PD3: Communication focuses on the nature and function of communication in the workplace. The style and medium of communication used on the job can change quickly as coworkers move between casual conversations, email threads, and formal meetings in the space of just a few minutes. What does it mean to be a great communicator in each of those arenas? Students who take PD3 are better equipped to answer that question.

What do PD3 students do?

  • Learn about the theory behind effective oral, written, and interpersonal communication
  • Work through a simulation that includes scenarios built around communication dilemmas
  • Practice giving thoughtful feedback to a colleague and asking for actionable feedback from their supervisor
  • Evaluate the impact of bias on communication in the workplace
  • Reflect on their personal communication style

If you've completed PD3 and want to feature the course on your résumé, you're welcome to use and adapt the following bullet points in a "Professional Development" or "Relevant Courses" section:

  • Applied rhetorical theory to interpersonal workplace communications/conversations/meetings/emails/presentations to meet different audiences' needs
  • Responded to different workplace situations such as conversations/progress updates/meetings through an interactive simulation and reflected on the outcome
  • Identified preferred communication method in order to know when to use or avoid it
  • Provided thoughtful and honest feedback, and responded respectfully to feedback received, in a workplace scenario

How are PD3 students graded?

PD3 students complete a series of quizzes and exercises over the course of the term. To pass the course, students must earn an overall grade of 50% or higher. PD3 also uses a “soft deadline” system to give students some flexibility in terms of working pace. Students are encouraged to work through the course weekly, and they must submit their assessments before the “firm deadline” in order to receive a grade and feedback.

If you have a question about grading in PD3, contact the course team using the information in the sidebar.


PD3’s instructor is Dr. Andrew McMurry, an associate professor in the department of English Language and Literature at the University of Waterloo.


PD3 is being offered every term during the 2018 - 2019 academic year.

Enrolment information

PD3 is an elective PD course for students in all faculties. Students must enrol themselves in the course using Quest.

Students in all faculties continue completing their elective PD courses next.

Contact information

Course team: pd3@uwaterloo.ca

ISC: Natalie Clifford natalie.clifford@uwaterloo.ca