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Communication Course Descriptions

200 Level Courses
COMM 202: Oral Interpretation. 3 hours.

Oral interpretation is the emotive performance of the printed page. Through in-class projects, this class explores the tenets of recitation and dramatic delivery as well as the assessment of literary aesthetics and performative form. The evaluation of interpretive personae and historical merit also are explored. 

COMM 208: Introduction to Argumentation and Debate. 3 hours.

This course helps students develop the foundational knowledge and skills needed to become effective critical thinkers and communicators. Students will examine different types of argument structures and logical fallacies, learn how to evaluate and use evidence in constructing persuasive cases, and develop skill in refuting claims orally and in writing. Readings, discussions, and case studies will explore the interconnectedness between argumentation strategies and communication context. This course prepares students for participation in competitive debate experiences and other public advocacy roles.

COMM 211: Presentational Speaking. 3 hours.

Principles and practice of effective oral communication. This course focuses on researching, composing and delivering formal and informal presentations. Topics include ethics and public speaking, listening, research, analyzing and adapting to audiences, message construction, outlining, delivery of message, effective use of visual aids and critically evaluating public address. The course emphasizes informative and persuasive speaking. Designed for students who seek speaking and critical thinking skills.

COMM 215: Foundations of Communication Theory. 3 hours.

Introduction to the fundamental questions, methods and theories that define the communication discipline and communication professions. Students also will survey approaches to the study of interpersonal relationships, organizational dynamics, public discourse, mass media and cultural criticism as well as the history and development of the communication field. This introduction will help students make informed decisions about the focus and trajectory of their study and career.

COMM 216: Multimedia Storytelling. 3 hours.

Students will learn about linear, integrated, and nonlinear storytelling approaches using multiple multimedia formats, including short-form video/animation, photo stories, and Web posts. Students will develop individual projects, one for each medium, as well as an integrated project over the course of the semester. This digital foundations course will expose students to basic video/animation and photo editing, Web design, and storyboarding.

COMM 221: Multimedia Writing. 3 hours.

Provides a writing foundation for multiple disciplines, including print journalism, broadcasting, web and public relations. Students will learn about compiling information effectively for audiences and presenting content through social media.

COMM 226: Multimedia Production I. 3 hours.

Provides students with the basic understanding of shooting and editing digital video. Using their own digital cameras, students will write, shoot and edit videos under the direction of the instructor. Upon course completion, students should be equipped with basic understanding of storytelling, camera strategies, the importance of sound and editing terms, as well as the skills necessary to produce good amateur videos

COMM 231: Integrated Brand Management. 3 hours.

This course will highlight the changes taking place in the world of integrated marketing communications – the process of communicating to promote products, services, and ideas. No longer is it just print or broadcast images connecting with audiences; skilled marketers must understand the importance of social media and the power of the audience. COMM 231 will introduce you to the communication tools, techniques, and media that practitioners use to design strategies to connect with audiences. 

COMM 245: Studio Production. 3 hours.

Exposes students to the principles of multi-camera video production as the basis for in studio or remote, live programs. Students will perform all aspects of studio production including live camera, switching, audio, lighting and floor management.

COMM 265: Photojournalism. 3 hours.

An introduction to photojournalism, the concepts and thought processes used in shooting for a newspaper or other journalistic publication. Students will also develop writing for publication skills, as cutlines will be required for each photograph.   

COMM 285: Communication and Ethics. 3 hours.

Prerequisite:  COMM 215.  
Introduction to ethics in communication studies. Students examine conceptual perspectives for understanding and evaluating communication ethics in interpersonal relationships, small groups, organizations and intercultural contexts. This course is designed to stimulate the moral imagination, reveal ethical issues inherent in communication and provide resources for making and defending choices on ethical grounds.

COMM 290, 390, 490: Selected Topics. 1-3 hours.

