Communication Studies (COMM)
This course introduces the nature of human communication as elucidated by the social sciences as well as philosophy and theology. We explore the role communication plays in the construction and management of meanings, identities, values, cultures, and relationships in various contexts. The goal is to understand both how communication operates and how it can optimally foster the good of individuals, relationships, and society.
Introduces students to the study of contemporary forms of mass mediated communication. The course surveys the main topics in the field of media studies and introduces students to a variety of analytical perspectives. Issues include the economic, political, and social contexts of media production; the roles that media products and industries play in the lives of individuals and societies; and the global significance of new media technologies.
This course introduces students to the structure, functions, routines, conventions, and challenges that form the complex professional landscape of the mass media industries.
This course introduces students to the theory and practice of public speaking. Students are encouraged to think critically about situation and audience analysis, methods of speech organization, the uses of different types of supporting material, and the effective use of visual aids. Students will learn how to write and deliver effective informative, persuasive, and ceremonial speeches.
This course presents the theories, skills, and competencies required to establish and support healthy, ongoing interpersonal relationships.
The focus of this course is on the theories and skills related to the initiation, development and effective conduct of task-focused small groups. The theory and skills of leadership appropriate to small task groups are also emphasized.
An overview of the communication skills required for success in an organizational setting.
This course is an introduction to writing for various forms of media - print and online, radio and television, public relations and advertising - focusing not only on the written word but also on the use of sound (music, video clips, sound bites, interview snippets) and vivid images to enhance a multimedia story. We will concentrate on appropriate writing style, basic writing formats, and writing terminology for print, online, and broadcast media, as well as on creative development of feature stories and broadcast programming. This class also considers the importance of critical thinking about the audience.
An academic film appreciation course intended to enhance students' understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of movies. It aims to familiarize students with the history of an art form, as well as with the complex combination of techniques and technologies that make the art form powerful. As a secondary critical approach, students will consider the economic and sociological aspects of film, including what it means to say that a movie is a "cultural artifact" and what position film occupies in contemporary popular culture.
An introduction to the theory and practices of public relations and its role in influencing attitudes and actions of both internal and external publics in businesses or other complex social organizations. The course includes analysis of the policies and actions of organizations with respect to public attitudes and the development of communication programs intended to affect public attitudes.
This introductory course focuses on why journalism matters in our society and how it functions, including the key elements of responsible reporting and the various forms of contemporary journalism. Designed not only for students interested in pursuing journalism at Eastern or in their careers, this course is also for anyone who is curious or concerned about the state of the news media and wants to become a more responsible, critically aware citizen.
This course provides an on-campus learning experience on staff at the student newspaper, The Waltonian. One credit is awarded for 40 hours on the job, up to a maximum of three credits in one semester, depending on level of responsibility: a staff writer can earn one credit in a semester; a section editor, two credits in a semester; a managing editor or editor-in-chief, three credits in a semester. The course may be repeated, up to a maximum of 9 credits. Prerequisite: COMM 215 or COMM 225 (or permission of the instructor).
Since the time of the ancient Greeks, persuasion has been studied and practiced in light of the art of rhetoric. In modern times, social scientists have examined the psychology of influence. This course introduces ancient and contemporary theories and strategies of persuasion found in a wide variety of public discourse. The objective is to increase skill in critically analyzing and evaluating persuasive messages.
This course explores theories of communication and culture and examines how culture is evident in language, behaviors, and worldviews. Students learn to examine and describe their own cultural heritage and develop the communication skills required for effective communication within multicultural contexts.
An introductory survey of the history, utilization and value of various theories that inform explanations of the nature and dynamics of communication across contexts. The nature of theory, its role in shaping scholarship within a discipline, and the results of research that follow from such theories are the focus of the course.
A survey of the research methods employed in the study of communication and its effects. Emphasis is on the assumptions on which various methodological approaches rest, the appropriateness of various methods in the study of communication behavior and effects, the nature of data and data analysis, and the design of appropriate studies. Students will learn to read published research and design studies appropriate to particular research questions common in the study of communication.
This course provides the student the opportunity to apply and get additional practice in what he/she has learned through service learning in an organized production practicum.
Students will either participate in a major in-house project which involves industry professionals or be matched with an agency/organization within the community for exposure to the field of digital communication in the areas of digital media or strategic communication and be involved in how the agencies/organizations service participants in their external environment.
In this course, students learn how to recognize and analyze the rhetorical dimensions of various forms of popular culture, from advertising messages to prominent speeches, and from public monuments to diverse forms of entertainment. Applying an array of critical tools, students uncover and evaluate the ways in which popular culture shapes worldviews, ideologies, and actions in society.
Complex organizations are created and sustained through communication. This course analyzes the communication that occurs within such organizations and considers how this communication both influences and is influenced by organizational structures and practices.
