2017-2018 Graduate Bulletin

Applied Communication (COMM)



COMM 4002 Effective Facilitation and Presentation (4 Credits)

The evolution and increasing presence of technology in the workplace has changed the way we conduct meetings, present information, and facilitate in-person and virtual group conversations. In this course, students hone their presentation and facilitation skills by assessing their audience, purpose, and the desired outcomes of the engagement. Students learn to use appropriate and memorable visual aids, maximize audience and/or participant engagement, and employ communication competencies to increase sensitivity to group dynamics and verbal and nonverbal cues. Whether facilitating high-level face-to-face meetings, conducting virtual interactions, or presenting to groups, students will gain the skills and confidence needed for effective communication across varied delivery methods.

COMM 4006 Communicating Effectively in Groups and Teams (4 Credits)

Effective group and team processes are invaluable to every organization. Ensuring productive and satisfying group interactional outcomes in organizational, professional and personal settings can be difficult. Focusing upon theory, application, and the practice of working together as a team—including development of group dynamics, leadership, and assessment—students gain knowledge about their strengths and weaknesses in teams, incorporate new skills, enhance productivity, and reduce barriers to effective communication in groups and teams.

COMM 4016 Persuasion Methods and Techniques (4 Credits)

The ability to write and speak in a persuasive manner is often the difference between success and failure. In this hands-on course, students learn to 1) recognize persuasive activities; 2) develop skills in persuading others; and 3) develop skills in defending themselves against unwanted persuasive activities. In this course, students will examine a variety of concepts, techniques, and tools designed to improve the persuasiveness of written and spoken interactions. Students will discuss persuasion both in the sense of how people behave and in the sense of how people use language. Students will also discuss how people argue and how persuasive techniques can be used not so much to "win" an argument but to gain agreement with others. Throughout the course, students will learn to use persuasive techniques in an ethical manner.

COMM 4020 Communication in Professions and Organizations (4 Credits)

Communication professionals play a variety of roles within organizations, but what the best all have in common is mastery of foundational communication skills. In this course, students hone their writing, editing, presenting, and personal-branding skills, while learning how factors such as perception, inference, verbal and nonverbal communication, organizational culture, change, and conflict impact how people interact within the context of large and small organizations.

COMM 4030 Managing Learning in Organizations (4 Credits)

In today’s highly competitive information society, there is a tremendous need for continuous learning and employee development at all levels of an organization. New knowledge is the foundational resource for the creation and implementation of new visions, structures, and outcomes leading to organizational success. The learning organization, when effectively managed, is engaged in continuous improvement, and grows beyond its current state to widen its creative capacity for the future. In this course, students explore concepts, processes, models, and tools to cultivate a learning organization, and to manage the learning and development function within an organization. The focus of this course is on preparing students to be able to identify major business challenges and the competencies needed to support them from a learning and development perspective.

COMM 4032 Communication for Change Management (4 Credits)

This course prepares students to create and implement effective communication strategies for change management. The course begins with a discussion of seminal organizational change models, how these models support change management communications, and how change affects employees and individuals. Concepts and practices for facilitating change communications are explored, as well as methods of supporting change leaders. Students develop competencies in change communication through discussion, lecture, video, and change assessment inventories.

COMM 4035 Intercultural Communication (4 Credits)

There is a growing need to communicate effectively across cultural differences. Writer James Neuliep defines culture as an accumulated pattern of values, beliefs, and behaviors shared by an identifiable group of people with a common history and verbal and nonverbal code system, pervades every aspect of the communicative process. This course uses a contextual approach to examine the ways culture, communication, context, and power intersect in intercultural communication interactions. We will identify and analyze obstacles and barriers to effective intercultural communication. Finally, we will examine strategies and skills needed to become a competent and effective intercultural communicator.

COMM 4045 Applied Critical Thinking in Communication (4 Credits)

This course provides an examination of the critical thinking processes and models of decision making and problem solving. The suitability, usage, and effectiveness of critical thinking models in achieving positive organizational outcomes are emphasized. Faculty and student perspectives and experiences, along with case studies, demonstrate applications of the critical thinking and problem solving processes within various communication settings and specialties.

