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COMM 800 Communications Research Statistics — 3 credits

Designed to prepare doctoral students to interpret and conduct quantitative data analysis in communications and instructional technologies. Students will learn to perform the statistical analysis common to the field of communications and understand the derivation, application and limitations of specific statistical tests. They will also analyze and critique the use of statistics in research published in the discipline. Topics addressed include data management, descriptive and inferential statistics, correlation, and factor analysis.

COMM 801 Ideas that Shape Media — 3 credits

This course provides a detailed analysis of prevailing theories of media and communication. Students read milestone research, discuss the impact that culture and media have on each other, and write an extensive analysis of how technology, technique, and culture collide to create various forms of communication. The course also focuses on trends in communications media and instructional technology.

COMM 812 Media Ethics — 3 credits

This course analyzes ethical problems using established theories, research, and personal insights. Discussions focus on ethics within the communications media and instructional technology field. Students will complete research and case study activities that require them to provide possible solutions to ethical problems in the field.

COMM 814 Crisis Communications — 3 credits

Explores the challenges of communication during crisis situations and emphasizes the practical and theoretical applications of communication strategies used by companies, organizations, and governmental bodies during headline-grabbing crises. The course focuses on the issues relevant to planning, developing, and executing of crisis communications plans. Students will explore communication and media relations techniques for communicating with stakeholders during a crisis. Cases discussed will examine crisis situations in business, political, educational, and non-profit settings. Prerequisite or co-requisite: COMM 801 (Theory and Culture Elective)

COMM 815 Teaching Communications Media — 3 credits

Focuses on helping students to understand the unique challenges of teaching communications media courses in higher education and to improve their teaching via use of appropriate communication techniques and reflection upon teaching/learning styles, motivations, and instructional techniques. Introduces doctoral students to the academic discipline of communications media in higher education. Explores the goals of communications media education and challenges for administration of communications media programs. Students will also explore the relationship between teaching, scholarship, and service in communications media. Prerequisite or co-requisite: COMM 801 (Theory and Culture Elective)

COMM 818 Media Criticism — 3 credits

This course examines the basic language and techniques of media criticism from both theoretical and application perspectives. Students will read and analyze current literature pertaining to broadcast media, film, and new media as well as develop a personal construct based on cultural patterns and media issues found in 21st century society. It will primarily focus upon media designed for post high school aged audiences. Prerequisite or co-requisite: COMM 801

COMM 822 Children and Media — 3 credits

This course analyzes the scope of media in relationship to children. The course examines the impact that media has on children in terms of behavior and culture. It also examines the influence children have in shaping the media. Discussions focus on multiple forms of children’s media including those within entertainment and education. Prerequisite or co-requisite: COMM 801 (Theory and Culture Elective)

COMM 825 Quantitative Methods in Communications Research — 3 credits

This course presents students with a model-comparison approach to conducting quantitative research. Students become familiar with various strategies for formulating hypotheses, selecting experimental and quasi-experimental designs, and using statistical software and other resources to conduct research. (Students should have completed COMM 800 prior to taking this course.)

COMM 828 Qualitative Methods in Communications Research — 3 credits

Students will examine the theoretical basis and history of qualitative methods within the field of communications media and instructional technology. They will become familiar with primary qualitative methods and then apply that knowledge to important studies within the field. They will also design and implement qualitative research strategies in research exercises.

COMM 830 Media Pre-Production — 3 credits

This production course focuses on preproduction activities such as script treatments, storyboarding, scriptwriting, editing, and production management. Students analyze case studies and real world situations to better understand the planning of media development. Students also develop a preproduction plan for a substantial media production in the areas of audio, video, film, photography, animation, games, simulation, and educational media.

