Communications Courses

COMM 101 Introduction to Mass Communication 3 credits
This course examines aspects of the impact of new technologies on the creation of the “Information Society.” The course also considers the history and theory of mass communication, including newspapers, magazines, radio, television, books, movies, and adjunct agencies in modern society, and their effects on audiences.

COMM 104 Visual Communication 3 credits
This course promotes understanding of the aesthetic, ethical, and creative principles inherent in visual communication. Films, animation, TV productions, printed and computer graphics, and photography are the sources for the analysis of perception and meaning in the visual image.

COMM 110 Digital Audio Production for Music
3 credits
This courser focuses on hands-on experience in multi-track recording of musical instruments using a digital audio workstation. It also sets the state for a additional work in digital editing, mixing, and mastering techniques. (This course may be taken for credit as MUSI 110.)

COMM 130 Interpersonal Communication
3 credits
This course examines the various theoretical approaches to the study of interpersonal communication and the role of interpersonal communication in the development and maintenance of human relationships.

COMM 140 Small Group Communication
3 credits
This course offers a study of the principles and practices that govern small-group communication in business, government, and the wider community. Topics include team building, group roles in decision-making, leadership, and conflict resolution. Analysis covers communicating online and face-to-face with group members.

COMM 160 Introduction to Film
3 credits
This is an introduction to the study of film as a cultural and technical artifact and as a form of art. The class teaches students the basic principles of film aesthetics and production to provide the skills necessary to “read” the film as art. The course also places a strong emphasis on the social context of film and the place movies hold in our culture, and introduces the general areas of study within film scholarship. (This course may be taken for credit as ENGL 160.)

COMM 200 Digital Media and Digital Culture
3 credits
This course provides the student with the history, structures, processes, and practices of digital media and examines the effects of technology on American and global culture. Key concepts that are integral to understanding the digital age are examined, as well as the effect of new content distribution venues like iTunes and YouTube. Various areas of digital culture are examined including the Internet, the World Wide Web, virtual community and virtual identity, social networking sites, gaming culture, and mobile technology.

COMM 201 Media Writing
3 credits
Media Writing is an intensive course in the study and practice of writing for the various media, including print, electronic, public relations, graphic design, and advertising. Students explore the ethical and legal concerns of media writing; learn basic writing, editing, and copy formats; learn to select and structure copy; develop information-gathering skills; and examine contemporary issues and concerns facing the media.

COMM 202 Digital Document Design
3 credits
This course provides students with practical experience using a variety of computer programs designed to create documents for various channels, including both digital and print publication. Students will develop and produce publications, presentations and digital documents that integrate text, art, and various graphic elements. Prerequisite: COMM 201.

COMM 203 Principles of Advertising and Public Relations 3 credits
This course covers the history and principles of advertising and public relations and discusses the different fields of marketing including industry and non-profit work. Advertising and public relations’ relative places in integrated media and marketing plans are also discussed. (This course may be taken for credit as BUSA 203.)

COMM 205 Principles of Graphic Design 3 credits
This course introduces basic graphic design principles and their applications. Visual perception, visual illusion, and communication impact are explored through examples and practical exercises.

COMM 206 Public Speaking and Announcing 3 credits
This course is an introduction to the dynamics of speaking in front of large audiences and also through electronic technologies. The course covers basics of vocal qualities, signals, language, argumentation and elocution for broadcasting of various types.

COMM 208 Principles of Broadcasting and New Media 3 credits
This course provides the student with basic knowledge of broadcasting and new media’s histories, structures, processes, and practices and the effects on both individuals and society. Included is an overview of seminal theories such as cultivation, diffusion of innovations, and uses and gratifications. The course also provides an overview of sales and advertising aspects of the
media business, including ratings and promotional activities, governmental controls and self-regulation, ethical considerations, global characteristics, and technological advances.

COMM 210 Editing Mixing, and Mastering Digital Audio for Music 3 credits
This course is the second in a series that addresses the processes of digital audio production for music. It is designed to focus on the processes of editing, mixing, and mastering digital audio for music. (This course may be taken for credit as MUSI 210.)

