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Online · School of Communication & the Arts · Strategic & Personal Communication

Communication and Conflict

  • CG
  • Section 8WK
  • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020
  • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

Analysis of theories and research of the role of communication in conflict in interpersonal, group, organizational, and societal contexts.





Knowing that certain techniques of communication will produce certain responses, and knowing how to apply them in appropriate contexts will allow you to be more productive in personal, academic, and professional life. Knowing strategies and models of conflict resolution to use in contexts that involve political, religious, cultural and professional challenges provide a base for further study in business, leadership, cross-cultural relations, counseling, and personal conflict resolution.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  1. Identify and explain biblical reasons for understanding and applying communication in conflicting situations in order to promote unity and solvency.
  2. Synthesize conflict-related ideas in order to better assess how to respond and advance healthy conflict resolution in a variety of contexts.
  3. Identify issues that contribute positively and negatively to conflict resolution.
  4. Apply methods of conflict management to better address issues for this historical moment .

Course Resources

Required Resource Purchase

Hocker, J. L. and Wilmot, W. W. (2018). Interpersonal conflict. (10th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

Disclaimer: The above resources provide information consistent with the latest research regarding the class subject area. Liberty University does not necessarily endorse specific personal, religious, philosophical, or political positions found in these resources.

Additional Materials for Learning

    1. Computer with basic audio equipment
    2. Built-in computer camera or access to a smart phone camera.
    3. Blackboard recommended browsers
    4. Internet access (broadband recommended)
    5. Microsoft Word (Microsoft Office is available for LUO students at a discount.)
    6. APA Formatting Information:

Course Assignments

Textbook readings

Additional readings, videos, and conflict-related artifacts as required for specific assignments / modules.

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Syllabus and Student Expectations, complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (DBF) (4) 

Create a 400-word thread that addresses each unique DBF assignment. The thread is due by the end of the day on Thursday of the assigned module/week. Students will write a 200-word reply to at least one classmate’s thread by the end of Sunday of the same module/week.

NOTE: The first DBF found in week one of the course requires a video submission. Use of Kaltura as the recording and submission tool is preferred.

Reading Quizzes (4)

Complete assigned readings and answer questions based on the content of each chapter for that week. Quizzes are open-note and timed.

Conflict Briefs (3)

Prepare a brief—the marketplace equivalent of a research project—that engages theory and application regardibng specific aspects of conflict management. Each brief is based on a different challenge and must be at least 750 words. Briefs are audience-specific, and encourage integrated connections to course content in applied contexts.

Course Grading

Course Requirements Checklist (CRC)


Video Introduction Discussion Board Forum


Discussion Board Forums (3 @ 50 pts. ea.)


Reading Quizzes (4 @ 50 pts. ea.)


Conflict Briefs (3 at 200 pts ea)


Total: 1010



Late Assignment Policy

Course Assignments, including discussion boards, exams, and other graded assignments, should be submitted on time.

If the student is unable to complete an assignment on time, then he or she must contact the instructor immediately by email.

Assignments that are submitted after the due date without prior approval from the instructor will receive the following deductions:

  1. Late assignments submitted within one week after the due date will receive up to a 10% deduction.
  2. Assignments submitted more than one week and less than 2 weeks late will receive up to a 20% deduction.
  3. Assignments submitted two weeks late or after the final date of the course will not be accepted outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.
  4. Group projects, including group discussion board threads and/or replies, and assignments will not be accepted after the due date outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.

Disability Assistance

Students with a disability and those with medical conditions associated with pregnancy may contact Liberty University’s Online Office of Disability Accommodation Support (ODAS) at [email protected] for accommodations.  Such accommodations require appropriate documentation of your condition.   For more information about ODAS and the accommodations process, including how to request an accommodation, please visit Requests for accommodations not related to disabilities or pregnancy must be directed to the Registrar’s Office, which generally handles medical needs support.

If you have a complaint related to disability discrimination or an accommodation that was not provided, you may contact ODAS or the Office of Equity and Compliance by phone at (434) 592-4999 or by email at [email protected].  Click to see a full copy of Liberty’s Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy or the Student Disability Grievance Policy and Procedures.

Course Attendance

In an effort to comply with U.S. Department of Education policies, attendance is measured by physical class attendance or any submission of a required assignment within the enrollment dates of the course (such as examinations, written papers or projects, any discussion board posts, etc.) or initiating any communication with one’s professor regarding an academic subject. More information regarding the attendance policy can be found in the Academic Course Catalogs. Regular attendance in online courses is expected throughout the length of the term. Students who do not attend within the first week of a sub-term by submitting a required academic assignment (such as the Course Requirements Checklist, an examination, written paper or project, discussion board post, or other academic activity) will be dropped from the course. Students who wish to re-engage in the course are encouraged to contact Academic Advising to discuss their enrollment options. Students who begin an online course, but at some point in the semester cease attending, and do not provide official notification to withdraw, will be assigned a grade of “FN” (Failure for Non-Attendance). Students wishing to withdraw from courses after the official start date should familiarize themselves with the withdrawal policy.

Grading Scale

A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D D- F
940-1010 920-939 900-919 860-899 840-859 820-839 780-819 760-779 740-759 700-739 680-699 679 and below

For courses with a Pass/NP final grade, please refer to the Course Grading section of this syllabus for the assignment requirements and/or point value required to earn a Passing final grade.

Add/Drop Policy

The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory.

Honor Code

Liberty University comprises a network of students, Alumni, faculty, staff and supporters that together form a Christian community based upon the truth of the Bible. This truth defines our foundational principles, from our Doctrinal Statement to the Code of Honor. These principles irrevocably align Liberty University’s operational procedures with the long tradition of university culture, which remains distinctively Christian, designed to preserve and advance truth. Our desire is to create a safe, comfortable environment within our community of learning, and we extend our academic and spiritual resources to all of our students with the goal of fostering academic maturity, spiritual growth and character development.

Communities are predicated on shared values and goals. The Code of Honor, an expression of the values from which our Doctrinal Statement was born, defines the fundamental principles by which our community exists. At the core of this code lie two essential concepts: a belief in the significance of all individuals, and a reliance on the existence of objective truth.

While we acknowledge that some may disagree with various elements of the Code of Honor, we maintain the expectation that our students will commit to respect and uphold the Code while enrolled at Liberty University.

Adherence to the principles and concepts established within facilitates the success of our students and strengthens the Liberty community.

The Code of Honor can be viewed in its entirety at


COMS 560

Hocker, J. L. and Wilmot, W. W. Interpersonal conflict, (2018).


Reading & Study




Welcome to the Course

Course Requirements Checklist

DBF 1: Video Introduction




Read Chapters 1-2, and 5

Watch assigned video for this DBF

Reading Quiz 1 (Chs. 1–2, and 5)





Complete the Personal Conflict Assessment

Conflict Brief 1



Read Chapters 3-4, and 6

Watch assigned video for this DBF

Reading Quiz 2 (Chs. 3–4 and 6)





Select Journal Article (see assign.)

Conflict Brief 2



Read Chapters 7 and 10

Watch assigned video for this DBF

Reading Quiz 3 (Chs. 7 and 10)





Watch assigned video for this brief

Conflict Brief 3



Read Chapters 8-9

Reading Quiz 4 (Chs. 8–9)




*DBF = Discussion Board Forum

NOTE: Each course week begins on Monday morning at 12:00 a.m. (ET) and ends on Sunday night at 11:59 p.m. (ET). The final week ends at 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Friday.