SSW101 - Interpersonal Communications

Outline info
Last revision date Sep 30, 2019 12:03:37 AM
Last review date Dec 2, 2019 12:15:01 AM

Subject Title
Interpersonal Communications

Subject Description
This is an introductory course that will explore the key principles and skills of interpersonal
communication. Students will be encouraged to explore the factors that shape interpersonal
communication and the impact of one?s own interpersonal style on their personal and professional
relationships. As a pre-requisite to interviewing and assessing clients, this course will focus on growth in
self-awareness, basic communication skills, and aspects of the worker/client relationship. Students will
be introduced to interpersonal communication through an anti-oppressive, trauma-informed, and
strength-based lens to promote ally-ship, self-worth, and self-determination with diverse populations.

Credit Status
One Credit

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

  1. Discuss the key concepts and principles of interpersonal communication to understand communication in a SSW context. (VLO 1, 2, 4, 7, 8, 10)
  2. Explain orally and in writing the factors that shape interpersonal communication to enhance self-awareness and growth. (VLO 1, 4, 8)
  3. Practice verbal and non-verbal communication skills (active listening skills, assertiveness, and conflict resolution strategies) to improve communication style and abilities. (VLO 1, 2)
  4. Examine the role of technology in communication to enhance professional communication via electronic means.
  5. Analyze communication skills from an anti-oppressive, strength-based, and trauma-informed framework to promote ally-ship, self-worth, and self-determination. (VLO 7, 10)
  6. Identify culturally sensitive practices to establish brave spaces within diverse populations including Indigenous and 2SLGBTIGNCQ++ individuals. (VLO 1, 7, 10)
  7. Practice adapting communication style to effectively meet the purpose, audience, and context. (VLO 1, 2, 4, 8, 10)

Essential Employability Skills
Communicate clearly, concisely and correctly in the written, spoken and visual form that fulfils the purpose and meets the needs of the audience.

Respond to written, spoken, or visual messages in a manner that ensures effective communication.

Apply a systematic approach to solve problems.

Use a variety of thinking skills to anticipate and solve problems.

Analyze, evaluate, and apply relevant information from a variety of sources.

Show respect for diverse opinions, values, belief systems, and contributions of others.

Interact with others in groups or teams in ways that contribute to effective working relationships and the achievement of goals.

Manage the use of time and other resources to complete projects.

Take responsibility for one's own actions, decisions, and consequences.

Academic Integrity
Seneca upholds a learning community that values academic integrity, honesty, fairness, trust, respect, responsibility and courage. These values enhance Seneca's commitment to deliver high-quality education and teaching excellence, while supporting a positive learning environment. Ensure that you are aware of Seneca's Academic Integrity Policy which can be found at: Review section 2 of the policy for details regarding approaches to supporting integrity. Section 2.3 and Appendix B of the policy describe various sanctions that can be applied, if there is suspected academic misconduct (e.g., contract cheating, cheating, falsification, impersonation or plagiarism).

Please visit the Academic Integrity website to understand and learn more about how to prepare and submit work so that it supports academic integrity, and to avoid academic misconduct.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Accessibility Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.

This subject is a pre-requisite for SSW 201, SSW 212, SSW 247 & SSW 257 for students in the SSW stream.

Topic Outline
Subject outline & Introduction to interpersonal communication
Perception of self & communication
Perception of others & communication
Emotions & communication
Verbal communication
Non-verbal communication
Active listening & communication
Communication climate & conflict resolution
Communication & relationships
Technology & Interpersonal  communication
Communicating with special populations

Mode of Instruction
Your professor will use a variety of appropriate teaching modes and techniques, such as the following:  lecture, question and answer, tutorials, classroom discussion, group work, individual and/or group presentation, computer-aided instruction, consultation, etc.

Prescribed Texts

Required Everyday Encounters, Wood, J. & Schweitzer, A.
Required Handle with Care: Communication in the Human Services Field in Canada, Valentino, L.

Reference Material

Wood, J. & Schweitzer, A. (2016). Everyday Encounters (5th ed.). Nelson Thomson Learning.
Valentino, L. (2010). Handle with Care: Communication in the Human Services Field in Canada (5th ed.). Nelson Education.

Student Progression and Promotion Policy

Grading Policy

A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online ( or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices. (

Modes of Evaluation

See course outline/addendum from faculty.

Approved by: Biljana Bruce