CA348 Theories of Communication

for F2F 2012

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CA 348 Theories of Communication


F2F 2012 QU


Townley, Randolph M.


Adjunct Faculty


MA Communication Studies
BA Communication Arts

Office Location


Office Hours

by request

Daytime Phone



Semester Dates

October 22 - December 21

Class Days


Class Time

5:30 - 10:30 PM

Credit Hours




Griffin, EM (2008) A First Look at Communication Theory (7th Edition ONLY)., New York NY; McGraw Hill.
ISBN-10: 0073385026
ISBN-13: 978-0073385020

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

Available online:

Any version of Aristotle’s Rhetoric in print or online:

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Additional Resources:
 Companion Site:

Link to purchase second required reading (,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.,cf.osb&biw=1280&bih=699&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=9965096108069587409&sa=X&ei=kGP-TsT8LOHu0gHZ8LziDA&ved=0CEUQgggwAA)

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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


Percent of Grade

Online Discussion






Film Critiques



Research Paper






Paper Checkpoints






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


Students will watch a movie/documentary and will evaluate the film based on the theory.  This is an application exam;  students must be able to critically analyze the film in regards to communication concepts and write well thought out responses. 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 in proper format. Format WILL count toward the grade assigned.

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. Proper format should be executed and WILL count toward the grade assigned.

Final Exam

The final exam will test your ability to understand the concepts of theories of communication learned through the course. Proper format should be executed and WILL count toward the final grade assigned.


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 one week.

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:

Proper and respectful of EVERYONE.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:





Week 1

Griffin: Chapters 1-3 "Launching Your Study of Communication, Talk About Theory, Weighing the Words"
Neuman: Chapter 1 "Theories of Media Evolution"


Weekly Discussion Questions on e-college, Quiz 1

Week 2

Griffin: Chapters 5, 6, 7 "Symbolic Interactionism, Coordinated Management of Meaning (CCM), Expectancy Violations Theory"
Neuman: Chapter 2 "Newspaper Culture and Technical Innovation, 1980–2005"


Weekly Discussion Questions on e-college, Quiz 2

Week 3

Griffin: Chapters 7, 8, 10 "Expectancy Violations Theory, Constructivism, Uncertainty Reduction Theory"
Neuman: Chapter 4 "HollyGriffin 2.0: How Internet Distribution Will Affect the Film Industry"


Paper Checkpoint 1, Weekly Discussion Questions on e-college, Quiz 3

Week 4

Griffin: Chapters 12, 15, 17 "Relational Dialectics, Elaboration Likelihood Model, Functional Perspective on Group Decision Making"
Neuman: Chapter 3 "From the Telegraph and Telephone to the Negroponte Switch"


Film Critique 1, Weekly Discussion Questions on e-college, Quiz 4

Week 5

Griffin: Chapters 20, 21, 25 "Critical Theory of Communication in Organizations, the Rhetoric, Semiotics"
Neuman: Chapter 8 "Some Say the Internet Should Never Have Happened"


Weekly Discussion Questions on e-college, Quiz 5

Week 6

Griffin: Chapter 26, 27, 31 "Cultural Studies, Cultivation Theory, Face Negotiation Theory"
Neuman: Chapter 6 "Inventing Television: Citizen Sarnoff and One Philo T. Farnsworth"


Paper Checkpoint 2, Weekly Discussion Questions on e-college, Quiz 6

Week 7

Griffin: Chapter 11, 33, 35 "Social Information Processing Theory, Genderselect Styles, Muted Group Theory"
Neuman: Chapter 7 "The Cable Fables: The Innovation Imperative of Excess Capacity"


Research Paper, Weekly Discussion Questions on e-college, Quiz 7

Week 8

Griffin: Chapter 4, 35 "Mapping the Territory, Common Threads in Comm Theories"
Neuman: Chapter 10 "Who Controls Content? The Future of Digital Rights Management"


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 95-96

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 95

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 98

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:10/15/2012 1:43:21 PM