COMM 4050 Communication and Society: Theories and Applications (4 Credits)

Expert communication professionals excel in their craft and their careers by applying foundational communication theories and principles to their practice. While practitioners benefit from an understanding of seminal, theoretical approaches, it is imperative that professionals are able to confidently navigate the contemporary, evolving environment of cultural and commercial communication. This course provides an overview of seminal mass and mediated communications theories and applies them to today's workplace in order to situate praxis as a meaningful pathway to enhance impact. Additionally, students develop a command of mediated communication frameworks using emerging theoretical approaches to digitization, convergence, and networked culture. Readings and assessments are geared toward active comprehension of communication theories so that students are able to recall and implement theoretical concepts in their professional environments.

COMM 4070 Understanding Human Communication (4 Credits)

This course emphasizes the many communication theories, their origin, and applied use in personal, organizational and smaller professional settings. The course utilizes case studies, surveys, projects, and self-assessment to encourage students to reflect on personal experiences with issues like interpersonal communication and group and team dynamics to facilitate understanding of the importance of applying theory to practice. Key skills and strengths are identified as they relate to students' professional goals and objectives.

COMM 4117 International Technical Comm (3 Credits)

This course focues on communication and technical writing skills needed to address today's international business environment. Students will develop the foundational skills necessary to write for translation, as well as develop an understanding of, and sensitivity to, the challenges inherent in intercultural technical communication. Additionally, international standards organizations and the role they play in international communication will be discussed.

COMM 4140 Marketing Strategy and Process (4 Credits)

COMM 4140 Marketing Strategy and Process is an application-oriented course to help students examine the fundamentals of marketing, and develop the insights and skills to formulate and implement sound, ethical marketing strategies and processes. The weekly topics covered in this course are divided into three main content areas: 1) foundations, 2) marketing mix elements with an emphasis on communications, and 3) strategy and planning. Each content area helps students apply strategic concepts through discussion and teamwork. Throughout the quarter, students explore marketing decisions by examining how information and research are used to inform marketing management decisions. Because marketing communication plays such a critical role in marketing success, special emphasis is placed on message and media factors. All of the course material culminates in the development of a marketing plan.

COMM 4144 Public Relations Principles and Processes (4 Credits)

In a complex global environment, business, government, nonprofit, and other organizations require professional public relations practitioners who can effectively develop two-way relationships with constituents/publics to enable strategic and effective communication processes. This course explores the essential components of public relations through an examination of the profession, its publics, and effective processes. Areas studied include the nature and history of public relations; applying theories; use of strategy; the value of relationship development; an overview of the range of communication tactics; the evolving role of digital communications and social media; and the importance of ethics and transparency.

COMM 4145 Public Relations Writing and Tactics (4 Credits)

Leveraging effective and persuasive writing to develop relationships with media and other target audiences is an integral part of public relations. This course deepens students’ knowledge of the strategic use of public relations tactics, while ensuring they become effective, creative, clear, and concise architects and translators of the written word. To assist in this development, public relations practitioners have a number of communication tools at their disposal. Determining the correct tool to use is based on a strategic approach to all public relations efforts. Professionals must consider their objectives, publics, and key messages in choosing tactics to effectively influence the intended audience. In this course, students examine the purposes, style, format, content, and distribution of tactics used to support public relations programs and the concepts behind generating effective public relations copy. Tactics such as news releases, fact sheets, media alerts/advisories, feature articles, newsletters, emails, pitches, brochures, and social media will enable the creation of a public relations writing portfolio by the end of class.

COMM 4150 Dimensions of Reputation Management (4 Credits)

Reputation management is the process of tracking, maintaining, and defending a consistent message and positive image across all media. It applies to corporations and individuals, to billion-dollar brands and grassroots causes. Today’s reputation management integrates public relations, search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, and social media management. It requires constant monitoring and participation in the dialogues that comprise modern media as the traditional roles of sender and receiver merge and evolve. Awareness of the ethical and global considerations surrounding the digital landscape is imperative. As digital presence has become the front lines of reputation management, systems use various predefined criteria for processing complex data to report behavior and activity surrounding a reputation, thereby automating the process of determining positive sentiment, influence, and trustworthiness. This course will present the history of managing reputations in the mass media era, from the dawn of the 20th century to present day. Through the study of proactive and reactive programs, students will learn how to apply reputation management principles in times of quiet and crisis, monitoring, positioning, and measuring a brand's presence online.

