DTM*1500 Turf Communication Skills

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The following description is for the course offering in Fall 2021 and is subject to change. It is provided for information only. The course outline distributed to the class at the beginning of the semester describes the course content and delivery, and defines the methods and criteria to be used in establishing the final grades for the course.

The course provides students with practical communication skills required for supervisory positions in the turfgrass industry. Regular reading, writing and presenting exercises will enable students to develop skills in executing practical business communication strategies. Course content and delivery will reflect current trends in the turfgrass industry. Students will be required to work independently as well as in groups and may be required to meet and complete assignments outside of scheduled class time.

Co-Requisites: DTM*1000


Teaching Assistant:


Credit Weight:


Course Level:

  • Diploma

Academic Department (or campus):

Department of Plant Agriculture



Semester Offering:

  • Fall

Class Schedule and Location:

Please refer to Web Advisor for class schedule and location.

Learning outcomes:

The goal of this course is to introduce students to foundations in business communications for turfgrass managers. Students will develop and strengthen existing skills in research, knowledge translation and transfer (KTT), stakeholder communications, public speaking, writing, working in groups, problem solving, leadership, personal branding and professional networking.

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  1. Conduct independent and group-based research activities that develop skills in information collection, organization and translation.
  2. Demonstrate skills in creating and delivering professional presentations
  3. Create professionally written business reports which analyze and provide solutions to real-world issues in the turfgrass industry.
  4. Identify and apply key principles and strategies in business communications for the turfgrass industry
  5. Identify and apply key principles in personal professional communications in the turfgrass industry.
  6. Develop skills and abilities to work effectively in a group

Lecture Content:

Please note that although some course content will be made available online through Courselink, lectures and seminars for this course will only be held face-to-face. Course delivery format may be subject to change based on evolving university, regional, provincial
and federal mandates related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Topics to be covered in lectures include:

  • Identifying and developing your personal professional brand
  • Strategic development of a strong cover letter and resume
  • Strategies for developing an engaging professional portfolio
  • Successful strategies for interviewing and hiring
  • Business communications in the turf industry
  • Creating and delivering effective presentations
  • Understanding the writing process: Foundational writing skills for the turfgrass managers
  • Working in groups and initiating effective leadership
  • Employee training and creating healthy workplace culture
  • Various guest speakers from industry (when available)
  • Managing difficult conversations in the workplace
  • Managing and defining success in the workplace
  • Identifying and overcoming communication barriers in the workplace
  • Creating and implementing a workplace culture that promotes equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI).
Labs & Seminars:

Topics to be covered in labs include:

  • When appropriate, a variety of weekly online discussions may be conducted through CourseLink's discussion application.
  • Various in-class presentations performed individually and in group formats. Some presentations may be required to be performed through online meeting platforms such as MS Teams, Zoom or Skype.
  • Various in-class discussions on based on assigned readings, viewing and/or listening materials
  • Individual business report presentations
  • Peer review workshops: Resume and cover letter feedback
  • Various outdoor tours at the GTI or neighbouring golf courses (when possible) to explore the value of stakeholder communications in the field
  • Working effectively in groups through a variety of assignments, exercises and problem solving scenarios.

Course Assignments and Tests:

Assignment or Test
Contribution to Final Grade
In-Class Presentations 15%
Job Application Assignment 15%
Professional Portfolio 25%
Mock-Business Report 45%

Final examination:

There is no final examination scheduled for this course.

Course Resources:

It is recommended that all students have a personal computer or use the campus library regularly to access a computer that connects with the Internet. The computer or laptop will not be needed in class but will help students to locate and access the recommended resources listed in this course outline.

Recommended Resources

Turfgrass Management Edition 1.0 by Dr. John Kaminsky and Dr. Al Turgeon (Textbook) https://turfpath.com/book/

It is strongly recommended that each student consider buying at least one turfgrass management textbook for expanded learning and research in the ADTM program. Additional reading will help students to gain stronger understanding of a broad range of turf management related principles. This particular book is from an accredited turf researcher and instructor and is also the most current turf management textbook on the market. It covers a broad range of topics and includes many helpful pictures, charts and diagrams. It is also available in digital copy at a reduced price.

Current Turf Industry Articles and Trade Magazines (Article)
Resources to Develop and Improve Writing, Editing and Review Skills

U of G Writing Workshops - https://www.lib.uoguelph.ca/writing-studying/writingresources-workshops
The Canadian Press Style Book
Online Dictionaries and Thesauruses
Online Writing Laboratory at Purdue University - http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/
The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E.B. White

Recommended Reading, Viewing & Listening
Professional Industry Associations
Turf Industry Blogs
Resources to help develop "Citizen Journalism" (Blog) Skills
Resources To Help Develop Presentation Skills

Course Policies:

Grading Policy

Quizzes and assignments must be completed and submitted by the posted due dates. Late submissions will receive a penalty of 10% per weekday late. Missed presentations due to absence will receive a mark of zero. Requests for extensions due to illness or other personal
issues must be made in writing with reasonable notice and accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation.

Policy on Group Work

Although collegial support and peer-review feedback is encouraged throughout the semester, all student work is to be completed independently, unless otherwise stated by the instructor.

Policy on Recording Devices

Electronic recording of classes is expressly forbidden without consent of the instructor. When

recordings are permitted, they are solely for the use of the authorized student and may not be

reproduced, or transmitted to others, without the express written consent of the instructor.

Alternate Delivery Format

Course delivery format may be subject to change based on evolving restrictions and mandates related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other Course Information:

Course delivery format may be subject to change based on evolving restrictions and mandates related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

University Policies

Academic Consideration

When you find yourself unable to meet an in-course requirement because of illness or compassionate reasons, please advise the course instructor in writing, with your name, id#, and e-mail contact. See the academic calendar for information on regulations and procedures for Academic Consideration:

Academic Misconduct

The University of Guelph is committed to upholding the highest standards of academic integrity and it is the responsibility of all members of the University community, faculty, staff, and students  to be aware of what constitutes academic misconduct and to do as much as possible to prevent academic offences from occurring.

University of Guelph students have the responsibility of abiding by the University's policy on academic misconduct regardless of their location of study; faculty, staff and students have the responsibility of supporting an environment that discourages misconduct. Students need to remain aware that instructors have access to and the right to use electronic and other means of detection. Please note: Whether or not a student intended to commit academic misconduct is not relevant for a finding of guilt. Hurried or careless submission of assignments does not excuse students from responsibility for verifying the academic integrity of their work before submitting it. Students who are in any doubt as to whether an action on their part could be construed as an academic offence should consult with a faculty member or faculty advisor.

The Academic Misconduct Policy is detailed in the University Calenders:


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For more information, contact CSD at 519-824-4120 ext. 56208 or email sas@uoguelph.ca or visit the Student Accessibility Services website: http://www.uoguelph.ca/csd/.

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