Workplace Communications for Selected Programs

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
CMNS 1111
Workplace Communications for Selected Programs
Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Start Date
End Term
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
Method(s) Of Instruction
Learning Activities

This course will emphasize learning through doing. Working individually and in groups, students will be involved in the discussion, analysis and interpretation of various writing activities. Under the instructor’s guidance, students will integrate the results of primary or secondary research with correct language principles in a number of writing situations. Students may be required to write in response to textbook cases, film or video scenarios, field trip experiences, and other workplace situations encountered in the community. Other methods include lectures, group discussions, and presentations by resource people with field-related expertise.

Course Description
Communications 1111 is designed for students enrolled in Business, Criminal Justice, Dispensing Optician, Animal Health Technology, and Health Information Management programs. Instruction is adapted for workplace settings appropriate to each program area. Assignments are drawn from a number of possible components: correspondence, memoranda, reports, and other program related documents. Course work also includes instruction in writing strategies for effective on-the-job communication, and may include instruction in oral communications situations as oral presentations, employment interviews, and meetings.
Course Content

Course content will be drawn from the following areas:

Writing skills:

  • coherence and cohesion
  • clarity and conciseness
  • tone, diction, voice
  • mechanics: grammar, sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, etc.

Writing tasks:

  • Reports: progress, informational, problem/solution
  • Letters and Memos: application, sales, persuasive, bad news, transmittal, to the editor, inquiry, information
  • Agenda and Minutes
  • Resume
  • Process description
  • Manual Writing
  • Summary
  • Brochure
  • Newsletter
  • Expanded definition
  • Press release
  • Exercises


  1. Field-related material as content and context for assignments, e.g. summary
  2. Course handbook

Oral skills:

  • Listening and responding
  • Preparing: research, organization, prompts
  • Delivery
  • Physical behaviour
  • Use of visuals

Oral tasks:

  • Employment interview
  • Meetings
  • Oral presentations


  • Collaboration or team-work
  • Interpersonal communication with readers of writing assignments, with interviewers, and with participants of meetings.
Learning Outcomes

Communications 1111 has been developed to meet the communications requirements of a number of business of technology programs.

General skills:

The student will be able to:

  1. Write in standard English
  2. Demonstrate communicative competence, i.e. appropriate communication behaviour in specific communication contexts.

Specific skills:

  • The Communications instructor will choose from the following list those skills and tasks appropriate to the business and technologies fields.

Written skills:

The student will be able to:

  1. Write appropriately for single and multiple readers
  2. Distinguish objective from subjective statements
  3. Distinguish internal from external written communication situations
  4. Use correct language fundamentals in all written assignments
  5. Write effective sentences
  6. Write well-developed paragraphs
  7. Demonstrate unity, coherence, and emphasis
  8. Prepare written reports using language conventions consistent with appropriate field-related standards and practices
  9. Compose a set of procedures related to a business or technology subject.

Written tasks:

Students will be able to successfully complete a variety of tasks which the Communications instructor selects from the following:

  1. Extract and summarize the main points from field-related articles
  2. Develop an effective application letter and resume
  3. Compose an informative report on a workplace related topic
  4. Write effective correspondence in a variety of relevant situations consistent with field-related standards and practices
  5. Demonstrate the ability to develop and compose an agenda
  6. Demonstrate the ability to record and compose accurate minutes of a meeting
  7. Compose an informative brochure
  8. Compose a newsletter for a field-related organization
  9. Compose a press release on a field-related event or issue
  10. Compose a set of procedures related to a business or technology subject
  11. Demonstrate the ability to research using primary and secondary sources
  12. Demonstrate the ability to select and analyze researched information and then to present it following the documentation conventions appropriate to the field, avoiding plagiarism.


The student should also be able to:

  1. Prepare for an employment interview
  2. Plan, prepare and deliver oral presentations
  3. Apply basic rules of order in formal meetings
  4. Present motions in meetings.


  1. Collaborate effectively with other students
  2. Interact appropriately with the readers of their written work, job interviewers, and participants at meetings
  3. Understand basic communication theory as it relates to the student’s chosen field.
Means of Assessment
  • To pass CMNS 1111, students must demonstrate the ability to write in standard English.
  • Given the variety of programs for which CMNS 1111 may be adapted, evaluation components may vary significantly.

The following are two current examples of how components and marks have been set up for the course:

CMNS 1111 for Business Management

Expanded Definition 5%
Summary 10%
Letters and Memos 30%
Information Report 15%
Meeting Skills Quiz 10%
Minutes/Agenda 10%
Application Package (Letter and resume) 10%
Writing Exercises/Participation 10%

CMNS 1111 for Health Information Management

Summary 10%
Letters 20%
Memoranda 20%
Oral Presentation 10%
Meeting Skills 15%
Application Package (Letter and resume) 10%
Miscellaneous 15%
Textbook Materials

No single text is applicable for all career programs or for all course objectives. However, a handbook and/or exercise book is required. The following are examples of possibilities:

  • Business Communication: Strategies and Skills by R. Huseman et al.
  • Successful Writing at Work by Philip C. Kolin
  • Administratively Write! by Ron Blicq
  • Any College entrance Language Proficiency Requirement EXCEPT the Douglas College Course Options in ELLA or ENGU, OR
  • a minimum grade of C- in ELLA 0460, or a minimum grade of C- in both ELLA 0465 and 0475, OR
  • a minimum grade of C- in ENGU 0450 or ENGU 0455 or ENGU 0490, OR
  • Mastery in ELLA 0330 and any two of ELLA 0310, 0320, or 0340.

Courses listed here must be completed either prior to or simultaneously with this course:

  • No corequisite courses

Courses listed here are equivalent to this course and cannot be taken for further credit:

  • No equivalency courses