Course Descriptions

Communication Courses


Professors:Robert Abelman, Eileen Berlin Ray, Susan E. Kogler Hill (Emeritus), Leo W. Jeffres, Sidney Kraus (Emeritus), Jae-won Lee (Emeritus),  Kimberly A. Neuendorf, Richard M. Perloff, George B. Ray (School Director), Jill E. Rudd; Associate Professors: Cheryl Bracken, Edward Horowitz, Guowei Jian, Evan Lieberman, Gary Pettey, Michael H. Rand, Paul D. Skalski;  Assistant Professors: Elizabeth Babin, Jinhee Kim, Anup Kumar, Yung-I Liu, Robert Whitbred; Term/Adjunct Faculty:  John Ban, Frances Dalisay; Professional Staff/Faculty: Richard Pitchford.

Course Descriptions

COM 100/200/300 Communication Lab (1 to 6 credits). These are practical workshops and labs designed to develop communication skills. Students may apply material from accompanying lecture courses (with which the lab may be coordinated) to specific communication problems or participate in special stand alone workshops. These may be repeated as topic varies. Return to top

COM 101 Principles of Communication (4-0-4). This course reviews principles of communication and introduces theories applied in various contexts, including interpersonal, organizational, and mass communication. Lab experiences help students develop specific communication skills and apply theories in their everyday lives. Return to top

COM 131 Media Mystery Tour: Insiders' Perspective (4-0-4). Through a combination of videotaped interviews, lectures, discussions and electronic field trips, you are introduced to the processes that form visual communication. Professionals in broadcast, video and audio production, corporate and organizational video, cable television and emerging technologies explain how they work their crafts. Emphasis is placed on developing an informed and critical understanding of the nature of media, how the media work, how they are organized and how they construct reality. You are introduced to the language and syntax of moving image communication and offered an opportunity to develop and understand these skills for effective communication. Return to top

COM 204 Single Source Video/Audio Production and Editing (4-4-4). Prerequisite: COM 101. Students are introduced to visual storytelling and writing for the ear. Conceptssuch as single-camera production, including composition and movement, moving image sequencing (such as cut-ins and cut-always), shooting for the edit, and three-point lighting are stressed. Students learn operation of camcorders, portable audio recorders, and video editors. Single microphone techniques, cueing, digital audio editing, and dubbing of various audio media are also introduced. This course includes a lab component.Return to top

COM 211 Communicating in Personal Relationships (4-0-4). This course examines the fundamental role of communication in establishing and maintaining personal relationships. By surveying the leading research and theories in interpersonal communication, it engages students in the detailed analysis of how individuals enter into, maintain, and terminate relationships. Conceptual perspectives examined include communicative competence, relational development, interaction process, codes, and context. Return to top

COM 221 Introduction to Film (4-0-4). The course explores the range of film styles, movements, and genres; the relationship between theory and technique in the "language" of sounds and images; and the economic and social importance of film. It includes the screening and analysis of classical and contemporary films, both U.S. and international. Return to top

COM 225 Media Writing (4-0-4). This course focuses on the development of basic writing skills for journalists and other media professionals, including judging news values, following the inverted pyramid style of writing, and using the AP style and copy-editing techniques. It also includes the development of major news-gathering tools such as interviewing and covering traditional sources of news--meetings, speeches, and press conferences--and the application of journalistic forms and tools for print and electronic media and public relations. Return to top

COM 226 Mass Media and Society (4-0-4). Prerequisite: COM 101 or permission of instructor. This course examines basic theoretical concepts and models underpinning the study of mass communication, including processes of message construction in media organizations, content patterns, audience message processing, media effects, media systems, and relationships with other systems. Return to top

COM 231 Evolution of Mass Media (4-0-4). This is a survey course tracing the origin and growth of mass media in the United States. It presents an overview and analysis of the influence of media upon American society. Return to top

COM 240 Professional Communication (4-0-4). The course is designed to expose students to the theories, skills, and strategies needed to become effective communicators in business and professional settings. Students who successfully complete the course should be able to 1) recognize and describe the array of specific business/professional situations in which effective communication is expected; 2) understand and explain the responsibilities, expectations, and dynamics of human communication in those business/professional situations: and 3) choose appropriate communication strategies and use effective communication skills in writing and presentation.] Return to top