COMM 211 The Documentary Tradition 3 credits
This course examines the documentary film tradition of Europe and North America, including works of Robert Flaherty, Leni Riefenstahl, Pare Lorentz, Alain Resnais, Richard Leacock, Robert Gardner, Frederick Wiseman, Peter Davis, and Michael Moore. Students study, analyze, and write about essential theories and issues related to the documentary, including objectivity, audience, social activism, and characteristics distinguishing the documentary from photography, journalism, and history.

COMM 218 Digital Production and Performance 3 credits
This course provides the student with basic concepts and practical instruction in digital media production strategies and techniques. Intensive instruction is provided in basic digital audio and video editing with an emphasis on the student achieving an introductory level proficiency. Students are provided a primer on other digital software used for print and radio mediums, which includes limited study of speech personality variables, as well as practice in basic announcing, interviewing, microphone, and camera performance techniques

COMM 221 Acting for the Camera 2 credits
This course investigates the basics of on-camera work, including terminology and strategies for enhancing appearance on camera. Students perform scenes and improvisational exercises and may prepare work for telecasting on the Bethany TV station. (This course may be taken for credit as THEA 221.)

COMM 250 Multimedia Sports Production 3 credits
This course introduces the student to the techniques of production of various sporting events for radio, television, podcasting, and other converged media platforms. Results of the students’ work are broadcast, cablecast, or internet streamed for consumption by the Bethany community and beyond.

COMM 265 Producing Commercials 3 credits
Advertising theory, audience research, and strategic message development come together in producing commercials. This course explores the development and production of commercials for radio, television and the web. Prerequisite: COMM 203

COMM 275 Producing the News Magazine 3 credits
An elective for production students or journalism students interested in working in news media. Students in this class will produce half-hour news magazine programs involving multiple individual pieces of 4-7 minute packages joined together by an anchor. Prerequisite: COMM 201

COMM 303 Organizational Communication 3 credits
This course is an examination of the principles of communication in an information society, especially in the context of business, service, and media organizations. Major organizational theories are explored from a communication perspective and examined in the context of the roles and skills needed by individuals within organizations. Examples are drawn mainly from media organizations, but the principles are applicable to all types of organizations and individuals.

COMM 305 Feature Writing 3 credits
This course encourages excellence in journalism writing by examining award-winning writing, writing newspaper and magazine features, and critiquing articles. Prerequisite: COMM 201.

COMM 306 Communication Theory and Research 3 credits
This course examines the relationship between communication theories and the research methods used to test them. Emphasis is on understanding theoretical tenets, their connection to the communication process and to modern media, thesis development, and research design. An examination of current communication research is conducted. Prerequisite: Junior or Senior status or permission of the instructor.

COMM 310 Digital Reporting 3 credits
This is a lecture-laboratory course focusing on the complexities and practices of gathering news for traditional media that have or are converting to digital delivery and also emerging digital media. Students are required to gather and report news/ features using the digital technology across multiple platforms of distribution (i.e., radio, television, internet, telephony, etc.). Prerequisite: COMM 201

COMM 311 Communication Law and Ethics 3 credits
This course is a study of law and ethics as they pertain to emerging and traditional mass media and to related communication enterprises such as advertising and public relations. Legal topics emphasized include the First Amendment, libel and slander, privacy, and prior restraint. Ethics topics include examination and application of ethics theories and practices within the framework of each student becoming an independent moral agent.

COMM 314 Public Opinion 3 credits
This course explores the complexity of issues of concern to individuals or groups which influence our daily lives and how information sources, styles, and channels help formulate public opinion on those issues. The influence of mass media and social relationships on how opinions change is also explored. Prerequisite: Junior or Senior status or permission of the instructor.

COMM 315 Design Application 3 credits
This course emphasizes problem-solving experiences as related to visual communication. The mechanics and psychology of two-dimensional and three-dimensional design are explored as a foundation for graphic designs. An additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

COMM 318 Telemedia Programming and Management 3 credits
This course prepares students for a leadership career in the telemedia, including radio and television broadcasting, cable, corporate communications, computer applications, and the Internet. Topics include technological change, economics and ownership issues, programming and marketing strategies, organization and management, industry  self-governance, government regulation, and ethics. Students undertake a project related to individual professional interests. Prerequisite: COMM 208.

