Communication in the Canadian Workplace
  I: Administrative Information   II: Course Details   III: Topical Outline(s)  Printable Version
Section I: Administrative Information
  Total hours: 18.0
Credit Value: 0.0
Credit Value Notes: N/A
Effective: Spring/Summer 2021
Prerequisites: N/A
Corequisites: N/A
Equivalents: N/A
Pre/Co/Equiv Notes: N/A

Program(s): Build Your Way to Success
Program Coordinator(s): N/A
Course Leader or Contact: N/A
Version: 20210517_00
Status: Approved (APPR)

Section I Notes: This course is offered entirely online. The course consists of live online learning and self-paced online learning with an available instructor for questions and feedback throughout the course. The sessions engage students in a variety of interactive learning activities including discussions, case studies and presentations. The grade is based on pass/fail. Readings, videos, and instructor-created files are provided online on Sheridan's Learning and Teaching Environment (SLATE). Assignment details will be provided on SLATE. Students will need reliable access to the internet.

Section II: Course Details

Detailed Description
Students develop skills focused on successfully communicating in the Canadian workplace, both in person and in writing. Students learn formal and informal writing using templates for emails, memos and notes including common phrases and language chunks that can be used in workplace settings. Students also learn how to communicate effectively using non-verbal communication skills. Through interactive learning activities, students review English sentence structure and explore how to prepare oral presentations, including the effective use of Microsoft PowerPoint. Through independent research, discussions, analysis of written samples of business correspondence, and the creation of a short presentation, students acquire skills in how to communicate effectively in the Canadian workplace, and to achieve professional success.

Program Context

Build Your Way to Success Program Coordinator(s): N/A
Partnership with FHASS.

Course Critical Performance and Learning Outcomes

  Critical Performance:
By the end of this course, students will have demonstrated the ability to successfully communicate in the Canadian workplace by applying the principles of effective oral and written workplace communication.
Learning Outcomes:

To achieve the critical performance, students will have demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Explain the main differences in workplace communication between Canada and other countries that students have lived or worked in.
  2. Identify examples of acceptable and appropriate written and spoken workplace communication.
  3. Analyze how effective over-the-phone communication strategies differ in Canada compared to other countries students have lived or worked in.
  4. Evaluate differences in successfully making a good impression in the Canadian workplace compared to workplaces in other countries students have lived or worked in.
  5. Apply effective verbal and non-verbal communication skills in a short oral presentation.

Evaluation Plan
Students demonstrate their learning in the following ways:

 Evaluation Plan: ONLINE
 Assignment #1 - Write a business email or a memo50.0%
 Assignment #2 - Present a job talk or a sales pitch50.0%

Evaluation Notes and Academic Missed Work Procedure:
TEST AND ASSIGNMENT PROTOCOL The following protocol applies to every course offered by Continuing and Professional Studies. 1. Students are responsible for staying abreast of test dates and times, as well as due dates and any special instructions for submitting assignments and projects as supplied to the class by the instructor. 2. Students must write all tests at the specified date and time. Missed tests, in-class/online activities, assignments and presentations are awarded a mark of zero. The penalty for late submission of written assignments is a loss of 10% per day for up to five business days (excluding Sundays and statutory holidays), after which, a grade of zero is assigned. Business days include any day that the college is open for business, whether the student has scheduled classes that day or not. An extension or make-up opportunity may be approved by the instructor at his or her discretion.

Provincial Context
The course meets the following Ministry of Colleges and Universities requirements:


Essential Employability Skills
Essential Employability Skills emphasized in the course:

  • Communication Skills - Respond to written, spoken, or visual messages in a manner that ensures effective communication.
  • Critical Thinking & Problem Solving Skills - Use a variety of thinking skills to anticipate and solve problems.
  • Information Management Skills - Analyze, evaluate, and apply relevant information from a variety of sources.
  • Information Management - Locate, select, organize and document information using appropriate technology and information systems.
  • Personal Skills - Manage the use of time and other resources to complete projects.
  • Personal Skills - Take responsibility for one's own actions, decisions, and consequences.

