Classes

  • The Communication Leadership curriculum includes core courses and a variety of electives. All courses are 5 credits unless otherwise indicated. Use the search widget below to sort classes by degree track (MCDM, MCCN, track neutral) and by other attributes (credits, core requirements, etc.).

    Please view the University of Washington Academic Calendar for important dates, including quarter start and end dates, registration dates and deadlines, and campus holidays.

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COM 546: Communication Through Digital Media & Networks (Yasin) - 2018 Spring

Required Core Course for MCDM and MCCN
Thursdays, March 29th-May 31st, 6-9:50pm | PCAR 291
Registration SLN: 12404

Course Description: 

Communication through Digital Media and Networks: Organizational Storytelling and the Digital Age tackles how organizations across all sectors successfully craft their story and message it internally and externally. The course looks at various theories and case studies of organizational communication, which provide important context for how organizations map their values, identities and image to the story they convey to employees and the broader public. The course also asks students to apply these theories, create solutions and draft a plan concerning an actual organizational challenge for class clients that they are matched with in the class. In working with real clients, the class hopes to facilitate the pursuit of professional networks for students whilst also building strategic thinking and planning skills, which will be reflected in students’ in-class group projects. In addition to the group projects, students also write a case-study about the organization and the communicative challenge they face on their own to further develop students’ skills as forecasters and leaders in the field.

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COM 597: Connecting Through Words: The Art & Science of Text-Based Marketing (Schiller) - 2018 Spring

Track Neutral, 3 Credits
Saturdays, April 21, May 5, 19, 9-5pm | CMU 126
Registration SLN: 12416

Course Description: 

This advanced marketing writing class is designed for students who can already write well, but want formal training in persuasive copywriting techniques – the kind that drive people to call, buy, join, or sign-­‐up. If you’ve ever agonized over finding just the right words to achieve your goals, this class is designed to get you there faster. It introduces some of the most effective and well-­‐tested methods used by professional storytellers to outsell and outrun the constantly changing market. Students will learn how to use techniques based in psychological research to get measurable lift in subject line open rates, landing page conversion rates, app store downloads, and more. Using a combination of readings, case studies and practical writing assignments students will learn the art and science of creating top-­‐performing marketing text.

Student Testimonial:

“This course was one of the most valuable classes I’ve taken while in the program. Carol ensured that the readings and assignments were directly applicable to our own careers and the ideas I brought back to my boss made me look great at work. I wondered if a full-day class about copywriting would be too long, but Carol’s lessons were lively and interesting, and I found that the day moved along very quickly. In short, I found this class to have tremendous value and I highly recommend it.”

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COM 558: Law of Digital Media, Interactive Media, and Content (Baker) - 2018 Spring

MCDM Elective, Meets Law & Ethics Core Requirement
Tuesdays, March 27th-May 29th, 6-9:50pm | CMU 302
Registration SLN: 12405

Course Description:

The law of digital media, interactive media and social media has facilitated the growth of multimedia storytelling, interactivity, and the explosion of collaborative consumption. Understanding when and how one can remix, reuse, republish, and remake content is critical to any organization’s successful advertising, content creation, distribution, and publication. This course will explore the legal issues surrounding free expression, content production and publication, intellectual property (with a special emphasis on copyright and fair use), and advertising. This course is designed both as a stand-alone course to satisfy the law and policy requirement of the program and as a companion to the data security and privacy law course offered in the Fall, which focuses more on data usage, privacy and security, FTC regulatory issues and intellectual property issues around data and analytics.

Student Testimonial:

“Law & Policy is usually among the favorites of each cohort, and I completely understand that! Kraig is an incredibly knowledgeable professor who is detail oriented, and cares deeply about getting his students interested in the material. Law seems like a boring subject at first, but he makes sure that the material is tailored to the interests of each class and gives his students the freedom to adapt the course to their passions and learning styles. Also, this course is incredibly relevant to many questions we always have looming over our heads about copyright and content. This subject will continuously be relevant, and Kraig does a great job at making sure you’re confident in that.”

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COM 583: Multimedia Storytelling: Immersive Production Studio (Macklin) - 2018 Spring

MCDM Elective
Tuesdays, March 27th-May 29th, 6-9:50pm | CMU 318E
Registration SLN: 12407

Course Description:

Emerging models of interactive and immersive (full & any screen, scrolling and responsive) storytelling are disrupting the ways we can reach and engage with our constituents. This course in Studio Production will have a deep concentration on the production aspects and development tools necessary to create Snow Fall-like immersive web stories. We will be coupling a critical look at these emerging models while working through the technical aspects of story creation and the implementation of web deveopment tools and platforms (HTML 5 & jQuery). This will be a project-based course through which students will acquire the strategy and skills to make informed designs about the development and use of immersive storytelling processes. Previous multimedia production and web development is not necessary, though a willingness to learn and play with the underlying technologies is a must.