Selected Topics are courses of an experimental nature that provide students a wide variety of study opportunities and experiences. Selected Topics offer both the department and the students the opportunity to explore areas of special interest in a structured classroom setting. Selected Topics courses (course numbers 290, 390, 490) will have variable titles and vary in credit from 1-3 semester hours. Selected Topic courses may not be taken as a Directed Study offering.

COMM 291, 292, 391, 392, 491, 492: Research. 1-12 hours.

Many academic departments offer special research or investigative projects beyond the regular catalog offering. Significant responsibility lies with the student to work independently to develop a proposal for study that must be approved by a faculty mentor and the appropriate department chair. The faculty member will provide counsel through the study and will evaluate the student’s performance. Sophomores, juniors and seniors are eligible. Students must register for research (291, 292, 391, 392, 491 or 492) to receive credit and are required to fill out a Permission to Register for Special Coursework form. It is recommended that students complete not more than 12 hours of research to apply toward the baccalaureate degree.

300 Level Courses
COMM 306: Interactive Stories for the Web. 3 hours.

Prerequisite:  COMM 226 or permission of the instructor. 
This is a course designed to give communication and journalism students practical, real world experience conceptualizing and producing interactive stories (news or feature) for the web. Students will need to demonstrate their ability to distil an idea down to its essential story element. From audio to slideshow to video, interactive stories are commonplace on news-based websites. This course will give students an opportunity to gain experience and hone skills that many employers are looking for from today’s graduates. 

COMM 322: Media Law. 3 hours.

A survey of federal, state and municipal laws governing freedom of speech and commerce in journalism, public relations and advertising, with an exploration of ethical guidelines for professional behavior. 

COMM 324: Feature Writing. 3 hours.

Prerequisite:  COMM 215COMM 221. 
Builds upon news writing fundamentals and journalistic principles presented in COMM 221, venturing beyond the reporting of routine events and into the realm of feature stories that illuminate, explain and entertain.

COMM 325: Broadcast Writing and Announcing. 3 hours.

Course allows students to develop on-camera skills as talent. Students will learn to prepare scripts, read from a Teleprompter and basic interview and production techniques.

COMM 332: Intercultural Communication. 3 hours.

A survey of critical and qualitative inquiry into intercultural communication. This course provides an introduction to the tenets of intercultural research as well as in-depth analysis of intercultural communication competency and cultural criticism. Topics include introductory readings in ethnography, social anthropology and communication studies, and numerous case studies across various cultures. Theories include nonverbal communication analysis and facework across cultures. Diversity issues and identity politics are explored.

COMM 340: Advertising and Public Relations Research & Strategy. 3 hours.

Prerequisite:  COMM 215COMM 231, or permission of instructor. 
Focuses on strategic thinking and research skills in the development of advertising and public relations messages and campaigns. Students will learn how to gather and interpret primary research that supports an understanding of audience attitudes, behaviors, knowledge and media consumption habits. Students will draw on research and theory to develop integrated communication proposals that solve the needs of businesses and/or nonprofit organizations.

COMM 342: Interpersonal Communication Theory. 3 hours.

Prerequisite:  COMM 215
Interpersonal communication is the process of interacting with someone on a one-to-one basis. This class will provide a survey of theories and research that define the field of interpersonal communication within specific relationships and contexts. Topics include social support, rituals, relational maintenance and termination, compliance gaining, sex and gender differences, relational intrusion, face management, and conflict.

COMM 351: Principles of Persuasion & Influence. 3 hours.

Prerequisite:  COMM 211COMM 215 or permission of instructor.  
A study of the persuasive process in contemporary culture. Students study basic theories of persuasion and public speaking in an effort to become responsible consumers and creators of public persuasion. Practical applications are made by presenting persuasive speeches and critical projects.

COMM 353: Mass Media and Society. 3 hours.

The history and current status of mass media in America, including newspapers, magazines, books, motion pictures, the recording industry, radio and television. Students will also explore theories and research examining the effect media have upon society.

COMM 355: Organizational Rhetoric. 3 hours.