This course is designed to explore communication phenomena within the family setting. The goal is to help students understand how, through communication, we develop, maintain, enhance or disturb, family relationships. Prerequisite: COMM 201 or permission of instructor.
This course explores the connections between media and culture on two levels: media ecology and cultural studies. The first part concerns how the emergence of each new form of media -- literacy, typology, electronic media, and now digital media - has revolutionized cultural consciousness and social relations. The second part addresses how media content reinforces or challenges power relations among particular sociocultural groups and identities.
This course is designed for advanced public relations students who know the basics and are poised to think analytically, strategically, and practically about implementing public relations practices, techniques, and campaigns. Using case studies and analyzing current events, students will not only be exposed to real-time PR in motion, but will also be able to identify the specific audiences public relations seeks to reach, characteristics of each audience, the tactics that are best suited to reach that audience and how various media - including social media - play integral roles in a comprehensive campaign. Prerequisite: COMM 221.
The course focuses on the economic and social effects of advertising, the organization and practices of the advertising industry, the nature of advertising campaigns, and the creation of message product. Course also focuses on analysis of the implications, effectiveness, and ethics of advertising content and campaigns. .
This course explores relationships between social media use and organizational communication in four main areas: 1) How organizations use social media to communicate with external stakeholders, 2) How organizations use social media to facilitate internal communications processes, 3) Challenges organizations face in using social media tools to accomplish their goals, and 4) How social media may shift traditional conceptions of organizations and organizing. Readings and discussions examine issues of privacy, power, knowledge management, and innovation in organizations' social media practices. Through course assignments, students engage with the latest social media tools and explore their use in developing social media campaigns.
This course presents the theory and practice of conflict management and the mediation processes utilized to address conflict in interpersonal, family, group, organizational and other contexts where conflict occurs. Recommended for juniors and seniors.
Narratives are fundamental to human culture and experience. We tell stories to impart knowledge, entertain, sell products or services, convey important values, transform society, etc. Digital storytelling is the practice of using computer-based tools to tell stories through some combination of images, text, audio narration, video, sound effects and/or music. The course introduces you to fundamentals of effective digital storytelling. Through practice-based assignments, students apply this knowledge to construct digital stories that strategically connect with target audiences.
This course introduces students to the basic principles of photography, design, and film/video production techniques. This will include: principles of design, basics of cameras, lenses, exposure, microphones, location sound, editing and other post-production techniques. Students learn proper care and maintenance of equipment, use of editing and sound programs, and current digital production techniques. Prerequisite: COMM 351.
An analysis of the types and distribution of discourse related to political campaigns and advocacy on public issues. This course analyzes the role of media in the presentation and interpretation of political discourse and the shaping of public opinion and acceptance that may result. Prerequisite: Junior standing or permission of instructor.
This course introduces the basic structures and practices of media around the world. By learning major globalization and global media theories, students better understand how media in various countries, regions, and cultures differ, overlap, and mutually influence one another. The keystone experience of this class is a week-long trip abroad during the mid-semester break to visit European media organizations. Prerequisite: COMM 105.
Sports communication takes students beyond team scores and statistics. It requires that students read and analyze sports in new ways, critically examining the role of sports in society, and consider such areas as gender, race, and public policy in the context of sports. The course combines ethical and theoretical depth with practical writing and public presentation skills. In addition, this course is intended to provide students with comprehensive coverage on how to develop a strategic and holistic communications plan for a sport organization that drives brand communication across multiple platforms. Prerequisite: COMM 105 and junior or senior status (or permission of instructor).
A seminar course in improving organizational communication through training and human resource development. Students will read widely in the scholarship of training and human resource development and will create and deliver an original training session. Prerequisite: COMM 303 or permission of instructor.
This course connects students to the health communication field's fundamental principles. These include an overview of health communication practices, its societal impact, and the tools one can use to reach a diverse audience. Prerequisite: Junior or senior status and at least one of the following: COMM 201, 240, 260.
The purpose of the culminating senior experience in Communication Studies is to engage in primary research on a self-selected communication topic, in conversation with published scholarship. In Seminar I, we will focus on: developing a topic area and research questions; reviewing relevant literature; and proposing data collection procedures. Writing intensive course.
In this capstone course, students will analyze primary data collected as a result of the work done in COMM 480W, draw conclusions, and provide a discussion related to research questions. Each student will present her/his research in a formal, public colloquium.
A supervised internship in an off-campus organization that is communication oriented, e.g., advertising or public relations firm, corporate training, consulting, motion picture company, radio station. The student must provide his or her own transportation, consult with his or her off-campus supervisor, and file reports on the experience with his or her on-campus advisor. May be taken more than once, provided that the total hours do not exceed twelve. Does not count toward the minor in communication.