Student Testimonial:

“This class blends multimedia storytelling and places it into a digital context. We used different mediums (video, text, photos, maps, and more,) to tell a story. Not only do we get to tell a story, but we also are guided in the technical aspects of video, photography, and web design. There are more practical skills actually used in this class than I can count on my fingers and toes! I really learned the importance of setting a scene. My previous degree is in filmmaking, and it seems like in longer-format storytelling (films, novels, etc) you can take more time building the landscape of a story. However, in digital storytelling, it is essential to get your visual ‘lede’ line – Having a map, photo, or video to set the scene of your story is essential to get your point across succinctly and clearly. Brevity is the soul of wit (and the internet). I really enjoyed that the class had both structure and freedom. We had a well defined storytelling goal to achieve for the class, but Scott opened up the way we told it to as many ways as we wanted to. This gave everyone the ability to choose which digital platforms to use and to perfect. While we all had to create a website, (with certain grade requirements – one video, photos, etc), it was up to us which web platform we used, and how much detail we put into individual aspects of the story. For instance, if a student wanted to really focus on good film, they could do that while selecting an easier web platform to plug their video into. Or, if a student wanted to really focus on building a detailed website, they could do that and be able to add shorter videos. The flexibility to work on your own strengths and interest in storytelling was really great.”

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COM 597: Analytics and Insights for Brands: Measuring Marketing Effectiveness (Myers) - 2018 Spring

MCDM Elective, Meets Research Methods Core Requirement
Mondays, March 26th-June 4th (no class April 9th instead class will meet June 5th), 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 126
Registration SLN: 12415

Course Description: 

This course will introduce students to the fundamentals of digital marketing analytics and driving insights on how to measure the efficacy and ROI of digital media. We will compare and evaluate some of the analytics tools on the market and learn how to perform a social landscape audit, establish KPIs (key performance indicators), set marketing goals, and determine methods for campaign performance tracking. We’ll deep dive into the components that comprise a monthly monitoring report, including managed channel (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.) success metrics and KPI tracking, conversation themes, influencer identification, data insights, and listening & monitoring topics. We’ll examine the latest debates, tools, technologies, and social channels and their implications for social media analytics. We will further explore each channel used in digital marketing including paid, owned, and earned.

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COM 597: Black Mirror: Exploring the Ethical Questions of New Technology (Pearce) - 2018 Spring

MCDM Elective, Meets Law and Ethics Core Requirement
Wednesdays, March 28th-May 30th, 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 126
Registration SLN: 12423

Course Description:

Emergent technologies always have unintended consequences, which frequently result in unanticipated ethical dilemmas for consumers, businesses, organizations, governments, and society at large. This course provides students opportunities to explore these ethical dilemmas and understand how to mitigate them. Students will learn practical strategies for identifying and managing ethical issues at the intersection of human behavior and technology that can be applied across sectors. Using the British television anthology Black Mirror as an organizational base, this course will provide project-based learning opportunities for students interested in exploring the darker side of new technologies. (Netflix announced this summer that they would pick up Black Mirror for an original third season—a sign of the show’s influence and provocative approach.) Students interested in this course should note that Black Mirror is a speculative fiction future-based show with mature themes related to technology and society. Episodes are fascinating, but also disturbing, as the show features graphic content, often of a violent and sexual nature. Students are advised to take this under consideration before enrolling in the course, but also know that all episodes will be watched together in class as part of a facilitated discussion. This format is a pedagogical tool that transforms the viewing into a shared learning opportunity, in real time. Each Black Mirror episode taps into our unease about technology and will provide fruitful examples of ethical themes—and each episode is a superb platform for ethical debates. Also, please note that due to the design of this course with weekly group work that carries over into the next week, absences will be very difficult to overcome.

Student Testimonial:

“This class was fascinating. I took it because it fulfilled the law and ethics requirement for the Communication Leadership program, and I knew it would be more interesting than a typical law or ethics class and it was fun! Black Mirror is such an interesting series and one that you can talk about endlessly, but how Katie Price approached the content, the themes, and the way technology was involved was really fascinating. I so admired Katie’s teaching style and the discussions she encouraged us to participate in. I loved this class and recommend it to everyone, although I know it won’t be taught every year, consider yourself lucky if you can take it! You will learn so much and really find ways to approach an interesting and thought-proving series with a new light.”

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COM 597: Graphic Storytelling as Communication Platform (Salkowitz) - 2018 Spring

MCDM Elective
Saturdays, March 31, April 14, 28, May 12, and June 2, 9-5pm | CMU 126
Registration SLN: 12419

Course Description:

