Section Name

Six Approaches to the Introductory Course: A Forum


The interpersonal communication course is one of the really great courses in the entire communication curriculum and, in fact, in the entire academic curriculum. It is relevant to just about everything you do — to your satisfaction with yourself, to your effectiveness on the job, to your success as a friend or lover. And students know this and quickly become involved and motivated. Even the research is exciting — it addresses significant issues in truly imaginative ways and is always advancing our knowledge and understanding of interpersonal communication and interpersonal relationships in important ways. It’s a great course to teach and a great course to write a textbook for.

My task here is to look at the interpersonal communication course as a textbook writer as well as as a teacher of interpersonal communication and describe the course — its purposes, structure, teaching methods, and problems. My last task — the most difficult but also the most challenging — is to speculate on the future of the course.