COMM 4155 Public Relations Research and Measurement (4 Credits)

Public relations practitioners leverage research at the formative stage of every campaign: during the campaign to measure effectiveness, and at the conclusion of a campaign, to show results. This requires strategic processes to guide organizations toward the best possible actions in creating and sustaining relationships with target publics. This course introduces students to research methods available to public relations professionals, which are dependent on writing measurable objectives to drive accurate evaluation during and following a campaign. Students will explore how to creatively, effectively, efficiently, and ethically adapt research methods to practical application based on available budget, time constraints, and other resources. They then justify these methods to potential clients.

COMM 4200 Instructional Design and Technology (4 Credits)

Designing training that maximizes results is a central concern in organizations. Students in this course identify the elements of effective training, they identify and discuss how learning occurs both formally and informally in organizations, and how trainers must plan for learning in order to meet organizational needs and objectives. The stages of systematic instructional design are presented, and students are given an opportunity to create an instructional design project that might be applied in their work settings. Students involved in training are provided with a fundamental understanding of technology uses for skill and professional development.

COMM 4203 Adult Learning Strategies and Theories (4 Credits)

Adult learning is very different from the learning processes in children. Adults bring a great deal of experience to the learning situation and are intent on the application of their newfound knowledge and skills. The factors that determine how adults learn, as well as appropriate instructional strategies to best reach these learners, are discussed. Students in this course focus on using adult learning principles to strategically design training materials and facilitate adult learning in various workplace settings.

COMM 4206 Evaluating Learning and Development Effectiveness (4 Credits)

Assessment and evaluation enable learning and development professionals to determine if learners acquired the intended content, knowledge, skills and/or attitudes; if the benefits of the training endeavors are worth the costs; whether training has met organizational goals; and if further training is necessary. Through case studies, practice exercises, and the development of an authentic assessment plan, students learn how to design, interpret, and apply different types of learning and development evaluation concepts and methods to their respective or intended work settings.

COMM 4216 Performance Consulting (4 Credits)

This course develops the competencies necessary to become a skilled internal consultant. Human Resources professionals, training professionals, and any student interested in organizational consultation should enroll. Topics include the role of the performance consultant, the performance consulting process, forming a data collection strategy for needs assessment, contracting and client intervention. Students also learn how to plan for an initial project meeting and differentiate between business, performance, learning, and work environment needs. This course also helps students establish a framework for leadership coaching to help leaders develop clarity and effectively communicate a vision for moving into a desired future. The principles of coaching are explored from the vantage point of leadership and communication theories including transformational leadership, conflict management, and the use of effective dialogue to coordinate management of meaning (how individuals organize and manage meanings and how they coordinate their meanings with one another).

COMM 4220 Conflict Theory (4 Credits)

The focus of this course is an overview of communication theory as it relates to conflict management. Students study various theories in order to explain and predict the course of conflict interactions. The theories are used to analyze case studies and select the most appropriate method of conflict management from the methods of negotiation, facilitation, mediation, arbitration, and litigation.

COMM 4221 Mediation Principles and Practices (4 Credits)

This course presents students with an overview of a variety of mediation models, basic principles, procedural steps, and benefits of mediation. Students examine various stages of mediation, including preparation, the mediation session(s), caucusing and settlement. Teaching methods include mini-lectures, discussions, and hands-on experience through role-playing and case studies. Recommened Prerequisite: COMM 4222 Negotiation Principles & Practice is strongly encouraged prior to this course.

COMM 4222 Negotiation Principles and Practice (4 Credits)

Negotiation is at the core of alternative dispute resolution. This course presents the theoretical groundwork for interest-based dispute resolution upon which principled negotiation and other alternative dispute resolution methods are founded. Topics include the definition of the negotiation process, different types of negotiation, and negotiation strategies. Students have an opportunity to practice and compare different negotiation techniques. Teaching methods are experiential in nature and include mini-lectures, discussions, and role-plays. Students also develop strategies for managing challenging negotiations and breakdowns.