Understanding how to use words and pictures in combination to tell stories is a core competency for communicators in the digital era. This class will provide you with a solid understanding of the medium of sequential art and visual narrative (aka “comics”) and the practical ability to incorporate visual storytelling into traditional, digital, and transmedia projects in a variety of entertainment, business, education, social and journalistic scenarios. Why comics? Comics and sequential art have gone from the margins of popular culture to the center of a multi-billion dollar global industry and a respected art-form. Many of the most popular movies, television, videogames and transmedia projects are adapted from comics and/or depend heavily on storytelling styles that originated with this unique medium. Issues of digital distribution, adaptation and audience engagement that arise in today’s “comics culture” affect the future of publishing, technology, social media and gaming. Beyond the world of entertainment, the principles of visual narrative are becoming fundamental to all manner of storytelling projects, global initiatives and creative enterprises. This class will explore the history and potential of comics as a storytelling medium in the digital age in both a media studies and business dimension, incorporating both theory and practice. We will look at the anatomy of the medium in all its forms; study how comics are used in entertainment, literary, documentary, journalistic, educational, training and business communications contexts; examine the challenges of bringing comic-based subject matter to other media; explore the business issues associated with the explosion of comics in the wider culture; and create an original digital transmedia project incorporating the visual language of comics.

Student Testimonial:

“For the uninitiated in transmedia, it’s a crash course in visual storytelling and pop culture. For those familiar with transmedia, it offers a series of case studies in what you can do right or wrong in transmedia campaigns. The class definitely emphasizes comics, so while it’s not necessary to have an extensive knowledge of that format, it’s definitely for someone who’s curious about them. I was surprised to learn that a degree of visual abstraction can actually enhance storytelling. Rather than using a more precise visual format, such as photography or accurate illustrations of reality, using caricatures lets a person’s imagination fill in the gaps. I also found the study of the more formal aspects of comics to be very interesting. The all-day Saturday sessions went surprisingly fast. Rob does a great job of mixing up the class between discussion, lecture, guests, and video. Still, it’s not for the faint of heart, so if you’re going to take the class, plan on committing your Saturdays. You don’t want to miss a class.”

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COM 586: Advanced Content Creation, Curation, and Optimization (Weaver) - 2018 Spring

MCDM Elective, Meets Research Methods Core Requirement
Mondays, March 26th-June 4th, 6-9:50pm | CMU 242
Registration SLN: 12408

Course Description:

This course connects how brand storytelling connects to online experiences, merging the technical and editorial disciplines of content design to build foundations that serve cross-channel experience and future technologies. Building advanced skills in content strategy and information architecture, students will learn how to adapt methods and techniques for different contexts, channels, and platforms. This class focuses on the specialized skills and techniques that content designers bring to collaborative digital and user-centered design teams from understanding messaging to organizing information for internal and external facing systems.

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COM 597: Leadership and Teams (Philipsen) - 2018 Spring

MCCN Elective
Tuesdays, March 27th-May 29th, 6-9:50pm | CMU 126
Registration SLN: 12418

Course Description:

In this highly interactive course you will learn to notice, describe, and assess how formal and informal leaders organize and participate in workplace meetings in ways that enhance group creativity and effective problem solving. The course integrates the classic wisdom on effective leadership in workplace groups with the newest research on virtual teams, computer-assisted group problem solving, and the facilitative potential of leader communications. In the course you will learn and practice a research method and skill—the real-time analysis of leader behavior in work group interactions, and you will learn how this skill will enable you to enhance the creative and problem solving performance of workplace groups in which you participate and t hat you lead. Taking this course can help you develop your personal capacity as a constructive participant in work groups and teams. It can also provide you with research-based understandings of how various leadership communications can facilitate the effectiveness of work groups, as well as equip you to do qualitative real-time analyses of the functioning of work teams of which you are a member, observer, or facilitator. Finally, it will introduce you to methods of analyzing and assessing the role that groups can play in the work of particular networks, communities, or organizations, including the benefits and costs to an organization of work in groups.

Student Testimonial:

“I really found this to be one of the most valuable courses yet that I have taken while in the CommLead program. Dr. Philipsen is a wonderful teacher and has an instruction style that resonates with me. He is a great listener and is deeply engaged in all aspects of in-class discussion. While he is approachable and laid-back, he asks incisive questions and elicits critical thought from all members of the class. The content of the course is especially pertinent for any CommLead students who are in or who anticipate being in positions of leadership in their respective fields. I learned a tremendous amount about different group discussion and creative work processes, and the science that serves as the foundation for those processes. There is so much from this class that is directly and immediately applicable to group interactions in professional settings. This course was fantastic, and I am a better leader because of it.”

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COM 597: Mastering the Art and Science of Professional Communication (McCarthy) - 2018 Spring

MCCN Elective
Wednesdays, March 28th-May 30th, 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 242
Registration SLN: 12422

Course Description:

Few careers are changing faster than that of the professional communicator. Communications and marketing leaders have made their way into the C-suite (as Chief Marketing Officers) across the nonprofit, private, and public sectors and influence everything from branding and sales strategies to organizational culture. This course will provide necessary background on the many disciplines in the communications and marketing mix, identify areas of convergence and divergence between these disciplines, and learn how to use these tools help an organization achieve its objectives or business goals. The course will teach participants to anticipate the communications needs of a company or organization’s leadership and include a range of assignments that ask students to apply course teachings to real-world scenarios with strategic thinking, brand development, and compelling storytelling.

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