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Course Descriptions


Undergraduate Catalog/Student Handbook
Download Bulletin for Communication Section Only

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Provides students with a comprehensive survey and critical analysis of mass communication. This is accomplished though the study of the history and stucture of mass media industries and an examination of social, economic, political, culural, and global factors that create the context in which media operate.

Provides students with a survey of the field of human communication. Students will explore the symbolic nature of both verbal and nonverbal communication in several contexts including dyadic, small group, intercultural, and organizational settings. Within and across contexts, students will study fundamental communication processes such as message construction, listening, persuasion, deception, and relationship development.

Offers an introduction to the basics of producing video in both the studio and the field and to the rudiments of nonlinear editing. In addition to learning the basics of productions, students will be introduced to the fundamental aesthetic principles of images, light, space, time/motion, and sound. Aesthetic decisions will be discussed in an ethical context.

Examines the aesthetic elements of film including cinematography, editing, sound, script, acting, direction, and mise en scene. The study of film also may include contexts such as cultural roles, genre, political issues, economics, and history.

Offers an introduction to the presentation tools needed by communication specialists. Students will learn how to use a variety of media to effectively communicate ideas. They will consider the aesthetic dimensions as well as the production aspects of a number of media formats. Those formats will include speech, text, audio, video, the web, and presentation software.

Examines techniques and applications of photography. Areas of study include camera operation, film selection, lenses, filters, lighting, composition, and digital monochrome and color image processing and manipulation (currently Adobe Photoshop). The history of the medi- um and its communicative properties also are discussed.

Examines the principles and processes of public relations. Areas of discussion include organizational aspects, the public relations environment, fact finding, planning and programming, implementation, evaluation and audience analysis.

Explores a variety of writing modes used in mass communication. Emphasis is on developing and refining the student’s writing skills. Students will be introduced to writing techniques used in newspapers, radio, television, magazines, advertising and public relations. This course is a prerequisite for all other COMM writing courses. Prerequisite: ENGL 0101.

Provides a hands-on course in television studio operations and production. Students will learn to operate the sophisticated equipment in the TV studio on the third floor of Ely. Students will also explore the larger theoretical and aesthetic considerations involved in the process of video production.

Examines the process of ethical decision making in the context of communication. Emphasis is placed on the analysis of values and study of ethical principles representing several schools of philosophical thought. Values and principles are then applied to case studies of ethical dilemmas in various communication fields. Prerequisite:COMM 0101.

Offers training in the technical skills and aesthetic decisions involved in the processes of video field production and post-production. Students will gain experience in planning, producing and evaluating their own programming in several formats. Prerequisite: COMM 0106.

Introduces students to various forms of communication in diverse settings around the world. Students will explore aspects of nationality, politics, ethnic- ity, religion, gender, sexuality, conflict, and culture. Students will exam- ine how global communication often engenders stereotypes that reflect cultural beliefs and values. Areas for study may include:Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Oceania, North America, and Latin America. Prerequisite: COMM 0101.

This course will examine print and electronic media representations of diverse groups and will be structured in three one-credit segments. The content of each one-credit segment will vary according to the expertise/ interest of participating faculty members, but may include examinations of gender, race, ethnicity, class, age, sexual orientation, religions, occupation, and/or disability. Students will read recent research in the field of representation and conduct their own research projects.

Examines the construction and portrayal of gender in film. In addition to surveying some of the predominant cinematic images of gender, students will be introduced to the precepts of contemporary feminist film criticism and gender studies.

Explores film as a means of global understanding. Students will examine the work of filmmakers who use their medium for political expression, cultural illumination, and/or audience education. The course will focus mainly on non-west- ern cinema. Films will be selected from such national/regional cinemas as Black African, Middle Eastern, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Russian/ Soviet, Eastern European, and Latin American.

Explores a range of critical perspectives on advertising and consumer culture. Topics may include cultural codes in advertising, advertising and children, and global advertising.

An exploration of the theory, research, and practice of communication in understanding and negotiating conflicts. This course provides an opportunity for students to examine conflict in everyday life with a particular focus on the role that communication plays in the development and management of conflict situations. Readings will cover the primary literature on conflict and communication, power, conflict resolutions strategies (negotiation, mediation, arbitration) and the causes and development of conflict in interpersonal, organizational, and intercultural settings.

Explores a variety of perspectives from which communication may be studied. Examines different models that have been developed to conceptualize, describe, and explain the communication process. Through class discussion, reading and research, students will analyze the assumptions underlying various communication theories and examine the strengths and weaknesses of these theories. Areas of study include the social and historical context of theory development, interpersonal communication, com munication in organizations, and the impact of mass communication. Prerequisite: COMM 0101 and COMM 0102.

Provides knowledge and understanding of the interrelationships among culture, language, and communication. Students will develop skills to overcome intercultural communication barriers such as ethnocentrism, misinterpretation of verbal and nonverbal signals, problems of stereotypes/perceptions and assumptions of similarities. The course will help students become culturally competent communicators in intercultural situations.

