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Communication - Fall 2014

COMM 120N 01 Topic: Origins of the Social Mind
4 Hours
Warber, K.

Prerequisite:  FYS Only – Advising Section Linked on Tues from Noon – 1:00 p.m.
This course will offer students a broad introduction to evolutionary influences on interpersonal communication dynamics.  Using evolutionary psychology - a field of study rooted in biology, psychology, cognitive science, anthropology, primatology, sociology, family studies, human development, linguistics, economics, computer science, and communication - we’ll look at relationally-oriented communication phenomena by examining research that posits explanations for various selection pressures that led to current evolved psychological mechanisms in humans.

Theories covered in the course are used to examine interpersonal communication processes including survival, mating, verbal and nonverbal communication, cooperation, competition, and kinship. We’ll explore current research that weaves together biological, psychological, social, and cultural explanations for attitudes and behaviors into one cohesive body of evidence for the explanation and prediction of human psychological dynamics, many of which are at the root of interpersonal and relational communication phenomena.

This course is a Learning-Living Community (LLC) course for 2014-2015.  Students who are placed into COMM 120N will live together with other first-year students in the same residence hall (Tower Hall) for the entire year.  They will also share the same First-Year Seminar section. 

The faculty member will also lead the LLC by designing innovative activities that take place both in and out of the classroom.  LLC activities might include study groups, common readings, field experiences, shared meals and other special programs.  Benefits of the program include: more interaction with faculty, living with peers who share similar interests and access to designated LLC resources. 

 

COMM 190 01 Public Speaking
4 Hours
Broz, S.

Prerequisite: First Year Students Only.
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 190 02 Public Speaking
4 Hours
Coleman, M.

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 Hours
Cunningham, S.

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 intrapersonal, interpersonal, organizational, mass media, small groups, public, and cross-cultural interaction. It also examines these contexts from a theoretical perspective, suggesting how scholars have sought to formulate explanations for the processes of human meaning making. Writing intensive.

 

COMM 224 Group Dynamics                                                       
4 Hours
Martycz, V.

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 Hours
Coleman, M.

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 Hours
Waggoner, C.

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, and an argumentative position paper. Writing intensive.

 

COMM 290S  Media Literacy
4 Hours
Cunningham, S.

Prerequisite: ENGL 101E
This course provides a broad foundation for examining the form, content, and consequences of mediated communication (including the internet, music, radio, television, film, newspaper, magazine, and book publishing industries). The course introduces media industries from both a historical and contemporary perspective, covers the prominent theories that characterize mass media functions and effects, and addresses contemporary 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, writing assignments, and presentations.

 

COMM 300Z Social Scientific Methods
4 Hours
Warber, K.

Prerequisites: Math Placement score 22; COMM 200 and COMM 270S, 280 or 290S.

This course introduces students to the process of conducting 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. 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
4 Hours
Waggoner, C.

Pre-requisite:  COMM 200 and COMM 280 or 290S
This course is designed to foster critical analysis skills necessary for understanding a wide variety of messages, including those found in speeches, advertisements, news reports, television programs, films, and songs. In particular, students will learn and practice several methods for systematically describing, interpreting, and assessing aspects of messages. The course attends to both the theory and praxis of communication criticism; as students learn of the assumptions and approaches that undergird each method of analysis, they will have the opportunity to apply those methods in the analysis of a variety of discourses.  In doing so, they will be encouraged to engage critically with issues of culture and power in the context of communication criticism. Students will demonstrate their comprehension and apply their understanding of methods of communication criticism in exams, several written essays, and participation. Writing intensive. 

 

COMM 324  Family Communication
4 credits
Warber, K.

Pre-requisites: COMM 200 and COMM 270S; or permission of instructor
This advanced course examines topics related to 1) family communication and basic family processes, 2) communication in family subsystems, 3) communication during family stress, and 4) family interaction, health and well-being.  Research and theories from communication, sociology and psychology will be used to explain issues related to the family.  Discussion topics include, for example, marital, parent-child, sibling, and intergenerational interactions in the family.  Research pertaining to marital satisfaction, divorce, courtship, and the impact of the family on its children (and vice-versa) will also be examined.

 

COMM 327  Health Communication  
4 credits
Broz, S.

Prerequisites: COMM 200 or permission of instructor
This advanced seminar is designed to introduce students to a wide range of scholarship about health communication.  The course will investigate 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 equality of health care and of personal health is significantly dependent on the quality of communication that takes place between health care provider and patient, as well as among providers, management and staff. There is also a central role for communication when informing the public about health issues.

 

COMM 330 Analysis of Persuasion: Visual Persuasion
4 Hours
Waggoner, C.

Prerequisites:  COMM 200 and COMM 270, 280, or 290.
This course helps students understand visual culture, practices of looking, and how persuasion works with visual images. Students will learn skills for critically analyzing persuasive messages, and will apply theoretical principles to visual messages, 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 is preferred.

 

COMM 362  Political Communication
4 Hours
Cunningham, S.

Pre-requisites:  COMM 200 and 280 or 290, or permission of instructor.
In rhetorical studies the question of agency—how much “choice” a speaker has in a given historical and social context—is central to understanding how political actors are both enabled and constrained in the public sphere. In this course we will study how contemporary political actors use language (both words and images) to construct a self and an other (often an idealized self and a demonized other) in order to be elected or to gain favor for certain policy positions. We will use concepts from rhetorical theory to guide our investigation of a public sphere in which we continuously see the persuasive power of language in action. Students should expect to read rhetorical theory and be prepared to use theoretical concepts to analyze contemporary political rhetoric. Experience in rhetorical criticism (COMM 301) is preferred, but not required.

 

COMM 490  Independent Study
1-4 Hours
Staff

Prerequisites:  BY PERMISSION ONLY

 

COMM 491 Internships
1-4  Hours
Staff

Prerequisites:  BY PERMISSION ONLY

 

COMM 495  02 Practicum:  Comm and Business Leadership Experience (CABLE)
0-4 Hours
Cunningham, S.

Prerequisites: BY PERMISSION ONLY

 

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

Prerequisites:  3.50 GPA and permission of the Department Chair.

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