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Business Administration

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BUS 850 - Business Communications C21 Accelerated

Academic Credit Value:
3 units
Course Delivery Mode:
Hours of Study:
39 hours
Course Prerequisite(s):
Course Anti-requisite(s):
Instructor Name:
Jennifer Frost
Course Dates:
01/06/2020 - 03/01/2020

Required Course Materials:
Business Communication Process & Product. Guffrey. 6th Brief Canadian Edition
Optional Course Materials:
Course Description:
Canada’s business environment requires that business people communicate effectively, persuasively and ethically in written, verbal and interpersonal communications. During this course, you will learn how to plan, write and review a variety of business communications vehicles from presentations to letters to informational reports and business proposals. Using a combination of teaching methods – online lectures, large and small group discussion, writing and editing projects and student-prepared critiques of other students’ work, this course will help you develop critical thinking and analysis, research, writing, editing and presentation and feedback skills. Special emphasis will be placed on developing appropriate business language skills (spelling, grammar, punctuation, voice and tone).
Any business person planning to grow in his or her career, who wants to be perceived as a credible and effective communicator, should take this course.
Learning Outcomes:
Upon completion of this course, students will:
  • Demonstrate an understanding of basic communication theories
  • Recognize the components of a communication strategy for business
  • Critique communication strategies and techniques for business situations and contexts (group communication, listening, non-verbal communication)
  • Recognize the influence of culture & diversity on communication
  • Compose effective business writing projects in a variety of formats
  • Identify, select and compile information using appropriate technology and information systems
  • Apply ethical standards of business communications to coursework
Course Evaluation

The final grade is calculated based on the following components: 

Quiz 1  10%

Quiz 2 10%

Business Report 60%

Discussion Board Participation (4 x 2.5%) 10%

Reflective Journal 10%

Course Format:
This course is designed to present the fundamental concepts and theories in business and promote the application to the workplace and professional practice. Course activities will include instructor presentations, required readings and experiential learning activities (i.e. case studies, group discussions, projects, etc.).

This course emphasizes student participation through weekly online discussion boards.  It is expected that students will read the assigned chapters per the weekly requirements.
Assignment Submission:
Course assignments are submitted to the appropriate A2L Assignment folder by the specified due date
Late Coursework:
Late assignments will be subject to a 2% per day late penalty (includes weekends and holidays) for up to seven (7) days. After this date, no assignments will be accepted and a grade of zero (0) will be applied.  Extensions for course work must be approved by the instructor before the due date (see Academic Regulations below), and will be granted for illness or emergencies only. Students may be asked to submit supporting documentation for an extension request. 

Policy & Procedures:

Academic Regulations (Attendance, Coursework, Tests/Exams):
In accordance to McMaster University’s General Academic Regulations, “it is imperative that students make every effort to meet the originally scheduled course requirements and it is a student’s responsibility to write examinations as scheduled.” Therefore, all students are expected to attend and complete the specific course requirements (i.e. attendance, assignments, and tests/exams) listed in the course outline on or by the date specified. Students who need to arrange for coursework accommodation, as a result of medical, personal or family reasons, must contact the course instructor within 48 hours days of the originally scheduled due date. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the Program Manager to discuss accommodations and procedures related to deferred tests and/or examinations within 48 hours days of the originally scheduled test/exam, as per policy. Failure to contact the course instructor, in the case of missed coursework, or the Program Manager, in the case of a missed test/examination, within the specified 48-hour day window will result in a grade of zero (0) on the coursework/exam and no further consideration will be granted.

*Note: Supporting documentation will be required but will not ensure approval of accommodation(s).
Academic Integrity
You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity. Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: “Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty”), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:
  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in-group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.
Academic Accommodations:
Students with disabilities who require academic accommodations must contact the Student Accessibility Centre (SAS) to meet with an appropriate Disability Services Coordinator. To contact SAS, phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652, or email For further information, consult McMaster University’s Policy for Academic Accommodation for Students with Disabilities.
On-line Elements:
In this course, we will be using on-line elements, which may include email, Avenue to Learn, WebEX, and external web sites.  Students should be aware that, when they access the electronic components of this course, private information such as first and last names, user names for the McMaster e-mail accounts, and program affiliation may become apparent to all other students in the same course. The available information is dependent on the technology used. Continuation in this course will be deemed consent to this disclosure. If you have any questions or concerns about such disclosure please discuss this with the course instructor.
Course Changes:
The instructor reserves the right to modify elements of the course and will notify students accordingly.
Course Withdrawal Policy:
Policies related to dropping a course and course withdrawals are posted to the Centre for Continuing Education’s program webpage, FAQs & Policies (
Grading Scale:
Grade Equivalent
Grade Point
Equivalent Percentages
A+ 12 90-100
A 11 85-89
A- 10 80-84
B+ 9 77-79
B 8 73-76
B- 7 70-72
C+ 6 67-69
C 5 63-66
C- 4 60-62
D+ 3 57-59
D 2 53-56
D- 1 50-52
F 0 0-49
Course Schedule:





Module 1

Business Communication: Tools and

Business Success

Collaboration, Listening and Non-Verbal




Chapter 1: Business Communication in the Digital Age

Chapter 2: Professionalism: Team, Meeting, Listening, Nonverbal and Etiquette Skills





Watch Instructor


Discussion (2.5%)


Module 2

Cultural Communications and Diversity



Chapter 3: Intercultural Communication



Watch Instructor


Discussion (2.5%)

Quiz 1 (10%)


Module 3

Effective Presentation Skills 1 & 2



Chapter 14: Business Presentations



Watch Instructor


Discussion (2.5%)

Quiz 2 (10%)


Module 4

Everyday Business Correspondence



Chapter 7: Short Workplace Messages and Digital Media

Chapter 8: Positive Messages




Watch Instructor


Discussion (2.5%)


Module 5

Business Writing: A Three-Stage Process:

o Stage 1-Preparing to Write

o Stage 2-Writing



Chapter 4: Planning Business Messages

Chapter 5: Organizing and Drafting

                Business Messages







Watch Instructor


Start Business




Module 6

Business Writing: A Three-Stage Process:

·Stage 3- Revising

Business Reports



Chapter 6: Revising Business


Chapter 11: Reporting in the DigitalAgWorkplace

Chapter 13: Proposals, Business

              Plans, and Formal Business Reports






Watch Instructor


No Formal


Keep working on your Business Report


Module 7

Informal Business Reports

Negative Messaging



Chapter 12: Informal Business


Chapter 9: Negative Messages




Watch Instructor


Business Report

     Due (60%)


Module 8

Reflective Journal Assignment




        Journal Due (10%)