COM 242 Public and Professional Speaking (2-1-3). This course focuses on organizing and presenting informative and persuasive speeches, with stress on evidence and reasoning to support ideas, and adapt to the audience and speaking situation. Return to top

COM 293 Special Topics in Communication (2-4 credits). Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. The course covers topics of interpersonal, mass, or telecommunication that change each semester, and it focuses on communication skills. It may be repeated once. Return to top

COM 301 Broadcast and New Media Writing (4-0-4).Through a combination of writing assignments, lectures and discussions, this course familiarizes students with various types of writing used in new media, broadcast media and allied fields. Special emphasis is put on television and radio news writing, and on writing commercials and PSAs (public service announcements) for TV and radio. Students also learn about the use of broadcast style writing in non-broadcast applications such as corporate and organizational video, internet sites and writing for emerging media. Return to top

COM 303 Communication Inquiry (4-0-4). Prerequisite: COM 101 or permission of instructor. This course focuses on understanding methods of inquiry in communication, including social science orientation, quantitative and qualitative methods for gathering and analyzing data, and critiquing and interpreting research. It also covers theory, design, and basic statistics involved in survey and experimental research. Students are actively involved in data collection and research projects. Return to top

COM 310 Psychological Processing of Media (4-0-4).Prerequisite: COM 226. Examines how people process information from mass and interactive media, including both traditional and emerging media. The class focuses on both psychological and communication issues, applying theories to media use, impact of media on consumers, and ways to design more effective media environments.Return to top

COM 315 Photojournalism (4-0-4). This is an introductory photojournalism course focusing on the importance of documentary photography its history and relevance to today’s world. The course familiarizes students with the principles of photojournalism, explores content of different types of photographs published in newspapers, magazines, the internet and other media. Other topics include new judgments, ethics in the digital age, and responsibilities of the photographer.Return to top

COM 320 History of the Moving Image (4-0-4). Prerequisite: COM 221, COM 226, or permission of instructor. This course is the historical study of silent and sound film styles in their social, economic, and technological contexts. Film influence by both U.S. and international films on early television production is also considered. Return to top

COM 321 Documentary Form in Film and Television (4-0-4). Prerequisite: COM 221 or permission of instructor. This course covers the history, theory, and contemporary practice of nonfiction film and film-for-television. It involves intensive analysis of selected films and tapes. Return to top

COM 325 Screenwriting (4-0-4). Prerequisite: COM 221 or a film course. This course examines the tools of writing for the screen. Students learn standard formats of screenwriting. The class includes the analysis of published screenplays, the development of character and story, and the presentation of student works for constructive comment and criticism. This intensive scriptwriting class is intended to help students construct and write a short film or the first act of a feature-length narrative. Return to top

COM 326 Advanced Reporting (4-0-4). Prerequisite: COM 225.This course focuses on the development of advanced information-gathering skills for the media, with an emphasis on the use of public records, observational techniques, electronic data bases, and interviewing techniques. It covers various public and urban affairs contexts for the media, and some specialized writing forms, including writing news features and writing for the Internet. Return to top

COM 327 Media Criticism (4-0-4). This course introduces criteria for determining social responsibilities and judging the performance of print, broadcast, and film media. It also addresses history, analysis, and evaluation of technique, content, and aesthetic effect of media messages. Return to top

COM 328 Specialized Writing (4-0-4). Prerequisite: COM 225 or permission of instructor. The course develops advanced reporting and writing skills using the journalistic personal essay form. The course introduces students to the personal essay and noted works by well-known writers. Return to top

COM 329 Contemporary Film (4-0-4). Prerequisite: COM 221 or permission of instructor. The course explores and examines structures of narrative filmmaking for cinema and television presenting the modern era. It examines cinematic practices outside and inside of the domestic U.S., market influence, the influence of the development of television, the economic expansion of the Hollywood apparatus, and cinema in opposition to dominant culture. Return to top

COM 330 Nonverbal Communication (4-0-4). This course is the study of nonlinguistic and paralinguistic aspects of communication, including personal space, body language, eye contact, touching, and paralanguage.  It alsosurveys the research in the field along with class experiences in nonverbal communication. Return to top

