Communications Courses

Basic Core and Contemporary Topics Courses

COMM 50100 Designing Communication Strategies
An overview of the theory and practice of analyzing organizational strategies and applying communication and learning theory, as well as models of practice, to designing appropriate methods of enhancing those strategies. Readings and projects focus on branding and image, change management, persuasion, and instructional design using a variety of contemporary strategies and media. The course includes a group project during which students work with a client to design systems, strategies, and messages to accomplish a specific organizational goal. Required. 3 credits.

COMM 50300 Theoretical Foundations
Comprehensive overview of communication theories, learning theories, and theories of organizing as they apply to contemporary organizational practice. Emphasis is on analytical understanding of underlying assumptions and major theoretical paradigms from the humanities, social sciences, education, and management. Required. 3 credits.

COMM 50500 Visual Design and Organizational Media
An examination of the design and production of visual media to be used in organizational presentations. Study of visual literacy theory and research, and principles of visual design, as well as the structuring and delivery of presentations. Students apply visual theories and principles to create still and motion images for messages in stand-up and stand-alone presentations. Required. 3 credits.

COMM 51000/51100 Contemporary Topics
In-depth investigation of particular current topics/issues in the field. Students examine current theory and practice in a given area. A different topic is selected each term. Examples of topics include knowledge management, crisis communication, development, fund-raising, ethics, new media systems, and globalization. Elective. 1-3 credits each (up to 6 credits total).

COMM 53000 Communication Campaigns
Theoretical foundations of the art of persuasion and the strategic applications of such theories in communication campaigns. Students critically analyze a variety of internal and external communication campaigns, including social marketing, attempts to improve an organization’s image, to sell products and services, to affect attitudes on an issue, and to motivate employees. Additionally, students will design organizational communication campaigns. Required. 3 credits.

COMM 53500 Workplace Learning and Performance
An exploration of theories, models, principles, and practices of instructional design, learning, knowledge management, and performance improvement and their applications in a variety of organizational contexts such as business, health care, and education. Required. 3 credits.

Elective Courses

COMM 60500 Organizational Media Production
Introduction to the design and production of media for use in organizations, including digital images, presentation software, desktop publishing, website design, multimedia, and video production. Elective. 3 credits.

COMM 61000 Organizational Culture and Diversity
Organizational culture provides the theoretical orientation for examining diversity issues in the workplace. Emphasis is on understanding organizations as cultures and as existing within cultures. Both domestic and international organizations are examined. Current organizational practice is assessed, with particular attention to issues such as gender, race, age, ethnicity, nationality, class, sexual orientation, and disability. Elective. 3 credits.

COMM 62000 Communication Technology and Policy
An exploration of how new and emerging communication technologies in organizations impact work design, decision making, interpersonal interaction, organizational structures, and cultures. A review of major theories of technologically mediated communication and empirical research on computer-supported collaborative work equips students to critically select, implement, use, and evaluate communication technologies and develop related organizational policy. Elective. 3 credits.

COMM 63000 Corporate Communication Media
Models and principles from persuasion, visual design, and project management provide backdrop for the creation, management, and evaluation of linear, mediated organizational communications activities. Promotional and informational websites and print documents developed for internal and external audiences around a common theme or purpose are the primary focus. Elective. 3 credits. Prerequisite: either COMM 50500 or COMM 60500.

COMM 63500 E-Learning
The theory and practice of technology-enhanced learning environments. Focus is on the creation, management, and evaluation of e-learning systems. Emphasis is on applying visual design, instructional design, and learning theory to the development of e-learning products. Elective. 3 credits. Prerequisite: Either COMM 50500 or COMM 60500.

COMM 63600 Online Learning and Collaboration
This online course gives students hands-on experience in using and choosing tools for virtual team collaboration, education, and training. Focuses on applications such as groupware, portals, blogs, expert systems, and online course management systems. Students learn to design and facilitate online learning and web-based meetings and apply research and theory to typical organizational situations. Elective. 3 credits.

Advanced Core Courses and Independent Work

COMM 64100 Managing Corporate Communication and Training
Develops competencies in the leadership and administration of communication and training departments and projects, preparing students to assume roles as managers and independent consultants. Specific attention is given to the structure and funding of organizational communication and training departments, the development of internal and external communication standards and policies, the management of internal staffing plans and external contracts, and the assessment of learning and communication systems as long-term business assets. Students use case studies and projects to develop their skills in managing client expectations, proposing projects, and managing budgets and staffs. Required. 3 credits.

COMM 64300 Research Methods in Communication
An examination of various communication research and evaluation methods and their theoretical underpinnings. Includes study of quantitative and qualitative paradigms and methods such as experimentation, statistical analysis, interview and survey techniques, participant observation, and ethnography. Emphasis on critical examination of research reports and on basic techniques of applied research in organizational settings. Required. 3 credits.

COMM 65000/65100 Independent Study
Individually designed program of study or project in a specific area of research and/or practice. Prerequisites: Successful completion of at least 9 graduate credits and prior approval of a written proposal by the tutorial mentor and the graduate chair. No more than 6 credits of internship and/or tutorial may be counted toward the 36 required credits. Elective. 1-3 credits each (up to 6 credits total).

COMM 66000/66100 Internship
Jointly supervised work experience in the field of communications with a cooperating organization. Intended to provide the intern with an opportunity for professional growth. No more than 6 credits of internship and/or tutorial may be counted toward the 36 required credits. Prerequisites: Completion of 12 graduate credits with a GPA of 3.00 or better and permission of the graduate chair. Pass/fail only. Elective. 1-6 credits each (up to 6 credits total).

COMM 68000 Seminar: Theory in Practice
Capstone course in which students examine relationships of theory and practice in conducting an applied project for a client organization. Includes study of project management and consulting, and a written and oral presentation before a panel of faculty to synthesize and reflect on the project and its relation to key theories and competencies learned in the previous required courses. Prerequisite: All other required courses must be completed or in progress. Required. 3 credits.

COMM 69000/69100 Thesis
Significant primary independent inquiry. Permission of graduate chair and graduate faculty required before enrolling. Elective. 3 credits.