Introduction to Module 1

Businesswoman holding up translucent paper in front of her faceOverview

This module is focused on the fundamental processes of communication. We discuss the nature, principles and essential characteristics of communication. Since the key to effective communication is mutual understanding, we discuss the basics of perception and social perception. Specifically, we focus on the two most important social perceptions: our perceptions of self and our perceptions of others.

Also, we explain what communication competence is, and how communication apprehension affects it. We offer skills and guidelines to help students improve their communication competence and help students form more accurate social perceptions of selves and others.

Learning Objectives

  1. Understand the communication process and it components
  2. Identify various principles and functions of communication
  3. Define communication competence
  4. Employ strategies/steps for improving communication competence
  5. Understand how the perception process works
  6. Understand how perception influences and is influenced by communication
  7. Employ strategies/skills to improve the accuracy of our self-perceptions and our perceptions of others.



Read Chapters 1 and 2 from Communication in the Real World: An Introduction to Communication Studies Assignments

Discussion Question 1

Instructions: Please post your answer to this question, using this link. Do not use attachments. Please write in complete sentences. Be sure to edit, spell check and answer all parts of the question with details, explanations, and examples highlighting the course material and your own insights. Remember – this is your chance to show that you have read, understand, and can apply the course material. Your answer should be at least 200 words in length.

DQ 1: In what ways is the notion of communication competence helpful? How can you assess your communication competence? How can you increase your communication competence? (List at least 2 specific steps/strategies for improvement.)

Journal Activity 1: Who Am I?

Complete this journal activity to help you assess how you self-concept aligns with how others see you.

First ask: How do I see myself? List the skills, abilities, knowledge, competencies and personality characteristics that describe how you see yourself. List as many characteristics in each category as you can think of. What you have developed is an inventory of your self-concept.

Second ask: How do others see me? List the skills, abilities, and so on that describe how you think others see you by completing these sentences:” Other people believe that I am skilled at ….,”; “Other people believe I am competent at doing ….”; and “One part of my personality is that other people believe I am …”.

Compare your two lists. How are they similar? Where are they different? Do you understand why they differ? After you have thought about each list, write a paragraph titled “Who I Am, and How I Know This.” Your paragraph should be 300-400 words in length.

Submit your paper in the Assignments tool. You will attach the file to the assignment and submit. All papers should be in either Word .doc or .docx format. If you are using another word processor save it as an .rtf file. If you use a Mac, please add the 3-character extension (.doc, .docx).


Take the Module 1 quiz. This quiz covers Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 of your textbook. There are 10 multiple choice and 10  true and false questions based on your assigned text readings. You will have 45 minutes to complete the quiz, and you may take the quiz twice. The higher of your two scores will be recorded as your grade.