COM 331 Gender and Communication (4-0-4). The course explores the relationship of gender to the communication process. It examines issues of power, conflict, sex role stereotypes, and cultural patterns of interaction on interpersonal relationships. Return to top

COM 332 Interracial Communication (4-0-4). This course applies communication theory to interracial situations, problem-solving in interracial groups, blockages to successful relations between the races, stereotyping, prejudice, and roles. Return to top

COM 341 Group Process and Leadership (4-0-4). This course  examines the structure and dynamics of groups, the nature and function of leadership, problem-solving and decision-making, communication networks, role differentiation, and group growth. Return to top

COM 345 Film Theory (4-0-4). This course focuses on theories used in the scholarly analysis of film. The focus of discussion  includes methods of close analysis and basic concepts of film form, technique and style; industrial/critical categories of genre and authorship (studios, stars, directors); aspects of the cinema as a social institution, psycho-sexual apparatus and cultural practice; andthe relationship between filmic texts and the historical horizon of production and reception. Return to top

COM 346 Communication in Organizations (4-0-4). The course explores approaches and processes of communication in organizational settings. Specific focus is on structure and function of messages and information dissemination, as well as application of theory. Return to top

COM 347 Political Communication (4-0-4). The course introduces students to contemporary and historical scholarship of politics, mass media, and public opinion. It examines such issues as the impact of television on elections, the press and the presidency, political advertising, presidential debates, and opinion polling. It explores theories and research on mass media and elections. Return to top

COM 348 Intercultural Communication (4-0-4). The course analyzes the cultural dimensions of communication with emphasis on interpersonal and social encounters. It examines the cultural foundations of communication behavior, including ethnicity, cultural sensitivity, personal relationships, group processes, verbal and nonverbal communication, and cultural adaptation. Strategies for effective intercultural communication are also discussed. Return to top

COM 350 Persuasive Communication and Attitude Change (4-0-4). The course introduces students to the field of persuasion. It examines theories of persuasion, research on persuasive communication, and the formation of social and political attitudes. Topics include the dynamics of attitude change, interpersonal persuasion, brainwashing, subliminal persuasion, and media information campaigns. Return to top

COM 351 Audio Production for Radio (4-2-4). Prerequisite: COM 204, COM 231, or permission of instructor. This course  focuses on microphone techniques, commercial and news production techniques, radio writing, and operational tasks of broadcast radio and recording studios. Radio formats and program types are studied. Field recording and digital audio editing skills are honed. It includes a lab component. Return to top

COM 352 Multi-Source Video Production (4-2-4). Prerequisite: COM 204, COM 231, or permission of instructor. The course focuses on operation of video switcher, teleprompter, lighting board and studio cameras. Students learn television program direction and floor managing. Students study multi-camera production, studio and remote multi-camera lighting, and put knowledge into practice in the lab component. Program types studied include persuasive, news/informational, and entertainment. Return to top

COM 353 Media Electronics (4-0-4). Prerequisite: COM 204, COM 352, or permission of instructor. The course covers history, practical application, and basic electronic theory as applied to design, operation, and maintenance of video/audio origination, recording, playback, and distribution equipment. It is designed for majors and non-majors with technical/engineering interests or background. Return to top

COM 357 Principles of Public Relations (4-0-4). Prerequisite: COM 225. The course examines the role and context of professional public relations practitioners and development of techniques for ongoing public relations programs, managing crises, and conducting projects and campaigns. It includes the development of particular public relations writing forms, including speeches, press releases, reports, and fact sheets. Return to top

COM 358 Media Law, Economics and Ethics (4-0-4).  This course examines media law, including First Amendment and administrative law. It focuses on social, political, and economic influences. It examines legal constraints for students planning to become professional communicators. Return to top

COM 359 International Communication (4-0-4).  This course surveys the global, regional, and national media systems and practices. It examines the role of the mass media in public diplomacy, national development, national policies, cultural interactions, and perceptions and images people develop about other countries, peoples, and the world. It also examines the future of the New World Information and Communication Order. Return to top