COMM 330 Screenwriting 3 credits
Students learn feature film format and study existing screenplays to understand how to write only for sight and sound. Both examination of existing films and screenplays and original writing are required. Prerequisite: ENGL 111.

COMM 335 Seminar in Television Writing 3 credits
This course studies the techniques for writing half-hour comedies and one-hour dramatic scripts for television. Issues covered include character development, camera work and working within time limits for scripting to handle commercial breaks and the serial format. Prerequisite: COMM 201.

COMM 344 Sports Information Directing 3 credits
This course examines the multi-faceted activities and qualities of sports information directing, also known as sports public relations. Areas covered include image building, determining sports news, understanding various sports and the terminology used in writing sports copy, developing relationships with the media, using statistics in sports writing, understanding the importance of photography, and designing and writing sports media guides.

COMM 345 Intercultural Communication 3 credits
This course focuses on communication among individuals from divergent cultures. The processes by which perceptions are created, expressed, and influence interpersonal relationships are examined. Emphasis is on identifying and controlling the roles that culture plays within a wide range of communication contexts.

COMM 346 Gender Communication 3 credits
This course introduces the major concepts of communication and gender. Emphasis is on issues of gender in language and nonverbal behavior. Communication and gender in friendships, courtship, marriage, family, education, media, and organizations are considered through the examination of real-life communication situations.

COMM 370 Mass Media and Popular Culture 3 credits
Exploring the relationship between popular culture movements and the evolution of mass media, this course looks at how the two have impacted each other. The course covers all the mass media stretching back to books and magazines and looking forward to consider how the digital era has and will continue to affect popular culture.

COMM 380 Political Communication 3 credits
With the arrival of the digital era, political campaigns are no longer top-down media plans that exist only for a short “season.” Political communication is now a year-round, daily process. This course will examine the history and current state of political communication in the United States and also study rhetorical analysis of messages, media, and speakers in political campaigns, institutions, and movements.

COMM 388 Electronic Media Skills for the Liberal Arts Student 1 credit
This course is intended for students seeking technical training in electronic media skills for non-professional applications. Students choose from a variety of skills, including mixing and editing audio, making video movies, and creating audio and video resources for World Wide Web sites on the Internet. The course is open to all students, except those following the Digital Media and Journalism track of the Communication major. (This is an activity course with letter grades required for Communication majors and CR/NCR only for others.) Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

COMM 390 Campus Media Management 1 credit
This course assists the student working as a manager for a campus media organization to develop leadership skills under the supervision of the medium’s faculty advisor. Open only to managers of the campus media as determined by the faculty advisors. This course may be repeated once in the same organization and for a maximum of four credits. (This is an activity course with letter grades required for Communication majors and CR/NCR only for others.) Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

COMM 391 Bison Advertising and Public Relations Agency 1 credit
This course, supervised by a faculty advisor in a working agency environment, introduces the student to entry level skills required of employees working with the advertising, graphic design, and/or public relations field. A minimum of 40 clockhours of work per semester required. (This course may be repeated for credit.) Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor

COMM 392 The Tower Newspaper 1 credit
This course, supervised by a faculty advisor in a working newsroom environment, introduces the student to entry-level skills required of employees working within the newspaper field (print and internet). A minimum of 40 clock-hours of work per semester required. (This course may be repeated for credit.) Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

COMM 393 TV 14 1 credit
This course, supervised by a faculty advisor in a working campus TV station environment, introduces the student to entry-level skills required of employees working within the cable, internet, or terrestrial television fields. A minimum of 40 clock-hours of work per semester required. (This course may be repeated for credit.) Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

COMM 394 WVBC Radio 1 credit
This course, supervised by a faculty advisor in a working campus radio station environment, introduces the student to entrylevel skills required of employees working within the internet, cable, or terrestrial radio fields. A minimum of 40 clock-hours of work per semester required. (This course may be repeated for credit.) Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

COMM 395 Interactive Multimedia Production 1 credit
This course, supervised by a faculty advisor in a working cross-platform digital production environment, introduces the student to entry-level skills required of employees working within the emerging media production field. Projects range from crew work on video web casts, to basic web design, to social networking and third screen (smart phones/personal digital assistants) projects. A minimum of 40 clock-hours of work per semester required. (This course may be repeated for credit.) Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

COMM 403 International Communication 3 credits
This course is a comparative study of media systems, including theory and practices in print and electronic media and advertising, public relations, and journalism education in Europe, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa.

