CA348 Theories of Communication

for S1F 2012

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CA 348 Theories of Communication


S1F 2012 QU


Townley, Randolph M.


Adjunct Faculty, Communication


M.A. Communication Arts: Communication Studies & Computer Mediated Communication
B.A. Communication Arts: Journalism & Broadcasting

Other Phone



Semester Dates

January 10, 2012 to Sunday, March 11, 2012

Class Days


Class Time

5:30 - 10:50 PM

Credit Hours



Wood, J.T. (2004) Communication theories in action: An introduction (3rd or most recent ed.)., Belmont, CA; Wadsworth.
ISBN: -10: 0534566391
ISBN: -13: 978-0534566395

Neuman, W. Russell  (Editor) (2010) Media, Technology, and Society: Theories of Media Evolution (Digital Culture Books)., University of Michigan Press, Michigan.
ISBN: -10: 0472050826
ISBN: -13: 978-0472050826

American Psychological Association (APA). (2010).  Publication manual (6th ed.). American Psychological Association.

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:
Companion Site (Textbook) 

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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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:

Through lectures, required readings, quizzes, exams, interactions, web-based content, etc., we will work together explore ideas and issues in order to arrive at the foundation of communication theories for research in communication studies. 

  Instructor Learning Outcomes

  1. Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to understand, critique, and apply communication theories to everyday situations, analyze communication processes in regards to communication theories, successfully apply communication theories to critique communication processes, report increased self-understanding and confidence in human interactions; communicate ideas with fluency and rhetorical sensitivity; apply nonverbal communication theory in communicating and evaluating messages; use critical thinking to understand and resolve issues; demonstrate principles of organization and synthesis of information; adapt messages and behaviors to different communication situations; employ internal and external dialog to respond to messages; demonstrate respect for cultural and social diversity; understand the responsibilities associated with freedom of speech; and demonstrate awareness of historical, cultural and social traditions which influence communication events.
Class Assessment:

Areas of Assessment Points Percent of Grade
Online Discussion 120 12%
Quizes 90 9%
Film Critiques 200 20%
Research Paper 300 30%
Final 200 20%
Paper Checkpoints 90 9%
1000 100%

Each week, discussion question(s) will be posted at the accompanying e-college site through Each student 
needs to respond to the question with a well thought out response. In addition to responding to the discussion, each class member needs to interact and comment on each other class member's original response to the question.

Grading criteria:
1) Well thought out response to discussion topic
2) Meaningful interaction on other class member's responses. 


Each week (2 through 7) we'll have a quiz that assesses your ability to understand the material that you prepared by reading for the week.


Students will watch a movie/documentary and will write the answers to a list of questions based on the information in the film.  This is an application exam;  students must be able to critically analyze the film in regards to communication concepts and write answers to the questions. Student's must identify the movie and get it approved prior to writing the critique.


Your research paper will be submitted week 7. DO NOT wait until the last minute. In fact, there are two other assignments called "Paper Check Point" where you'll be required to provide a status on where you are as shown in the next section.

Paper Checkpoint 1

Week 3, provide the topic for your paper and an abstract of your paper.

Paper Check point 2

Week 6, provide your rough draft of your paper so I can provide feedback and offer you some suggestions for completion.

Final Exam

The final exam will test your ability to understand the concepts of theories of communication learned through the course.


Typically, final grades are earned according to the following scale:

A = 900-1000

B = 800-899

C = 700-799

D = 600-699

F = 599 or below

1000 points = 100%

Late Submission of Course Materials:
BE ON TIME.  Please read this information

Late submissions will be reduced to one lower letter grade. (e.g., A- to  B-). No credit will be given if late more than 3 days.

It is better to have submitted something, rather than nothing. This goes for daily/weekly online postings. Because we meet once per week, these are extremely important and very valuable interactions that are necessary for us to stay on track for our learning objectives.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
Please see

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Week Topic Dates Assignments
Week 1 Wood: Chapters 1-3 "Thinking about Communication and Theory"
Neuman: Chapter 1 "Theories of Media Evolution"
1/10/2012 Weekly Discussion Questions on e-college
Week 2 Wood: Chapters 4-5 "Early Communication Theory and Theories about Symbolic Activity"
Neuman: Chapter 2 "Newspaper Culture and Technical Innovation, 1980–2005"
1/17/2012 Quiz, Weekly Discussion Questions on e-college
Week 3 Wood: Chapters 6-7 "Theories about Performance and How People Construct Meaning"
Neuman: Chapter 4 "Hollywood 2.0: How Internet Distribution Will Affect the Film Industry"
1/24/2012 Quiz, Paper Checkpoint 1, Weekly Discussion Questions on e-college
Week 4 Wood: Chapters 8-9 "Theories about Interpersonal Dynamics and Communication and the Evolution of Relationships"
Neuman: Chapter 3 "From the Telegraph and Telephone to the Negroponte Switch"
1/31/2012 Quiz, Film Critique 1, Weekly Discussion Questions on e-college
Week 5 Wood: Chapters 10 & 12 "Theories about Communication Communities and Critical Communication Theories"
Neuman: Chapter 8 "Some Say the Internet Should Never Have Happened"
2/7/2012 Quiz, Weekly Discussion Questions on e-college
Week 6 Wood: Chapter 11 "Theories about Mass Communication"
Neuman: Chapter 6 "Inventing Television: Citizen Sarnoff and One Philo T. Farnsworth"
2/14/2012 Quiz, Paper Checkpoint 2, Weekly Discussion Questions on e-college
Week 7 Wood: Chapter 13 "Post Modern Theorizing"
Neuman: Chapter 7 "The Cable Fables: The Innovation Imperative of Excess Capacity"
2/21/2012 Quiz, Research Paper, Weekly Discussion Questions on e-college
Week 8 Wood: Chapter 14 "Communication Theories in Action: A Final Look"
Neuman: Chapter 10 "Who Controls Content? The Future of Digital Rights Management"
2/28/2012 Final Exam, Film Critique 2, Weekly Discussion Questions on e-college

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 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93

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 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 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 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 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:1/10/2012 11:51:11 AM