COM 360 Principles of Advertising (4-0-4). This course presents an overview of the field. It surveys the operational principles and fundamental practices of advertising that include advertising theories, ethics, regulation, research methods, media planning, message strategy and campaign planning strategy. Students also are involved in an advertising campaign project as part of the hands-on exercise in class. Return to top

COM 361 Advertising Copywriting and Layout Design (4-0-4). Prerequisite: COM 360. Students learn practical skills in writing copy for advertising and in laying out designs.The course focuses on creative writing exercises, computer graphic designs, portfolio development and the discussion of audience/consumer psychology as well as media use patterns as the basis for copywriting. Return to top

COM 362 Health Communication (4-0-4). The course focuses on the interactions of people involved in the health-care process and the dissemination and interpretation of health-related messages. It provides an overview of provider-recipient communication, communication in health-care organizations, and public health concerns as they relate to physical, mental, and social health issues. Return to top

COM 363 Advertising Media Planning and Sales (4-0-4). Prerequisite: COM 360. This course introduces students to theory and methods of audience/media research, how to analyze and interpret audience and media research results, strategize sales presentations, and conduct account planning. Return to top

COM 364 Advanced Advertising (4-0-4). Prerequisite: COM 360. This course emphasizes both theoretical and practical aspects of advertising. It examines the process by which advertising campaigns are planned, designed, executed and evaluated and various environmental, social and economic factors and considerations which influence this process. Return to top

COM 366 Communication and Conflict (4-0-4). This course covers approaches to the management of intra-personal, interpersonal, and societal conflict, game theory, frustration and aggression, and the etiology of conflict;.  Role playing and case study methods are  supplemented by lecture-discussions and readings. Return to top

COM 368 Leadership Communication in Organizations (4-0-4). This course introduces theories of organizational leadership, emphasizing the role of communication and what distinguishes effective and ineffective leadership. It examines how leadership requirements are changing in the global marketplace. It also helps students understand and advance their own leadership skills through case study discussions and developing a personal leadership profile. Return to top

COM 370 Communication Technology and Social Change (4-0-4). This course studies the role of communication in societal change and the diffusion of innovations. Particular emphasis is placed on new communication technologies and the attributes of their adopters, andthe ongoing convergence of such technologies as telephone, broadcasting, film and the Internet. Return to top

COM 379 Communication and Negotiation (4-0-4). The course examines basic dimensions and theories of negotiation, and develops an understanding of the significance that communication theory has on the study of negotiation. It also covers conflict resolution in a wide variety of contexts including interpersonal, organizational, community, international, and public policy. Return to top

COM 380 Family Communication (4-0-4). The course investigates communication in the family group, with emphasis on functional and dysfunctional ways in which family members relate to one another. Return to top

COM 388 The Rhetoric of Black America (4-0-4). This course studies the use of rhetoric by Black Americans as an instrument for modifying social, economic, and political conditions. Materials include speeches and documents by Black American spokespersons. Return to top

COM 393 Special Topics in Communication (2-4 credits). Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. This course is comprised of topics of interpersonal, mass, or telecommunication that change each semester and emphasize skills and communication theory. Example: Photojournalism. It may be repeated once. Return to top

COM 400 Studio and Media Production Department Management (4-2-4). Prerequisite: COM 204, COM 352, or permission of instructor. This course analyzes and provides practical techniques and procedures of studio and media production department management. Students learn production systems design, production planning and process, facility bookmaking and budgeting. The lab component requires participation in Video/Audio Communication Center productions. Return to top

COM 401 Advanced Video/Audio Production (4-4-4). Prerequisites: COM 204, COM 226, COM 352 or COM 225, COM 301, COM 351, COM 404, or permission of instructor. Students produce commercial-grade information, educational, training or marketing programs, or broadcast or cable programs for on- or off-campus clients. There is a lab component. Students also study basic operation of broadcast newsrooms and corporate/organizational video departments. Instructors may rotate from other areas to allow for differing emphasis. Return to top

COM 403 Advanced Video/Audio Editing (4-4-4). Prerequisites: COM 204, COM 352, COM 353 and permission of instructor. Students learn operation of nonlinear video editing, and digital audio workstations and digital graphics applications. Students study and practice the concepts of sequencing (including cut-ins and cut-aways), montage, time manipulation, rhythm, and transitions. Students spend considerable lab time outside the classroom. Return to top