COMM 4226 Managing Organizational Conflict (4 Credits)

Conflict is a part of all businesses, government, and nonprofit organizations. It is a product of human existence and diversity in an interrelated society. Though many people fear conflict as a threat to a productive work environment, it is not conflict itself that jeopardizes harmony but unresolved conflict, and the associated costs are well documented. Organziations increasingly recognize that conflict need not carry costly financial and interpersonal burdens and can, in fact, serve as a productive change agent. Students in this course explore the nature and sources of organizational conflict and facilitate development of practical skills to recognize and manage conflict using case studies, exercises, speakers, and field research. Students are introduced to the concept of various conflict resolution methods, including individual initiative, negotiation, mediation, restorative justice, and arbitration. This course is well suited for leaders and aspiring leaders in any profession who want to increase their interpersonal capability and enhance their value in organizations.

COMM 4270 Forty-Hour Mediation (4 Credits)

This course is designed specifically for individuals interested in becoming mediators or integrating mediation skills into their current positions within (but not limited to) human resources, public service, healthcare, law, non-profit management, etc. The course satisfies the initial training requirements for professional mediators in accordance with the Mediation Association of Colorado (the MAC) and the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR). The DU mediation training is distinctive for several reasons, including: small class size (limited to 24 people) and the opportunity to network with accomplished mediators and mediation coaches.

COMM 4301 Branding and Market Positioning (4 Credits)

The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines a brand as a "name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of these intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers." Organizations of all types – private, public, and nonprofit – increasingly recognize the importance of their brand and its role in strategic marketing, particularly market positioning. An in-depth examination of branding includes: brand messaging, the process of brand development, fundamentals and theories of consumer behavior, and related environmental, cognitive or behavioral influences. Students have the opportunity to research consumer behavior and explore issues related to brand creation and maintenance, as well as how to leverage, manage, and evaluate their brand.

COMM 4318 Mobile Marketing (4 Credits)

Mobile technologies can be found in your pocket, on your coffee table, at your workplace, and even on your wrist. If a business's marketing plan doesn't include mobile, that business plan simply isn't complete. The growing field of mobile marketing has created a new set of communication imperatives and business opportunities. This course is designed to familiarize students to the tools used to implement a robust mobile marketing strategy. Current and future organization and business leaders will learn mobile marketing best practices and gain the knowledge to implement and analyze the results of their mobil marketing efforts.

COMM 4320 Integrating Social Media (4 Credits)

Social media, including blogs, social platforms, online video, and paid advetising on social networking sites are accelerating the velocity of communications. Content is now created, published, accessed, consumed and shared in real time. Organizations must evaluate social media techniques and determine how best to incorporate them to achieve their marketing communication objectives. This course focuses on integrating social media elements into the enterprise-wide marketing strategy. Students gain first-hand knowledge of various social media techniques and best practices through hands-on, practical exercises. Students not only learn the current technologies, but will gain the skills needed to successfully communicate on behalf of an organization using any social, real-time platform. Through online research, case studies, and interaction with industry experts, students experience the strategic application of social media in communication.

COMM 4321 Digital Marketing Communication (4 Credits)

At its most basic level, digital marketing leverages digital technologies and media that allow brands to promote their products and services to very targeted audiences in a highly measurable way. Digital marketing as a category has become so integral to overall marketing and communication efforts that the term “digital” as a differentiator may soon become obsolete. Digital marketing continues to grow and evolve, so the focus of this course is to provide an expansive grasp of digital marketing communication tactics, including how to utilize them and how to integrate them into the marketing mix. Through discussion, research, application, and evaluation of case studies and projects, students will learn about the essential tactics utilized by digital marketers.

COMM 4323 Email Marketing (4 Credits)

Today's consumer expectations for relevant, engaging, and timely messages have made email marketing an essential component of the multichannel marketing mix. The creation and delivery of personalized, targeted messages to subscribers can drive both engagement and ROI. This class examines the development and integration of email marketing (including tools, copy, design, service providers, tracking and measurement) to enhance business relationships, encourage customer loyalty and acquire new customers.

