Curriculum Guideline

Business Communications and Procedures

Effective Date:
Course Code
OADM 1240
Business Communications and Procedures
Office Administration
Commerce & Business Administration
Start Date
End Term
Not Specified
Semester Length
15 Weeks
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
Lecture: 2 hours Seminar: 2 hours Total: 4 Hours per week
Method Of Instruction
Methods Of Instruction

Students will learn through short lectures and discussion, group activities, and practice in writing and revising business correspondence. Peer assessments and self-assessments may be incorporated.

Course Description
This course is designed to enhance written and oral business communications as they pertain to the office in a global business environment. The effective relay and interpretation of verbal office messages are addressed. Oral communication skills will emphasize interpersonal and small group communication. Composition of business messages for transmission by conventional and electronic methods is a major objective of the course.
Course Content

1. The requirement for professional communication in the global business environment, and the role of administrative professionals in maintaining professional communication standards for their offices

2. The need for administrative staff to be aware of intercultural diversity when communicating in a global world

3. Application of active listening and polite verbal communication skills when providing administrative office support

  • greeting people through the phone or in person
  • taking or leaving messages
  • seeking information or presenting information
  • giving clear verbal directions or instructions
  • presenting persuasive arguments to another person or in small groups
  • assessing arguments or viewpoints presented by others
  • participating in groups or meetings
  • assessing body language as part of an individual's communication with clients, patients, or co-workers, or during staff meetings

4. The role of administrative professionals in reviewing communications created by themselves, their co-workers, or their supervisors for correct grammar and mechanics. Administrative professionals should be able to correct the following areas of common grammatical errors:

  • parts of speech and word function in a sentence
  • punctuation (focus on commas, colons, and semicolons)
  • capitalization and number style
  • sentence structure, and if required, proper parallelism

5. The creation of routine office messages or correspondence that are client or patient, third party or supplier, or office co-worker or supervisor focused. Focused messages should contain the following characteristics:

  • recipient focus/attitude ("you" focus/attitude)
  • maintenance of goodwill
  • positive language
  • coherence, conciseness, completeness and correctness

6. The role of administrative professionals in determining the correct mode of message transmission (letter, memo, or email) when given communication duties or tasks by their office supervisors.

7. Communication by administrative professionals using email and text messaging in the modern business office.

  • Expectations by co-workers, clients, and patients of accessibility through email and text messaging - maintenance of goodwill
  • Types of routine office messaging using email
  • Email conventions and procedures used in the efficient managing of email volume
  • Composing simple routine office emails according to the following strategies:
  • direct - simple requests or replies
  • indirect - refusals or persuasive requests

8. Formatting or composing correspondence when given communication duties or tasks by their office supervisors.

  • formatting letters and memos from drafts provided by their supervisors to be signed and sent by the supervisor.
  • letter formats - block/modified styles, mixed/open punctuation, annotations
  • memo format
  • Canada Post rules for addressing letters or envelopes
  • office procedures for the flow of work to and from supervisor to administrative professional
  • composing of simple letters without supervisor drafts according to the following strategies:
  • direct - simple requests or replies
  • indirect - refusals
Learning Outcomes

The learner has reliably demonstrated the ability to

  1. communicate with others one-on-one or in small groups;
  2. understand and define the theory of active listening;
  3. understand and define how diversity affects communication in a business setting;
  4. define the differences between business and social communication;
  5. present detailed information verbally in a clear and concise manner to co-workers, clients, customers, or patients;
  6. present balanced assessments, opinions or arguments verbally to co-workers or supervisors;
  7. listen to and assess counter arguments or viewpoints;
  8. discuss and assess body language during one-on-one or in small group communication;
  9. use email for routine office communication such as making simple requests, answering queries, and making simple refusals while following business conventions and etiquette;
  10. write and edit business letters and memoranda which conform to business standards for content, organization, language, grammatical correctness, and format (This course teaches the conventions in the Pitman Office Handbook);
  11. address letters and envelopes according to Canada Post guidelines; and
  12. exhibit professional standards regarding quality of work, adherence to deadlines, effective listening skills, and contribution to group activities.
Means of Assessment

Employability skills (criterion based/assessed twice over semester)

 0 - 10%

Assignments (min of 6 assignments - minimum of three letter productions)

20 - 30%

Oral Communication Assessments

10 - 15%

Tests (Min 2) and final exam
(theory and production)

50 - 60%



There are no assessments requiring oral presentations in this course.

Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students:

Textbook as approved by department

Coursepack as determined by instructor

Campbell, Joan I. Pitman Office Handbook, Latest Ed. Toronto: Pearson Education Canada