COM 404 Performance for the Screen: Broadcast and Film (4-2-4). Prerequisites: COM 204 and Theater prerequisites and permission of instructor. Students learn broadcast talent skills for both on- and off-camera work. Delivery styles, dressing for video success, and performance self-criticism techniques are all studied. The role of talent as communicator is emphasized. There is a lab component. Return to top

COM 405 Electronic Journalism (4-4-4). Prerequisites: COM 204, COM 225, COM 226, COM 351 or COM 352 and permission of instructor. Students learn to produce news programs and program components through further development of news writing, news talent, and news production skills. Students also learn of the dilemmas faced every day by working broadcast journalists. Ethics and technologies are studied. Also includes elements of Computer-Assisted Reporting and reporting for the Internet. There is a substantial lab component. Return to top

COM 410 Film Production I (4-4-4). Prerequisites: COM 204, COM 221, COM 325, COM 345. This course is a production-based exploration of the development and transformation of cinematic practice as communication and art. It is designed to enable students to explore the development of narrative and non-fiction filmmaking through viewing and, centrally, producing work in both 16 mm and digital video formats. The class is intended to follow a course of study in film techniques and aesthetics, culminating in an original filmic work by the student. Return to top

COM 411 Film Production II (4-4-4). Prerequisites: COM 204, COM 221, COM 325, COM 345, COM 410. This course is a continuation of COM 410, a production-based exploration of the development and transformation of cinematic practice as communication and art. It is designed to enable students to collectively explore advanced filmmaking theory, history, techniques and aesthetics through the making of film/digital media projects in a series of workshops and assignments. The class is intended to follow a course of study in film techniques and aesthetics, culminating in an original filmic works produced by student groups in 16mm. Return to top

COM 414 Film Practicum (2-6-4). Prerequisites: COM 411. This advanced laboratory course thoroughly examines the filmmaking process from the script to the screen. It is designed so that each student can spend an entire semester exploring, fostering and developing ideas to create an original short film. Return to top.

COM 425 Editing and Graphics (4-0-4). Prerequisites: COM 225. This course focuses on understanding basic principles for print media graphics and developing editing skills. Students learn how to design and lay out newspapers, newsletters, magazines and Web pages using such computer software as InDesign. Return to top

COM 426 News Media Laboratory I (1-10-4). Prerequisites: COM 326, COM 425 . The course introduces students to all aspects of news media production from news gathering to putting the final news product in convergence formats that bring together print and online. Learning will take place through hands on experience in news production in an environment of convergence. The students will learn the fundamentals of good journalism, adhering to the standards of fairness, accuracy and ethics in beat reporting, strong writing, photo journalism, web video reporting, blogs and social media. The objective is to provide the students skills and knowledge in all aspects of news production, including editing, design, advertising, sales and distribution. In this advanced level class the students will further develop their professional skills working with the software and hardware used in the news media industry. Return to top

COM 427 News Media Laboratory II (1-10-4). Prerequisites: COM 426. The second semester of this capstone course introduces students to leadership and management responsibilities in news media production in convergence formats that bring together print and online. In addition to further building on the fundamentals of good journalism, adhering to the standards of fairness, accuracy and ethics, the students will learn about leadership in the news industry and management of the convergence media newsroom. In this advanced level class the students will further develop their professional skills, working with the software and hardware used in the news media industry. Return to top

COM 428 Imaging Africa (4-0-4). This course is designed to enable students to explore and examine the processes, images, stereotypes, and myths associated with the historical development of film. It is taught through lectures and intensive examination of films and television programming within a seminar setting. Return to top

COM 444 Mediation and Collaborative Problem Solving (4-0-4). Prerequisite: COM 366, or COM 379, or permission of instructor. The course examines how mediation works, the factors that determine whether mediation can be used to resolve disputes, and the conditions under which mediation is most effective. Return to top

COM 447 Public Relations Writing (4-2-4). Prerequisites: COM 225, COM 226 and COM 357 . This is a workshop course in advanced public relations-writing skills. It emphasizes message design and dissemination techniques that range across print and electronic media for communication with both internal and external organizational publics, including newsletters and annual reports. Return to top

