, evaluate traits and characteristics of effective leaders by focusing on communication skills, assess organizational culture, and conclude how strong communication can create a mutually beneficial environment. Students strengthen their own communication skills through varied portals including journaling, discussions, video posts, and papers.

Course Learning Objectives

Students will explore leadership and communication from a theoretical, as well as a practical, hands-on perspective. Students will apply leadership theories and principles to personal leadership experiences, think critically about reading assignments, share leadership triumphs and challenges through online journaling and papers, as well as participate in weekly threaded discussions on topics related to course readings. The course is designed so that students will move through a series of assignments week by week as a group, logging on several times per week to participate in threaded discussion and to post assignments.

Students will be able to:

  • Apply critical thinking skills to evaluate the subjects of leadership and communication
  • Develop an understanding of his or her capacity for leadership
  • Improve communication skills and apply them to current leadership roles
  • Create a personal agenda for leadership by setting personal and professional goals
  • Evaluate traits and characteristics of effective leaders by focusing on communication skills including their own
  • Exercise communication strategies useful in group dynamics
  • Demonstrated effective leadership communication skills through language choices
  • Validate the importance of diversity in society
  • Assess and modify organizational culture and conclude how strong communication can create a mutually beneficial environment
  • Interpret and support the need for ethical leadership in this world

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will have:

  • Improved communication skills (oral and written) as applied to leadership situations
  • Critiqued group dynamics and group development, understanding how the role of a leader has great impact on team development
  • Evaluated the leadership styles of current and past leaders
  • Constructed an awareness of the role of diversity in leadership situations
  • Improved his or her leadership ability
  • Identified leadership qualities by taking part in campus and community organizations


Leadership, A Communication Perspective. Michael Z. Hackman and Craig E. Johnson. Waveland Press, 2013, 6th Edition. Available at RU/Barnes and Noble Book Store.

Course Policies/Student Information

Distance Education

Students should be reminded that the same dedication required for an on-campus course is required for a distance education course. Students must be self-motivated, manage time efficiently, and approach their studies seriously. Students are also expected to be computer literate and should be familiar with how to access articles online from the University library since this will be necessary throughout the semester.

This 14-week course will be comprised of weekly modules that will address issues of leadership and communication.

Please note: this course is reading and writing intensive.

How It Works

Students should log onto Rutgers Online Canvas (links to an external website) at the start of each week (Tuesday) to review assignments and post their work. The course syllabus is accessible at all times throughout the semester so that students are always aware of upcoming assignments and deadlines. Deadlines for weekly assignments will always be on Monday at midnight, unless otherwise noted. Please consult the assignments links for each week to read the most updated list of assignments. Any changes will be communicated to students via the Announcements Page and via email.

Plagiarism and Cheating

Plagiarism will not be tolerated. Anyone caught cheating will be subject to the same University Policies and Procedures on Academic Integrity (links to an external site).

Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to:

  • Resubmitting your own work that has previously been evaluated in this class or any other class.
  • Copying text directly from websites and other sources without attributing the original source.
  • Copying the work of students in other sections (past or present) of this course.

Online Attendance/Expectations for Participation - Students

Your attention and active participation in this online course will enhance this unique learning experience for all. Contact with your instructor(s) and fellow students is crucial to your success. It is expected that you will log on 3 times each week to check and post assignments and participate in the threaded discussion or write in your student journal. If you foresee a conflict in participating at any time during the semester, you must contact the instructor(s).

As class assignments and points are the basis for final grading and are distributed week to week, if a student has not "attended class" for two consecutive weeks, the student will be at risk for failing the course and/or may result in being dropped from the course.

Any and all absences must be cleared by the instructor(s) in advance.

Keep in mind that our course is available anytime, anywhere 24-hours a day.

Threaded Discussions

Threaded discussions will provide an interesting forum for students to expound on theory discussed in the text and apply it to personal experience. Additional assignments will also allow students to examine personal beliefs and think critically about leadership and communication.


Confidentiality is key in this course. Be circumspect as you share information and likewise respect confidentiality of your classmates…. 'Only the learning leaves the training room'.

Types of Assignments

Weekly readings (textbook, additional articles/books/websites, as noted); threaded discussions with classmates; student journal exercises; short papers (e.g., Movie Review Paper).