COMM 409 Publications Photography 3 credits
This course introduces the knowledge and skills needed to produce high quality digital photographic images. Assignments include news, features, sports, portrait, and still-life imaging. Emphasis is on working within strict deadlines and creating images suitable for publication. An additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

COMM 412 Integrated Marketing Communications Campaigns 3 credits
This course used the integrated marketing communications (IMC) approach of utilizing appropriate advertising, marketing, personal selling, and public relations principles and practices to develop a strategic communication campaign. Students conduct research, develop goals, objectives, strategies, and tactics for a client. The campaign is presented to the client in written and audio-visual form. The campaign is evaluated. Prerequisites: ECON 290. (Additional Prerequisites: For Advertising Track students, COMM 203 and COMM 205; For Public Relations Track students, COMM 202 and COMM 204.)

COMM 413 Integrated Marketing Communications II 3 credits
The strategic marketing campaign developed in COMM 412 will be implemented during this semester. Students will implement the marketing plan and then take the appropriate steps to monitor results and evaluate the effectiveness of the campaign, including meetings with the client once the campaign is concluded. Prerequisites: COMM 412.

COMM 420 Professional Internship 3 credits
This course is a professionally supervised experience with an off-campus media organization or communication agency. Assignments apply classroom materials and campus media experiences and are similar to those experienced by new communication professionals. A minimum of 120 hours in the experience is required for the two-credit version of this course, and 160 hours minimum is required for the three-credit version.  Prerequisites: three campus media experiences for the 3-credit version and four 1-credit campus media experiences for the 2-credit version. Details about prerequisites are available from the Department.

COMM 422 Digital Service Learning 3 credits
This course is designed to provide the student with exposure to cutting-edge digital hardware and software applicable to careers in the fast-changing communication field. The student will work off campus, under the supervision of a communication professional, on a service project serving the community. The student will present a portfolio at the conclusion of the experience. Prerequisite: Junior standing, permission of instructor.

COMM 425 Writing and Developing the Documentary 3 credits
This course will introduce the process of creating a documentary film, from initial concept through distribution. The course will cover writing proposals, pitching ideas, creating teams, budgeting and fundraising, outreach and distribution. Emphasis will be on developing a specific idea to be produced in COMM 426, Documenting Human Experiences

COMM 426 Documenting Human Experiences 3 credits
In this course students will produce their own documentary and share their experiences in discussions. Students will build on the preparation work done in COMM 425. Prerequisite: COMM 425.

COMM 428 Community Voices Documentary Workshop 3 credits
This course will provide hands-on training in social issue documentary video production. Students will partner with a nonprofit organization based in the area to produce a short documentary to be used in conjunction with the organization’s outreach efforts. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

COMM 430 Censorship and Propaganda 3 credits
Controlling and influencing the media have always been contested areas in mass communications. This advanced course examines the history of both censorship and propaganda and looks at the history of such endeavors in the United States. Subjects covered include but are not limited to: government control of the media, the use of propaganda in wartime and corporate influence over content in passive ways, such as the movie ratings system.

COMM 440 New Media Theory and Practices 3 credits
As digital media and the internet become more and more common, scholars are examining how people use these technologies and for what purposes. This course will cover the emerging body of theory on new media processes and practices in the information age. Prerequisite: COMM 200.

COMM 480 Special Topics 3 credits
This advanced course is offered periodically to deal in depth with a particular subject or issue relevant to the field of communications, to pursue unique topics of interest to students, or make faculty research available for students as learning exercises.

COMM 487-489 Independent Study 1, 2, or 3 credits

COMM 490 Senior Project 3 credits
This course requires a research paper demonstrating the ability to describe, analyze, synthesize, and draw significant conclusions on a contemporary communication issue. Detailed guidelines for the senior project are available from the Department of Communication. Prerequisite: COMM 306.

COMM 495 Graduation Audit Non-credit
Registration for this course initiates a graduation audit process to verify that all requirements for graduation are scheduled to be met by the anticipated degree completion date.