What is organizational rhetoric? In short, this seminar answers this question by introducting students to scholarship that integrates rhetorical theories and methods with principles of organizational communication. This seminar is designed to introduce students to the academic study of organizational rhetoric. We will examine organizational rhetoric by focusing on three interrelated topics: (1) how orgniazational rhetoric has evolved historically, (2) prevailing theorectical assumptive bases that guide academic studies, and (3) some key content addressed in organizational rhetoric research. Additionally, this seminar is designed to help students to identify, analyze, critique, and evaluate examples of organizational rhetoric in society. Students, via case studies and other scholarship, will be introduced to real-life organizational situations and the exigencies that drive them.

COMM 358, 359: Advanced Journalism Activities I & II. 2 hours.

Practical activities associated with student or college publications. Reserved for students holding editorial or other advanced positions on publications. 

COMM 369: Investigative Reporting. 3 hours.

Prerequisite:  COMM 221.  
A seminar to deepen research skills by exposing students to public records, freedom of information laws and computer-assisted reporting using databases and spreadsheets. Students will develop the ability to evaluate information critically for journalism projects. 

COMM 373: Advanced Electronic Media TV Activities. 3 hours.

Prerequisite:  COMM 375. 
The capstone course for future broadcasting professionals. Students will work together as DUTV staff members meeting weekly deadlines for on-air and web-based projects. Using skills acquired in Principles of Multimedia Production II, students will produce a significant amount of material and therefore increase those skills at or near the professional level. Several projects from this class should be resume quality.

COMM 375: Principles of Multimedia Production II. 3 hours.

Prerequisite:  COMM 226. 
Provides students with the opportunity to advance skills learned in Principles of Multimedia Production I. In this course students will be challenged to think beyond the basics and inject creativity into their video projects. By completion of course students will be able to produce videos for broadcast.

COMM 380: Data Visualization. 3 hours.

This course focuses on the theory and practice of analyzing and presenting information for a variety of audiences. Students will learn how to gather data from public and private sources, and tell stories with visual representations of data, both in print and online.

COMM 386: Web Communication. 3 hours.

Explores audience engagement on the Internet, teaching students basic web-design and social media skills. Using media-usage theory as a guide, students will develop an overall online communication strategy and web presence that incorporates interactivity and new ways to tell stories. Serves as the capstone experience for the Web Communication and Design minor.

COMM 387: Organizational Communication. 3 hours.

Prerequisite:  COMM 215. 
Analysis of how organizations are produced and affected by communication. This course provides an in-depth examination and application of theories, contemporary perspectives and research in fields of organizational communication. Topics include organizational structures, culture, socialization, decision making, diversity, stress, burnout, technology processes and leadership.

COMM 393, 394: Advanced Speech Activities. 2 hours.

Competitive and practical activities associated with Drury’s Debate and Forensics program. Students will continue to practice skills for advanced public speaking, interpretation of literature and debate in a competitive, intercollegiate forum. Skills involved in these activities include the use of evidence, character/plot development in narrative activities, and the structuring and assessment of arguments. The advanced class also will require students to peer coach and run a collegiate tournament.

COMM 397, 398, 497, 498: Internship. Varies hours.

Interns must have at least 60 credit hours, completed appropriate coursework and have a minimum GPA of 2.5 prior to registering for academic credit. Also, approval must be obtained from the student's faculty sponsor and required forms must be completed by the deadline. Note: *Architecture, Music Therapy and Education majors do not register internships through Career Planning & Development. These students need to speak with his/her advisor regarding credit requirements and options.

400 Level Courses
COMM 412: Advertising Campaigns/Ad Team. 3 hours.

Prerequisite:  COMM 441 or permission of instructor. 
This is the second half of the two semester AAF competition effort. A team will be selected from the fall Advertising Campaigns class to compete in the American Advertising Federation's National Student Advertising Competition.

COMM 413: Promotional Case Studies. 3 hours.

This course will introduce to research design, execution, and data analysis in promotional settings. Students will also work through a series of case studies to train them for today’s fast-moving environment. Today’s brand managers must understand how to dissect a variety of scenarios to connect authentically with their target audiences.

