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New Courses for Fall 2024


The Communication Department is proud to announce four new courses that will be offered starting in the Fall 2024 semester. These courses expand on topics dicussed briefly in other courses and create new opportunities for discussion. If you are interested in taking one of these courses contact your Academic Advisor or schedule an appintment here.



COMM 3150 - Dialoguing through Conflict: Tackling Taboo Topics

Public discourse about taboo topics has always been a challenge, but with the advent of social media and echo chambers, discourse has become more politically polarized. Frequently, we find ourselves either walking on eggshells around sensitive issues, or entering into high conflict where family members are estranged, co-workers avoid each other, and neighbors are no longer civil. Rather than avoiding tough conversations, this course provides students with an opportunity to engage with both the theory and the practice of healthy conflict. Students will gain basic skills in conflict mediation and formal dialogue. Through communication techniques which emphasize attention, listening, and understanding, students will address taboo topics with fellow students, friends and family, and with the broader community. Ultimately, this course will provide students with the skills to discuss difficult issues without animosity and with a spirit of curiosity.

COMM 3720 - Applied Communication Research Methods

As a mixed-methods survey course in communication research, students learn a variety of ethical and purpose-driven approaches to collecting data and information necessary in professional, strategic, journalistic, and health and science communication contexts. The course covers the purposes and processes of research as well as the presentation of data for both qualitative and quantitative approaches. Research methods covered may include sampling; surveying; observation; audience analytics; interviews; focus groups; content analysis; or others, as assigned by the instructor.

COMM 5119 - Grief Communication

The course will illuminate a communicative process in which we make sense of, negotiate, and grieve loss in a variety of settings. Students will be challenged to explore how we try to communicate loss, grief, and trauma with the aid of a wide range of media in ways that provoke empathy for one another.

COMM 5675 - Social Media & Trust

In current information environments such as on social media, individuals can encounter so much information that they cannot check the veracity of every piece of information. When we do not know for sure whether information is correct, we often rely on trust. Trust can be defined as a willingness to be vulnerable to and relying on someone even though there is some uncertainty about whether this will lead to the best or a correct decision for you. This can be trust in the source, such as the media, scientists, the platform, or friends and family. It can also be trust in science as an institution, for example. What influences whom or in what we trust? What makes the social media environment so special when we think of trust? How does trust relate to misinformation? And what can be the results of trust? This course will provide students with the skills to effectively communicate with their intended audiences on social media, to apply theory and research to diverse real-world contexts, to take different perspectives on an issue, and to consider that different audiences may perceive the same message and source differently.

Last Updated: 3/25/24