COMM 832 Media Production — 6 credits

Provides students with skills in media production including audio, video, photography, typographic, two-dimensional design, on-line media and other areas of commercial and instructional media production. May be taken more than once. Students take two three-credit sections of COMM 832 to complete the six credit production core requirement for the program. Prerequisite: COMM 830

COMM 846 Instructional Media Solutions — 3 credits

This course analyzes the varied theoretical approaches to the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of media solutions to human competency problems. Students discuss models of performance analysis and policies, strategies, and tactics for developing competence including instructional design. Students are required to analyze existing instructional systems and present recommendations for improving those systems based on models and strategies discussed in class.

COMM 853 Corporate Communications — 3 credits

This course provides students with the necessary skills to design, inform, and implement communications media strategies within the corporate environment. Students will learn the importance of communication and its impact on the affected publics. Through developing written, oral, and managerial communication, students will be able to execute multidirectional communication within a corporate setting. Students will explore corporate communication functions including internal communication, corporate promotions, and marketing communications. Prerequisite or co-requisite: COMM 801 (Theory and Culture Elective)

COMM 857 Doctoral Seminar in Communications Culture and Technology — 3 credits

This course, by providing an advanced forum in which to research, discuss, and document current and emerging topics, issues, and applications in communication technology, serves to offer students the opportunity to conceptualize and develop models and strategies for the integrated application of theory and practice. Literature reviews, topic analyses, and case studies are used to enhance awareness of critical issues and potential application in real-life settings.

COMM 876 Online Media — 3 credits

This production course introduces students to the development and distribution of media via satellite, broadband, and other digital delivery systems. Students will discuss production, fiscal, ethical, and technological issues surrounding streaming, file sharing, wireless connectivity, and pod-casting. In the course, students will develop a production with audio and video components for online distribution accompanied by a written justification for the selected strategies. (Production Elective)

COMM 881 Special Topics — 3 credits

Will allow the department to develop and formatively evaluate potential new courses, especially electives, within the program. Will also allow the department to develop and deliver courses that are reactive to events and circumstances within the field that may lead to a one- or two-time offering of a course. (Special Topics courses may be considered Theory and Culture or Production electives, depending on the content of the courses. Students taking Special Topics courses need to consult with the doctoral coordinator to determine how the course will be applied to their program of study.)

COMM 882 Simulations and Games — 3 credits

This production course focuses on the design, development, distribution of electronic games, and simulations. Discussions will focus on ethics, controversies, and economics of the gaming industry, as well as the use of computer-generated animations in motion pictures. The role of instructional, promotional, and entertainment-based simulations will be discussed. Students will use advanced multimedia production tools to create simulations and games for varied purposes accompanied by a written explanation of selected strategies. (Production Elective)

COMM 900 Culture of Cyberspace — 3 credits

This is a theory intensive course. Students will be exposed to a wide variety of theoretical and empirical studies in regards to the educational, corporate, social, and political aspects of social media. Privacy, copyright, blogging, network trends, video-knowledge sharing, and learning will be topics discussed in this class. Students will be required to analyze current media literature and build culture-based arguments in order to generate original research using cyberspace as a construct. Prerequisite or co-requisite: COMM 801 (Theory and Culture Elective)

COMM 910 Advanced Doctoral Research in Communications — 3 credits

This course will serve as an advanced experience to assure students are prepared to do professional research in communications. Students will design a complete communications research project suitable for professional presentation and publication. Their work will encompass research design, measurement techniques, statistical procedures, and philosophies of research. Quantitative and qualitative approaches will be considered. Also covered are practical points such as data collection and generation strategies, concept definitions, database structure, and report design.
Prerequisite: A minimum of 39 COMM doctoral credits

COMM 995 Dissertation — 12 credits

This course is a culminating scholarly activity requiring the mastery of an area of professional interest in the field of Communications Media and Instructional Technology. It requires a review of relevant literature and a quantitative or qualitative analysis of data. Students are required to deliver an oral presentation of the proposal and an oral defense of the finished product.

  • Department of Communications Media
  • Stouffer Hall, Room 121
    1175 Maple Street
    Indiana, PA 15705-1058
  • Phone: 724-357-2492
  • Fax: 724-357-5503
  • Office Hours
  • Monday through Friday
  • 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.