COMM 4324 Web Analytics (4 Credits)

Web analytics is the collection, analysis, and reporting of digital traffic in order to measure and optimize internet marketing programs. The practice of web analytics includes tools for measuring website traffic, conducting business/market research, estimating usage patterns for digital campaigns, and providing insights into visitor behavior. The focus of this class is on developing a performance measurement system for the digital channel, incorporating both on-site and off-site analytics. Key performance indicators are tied to internet marketing goals and tactical campaigns. Students conduct a review of online metrics, compare analytics vendors, and develop a performance tracking system and a management dashboard report.

COMM 4325 Essentials of Search Marketing (4 Credits)

Search marketing is a communicator's medium and a vital part of any marketing mix. This type of digital marketing specifically focuses on increasing a website's visibility in the search engine results pages (SERPs) through organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) while also drawing attention to quality website content or well-crafted paid ad messaging. This class will provide deep insight into the tools and tactics of search marketing. Students will learn what makes search marketing demanding and how to overcome the challenges presented by regular search engine algorithm updates, increasing mobile device usage, and the influence of social media. Two key techniques of SEM will be explored: search engine optimization (SEO) to improve results from the natural or organic listings, and paid search marketing, or pay-per-click (PPC), to deliver results from the sponsored listings within search engines. A variety of search practices, including mobile and local, will be explored.

COMM 4326 Digital Campaign Management (4 Credits)

Any successful marketing or communication campaign — digital or traditional — is dependent on many factors, from its strategic beginnings through its final readout. However, perhaps the most critical factors driving the success of a digital campaign are rooted within the human, technical, and business processes through which that campaign comes to life. Assuming a foundational understanding of digital marketing techniques (i.e., web, search marketing, social media, etc.), this course will focus on the practical management of digital marketing and communication campaign efforts, including planning, management, and measurement. Pre-requisite: COMM 4321.

COMM 4327 Writing Digital Content (4 Credits)

Much of communicators' and marketers' messaging is conveyed through digital media. This course examines how the behavior of on-screen readers fundamentally differs from that of print readers and how that difference informs the process of creating and editing effective copy for a wide range of digital media, including traditional websites, mobile sites, online advertising, social media, and more. The course utilizes essential principles of content strategy and content marketing and applies them to the content creation process.

COMM 4701 Topics in Applied Comm (4 Credits)

The content of this course varies each time it is offered. Topics may include time-sensitive issues in the field of communication, elective courses that are not scheduled regularly during the course of the year, or advanced inquiry into core-course subjects, such as ethics, human communication theory, or interpersonal communication. Each time the course is offered, the specific content is announced in the quarterly course schedule. Depending on the subject matter, students may be required to have completed prerequisite courses.

COMM 4901 Capstone Project (4 Credits)

The Capstone Project provides students the opportunity to research a topic, problem, or issue within their field of study, and work individually with a Capstone advisor. Similar in weight to a thesis, but more flexible, this final project will synthesize and apply core concepts acquired from the program. The student will select an appropriate Capstone advisor who is knowledgeable in the field of study to work closely with and whom can guide the research project. Evaluation will be focused on the quality and professionalism of applied research and writing; critical and creative thinking; problem-solving skills; knowledge of research design, method, and implementation; and contribution to the field and topic of study. Please see the Capstone Guidelines for additional details. Prerequisites: A Capstone Proposal that has been approved by both the Capstone Advisor and the Academic Director, unconditional acceptance as a degree candidate, completion of at least 40 quarter-hours (including all core courses) with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. A final grade of a B- or better is required to pass.

COMM 4902 Capstone Seminar (4 Credits)

The Capstone Seminar is a graduate seminar in which students utilize the knowledge and skills gained through the degree program to create a culminating work that critically addresses a problem in their degree field of study. The students produce a Capstone of 7000-8000 words that presents a position on a relevant problem, supports the position with professional and academic literature, analyzes and tests the proposed solution, and discusses the findings as related to the field of study. The seminar is dependent upon quality, collegial discussion, and feedback of students’ research and work products, under the facilitation of a faculty member. The course structure guides the students through the process of independent, secondary research and writing of a Capstone. No primary research is allowed. Students generate the course content through ongoing discussion and peer feedback on the Capstone process and individual topic areas under investigation. Students professionally and academically communicate through written work and oral presentation. Students must have: Unconditional acceptance as a degree candidate, completion of at least 40 quarter-hours (including all core courses) with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. A final grade of B- or better is required in this course to meet degree requirements. Students must complete the Capstone Seminar in one quarter; no incomplete grades are assigned.

