CA348 Theories of Communication

for SP 2011

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CA 348 Theories of Communication


SP 2011 HO


Dr. Aitken


Professor, Communication


Doctorate in Higher Education and Communication
MA in Speech.  MA in Curriculum and Leadership
BA in Communication Theory

Office Location

229 Copley

Office Hours

Please come to my office to talk before and after class and by appointment.

Daytime Phone



Web Page

Class Days


Class Time

9:00 - 9:50 AM

Credit Hours


Communication Theories in Action: An Introduction, 3rd Edition, by Julia T. Wood

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.
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Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information

Course Description:
CA348 Theories of Communication - The study of communication theories with emphasis on peoples interactions with the media and one another. The course focuses on how communication affects human attitudes and behavior. Includes a review of media influence in the individual, social and political arenas. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:

Class Assessment:
For detailed information about each assignment and grading rubrics, see Doc Sharing powerpoints and handouts in eCompanion.

45% In-class learning, quizzes, group, and research activities

25% Project, speech with PowerPoint

10% Individual theory presentations with PowerPoint

20% Final Exam



Typically, I put assignment weights and grade in eCompanion so you can receive feedback along the way. Click the blue link for additional feedback.


Feedback. Give me a week to read assignments.  I usually post grades within one week of the due date.

No revisions, papers, or core assessments accepted from onground students during final exams.

There are 100 points possible in the course. 100% = 100 points. A typical way of approaching grading is to use percentages.
90-100 = A
80-89.99 = B
70-79.99 = C
60-69.99 = D
Below 60 = F


R=Revised (Points equaling 70%). Please revise your assignment by incorporating suggestions from my feedback. There will be no penalty for revising work, which can be used to raise your grade. The objective is to correct errors and improve your work to exemplary quality.


If I make a mistake against you or you are concerned about your grade, talk to me privately in my office before or after class. Because of the lack of security, EMAIL IS NOT APPROPRIATE FOR DISCUSSING GRADES.

Late Submission of Course Materials:

BE ON TIME. In class activities cannot be made up because they happen in class. A late major assignment is due one week from the original date along with a brief research paper on the meaning of time as communication in the US culture.


Otherwise, enter quietly if class has begun.

Role is taken during the first few minutes of class.  If you're not there, you may be marked absent for the purposes of class participation points and attendance reporting to the University.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
Be respectful in all aspects of the course.

BE HONEST. Work needs to be original for this course. Cite and reference the source of information in speeches and papers.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:


DUE Reading & Projects

Read Chapter by MONDAY!


DUE Individual Presentation Friday

1 1/10

Read Chapter 1 by Friday

Ch 1. Communication as a Field of Study. 




1/17 holiday

Read Chapter 2 by Wednesday

Ch 2. Understanding Communication Theories.

Fortune Telling


3 1/24

Read Chapter 3 by Monday

Ch 3. Building and Testing Theory.

Sherlock Holmes 

Functional Perspective on Group Decision Making

4 1/31

Read Chapter 4 by Monday

4. An Early Communication Theory.

Polar bears

Cultural Studies

Coordinated Management of Meaning

Cognitive Dissonance

5 2/7

Read Chapter 5 by Monday

5. Theories about Symbolic Activity.


Communication Accommodation Theory

Face Negotiation Theory

Speech Codes

6 2/14

Read Chapter 6 by Monday

6. Theories about Performance.

Lady GaGa

The Rhetoric


Narrative Paradigm

7 2/21 holiday

Read Chapter 7 by Wed.

7. Theories about How People Construct Meaning.

Hiking—maps, backpack (Compass)

Symbolic Convergence Theory

Adaptive Structuration Theory

Symbolic Interactionism


8 2/28

Read Chapter 8 by Monday

8. Theories of Interpersonal Dynamics.

Mardi Gras

Expectancy Violations Theory


Social Judgment Theory

Elaboration Likelihood Model

9 3/14

Read Chapter 9 by Monday

9. Theories about 9. Communication and the Evolution of Relationships.


Relational Dialectics

The Interactional View

Social Penetration Theory

Uncertainty Reduction Theory

Social Information Processing Theory

10 3/21

Read Chapter 10 by Monday

10. Theories about Communication Communities.

Cycling team

Genderlect Styles

Standpoint Theory

Muted Group Theory

11 3/28 4/2holiday

Read Chapter 11 by Monday

11. Theories of Mass Communication.

Movie director

Cultivation Theory

Agenda Setting Theory

Spiral of Silence

Media Ecology

12 4/4

Read Chapter 12 by Monday

12. Critical Communication Theories.


Cultural Approach to Organizations

Critical Theory of Communication in Organizations

13 4/11

Project Presentations


14 4/18

Project Presentations


15 4/25

Read Chapter by Monday

13. The Frontiers of Theory.

14. Communication Theories in Action: A Final Look. Theory Class



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 students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty ( or Park University 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92

Work needs to be original for this course.  Cite and reference the source of information in speeches and papers.  

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. from Park University 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92-93

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95-96

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: .


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Last Updated:11/16/2010 1:15:51 PM