COM 448 Managing Organizational Teams (4-0-4). Prerequisite: COM 341 or COM 346 or permission of instructor. This course focuses on the structure, functions, and processes of organizational teams and work groups. Special attention is given to promoting effective teamwork in today's organizations through methods of team-building and examining leadership issues confronting teams. Return to top

COM 449 Advanced Issues in Health Communication (4-0-4). Prerequisite: COM 362 or permission of instructor. This course provides in-depth examination of key theoretic and applied approaches to health communication. Topics include health communication models, doctor-patient communication, gender issues and health, health information campaigns, mass-media influences on health, the role of culture on health and disease, the health-care organization, group influences on well-being, communication and mental health, communication and social health, and the politics of health communication. Return to top

COM 450 Media Programming and Research (4-0-4). Prerequisites: COM 226, COM 231 or permission of instructor. This course includes an analysis of the social, economic, political and cultural setting of the media, and an exploration of the determinants of programming strategies based on media research at the local and national levels. Return to top

COM 455 Communication Campaigns (4-0-4). Prerequisites: COM 226 and COM 357 . The course introduces students to the fundamentals of communication campaigns, including public information and political campaigns. Course content encompasses the role of campaigns in shaping social, cultural, and political agendas; theoretical foundations of communication campaigns; and campaign management techniques. Students participate in an actual campaign exercise to gain experience as campaign strategists. Return to top

COM 470 DVD and Emerging Media: Authoring and Project Management (4-0-4). Prerequisite: COM 204. Through DVDs and other media, guest speakers, lab exercises, readings and discussions, this course explores the world of DVD and emerging media. The technologies are examined and students are introduced to authoring and project management, the most common DVD careers filled by college graduates. How visual storytelling (sequencing) fits the world of DVD and other new media is also explored. Return to top

COM 475 Communication and Training in Organizations(4-0-4)  Prerequisites: COM 368 or COM 346 or permission of the instructor. Students develop and present a training program on a communication issue of their choice. This includes researching the topic, developing appropriate training materials, developing appropriate materials and strategies for assessing the programs' effectiveness, running the program, and writing a final report.] Return to top

COM 485 Science Writing for the Media (4-0-4). Prerequisites: COM 326. This course introduces students to principles and practices in science journalism. Students develop their skills in reporting about science (i.e., information gathering) and writing news stories about scientific developments. They hone their skills in effectively communicating science information through different modalities, such as newspapers, magazines, and broadcast media.  The course has several parts: a) introducing students to multiple perspectives on communicating science through the mass media; b) developing news-gathering skills, such as how to interview scientists and understand scientific papers conveyed to the media; and c) writing about different aspects of science, including the biological, physical and social sciences. Students  get extensive practice writing science news and feature stories. Return to top

COM 490 Internship in Communication (2 to 8 credits). Prerequisites: Junior or senior standing, permission of internship director. This course comprises of field work with community agencies concerned with promotional communication, communication in organizations, political campaigns, and the media. It may be repeated for a maximum of 8 credit hours (only 4 credit hours can count toward the major). Return to top

COM 493 Special Topics in Communication (2 to 8 credits). Prerequisite: COM 226, or permission of instructor. This course covers topics in interpersonal and organizational communication, broadcasting, film, journalism, and mass communication that change each semester and deal with a variety of important subjects and issues. It may be repeated with departmental permission. Return to top

COM 494 Special Topics in Media Arts & Technology (2 to 8 credits). Prerequisite: COM 204, or permission of instructor. This course covers topics in media arts, audio and video production, digital media, broadcasting, film and the Internet that change each semester and deal with a variety of important subjects and issues. It may be repeated with departmental permission. Return to top

COM 495 Seminar in Communication (4-0-4). Prerequisites: Senior standing, permission of instructor. In this seminar topics vary across specific areas of emphases. It may be repeated once. Return to top

COM 496 Independent Study (2 to 8 credits). Prerequisites: Junior or senior standing, approval of a department faculty member. It may be repeated for a maximum of 8 credit hours (only 4 credit hours can count toward the major). Return to top

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engaged learning

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Office of Undergraduate Studies
Cleveland State University
2121 Euclid Avenue, MC 107A
Cleveland, OH 44115-2214
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