CA504 SpecTps in CommArts/Leadership:

for S2P 2008

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Mission Statement: The mission of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies at Park University is to provide leadership and directions to Park University's graduate and professional programs to assure that they are specialized, scholarly, innovative, and designed to educate students to be creative, independent, and lifelong learners within the context of a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University's School of Graduate and Professional Studies will be an international leader in providing innovative graduate and professional educational opportunities to learners within a global society.


CA 504 SpecTps in CommArts/Leadership:


S2P 2008 MC


Dr. Joan E. Aitken


Professor, Communication Arts

Office Location

229 Copley, Parkville campus

Office Hours

By appointment

Daytime Phone



Web Page

Class Days


Class Time

5:30 - 9:50 PM

Credit Hours


Shedletsky, L. J., & Aitken, J. E. (2004). Human communication on the Internet. Boston: Allyn & Bacon/Longman.

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information

Course Description:
The course is designed to allow for the introduction of special areas of interest in communication and leadership. It may be repeated with a different topic.

This course explores communication theories within the context of emerging media.  The paradoxes of human communication on the Internet and the interpersonal nature of the interactions are examined.  Students will investigate online communities, communication strategies, and information leadership.  Course includes major components in writing and experiential learning in an action research project.


Class Assessment:

Learning Outcomes

The student will be able to:


1.      Design and conduct an action research project in which the student observes communication in an online community. 

2.      Define the process and tensions of human communication on the Internet.

3.      Evaluate the functions of human communication on the Internet, including those involving interpersonal communication.

4.      Participate in human communication on the Internet in home, school, and work contexts.

5.      Evaluate the implications of Internet communication on interpersonal communication in dating, friendship, and family relationships.

6.      Evaluate the paradoxes of human communication on the Internet.

7.      Participate in new Internet venues related to organizational communication and entrepreneurial activities.

8.      Predict the role and influence of human communication on the Internet in the future.



Core Assessment

Design and conduct an action research project in which you observe an online community (social, educational, or business).  The professor may provide requirements different from these general guidelines:

1.      Find an online group of interest (receive instructor approval).  Analyze substantive content (e.g., 50 group postings).

2.      Submit a IRB proposal to conduct research.  Protect the group's privacy and safety.  Preference is for a group with archives, that you not retain/use any names, emails, or other personal information.

3.      Conduct a review of literature that goes beyond course materials, in order to provide background for your action research.

4.      Complete a content analysis of communication in which you demonstrate mastery of multiple course outcomes.

5.      Write a paper of a quality appropriate to submit for a research workshop or conference presentation.

6.      Present your study and lead collaborative discussion.


Core Assessment rubric

Core Assessment Grading Rubric

Exceeds Expectations

In addition to "Meets Expectations," also includes:

Meets Expectations

Below Expectations

No  Evidence

I. Cognitive Skills

Learning outcomes  2, 3

Demonstrate depth and breadth of an 10 CA sources beyond course materials.

Define the process and tensions of human communication on the Internet.

Evaluate the functions of human communication on the Internet.


Lack one of more elements required for meetings expectations. General knowledge information instead of research-based.

Fail to submit in required format by due date or shows no evidence of meeting expectations.

II. Technical or Professional  skills

Learning outcomes  1, 4

Receive IRB approval.

Design a clearly replicable, quality research study.

Write error free article (paper).

Design and conduct an action research project in which you observe an online community. 

Demonstrate participation in human communication on the Internet in home, school, and work contexts.

Lack one of more elements required for meetings expectations. General knowledge information instead of research-based.

Fail to submit in required format by due date or shows no evidence of meeting expectations


III.  Professional Disposition

Learning outcomes 5, 6

Submit the paper for presentation or publication.

Evaluate the implications of Internet communication on interpersonal communication.

Evaluate the paradoxes of human communication on the Internet.

Lack one of more elements required for meetings expectations.

General knowledge information instead of research-based.

Fail to submit in required format by due date or shows no evidence of meeting expectations

IV.  Leadership Skills

Learning outcomes 7, 8

Collaborate with most other students in the course.

Participate in new Internet venues to research online community.

Predict the role and influence of human communication on the Internet in the future.

Lack one of more elements required for meetings expectations.

General knowledge information instead of research-based.

Fail to submit in required format by due date or shows no evidence of meeting expectations.



Assignment Weightings




  • Action Research about Trends.  10% Analysis Paper:  Report on new trends (e.g.,, Webkinz, iphone).  You can look at one new trend in depth or several in a more cursory way.  Focus on interviewing people who know about some new trends and contemplate how the new trend will affect interpersonal communication. 

  • Action Research about a Relationship Community.  10% Due Week 5:  Analysis Paper:  Join an online community designed as a space for developing interpersonal relationships.  Analyze and reflect on the nature of that community (e.g., meez, myspace, eharmony).

