Administrative Communications

Course Name and ID: MGMT 350 Administrative Communications

About the Instructor

Ying Cheng

Ying Cheng, California State University, San Bernardino

My overarching teaching goal for students is for them to be able to apply what they have learned in class so that they can better think through and solve problems. To this end, I seek to maximize students’ learning by creating an engaging learning experience, illustrating the relevance of course content to the professional field, and encouraging students to apply theories and concepts into practices. The courses that I have been teaching include MGMT 350 Administrative Communications and ADMN 602 Advanced Managerial Communications.

With its prerequisite as Compositional Writing, MGMT 350 is an upper-level division class offered by the Jack H. Brown College of Business and Public Administration. As this class is required for business majors, the vast majority of students are Business majors.  Most students are seniors, although there are occasionally juniors as well. The students come from a wide range of socio-economic demographics.  

OER Adoption Process

  1. What did you change as part of the OER adoption?
    For example: textbook, syllabus, learning activities, assessment rubrics, developed additional materials, others? The following changes were made to the course when using this book:
    1. Added pop-up quizzes to my courses to test whether students read the assigned chapter before class.
    2. Used scenarios from the textbook to help students practice writing skills. For example, I showed several business email examples from the textbook and asked students to refine their tone in class.
  2. How and where do students access materials?
    For example:  learning management system, external server or OER repository such as MERLOT or Connexions, printed text from bookstore or online printing services, mobile device. Include links. Students can access the textbooks via web links:
    1. Ashman, M. (2018). Introduction to professional communications. Access to the book: 
    2. Simon, D., Grimes, M., & Roch, S. (2019). Communication for business professionals. Access to the book:

Course Description

CSU San Bernardino

Provide a brief course description with title, course number, and classification as a General Education Course or a Major Course.  If possible, include any prerequisites courses.

MGMT 350 Administrative Communications (4 units):   MGMT 350 is an introduction to communication theories and includes concepts, analysis, and methods of improvement for interpersonal communication, communication within organizations, and communication between organizations and their external environments. 

Also, include list of student learning outcomes or expectations for the course.

The main objectives of this course are to develop communication skills for managerial roles. Emphasis is on theory, concepts, and analysis, which transforms into interpersonal and professional techniques. Detailed objectives include: 

  1. To provide students with concepts and theories that enable them to describe and identify
    1. The dynamics of communication
    2. The fundamental roles of communication and persuasion in the business context
    3. How communication contributes to interpersonal relationships in the workplace and effective teamwork 
    4. The ethics of business communication
  2. To provide students with the opportunity to 
    1. Observe, analyze, and evaluate the communication behaviors appropriate in leadership and team situations 
    2. Apply concepts and theories to improve interpersonal and organizational communication effectiveness
    3. Develop strong written and oral communication skills for various business contexts 

Curricular Changes and Student Access

1. Briefly describe what motivated you to adopt OER for this course. For example:  save students money, improve the learning materials, or customize materials for special needs, other?

The main reason for adopting OER is to help students save money purchase textbooks. Moreover, as many free textbooks are available, I can draw high-quality chapters from various books. In this way, students can be exposed to comprehensive learning materials at a minimum cost.

2. How did you find and select OER for this course? For example:  consulted librarians, other faculty, browsed OER sites, read peer reviews, evaluated resources, etc. 

I searched OER sites, reviewed other users’ comments on the textbooks, and read their content to determine the books suitable for my class. 

3. Describe any challenges you experienced and how you resolved them. For example:  incomplete OER, lack of printing facilities, bookstore confusion, academic senate support, missing ancillary materials, articulation requirements.

The main challenge is that many OER textbooks do not offer as many examples and practices as textbooks from major publishers. To find professional writing examples, I searched business documents online, added my annotations, and asked my colleagues if they have exercises to share. 

Teaching and Learning Impact

Describe effects on teaching and learning that resulted from adopting OER e.g.

  • Do you collaborate more with other faculty now or use a broader range of teaching materials and methodologies, etc.? Yes. I shared my experience of using the free textbooks with another professor who is teaching other sections of the same class. 
  • Have student grades improved or stayed the same? Stayed the same.
  • Did student retention improve? Stayed the same.
  • Did you experience any unintended results? What were they? No

Consider attaching a file/link of any formal assessments e.g. survey results, impact reports, etc.

Student Feedback or Participation

Please describe what students say or how they responded to OER usage.
For example:  responses to the content as well as the new ways for accessing or learning with open educational resources.  Feel free to include student quotes and videos.

Although students did not comment on the textbook in SOTEs, several students were glad to know the textbooks for this course were free in the first lecture when we went through the required course materials.

Consider including links to any student generated OER or feedback survey data.

Cost Savings

Can be defined in various formats.  If you can, please provide an estimated student savings.  For example:  Multiply difference between cost of copyrighted materials previously used and OER by number of enrolled students.

I previously used Business Communication: In person, in print, online for MGMT 350, which retails on Amazon for $63.79. Since I teach this class to approximately 180 students per academic year, this is a potential saving for students of $11,482.2. 

Accessibility, Affordability, and Diversity

Consider providing as much feedback as you feel comfortable with.  

  • Are the technologies used readily available and affordable for students?
  • Do the pedagogical strategies support learners with diverse cultural, ethnic, and gender backgrounds? Yes, both textbooks include chapters on intercultural communication in the business context, and I cover them in one of my lectures.

Sharing Best Practices

The sustainability of open education relies on sharing with others.  Please give suggestions for faculty who are just getting started with OER.  List anything you wish that you had known earlier.

I did not realize the OER resource in my first year at CSUSB, but two colleagues shared their experience during our chat. It would be nice that this resource can be announced during the new faculty orientation.

How do you plan to share this OER experience with other faculty, staff, etc. who develop curriculum and teach?