COMM 4904 Interdisciplinary Capstone Seminar (4 Credits)

The Interdisciplinary Capstone Seminar is a graduate seminar in which students utilize the knowledge and skills gained through the degree program to create a culminating work that critically addresses a problem or issue in the degree field of study. Members of the class will include students from various UCOL programs, representing multiple topics of study. On campus offerings of this course include required online components. The student produces a paper of 7000-8000 words that presents a position on a relevant problem or issue, supports the position with professional and academic work in the field, analyzes and tests the paper position, and discusses the role of the findings within the field of study. Students professionally and academically communicate their findings through written work and oral presentations. The seminar is dependent upon active and collegial discussion and critique of student research and work under the facilitation of a faculty member, and it is governed by the quality of participation and contributions of the students. Students must have: Unconditional acceptance as a degree candidate, completion of at least 40 quarter-hours (including all core courses) with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. A final grade of B- or better is required in this course to meet degree requirements. Students must complete the Capstone Seminar in one quarter; no incomplete grades are assigned.

COMM 4905 Graduate Social Research Methods (4 Credits)

Graduate Social Research Methods is an exploration of the methods and purposes of social science research from the perspective of the researcher as well as that of the informed professional and consumer of information. Students will learn about the process of research, including the development of research questions, the purpose of various social science research methods, the role of professional ethics, and general approaches to the analysis and interpretation of data. Students will develop the ability to read and critique basic social science research articles and to implement simple research designs. Students will develop and write a research proposal around a specific research question informed by a review of the literature. Technical requirements include the ability to read and modify Microsoft Excel documents. This course is required of all degree-seeking students and should be taken in the first three quarters of enrollment.

COMM 4920 Portfolio Capstone (4 Credits)

The Portfolio Capstone course provides students the opportunity to reflect upon the work they have done throughout their graduate studies at University College and synthesize their learning. Students in the seminar produce deliverables that include: (1) a thorough annotation of their portfolio, a process requiring critical and creative thinking about their educational experience, and (2) a pinnacle project that identifies, analyzes, and elaborates significant themes in their program experience, evaluates their accomplishments, connects their coursework to their professional goals, and assesses those goals in the context of their chosen field. Students must complete the Portfolio Capstone with a grade of B or better.

COMM 4980 Internship (1-4 Credits)

The Organizational and Professional Communication Internship is designed to offer students a purposeful experience in a practical, industry related setting. The internship is an individualized learning experience. A training plan is created for each student in conjunction with the internship site supervisor to provide experiences related to the skills and knowledge covered in the certificate and master's programs as well as professional goals. Students are responsible for finding their own internship site and proposing their internship ideas. University College will send notification to all COMM students if they hear of internship possibilities. Students may also work through the DU career center, to explore opportunities for internship experiences. To be eligible for an internship, completion of a minimum of 28 hours of graduate coursework in the field of specialty is required OR Academic Director approval for students with previous work experience in the field.

COMM 4991 Independent Study (1-8 Credits)

This is an advanced course for students wishing to pursue an independent course of study. Before registering for the independent study, the student must be accepted in a degree program, have earned a grade point average of 3.0 or better, obtained the approval of the department director, and have completed the Independent Study form and filed the form with all appropriate offices. Independent Study is offered only on a for-credit basis.

COMM 4992 Directed Study (1-5 Credits)

This is an advanced course for students wishing to pursue a directed course of study. The student must be accepted in a degree program, have earned a grade point average of 3.0 or better, obtained the approval of the department director, and have completed the Independent Study form and filed the form with all appropriate offices before registering for the independent study. Directed Study is offered only on a for-credit basis.

Back to Top