Provides training in web page production from basic HTML to the use of sophisticated development technologies. Students will learn how the web works, develop skills in design and aesthetics, and gain funda- mental mastery of web production software and basic skills in photo editing software. At the conclusion of the course, student swill be able to build and manage their own and others’ web sites.

An examination of communication theory and cultural practices regarding international conflict resolu- tion, boundary disputes and cultural conflicts in various parts of the world. Critical perspectives on a variety of historical and legal documents, accords, and settlements will be examined. Communication case studies analyzing dispute resolute models and their cultural contexts will be surveyed as prologue and background to a better under- standing of intercultural tensions as they interact with modern day media environments.

Examines the theory and practice of sound recording and reproduction, using digital media. Principles can be applied to radio, television and multimedia audio, and studio music production. Practical exercis- es involve interview skills and location recording with editing, mixing, and scripting of feature and documentary projects.

An exploration of documentary film: its history and development, its social and political impact. Students will analyze both film form and content with particular attention to the different styles and philosophies of documentary film-making, as well as the socio-historic context in which these films were made. The course will consider documentary film as a form of art and a form of journalism, as an agent for personal expression and an agent for social change.

Provides an overview of journalism in the United States from the publication of the first newspaper to the present. Placing emphasis on major figures, institutions, and issues, the course will examine the workings of the press in its several forms and the influence of journalistic media on American society.

Studies the development of communication media from the earliest pre-alphabetic inscriptions to modern electronic message systems. The course will examine the social and cultural effects of change in communication technology over time. Prerequisite: COMM 0101.

Explores the silent film from its birth in 1895 to its demise around 1930. Students will consider the im- plications of film as the first modern mass medium. They will analyze both film form and content with particular attention to the social, cul- tural, historic, and political contexts in which silent films were made. Films from Germany, France, and the Soviet Union will be included along with those made in Great Britain and the United States.

An introduction to the technique of writing basic news stories. Students will also learn the basics of libel law and consider ethical issues that arise in the practice of journalism. Included is an examination of newsroom duties and responsibilities.

Provides an international experience of academic study and cultural immersion in a variety of locations that can very from year to year. It attempts to examine some of the traditions, assumptions, issues, conflicts, barriers, and misunderstandings which can arise between international cultures. Classes, field trips to historical and archaeological sites, national cultural museums, festivals and concerts, home visitations, and discussions with college and university peers will be arranged into a unified international English-language seminar. Course may be repeated.

Introduces students to the study of rhetoric and the characteristics pf persuasive discourse. Theories, principles, and methods of persuasion, from classical to contemporary, will be discussed. Topics explored include ethical issues, types of evidence, and the persuasive use of language and symbols. Students will have the opportunity to analyze and construct a variety of persuasive messages, such as editorials, speeches, and media campaigns. Prerequisites: ENGL 0101 and ENGL 0102.

Students, with prior approval of the department, intern at local, regional, or national communication sites. A portfolio of work completed at the internship site is required as part of the student’s final report.

Explores the social, political, and cultural traits that lead to the development of media systems. Also included in the course will be discussions concerning how governments regulate media, control access, and finance operations. Examples of foreign press and broadcasts will be presented for examination. The impact of new communication technologies will be examined.

Examines the principles and applications of communication law. Students will be introduced to fundamentals of the American legal system and legal case studies pertinent to the mass media and related communication tech- nologies. Particular emphasis will be placed on such issues as freedom of expression, defamation, privacy, intellectual property, information access, censorship, commercial speech, and government regulation. Prerequisite: COMM 0101.

Introduces the skills necessary for reporting and writing in multiple media formats. Students will learn how to put together storied for the Web with video, audio, and graphics as well as text. Using simple hardware and related software, they will be introduced to the technical side of recording, taping, and editing for online presentation. Prerequisite: COMM 0275.

Offers training in reporting and writing the news for radio, television, and a variety of electronic media formats. Students will learn to tell news stories for online publication as well as for the traditional broadcast outlets. The course will offer an overview of the structure of the electronic news organizations.

Provides training in advanced video editing techniques using up to date digital video editing platforms. Topics include cutting dramatic material and non-fiction material, working with audio, and outputting a finished project. Video editing from and edit script will also be covered.

Examines mass media from a variety of critical perspectives in order to understand how criticism works as a method of inquiry. Students will learn the language of such critical approaches as semiotic analysis, genre theory, ideological analysis and cultural studies. They will be encouraged to develop an understanding of the larger application of critical methodology.

A capstone experience which offers students the opportunity for extensive exploration of an area of interest. Course requires the completion of a substantial research paper or creative project, and a public presentation of the final work. Excellent option for students interested in graduate school.

Examines selected communication issues, perspectives, or themes. Prerequisite: COMM 0101 or permission of instructor.

Examines the many applications of the media to classroom instruction and investigates the history and current status of media literacy programs in the United States and abroad. Explores the development of curricula designed to provide the ability to access, analyze, evaluate and produce communication in a variety of forms.

Explores basic qualitative and quantitative methodologies of communication research, including experiments, surveys, focus groups, field observations, and content analysis. These methodologies are examined as ways of posing questions and solving problems in communication. Each student will write a paper based on a research project including problems definition, literature review, data gathering and analysis. Prerequisite: COMM 0101, and COMM 0221, and junior or senior standing.