COMM 421: Strategic Media. 3 hours.

Prerequisite:  COMM 231. 
Strategic media choices make it possible to connect messages and audiences. In this course students will learn how to create effective media plans by developing their knowledge of media research tools, media buying, audience segmentation and audience measurement. The roles of traditional and new media will be examined, with particular attention given to the opportunities and metrics associated with social media.

COMM 422: Argumentation and Advocacy. 3 hours.

Prerequisite:  COMM 211. 
The First Amendment coupled with our marketplace of ideas mentality requires that competent communicators get and practice critical-thinking skills. Argumentation and Advocacy explores these skills in tandem with the public discourse vehicle. Students are required to examine and deploy various approaches in making and evaluating arguments in a public setting. Theories explored include transmission models of communication, Stephen Toulmin’s model of argumentation and critical theory as it is applied to communication studies and the professions.

COMM 433: Strategic Writing for Advertising and Public Relations. 3 hours.

Prerequisite:  COMM 221. 
A writing-intensive course where students learn to produce highly targeted messages for key publics including media representatives, customers, donors and other organization stakeholders. Students will develop skills in information gathering, editing, critical thinking and audience analysis through the production of advertising copy, news releases, direct mail packages, public service announcements and other strategic communication tools.

COMM 435: Organizational Crisis and Change.. 3 hours.

COMM 435 provides an introduction to foundational principles, theories, contemporary perspectives, and research in the fields of organizational crisis and change. Topics include planning, decision making, leadership, teamwork, and management issues in organizational crisis and change contexts.

COMM 441: Advertising/PR Campaigns. 3 hours.

Prerequisite:  COMM 340COMM 433, or permission of instructor. 
Campaigns is the culminating professional experience for the advertising and public relations major. Using a case study created by a real-world client, the course gives students the opportunity to integrate previously acquired knowledge and skills in the area of integrated marketing communications. Student teams model an agency setting to develop a comprehensive campaign to be presented both orally and in plans book form

COMM 443: Communication and Civic Engagement. 3 hours.

Communication and Civic Engagement (CCE) offers comprehensive training in oral, written, visual, and digital communication for the twenty-first century. It unites these various modes under the flexible art of communication and uses communication both to strengthen communication skills and to sharpen awareness of the challenges and advantages presented by oral, written, visual, and digital modes.

COMM 443-L: Civic Engagement Lab. 1 hours.

This lab section provides students the opportunity to put promotional campaign experiences to use by executing a plan for a nonprofit client. Students will propose a plan using a $1,000 promotional budget, to be executed over the course of the semester.

COMM 444: Leadership Communication. 3 hours.

This course explores the critical, affective and transformational dimensions of leadership through a series of comprehensive, integrative, and practical communication case studies. Additionally, myriad types of leadership are explored including team, virtual, individual, and organizational. Toward these ends, emergent scholarly and developmental leadership apparatuses are examined through self-assessments, ethics audits, networking analyses, coaching praxes, culture and diversity seminars, and strategic and crisis leadership analyses.

COMM 493: Senior Seminar. 3 hours.

A capstone experience for students majoring in advertising and public relations, communication studies, and multimedia production and journalism.  Over the course of the semester, students will develop, execute and present projects that reflect the highest performance standards of their major area of study.  Additionally, the course will prepare students for the transition from student to working professional (or graduate student) through the creation of career planning and development tools.  Students will develop portfolios that serve as an integrated and documented album of knowledge and skills in communication and liberal arts studies.

COMM 493: Senior Seminar. 3 hours.

A capstone experience for students majoring in advertising and public relations, communication studies, and multimedia production and journalism. Over the course of the semester, students will develop, execute and present projects that reflect the highest performance standards of their major area of study. Additionally, the course will prepare students for the transition from student to working professional (or graduate student) through the creation of career planning and development tools. Students will develop portfolios that serve as an integrated and documented album of knowledge and skills in communication and liberal arts studies.