Course Exam—ADMN 233 (Writing in Organizations)

According to the syllabus, ADMN 233 (Writing in Organizations) is a three-credit introductory business and administrative studies course “for students wishing to improve their written communication as it applies to the workplace.  Writing in organization involves a problem-solving process requiring that one analyzes situations, make decisions, and inform others of those decisions.”

Writing in Organization has three main sections, nine timed quizzes weighing one percent each, one diagnostic writing assessment weighing six percent, one assignment worth fifteen percent, two assignments weighing twenty percent, and one online final exam worth thirty percent.  The three sections discussed within this course cover the 3-x-3 writing process, how to write routine e-mails and memos, how to write persuasive and sales messages, how to write negative messages, how to write routine letters and goodwill messages, and how to prepare, organize, and write typical business reports.  For students concerned with the number of quizzes and assignments, the diagnostic writing assignment is just for the marker to evaluate your writing skills, the answers to the nine assignments are very easily found within the textbook, and the content in the other three assignments are extensively demonstrated within the textbook.  The “ADMN 233 assignments and the final exam feature workplace-oriented scenarios that ask students to complete business-related communication tasks.”

Pierre Wilhelm, the course coordinator for ADMN 233, has been coordinating and teaching undergraduate business communication in the Faculty of Business at Athabasca University for over sixteen years.  Currently, he is teaching COMM 243, COMM 277, COMM 329, and ADMN 233.  He states, “ADMN 233 is taught to a large segment of undergraduate students across all faculties and helps students acquire essential communication competences to write business correspondence efficiently.  Writing business correspondence is like other professional writing genres.  This communicative act follows a creative process guided by specific style rules.  The skills one gains planning, outlining, writing, and revising texts by applying style rules can readily transfer to other writing ‘genres’ whose core considerations are universal: ‘What does my reader need to know or act on? How can I communicate to him or her in a succinct, yet effective way?  Should I get to the point early in a text or delay the impact I wish to make?’”

Wilhelm continues, “ADMN 233 style rules aim to improve the clarity of one’s writing and its overall informative or persuasive impact on the reader.  The challenge students taking this course face is to understand what these writing rules imply in terms of composing a sound business message.  They must practice writing activities on their own and, if need be, seek the help and guidance of a course instructor.  Students who require more extensive remedial help may also request the support of a writing tutor at the AU Write SiteThey can also complete supplementary learning activities provided on that site.”

Moreover, he states that students should be on the lookout for a revised version of ADMN 233 in 2018, “This new course version updates learning outcomes and writing tasks to ‘keep up’ with evolving business correspondence trends.  It addresses business communicators’ increasing reliance on social media.”

Lastly, Wilhelm states that “by taking this course, undergraduate students learn to write memos, letters, and reports more clearly, succinctly, and ‘to-the-point.’ They come to appreciate that writing efficiently for a reader requires sound planning skills and practical insight.  This course helps a writer avoid the embarrassment arising from a reader’s negative comment in response to the writer’s initial message: “What did you mean in your message and what did you want our company to know or act on? Please get your act together or take your business elsewhere!”

Whether this course is a degree requirement or a general interest it will have students learning a style of writing that will be useful in the rest of their university studies and in their professional future.  For more information on ADMN 233, visit the full online syllabus.