  • Action Research about Listserv/Discussion Community.  10% Due Week 6:  Analysis Paper:  Subscribe to and read three listservs:  One should be a support group related to controlling addiction (e.g., anorexia, gambling addiction).  Please do not post messages to this group unless it is relevant to a personal addiction your have.   One listserv should be about a hobby (e.g., bird lovers).  One listserv should be about education or professionalism (e.g., a professional organization in communication, mystery writers).  Some examples: CRTNet -  GeoCities - Yahoo Groups

  • As an alternative, if a student plans a thesis or project about human communication on the Internet, the student can prepare the thesis/project proposal.  If you select this option, you will still want to participate in an online community, but do not need any written analysis.  Due week 6.


Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Topic by week Read before class In-class Video Case Study In-Class Work Assignment Due

Read chapter 1. Introduction: Underpinning Ideas. 

Read chapter 2. Process of Human Communication on the Internet. 

Read chapter 3. Tensions of Internet Communication.

Hook Up (4 hour documentary, which we will view over several weeks)

If You Can't Beat 'Em, Blog 'Em Nightline


  Create a blog about your thesis or project topic.  

Read chapter 4. Informatics.

Read chapter 5. The Play of Internet Communication. 

Read chapter 6. Polarization of People.


Net grief for online 'suicide' - "Brandon Vedas, a 21-year-old computer expert from Arizona, USA, killed himself with a lethal dose of prescription drugs in January while chatting to online buddies. In a macabre twist to the story, a transcript of his final hours found by his family a week after his death shows that his online friends egged him on to take more and more drugs." Online newsgroup helped daughter commit suicide - Police, Internet Providers Try to Deter Online Suicide Pacts - Pro-Anorexia - Suicide 101 Blog


Hook Up

Net Games

  Create a webpage about your thesis or project topic.  Students can have their own web pages at click here and can request the web page at click here there are a few standards that Park has to avoid problems. You can use Microsoft Word to create the page. Print off page one of your blog and discuss in class.

Oral (onground) or written (online) discussion of knowledge question.

3 Read Chapter 7 Intrapersonal Communication and Cognitive Collaboration Hook Up


  Show us the online community you joined and some of the postings. Print off page one of the webpage for the online community you joined and discuss what you have found there.

Oral (onground) or written (online) discussion of knowledge question.


Read chapter 8. Interpersonal Communication On the Internet.

Read chapter 9. Groups.   

24 Hours on Craigslist   Social Networking: Bebo - Digg - eHarmony - Facebook - - Meez - MySpace - Secondlife - Squidoo - USENET Print off page one of your webpage you created and discuss your page.

Oral (onground) or written (online) discussion of knowledge question.


Read chapter 10. Workplace .

The Net 2.0


  Business: AllPosters - Amazon Associates - Blingo - Commission Junction - eBay - DoubleClickPerformics Affiliates - Drop Ship - Linkshare Affiliates - Survey Reviews - Paid Survey Site Rankings

Presence:  CafePress.Com - Delicious - Google API Number - Google Maps Feature - MyOwnLables - Ping - Sitemap - Online Business Networking - Internet Marketing - PayPal - Sitemap - StumbleUpon

Print off Facebook page you created and discuss your page.

Oral (onground) or written (online) discussion of knowledge question.



Week 6:  Read chapter 11. Educational Contexts.   

Hook Up   Present project. Written assignments for action research project and trends are due.

Oral (onground) or written (online) discussion of knowledge question.

7 Read chapter 12. Consequences and Conclusions. The Net: The Unabomber, LSD and the Internet

Hook Up

  Present webpage. Webpage due.

Oral (onground) or written (online) discussion of knowledge question.

8 Review for final exam.       Final Exam. 

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2007-2008 Graduate Catalog Page 24-26


Plagiarism involves the appropriation of another person's ideas, interpretation, words (even a few), data, statements, illustration or creative work and their presentation as one's own. An offense against plagiarism constitutes a serious academic misconduct. Although offenses against academic integrity can manifest themselves in various ways, the most common forms of offenses are plagiarism and cheating. Plagiarism goes beyond the copying of an entire article. It may include, but is not limited to: copying a section of an article or a chapter from a book, reproduction of an art work, illustration, cartoon, photograph and the like and passing them off as one's own. Copying from the Internet is no less serious an offense than copying from a book or printed article, even when the material is not copyrighted.

Plagiarism also includes borrowing ideas and phrases from, or paraphrasing, someone else's work, published or unpublished, without acknowledging and documenting the source. Acknowledging and documenting the source of an idea or phrase, at the point where it is utilized, is necessary even when the idea or phrase is taken from a speech or conversation with another person.

Park University 2007-2008 Graduate Catalog Page 24-26

Attendance Policy:

Professors are required to maintain attendance records and report absences. Excused absences can be granted by the instructor, for medical reasons, school sponsored activities, and employment-related demands, including temporary duty. Students are responsible for any missed work. Absences in excess of four (4) class periods, in a 16-week semester (or 2, in an 8-week term) will be reported to the Director of the individual graduate program, or to the Dean, for appropriate action. Students with such a record of absences, without an approved excuse, may be administratively withdrawn from the class and notified by mail that an "F" will be recorded, unless the student initiates official withdrawal from the class(es).Park University 2007-2008 Graduate Catalog Page 28

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .

Additional Information:


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Last Updated:2/7/2008 2:59:16 PM