Introduction to Communication –Online Program

Offered by: StraighterLine

College credits: 3

Course length: Self-paced, 8 weeks



This Introduction to Communication course introduces students to the theories and principles of speech communication from a wide range of perspectives. The evolution of communication theory is examined and foundational principles, such as the communication process, perception, verbal and nonverbal communication, and listening, are introduced. These principles are then applied to communication in interpersonal, small group, public, and organizational contexts. The dynamics of relationships, intercultural and gender communication issues, and conflict and negotiation are also explored, along with ethical issues inherent in the communication process. Discussions of current viewpoints related to interviewing, mass media, and new technologies present a contemporary view of the communication process.

  • Illustrate the elements and contexts of communication, and the outcomes of effective communication.
  • Relate perception of self and others to communication, and recommend ways to improve perception and communication.
  • Analyze words as social and cultural constructs, the effects of words on actions, and recommend ways to improve verbal communication.
  • Illustrate various types of nonverbal communication and recommend ways to improve nonverbal communication.
  • Compare and contrast various types of listening, and recommend strategies to improve listening skills.
  • Apply principles of ethics to lies and misrepresentation, and to justifications for disclosure of confidential information.
  • Analyze relationships between people and among family members in terms of elements of attraction, characteristics of relationships, and stages of relationships.
  • Examine interpersonal relationships in terms of roles, role conflicts, self-awareness, intimacy and attachment, affiliation and commitment, and power and dominance.
  • Explain how cultural differences and errors of perception can distort messages, and the use of effective intercultural communication in community building.
  • Recommend strategies for interviewers and interviewees to successfully communicate using various types and techniques of interviews.
  • Analyze the determinants of group performance and recommend strategies for group problem solving and decision making.
  • Evaluate aspects of effective public communication such as source credibility, audience analysis, modes of delivery, patterns of organization, supporting material, language, and presenting arguments.
  • Illustrate the functions of downward, upward, and horizontal communication in organization, the role of communication in change management, and the distortion of messages in rumors.

Cost and Schedule

Guild provides reduced cost education for working adults. We’ll help you have an affordable path to move your education forward.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is StraighterLine?
StraighterLine is an educational provider that offers online higher education courses that are equivalent to general courses required for bachelor’s degrees. Their courses have been evaluated by American Council on Education’s College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE CREDIT) and have been recommended for college credit. They have partnerships with a number of accredited colleges and universities.

What is the application process like?
Your advisor will be in contact throughout the process to help you complete the application, as well as answer any questions you may have. In the meantime, here is a general outline of what to expect:
  1. Apply to this offering.
  2. Complete the SmarterMeasure assessment related to your online learning style.
  3. In certain cases, you will need to submit your unofficial transcripts to Guild.

What does a self-paced course mean?
You can take a course 100% online at your own speed, in the comfort of your own home. You can take the course exam whenever you are ready. If you dedicate 17 to 20 hours per week to a course, this should allow you to finish a course within a single month. 

Tell me more about Guild Education.
Guild Education partners with employers to offer a variety of online classes, programs, and degrees from top-ranked universities that you can complete while working.

You will get support from a Guild advisor, who will help you find the right program, navigate the financial aid process, and provide you with personal college and career advising to help you navigate the college process from day one to graduation.

To give employees a variety of options, Guild partners with a consortium of universities and learning providers, including Brandman University, Western Governors University, Bellevue University, and StraighterLine, in addition to offering custom content. 

Benefits of partnering with Guild include:
  • A path to finish your degree or take graduate courses, at little to no cost
  • A personal college and career adviser to help you navigate programs and offerings
  • Online classes that allow you to work at your own pace
  • Relevant classes and programs designed to help you advance in your career
  • Credit recognition for past college credits and corporate credits towards your degrees

What are Guild's guiding principles?
  • Students first: We're here to help you, and you come first in our world. In exchange, we expect you give your all and to support your fellow classmates.
  • We learn best by doing: Experimentation, learning by doing, feedback and reflection lay at the core of every learning experience with Guild.
  • Feedback makes us better, in fact, it’s a gift: Practice only makes perfect when we get feedback on how to improve.
  • Reflection is a need-to-have, not a nice-to-have: Reflection allows us to digest the learnings and feedback we’ve received.
  • Community matters: We’re all in this together and we expect all Guild members to appreciate the role we play in each other’s learning experience.