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition
PLAR Contact (if course is PLAR-eligible) - Office of the Registrar

  • Not Eligible for PLAR

Section III: Topical Outline
Some details of this outline may change as a result of circumstances such as weather cancellations, College and student activities, and class timetabling.
Instruction Mode: Online
Professor: N/A
RequiredTextbookRecruiting, retaining, and promoting culturally different employees (available at Sheridan Library), Laroche, Lionel; Rutherford, Don, Routledge, 1, ISBN 978-0750682404, 2011

Applicable student group(s): Continuing Education Students
Course Details:

Week 1

Welcome and Course Introduction

  • Welcome Message and introduction of the Course 2 goals
  • Student and Teacher Expectations (How to achieve success in this course)
  • Needs Assessment (including analyzing provided writing samples; flame (or offensive) emails; greetings, closings, formatting, etc.)
  • Canadian business writing conventions vs. conventions in other countries


Written and Spoken Workplace Communication 

  • Formal versus informal writing – Which format to use and when
  • Templates for emails, memo, notes, and other forms of written workplace communication
  • Common phrases and language chunks used in workplace
  • Speaking to your colleagues and supervisors – Making a good impression

(Analysis of differences in face-to-face communication)


Week 2

Overview of English Sentence Structure 

  • Types of sentences and sentence variety
  • Run-ons and comma splices and how to correct them
  • Punctuating sentences properly to avoid sentence errors


Communicating on the Phone 

  • Phone Etiquette
  • Recording phone greetings
  • Leaving messages


Week 3

Oral Presentations

  • What makes an effective presentation?
  • Planning a presentation: objective, structure, time constraints, audience
  • Using Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Non-verbal communication


  • Assignment 1: Record a 5 min presentation for a job talk or a sales pitch
  • Assignment 2: Write a memo or email on an industry specific issue

Course Summary and Reflection 

  • Group discussions: What are the three most important or surprising facts you have learned in this module? How will this help you succeed at work?
  • Q&A session
  • Final reflections and feedback


Sheridan Policies

All Sheridan policies can be viewed on the Sheridan policy website.

Academic Integrity: The principle of academic integrity requires that all work submitted for evaluation and course credit be the original, unassisted work of the student. Cheating or plagiarism including borrowing, copying, purchasing or collaborating on work, except for group projects arranged and approved by the professor, or otherwise submitting work that is not the student's own, violates this principle and will not be tolerated. Students who have any questions regarding whether or not specific circumstances involve a breach of academic integrity are advised to review the Academic Integrity Policy and procedure and/or discuss them with the professor.

Copyright: A majority of the course lectures and materials provided in class and posted in SLATE are protected by copyright. Use of these materials must comply with the Acceptable Use Policy, Use of Copyright Protected Work Policy and Student Code of Conduct. Students may use, copy and share these materials for learning and/or research purposes provided that the use complies with fair dealing or an exception in the Copyright Act. Permission from the rights holder would be necessary otherwise. Please note that it is prohibited to reproduce and/or post a work that is not your own on third-party commercial websites including but not limited to Course Hero or OneNote. It is also prohibited to reproduce and/or post a work that is not your own or your own work with the intent to assist others in cheating on third-party commercial websites including but not limited to Course Hero or OneNote.

Intellectual Property: Sheridan's Intellectual Property Policy generally applies such that students own their own work. Please be advised that students working with external research and/or industry collaborators may be asked to sign agreements that waive or modify their IP rights. Please refer to Sheridan's IP Policy and Procedure.

Respectful Behaviour: Sheridan is committed to provide a learning environment that supports academic achievement by respecting the dignity, self-esteem and fair treatment of every person engaged in the learning process. Behaviour which is inconsistent with this principle will not be tolerated. Details of Sheridan's policy on Harassment and Discrimination, Academic Integrity and other academic policies are available on the Sheridan policy website.

Accessible Learning: Accessible Learning coordinates academic accommodations for students with disabilities. For more information or to register, please see the Accessible Learning website (Statement added September 2016)

Course Outline Changes: The information contained in this Course Outline including but not limited to faculty and program information and course description is subject to change without notice. Any changes to course curriculum and/or assessment shall adhere to approved Sheridan protocol. Nothing in this Course Outline should be viewed as a representation, offer and/or warranty. Students are responsible for reading the Important Notice and Disclaimer which applies to Programs and Courses.

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