DTM*1500 Turf Communication Skills

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The following description is for the course offering in Winter 2019 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 the skills to develop good written and oral communication skills. Practical examples enable students to speak and write effectively in the field of turfgrass management. The course also includes an introduction to group management skills and students will be required to work independently and meet in focus groups and complete work outside of scheduled class time.


Teaching Assistant:

Credit Weight:


Course Level:

  • Diploma

Academic Department (or campus):

Department of Plant Agriculture



Semester Offering:

  • Winter

Class Schedule and Location:

Please refer to Web Advisor for class schedule and location.

Learning outcomes:

By the end of this course, students should be able to:
  1. Conduct research and translate key turf management principles from academic literature into comprehensible summaries designed for communication with stakeholder groups through written and oral mediums.
  2. Develop and deliver clearly constructed presentations on key concepts and issues in turf management that are grounded in relevant research.
  3. Create a blog that can be effectively utilized to translate information to a variety of stakeholders in the turfgrass industry.
  4. Develop a professional report that analyzes real-world, turf associated issues using formal research and writing skills.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to engage fully in team tasks, interacting with integrity and respect, contribute quality work, and demonstrate personal responsibility and accountability to the group.
  6. Understand the value of developing a professional network and identify key strategies for industry outreach and connectivity.

It is recommended that all students have a laptop computer that connects with the Internet.

Lecture Content:

Lecture Topics:

  • Introduction to business etiquette in the professional environment
  • Building an effective and engaging resume
  • Managing professional email communications
  • Conducting effective presentations
  • Verbal and non-verbal communication skills
  • Business communications in the modern world
  • Social Media as a tool for communications
  • Working effectively in groups
  • How to write a business report
  • Conducting and leading meetings
  • Networking and the value of industry relations
  • Steering and negotiating through difficult conversations
Labs & Seminars:

Course Assignments and Tests:

Assignment or Test Contribution to Final Mark Learning Outcomes Assessed

Individual in-class presentations

15% 1,2,6
Online discussions



Formal job application

10% 1,4

Blogging assignment

15% 1,3,6
Group presentation



Business report outline

10% 1,4,6

Business report

20% 1,4,6

Report presentation

15% 1,2,6

Final examination:

There is no final examination for this course.

Course Resources:

Required Texts:


Recommended Texts:
  • The Elements of Style; William Strunk Jr.
  • The Speed of Trust; Stephen Covey
  • The First 90 Days; Michael Watkins
  • Everything I needed to know I learned in Kindergarten; Robert Fulgum
  • How to Communicate with Confidence, Clarity & Credibility; Laura Katen
  • Both a thesaurus and a dictionary are highly recommended materials
Lab Manual:


Other Resources:

Valuable industry websites


Turf Industry blogs


Helpful Presentation Materials

Field Trips: N/A

Additional Costs: N/A

Course Policies:

Grading Policies:

Submission information and marking rubrics will be included with assignments as they are circulated in class. All late assignments are subject to a penalty of 10% per day up to a maximum of 50%.

Course Policy on Group Work:

Each student is responsible for participating in organizing, planning, discussing, and executing assignments both in-class and outside of class.  Students will be subject to a peer-evaluations for their participation in groupwork.

Course Policy regarding use of electronic devices and recording of lectures:

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.

Other Course Information:

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:

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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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