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COMM213 Interpersonal Communication AND COMM218 Communication in the Workplace

Unit rationale, description and aim

The ability to communicate successfully in workplace contexts is a highly-regarded skill, This unit aims to develop the analytical and practical skills that underpin effective communication in the contemporary workplace. The unit will explore communication situations such as using persuasion with customers or colleagues; computer-mediated communication in the workplace; negotiating workplace relationships; shaping teams and working with difficult team members; giving and receiving feedback; recruitment; networking and mentoring and communicating technical information. Students will also consider the ethical dimensions of the workplace situations explored in the unit. 

Learning outcomes

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 - Explain and evaluate key interpersonal communication theories, processes and characteristics that function within the workplace for effective communication to be created (GA1, GA5)

LO2 - Critically evaluate cultural, social, and political issues in workplace communication and assess the most appropriate modes of communication to employ (GA1, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9)

LO3 - Identify, analyse and apply written and spoken strategies that facilitate effective multimodal workplace communication between individuals and groups (GA1, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA9)

LO4 - Critically reflect on ethical issues in communicating in the workplace (GA1, GA3, GA4)

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity 

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively  

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 


Topics may include:

  • The processes and theories associated with interpersonal communication
  • Organisational culture and communication
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander considerations in workplace communication
  • Working in teams
  • Intercultural communication
  • Inclusive communication and accessibility; Sexism and racism
  • Developing and managing interpersonal relations
  • Computer-mediated communication, including communication in the virtual workplace
  • Engaging and persuading clients
  • Having difficult conversations
  • Shaping recruitment and interview situations
  • Effective meetings
  • Public speaking and giving presentations
  • Seeking and giving feedback
  • Networking, coaching and mentoring
  • Intercultural communication
  • Ethical issues in interpersonal communication
  • Legal issues surrounding workplace disputes, communications and distribution
  • Leadership: leading change
  • Stakeholder engagement

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit will engage students in active learning activities, such as reading, writing, discussion and problem-solving to promote analysis, synthesis and evaluation of class content. This unit features a practice-led exploration of a range of communication discourses. Learning in this unit takes place in large and small classes, which are used to provide unit content and develop unit-related skills. Students will work in a small-group environment in tutorials, where class discussions, skills development, small group activities and individual or group presentations take place.

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks for this unit are designed for students to demonstrate their achievement of each learning outcome. The Research Task aims to give students the opportunity to develop their knowledge of workplace communication through research.

The Presentation Task seeks to develop students’ oral or multimedia communication skills either as individuals or as team members. The Case Study Task task allows students to demonstrate their comprehension of theoretical aspects of the unit by applying it to a particular workplace situation. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment 1: Research Task

In this assessment students will gain experience researching, reflecting, and writing about an aspect of workplace communication.


LO1, LO2

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9

Assessment 2: Presentation Task

The aim of this task is to create an oral, role-play or multi-media presentation analysing and advising the public about something of community significance.


LO2, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9

Assessment 3: Case Study Task

The aim of this task is to investigate a case study and apply problem-solving skills to assess the best practice in interpersonal and organisational communication.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9

Representative texts and references

Blanchard, Kenneth H., et al. Collaboration Begins with You: Be a Silo Buster. 1st edition, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, a BK Business Book, 2015. 

Breit, Rhonda. Professional Communication: Legal and Ethical Issues. Second edition., LexisNexis Butterworths, 2011. 

Dwyer, Judith. The Business Communication Handbook. Eleventh edition., Cengage, 2020. 

Einarsen, Ståle., et al. Bullying and Harassment in the WorkplaceB: Theory, Research and Practice. Edited by Ståle Einarsen et al., 3rd edition., CRC Press, 2020. 

Gurak, Laura J., and John M. Lannon. lStrategies for Technical Communication in the Workplace. Third edition., Pearson, 2016. 

Hynes, Geraldine E. Get Along, Get It Done, Get Ahead: Interpersonal Communication in the Diverse Workplace. First edition., Business Expert Press, 2015. 

Mizrahi, Janet. Writing for the Workplace: Business Communication for Professionals. First edition., Business Expert Press, 2015. 

Prestridge, Sonya, and Michael E. Kossler. Leading Dispersed Teams. Center for Creative Leadership, 2018. 

Roche, William K., et al. The Oxford Handbook of Conflict Management in Organizations. 1st ed., Oxford University Press, 2014. 

Tompkins, Phillip K. Managing Risk and Complexity through Open Communication and Teamwork. Purdue University Press, 2015. 

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