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Past Course Descriptions

Course Listings - Fall 2009

COMMUNICATION DEPARTMENT

COMM 190  Public Speaking
4 credits
Broz, Stefne 

Prerequisite: None
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 credits
Cunningham, Sheryl  and Waggoner, Catherine 

Prerequisite: ENG 101E
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. Writing intensive. 

 

COMM 220A  Topic: Comic Books as Culture
4 credits
Smith, Matthew

Prerequisite: None
This course explores the kinds of graphic storytelling that goes on in comic books and graphic novels and considers the aesthetic standards with which to understand the narratives and resulting culture-making that goes on through them.  Working from a mass communication perspective, we will review the historical development of the art form, the various genres that have popularized it (e.g., horror, romance, memoir), the industry (including the works of specific creators), and the audience.  Using this information, students will learn to compose informed written and oral critiques of artifacts in the medium.  In order to do this effectively, we will be reading a number of classic comic books as well as some modern graphic novels to better appreciate and articulate ideas about the art form.

 

COMM 224 Group Dynamics                                                 
4 credits
Martycz, Virginia

Prerequisite: None
This course aims at improving your understanding of and ability to demonstrate effective communication behaviors in group discussions. The course is structured so that students study the principles of effective group communication and have the opportunity to apply these lessons to actual group interactions. Students thus have the chance to improve their communication competency in small group settings through discussions and projects in the practical application of theoretical concepts.

 

COMM 270S Interpersonal Communication  
4 credits
Warber, Katie

Prerequisite: None
This course offers an introduction to message production and interpretation in face-to-face settings.  The focus of the course is to illustrate how choices in interpersonal communication behaviors are basic to our character as human beings and the nature of our interpersonal relationships.  Students will complete the course having learned about basic interpersonal communication principles related to, for example, self-presentation, self-disclosure, effective listening, relationship development, relational maintenance, relationship dissolution, compliance gaining, and conflict management. 

 

COMM 280  Reasoning and Communication                                       
4 credits
Waggoner, Catherine

Prerequisite: ENGL 101E
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.

 

COMM 290S  Media Literacy
4 credits
Cunningham, Sheryl 

Prerequisite: ENGL 101E
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. Writing intensive.

 

COMM 300 Social Scientific Methods
4 credits
Warber, Katie

Prerequisites: COMM 200; COMM 270S, 280 or 290S; Math Placement score 22
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, experiment, content analysis, or survey research), 4) adhere to standards for scholarly writing, and 5) critically evaluate others’ research studies.  Writing intensive.  Mathematical-reasoning intensive.

 

COMM 301  Critical Methods:  Television Criticism
4 credits
Smith, Matthew

Pre-requisites: COMM 290S, or permission of instructor.
This course studies television as a form of intentional message making and encourages students to develop an active, critical response to the television they consume and to examine the effects it has on the world around them. The course explores the production of television as texts and considers multiple approaches that scholars have used to analyze the form and products of this medium. Students can gain a vocabulary for the production of these texts and learn to develop planned, in-depth critiques of their messages. Writing intensive.

 

COMM 320: Topic:  Relational Communication
4 credits
Warber, Katie

Prerequisites: COMM 200; COMM 270S; or permission of instructor
This course is intended to expose students to research trends and theory in the scientific study of close relationships. Specifically, the course will focus on issues related to the nature of intimate relationships, processes, functioning, relationship issues, and communication. Readings and discussions will include coverage of mate selection, love, friendship, power, conflict, and relationship dissolution. Research on topics such as attraction, nonverbal communication, stress, sexuality, and violence will be examined. We will also focus on the nature of relationship interaction as it is associated with relationship satisfaction, distress, and mental health.

 

COMM 330  Analysis of Persuasion: Visual Persuasion
4 credits
Waggoner, Catherine

Prerequisites:  COMM 200 and COMM 270, 280, or  290 or permission of instructor.
This course helps students understand how persuasion works, particularly with visual images. Students will be given opportunities to learn how to critically receive and accept/reject persuasive messages and to display their knowledge by means of various projects and assignments.  In the first half of the course, students will learn theories and principles of persuasion; in the second half, they will apply those theories/principles to nondiscursive or visual persuasion (i.e., images without words), using in part, the Springfield Museum of Art. This course is not intended to develop persuasive speaking skills, but is intended to help students become critical consumers of persuasion. COMM 301: Critical Methods is not required, but would be helpful. Writing intensive. 

 

COMM 360 Topics in Rhetoric: Environmental Communication
4 credits
Cunningham, Sheryl

Prerequisites:  COMM 280, COMM 301,  or permission of instructor.
In recent years talk about climate change has become increasingly prevalent in the public sphere, but it  is important to understand that climate change is only one of many environmental issues we currently face in the United States. It is also important to understand the arguments made about the environment by various political actors including politicians, policy makers, environmental advocates, and citizens. In this course students will read a wide variety of texts that focus on environmental issues and a number of texts that focus on rhetorical theory.  Students who take this course should be prepared to develop their understanding of rhetorical theory and utilize theoretical arguments in their analyses of public discourse about the environment in class discussions, written assignments, projects, and presentations.   Writing intensive.

COMM 490  Independent Study
1-4 Hours
Staff

 

COMM 491 Internships:  OCC Consultants
2 credits
Broz, Stefne

Prerequisites:  BY PERMISSION ONLY

 

COMM 491 Internship:  Comm Leaders
2 credits
Warber, Katie

Prerequisites:  BY PERMISSION ONLY

 

COMM 499 Senior Honors Thesis/Project
0-4 credits
Staff

Prerequisites: BY PERMISSION ONLY




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