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Past Course Descriptions

Course Listings -Fall 2002

Communication Department
Course Descriptions
Fall 2002

COMM 190 Public Speaking (4 semester hours) Staff
This course addresses basic theoretical principles of effective public speaking necessary for pluralistic audiences, concentrating on content, organization, audience analysis, ethics, language, and delivery. Students apply these principles to several oral presentations, some videotaped and requiring the use of PowerPoint.

COMM 200 Introduction to Communication Studies (4 semester hours) Staff
This course provides an introduction to the field of human communication studies and a foundation for future study within the communication discipline. The course introduces the core concepts, essential skills, and perennial issues found in several relevant contexts of human interaction, including interpersonal relationships, organizations, and cross-cultural interaction. It also examines these contexts from a theoretical perspective, suggesting how scholars have sought to formulate generalized explanations for the processes of human meaning making. A sample syllabus and assignments are available for your review at
Writing intensive.
Prerequisite: ENG 101

COMM 280 Reasoning and Communication (4 semester hours) S. Broz
This course provides extensive training in critical thinking, listening, reading, practical reasoning, deliberation, and oral and written advocacy. As part of a deliberative process, participants prepare oral and written arguments on contemporary issues for critical, well-informed audiences. Emphasis is placed on the ability to anticipate and address the wide variety of alternative perspectives represented by such audiences. Required assignments include: a personal essay regarding attitudes toward argumentation, a deliberation log, a roundtable performance of oral arguments with question and answer sessions, a written critique of the roundtable performances, and an argumentative position paper.
Writing intensive.
Prerequisite: ENG 101

COMM 290 S Media Literacy (4 semester hours) M. Smith
This course provides a broad foundation for examining the form, content, and consequences of mediated communication (including the Internet, recording, radio, television, cable, film, newspaper, magazine, and publishing industries). The course introduces media industries from both an historical and contemporary perspective, covers the prominent theories that characterize mass media functions and effects, and addresses controversial issues in mediated communication. Students are introduced to intellectual tools that will enable them to be more critical consumers of media and given opportunities to practice applying those tools in both structured classroom discussions and formal writing assignments. A sample syllabus and assignments are available for your review at
Writing intensive.
Prerequisite: ENG 101

COMM 320 Topics in Communication: Health Communication (4 semester hours) S. Broz
This survey course is designed to introduce students to a wide range of scholarship about health communication. The course will introduce, investigate, and facilitate an understanding of the nature of the communication processes that influence and/or are influenced by health and health care contexts. A growing body of research indicates that the quality of health care and of personal health is significantly dependent upon the quality of communication that takes place between health care provider and patient, as well as within campaigns designed to promote health and prevent disease. Specifically, we will consider the role of communication in general models of health and illness, the relationship between patient and care provider, social support, public health campaigns, and communication in chronic and terminal disease situations. Characteristics that influence these communication processes, such as culture, will also be considered.
Prerequisites: COMM 200 and 280 or 290, or permission of instructor

COMM 350 Topics in Media: Computer-Mediated Communication (4 semester hours) M. Smith
The course explores how human communication behaviors are shaped by the use of computer-mediated channels like e-mail, chat rooms, and the World Wide Web. Although students will have the opportunity to experiment with various computer-mediated channels during the course, the focus is not on the technology itself but on how people use the technology to express themselves and interact with others. Thus, students need only basic computing skills at the onset of the course. The class will explore the social, legal, and ethical consequences of issues such as online relationships, virtual communities, the digital divide, and corporate convergence, among others.
Prerequisites: COMM 200 and 290 or permission of instructor

COMM 390 Research Methods in Communication (4 semester hours) Staff
This course introduces students to the process of conducting qualitative and quantitative communication research, including how to 1) formulate a research question, 2) conduct library research for a literature review, 3) select a method (e.g., participant/observation, in-depth interviewing, focus groups, rhetorical criticism, content analysis, or survey research), 4) adhere to standards for scholarly writing, and 5) critically evaluate others' research studies.
Writing intensive.
Prerequisites: COMM 200, and COMM 280 or 290; math placement score of 22

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