Submission of Written Assignments

All written assignments should be double spaced with 1" margins. Type style used should be Arial or Times New Roman in 12-point font. Each assignment should include the following information in the header: Student Name, Title of Course, Title of Assignment, and Due Date.

Due Dates

Assignments are typically due at the end of the weekly module. Assignments can be posted until 11:59 p.m. on Day 7 (always be sure to check due dates as holidays, etc. can cause schedule changes).


Quizzes will be available from 6 a.m. Day 2 until 11:59 p.m. on Day 4 (unless otherwise noted). Your quiz grades will be posted in Grades the Sunday following the quiz due dates.

Late assignments will not be accepted without instructor(s) approval and will not be accepted more than one week after the original due date. Entries into a threaded discussion cannot be posted late, as essentially that class discussion has ended.

Tips for Threaded Discussion - Students

The inclusion of a weekly Threaded Discussion in this course will allow you to post your own thoughts on readings, as well as comment on your classmates' posts. Please keep in mind that you may not agree with what someone else has to say. Because we all come from different backgrounds and possess different cultural values, it is expected that a difference of opinion will exist. Sharing your point of view is important to the progress of the course and will demonstrate your critical thinking.

The threaded discussion questions will change and relate directly back to the reading(s) for the week so it is important that you read the assignment first and then think about the question and how you will respond. The first post for the week should refer back to the text using a quote(s) or a point(s) that relates and include page references. If a personal experience is applicable to the question be sure to share that individual perspective. Being able to relate these concepts to your personal experiences will make the learning process even richer.

Quantity and Quality of Posts

The threaded discussion portion of this course may become a favorite assignment for some of you. Keep in mind that your grade is based on depth and quality of your posts, as well as participation. The threaded discussion should be viewed as an interesting forum in which to post and read the viewpoints of others. Keep in mind that you should respond to a classmate's post as it relates to a point you are making, if it provided fresh insight into the reading or theme for the week, or if you have an opposing viewpoint. If you seek to challenge one another in your posts by offering unique thoughts or personal experiences, it will provide a greater learning experience for all. As a guideline, students are required to post a minimum of two (2) substantial posts per week, including an initial response by Friday and 1 additional substantive comment to fellow class peers by Monday. See Threaded Discussion Grading Matrix in Course Home.

Additional Online Tools in Canvas

Students are encouraged to take advantage of additional tools offered through Canvas to enhance the online learning experience.

Accessibility to Online Courses

Rutgers University welcomes students with disabilities into all of the university's educational programs. In order to receive consideration for reasonable accommodations, a student with a disability must contact the appropriate disability services office at the campus where you are officially enrolled, participate in an intake interview, and provide documentation (links to an external website). If the documentation supports your request for reasonable accommodations, your campus's disability services office will provide you with a Letter of Accommodations. Please share this letter with your instructors and discuss the accommodations with them as early in your courses as possible. To begin this process, please complete the Registration form on the ODS website.

Contact with Your Instructor(s)

Your instructor(s) will be available via email and voicemail. Students should expect a response to an email inquiry within 24-48 hours, unless otherwise noted during a particular week. Your instructor(s) is/are interested in seeing all students succeed, and therefore, is available for phone conferences to answer questions or listen to concerns. A voluntary midsemester phone conference can be arranged with each student to assess progress.

Online Etiquette

We live in a world where technology has become a stronghold for how we communicate on a daily basis. While many of us are used to interacting in this manner, keep in mind the rules of etiquette, or "netiquette", in order to ensure respect for all. It is assumed that all students in this distance course will:

  • Be considerate when interacting through email or online, considering the vocabulary and length of the communication
  • Be aware that body language is not visible through online communication and there is room for misinterpretation—choosing words carefully and being clear and concise should help alleviate any issues
  • Understand that profanity, sarcasm, and hurtful language will not be tolerated. An environment of professionalism and respect will prevail and be maintained by all students
  • Proofread all entries prior to posting work both in written assignments, student journal exercises, and in threaded discussions. This includes attention to spelling, tone, message content, grammar, and proper sentence structure.


Lisa Sanon-Jules, Ed.D.
306 Martin Hall, G. H. Cook Campus