150 hours over a twelve-week semester or equivalent study period
Unit rationale, description and aim
Communication skills are essential to a business career. From writing an email to developing a persuasive presentation, communication skills are needed to successfully share and present information to a wide range of audiences. The skills learned in this unit will develop students' practical communications skills so that they can communicate effectively in both university and professional contexts, considering global and cultural variation in communication. Starting by reviewing communications knowledge, this unit will introduce students to clear writing, persuasive positioning, effective presentation and how to apply these skills in an ethical manner, considering the diversity and dignity of human beings. This online unit aims to develop the fundamental business communication skills to succeed in a contemporary workplace.
To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.
Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.
Explore the graduate capabilities.
On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:
LO1 - Critically analyse the use of communication to build relationships that are respectful of communication ethics and human dignity (GA1, GA5)
LO2 - Evaluate and compose appropriate verbal and non-verbal communications to inform, engage, persuade an academic and business audience (GA5, GA9)
LO3 - Prepare, synthesise and reflect on critical and constructive feedback processes, showing appropriate interpersonal communication skills, taking into account global and cultural diversity (GA4, GA5)
LO4 - Assess the value of sources for business and academic contexts and acknowledge and synthesise information effectively using relevant technologies (GA5, GA8)
GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity
GA4 - think critically and reflectively
GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession
GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information
GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media
Topics will include:
- Communication basics review
- Research and positioning your sources
- Academic writing genres
- Business writing genres
- Business communication in a digital era
- Persuasion in communication
- Spoken presentation skills – verbal and non-verbal
- Visual communication
- Interpersonal communication
- Communication ethics and honesty in communicating to diverse audiences
Learning and teaching strategy and rationale
This unit is offered in different modes to cater to the learning needs and preferences of a range of participants and maximise effective participation for isolated and/or marginalised groups.
In a weekly attendance mode, students will require face-to-face attendance in specific physical location/s. Students will have face-to-face interactions with lecturer(s) to further their achievement of the learning outcomes. This unit is structured with required upfront preparation before workshops. Most students report that they spend an average of one hour preparing before the workshop and one or more hours after the workshop practicing and revising what was covered. The online learning platforms used in this unit provide multiple forms of preparatory and practice opportunities for students to prepare and revise.
In a blended mode, students will require face-to-face attendance in blocks of time determined by the School. Students will have face-to-face interactions with lecturer(s) to further their achievement of the learning outcomes. This unit is structured with required upfront preparation before workshops. The online learning platforms used in this unit provide multiple forms of preparatory and practice opportunities for students to prepare and revise.
This unit uses an active learning approach to support students in the exploration of the essential knowledge associated with business communication. Students can explore the essential knowledge underpinning organisations and develop knowledge in a series of online interactive workshops and modules. Students are given the opportunity to attend facilitated synchronous online seminar classes with other students and participate in the construction and synthesis of knowledge, while developing their knowledge of organisational and human resource management. Students are required to participate in a series of online interactive workshops which include activities, knowledge checks, discussion and interactive sessions. This approach allows flexibility for students and facilitates learning and participation for students with a preference for virtual learning.
This unit uses an active learning approach to support students in the exploration of knowledge essential to the discipline. Students are provided with choice and variety in how they learn. Students are encouraged to contribute to asynchronous weekly discussions. Active learning opportunities provide students with opportunities to practice and apply their learning in situations similar to their future professions. Activities encourage students to bring their own examples to demonstrate understanding, application and engage constructively with their peers. Students receive regular and timely feedback on their learning, which includes information on their progress.
Assessment strategy and rationale
Assessment is an integral part of the learning process. The assessment in this unit is aimed at measuring and developing student achievement of both the learning outcomes and graduate attributes noted above. In this unit there are three summative (assessable) items for a student to assess their progress against the learning objectives. There will also be multiple forms of non-assessable items for students to measure their own progress.
To pass this unit, students must demonstrate competence in all learning outcomes and achieve an aggregate mark of at least 50%. Marking will be in accordance with a rubric specifically developed to measure students’ level of achievement of the learning outcomes for each item of assessment. Students will be awarded a final grade which signifies their overall achievement in the unit.
Overview of assessments
|Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment Tasks||Weighting||Learning Outcomes||Graduate Attributes|
Assessment Task 1: Essay
This assessment task consists of a 1500-word academic essay. The essay task asks students to demonstrate their academic research and writing skills to analyse the ethical implications of the use of communication in their chosen profession at a local and global level.
Submission Type: Individual
Assessment Method: Academic essay
Artefact: Written essay
GA1, GA5, GA8
Assessment Task 2: Presentation and peer critique
This task consists of a clear and concise 3-minute video and 250-word peer-critique, submitted digitally along with any presentation notes. This task asks students to use oral and non-verbal techniques to create a persuasive and informative pitch for a business audience. In addition, students will engage in a peer-critique, providing critical feedback to two fellow students.
Submission Type: Individual
Assessment Method: Video pitch and peer critique
Artefact: Video presentation, written presentation notes, and digital comments
GA4, GA5, GA9
Assessment Task 3: Portfolio and reflection
This task consists of an 1800-word portfolio and reflection. This task requires students to demonstrate multiple business and academic writing genres in the form of short pieces of communication, compiled in a portfolio. Tasks are to be created as drafts, shared on a collaborative forum. Students will create and receive feedback from peers, and demonstrate this engagement in a reflection, to be submitted with the portfolio. The portfolio sources will be evaluated and synthesised critically.
Submission Type: Individual
Assessment Method: Portfolio and reflection
Artefact: Portfolio of written pieces and written reflection
GA5, GA8, GA9
Representative texts and references
Australian Government 2020, Style Manual: The standard for Australian Government writing and editing, <https://www.stylemanual.gov.au/>.
Australian Journal of Communication, Australia and New Zealand Communication Association (Journal), <https://acu.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/61ACU_INST/2728oi/alma991012587420302352>.
Bovee, CL & Thrill, JV 2020, Business Communication Today, 14th edn, Pearson, USA. <https://acu.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/61ACU_INST/13lm7d8/alma991013044667002352>
Communication Research, Sage Publications (Journal), <https://acu.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/61ACU_INST/2728oi/alma991012619905102352>.
Communication Theory, Oxford University Press (Journal), <https://acu.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/61ACU_INST/2728oi/alma991012625672802352>.
Dwyer, J 2019, Communication for Business and the Professions: Strategies and Skills, 7th edn, Pearson, Australia, <https://acu-edu-primo.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/f/7pr622/61ACU_ALMA51197592520002352>