Combines theory, research, and practical experience in order to gain an understanding of the role of mass communication in the electoral process. The course is intended to increase awareness of the problems and responsibilities involved in political and campaign communication, and to provide opportunities to apply political, organizational and communication skills. May be offered in conjunction with the Political Science Department.

Designed to develop student’s ability to function as a member of a task-oriented group, participate in and conduct formal meetings, conduct an interview, make a professional presentation, and write a professional report. Interpersonal, writing and oral skills will be emphasized.

This course will examine human communication, including recent research in the fields of self-concept, conflict management, diversity awareness, listening skills, verbal and non-verbal communication. Through the use of written assignments and small group projects, student will explore methods of application of the course material in a variety of contexts. Prerequisite: COMM 0221.

Examines how photographic skills can be combined with text and graphics to observe and interpret people, things, and events for publication. Emphasis will be placed on informative, interpretive, and archival characteristics of photojournalism, the moral and ethical dilemmas facing photojournalists, and the history and future of the profession.

Examines more advanced theory and practice of sound recording and original production using digital recording techniques and equipment. Principles can be applied to radio, podcast, digital slideshow, television, and multi-media audio for website production. Practical exercises involve location recording, MIDI composition, multi-track digital recording, and audio for video and web application. Prerequisite: COMM 0230.

The course will deal with issues related to the mass media and crime in society. The increasing importance of the mass media in shaping people’s perception of and attitudes toward the criminal justice system will be focused on. Other topics will include the media as a cause and cure for crime, biases in the media coverage, the effects of the media on criminal proceedings and crime on television and films.

Includes analysis of media industry and organizational structures, management strategies, audience analysis, promotion and marketing, programming, and the impact of new and emerging technologies. Examines day-to-day practices of media industries within a broader context which emphasizes social, legal, economic, and technological factors. Prerequisites: COMM 0101 and junior or senior standing.

Provides advanced training in creating web sites, going beyond the HTML-based introduction provided by COMM 0223, this course helps students cerate web sites and web elements with a high degree of end-user interaction, using industry-standard software tools. Students will create web-based multimedia projects incorporating animations, sounds, photos, and video. They will learn to think about audiences and how learning styles, consumer behavior and cul- tural factors influence a successful design. Prerequisite: COMM 0223.

Offers training in writing for the electronic media in a variety of formats, including news and sports, commercials and public service announcements, simple comedies and dramas, children’s programs, features, and documentaries. The course will focus on writing for online consump- tion as well as for traditional broadcast outlets. Prerequisite: COMM 0204.

Examines trends in mediated communication, especially with regard to their future social, cultural, and economic effects on people. Emphasis will be placed on the merging roles and functions of mass media, telecommunication, and computer technologies, global communication, emerging multimedia systems, and technological innovation and notions of progress.

Focuses on the public relations practitioner as communications manager, emphasizing the counseling function of PR in formulating strategies and policies in corporate communications. Prerequisite: COMM 0203 or permission of instructor.

Explores contemporary issues in journalism with an emphasis on social, legal and cultural factors. Includes discussion of news values, decision making, media competition, technology, and community values.

Examines basic concepts such as communication structure and functions, organizational culture, group and public communication, and communicating technology. Emphasizes the application of organizational communication theories to identifying and solving problems of communication in organizations. Prerequisite: COMM 0101 and junior or senior standing.

Covers public relations planning, audience analysis, and construction of motivational messages. Students will work on a variety of assignments that emphasize the design and production of effective public relations material for press, publications, and electronic media. Prerequisites: COMM 0203 and COMM 0204 or permission of the instructor.

Students will write columns and editorials suitable for publication in a local newspaper. As opinion writers, they will research political, economic, and social issues, develop editorial stances as individuals and as an editorial board, and then produce a series of articles that reflect either their opinions or those of the board.

Students will write long-form stories for newspapers and magazines using the advanced narrative techniques. While students will complete a significant amount of reporting, the course focuses on developing writing skills through the practice and the study of techniques used in creative literary journalism. By the end of the semester, students should have produced articles suitable for publication as a series in a daily newspaper.

Allows students to integrate their writing and reporting skills with multimedia production to produce an online newspaper. Students will analyze online media, learn basic HTML, develop advertising and a financial plan, write and report stories, and create complementary visual and multimedia presentations. The final project will be to design an online news site and create content for it.

Students employ advanced techniques in beat and specialty reporting for print journalism. Reporters in the course run a “mock newspaper” working in various editorial aspects of the newspaper. Reporters complete a series of articles, including but not limited to conference and meeting reports, features, profiles, commentaries, and police and court news and editorials.

An introduction to the duties of the copy editor. Students will work to refine the skills and art necessary to news selection, editing, headline writing, design and lay- out.

Concentrates on techniques of descriptive and interpretive newspaper and magazine sports writing, with an emphasis on collegiate sports. Techniques for interviewing coaches and players, developing angles, and meeting deadlines are emphasized. Students will cover sporting events, file reports for the class, and compile a portfolio.

Independent study of topics in communication. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor and department chair.

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