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.). Or view the latest version of our printed course guide here.

    Please view the University of Washington Academic Calendar for important dates, including quarter start and end dates, registration dates and deadlines, and campus holidays. Registration SLNs can be located on the Time Schedule.

COMMLD 543: Leadership Approaches to Equity Initiatives in Organizations (Ross) - 2019 Summer

MCCN Elective
Wednesdays 6/26-8/21 | 6:00-9:50pm | DEN 258
Registration SLN: 10910

Course Description:

This course challenges and supports students to develop deeper self-awareness, hone stronger skills for learning across difference, and prepare themselves as organizational change-makers for diversity, equity, and inclusion.

For better or worse, organizational change initiatives impact individuals, groups, organizations, and ultimately societies. Thus, courageous leaders throughout organizations must learn how to improve their relevant knowledge, skills, and awareness iteratively, in order to contribute effectively to genuine change-making. The course is designed to meet students where they are and coach them toward significant growth in self-awareness, skills, and understanding. Students learn collaboratively together in order to explore interconnections among the dimensions of our intersectional identities. Those who complete this course gain confidence in their ability to learn about uncomfortable topics and expand their understanding of the roles of individuals, groups, organizations, and societal structures in making real system change.

Student Testimonial:

“This was THE BEST class! It was a complete eye-opener. We discussed some of the issues that are so prevalent in our daily lives but we choose to stay quiet and not discuss. Sarah pushes students to think deeper about our own behaviors towards self as well as others. Most of us found ourselves open up so much that by the end of the class, we were always longing for more discussions. The quarter went by too fast but did leave us with lot of learnings.”

[Course Description +]

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.”

[Course Description +]

COMMLD 537: Principles of Storytelling for Organizations, Business, and Movements (Kessler) - 2019 Winter

Track Neutral
Saturdays, 1/12, 1/19, 2/2, 2/16, 3/2 | 9:00am-5:00pm | CMU 126
Registration SLN: 22049

Course Description:

Thinking Story is a foundational class that focuses on the art and craft of nonfiction storytelling to communicate ideas and emotion, build relationships and community, promote change and inspire action. The class reflects the need in all sectors for superb storytelling. The class explores, investigates and discusses the elements of narrative — what makes a story a story – and looks at examples of nonfiction storytelling across media (text, sound, still image, moving image and multimedia combinations). This platform-agnostic, birds-eye view of story is about learning how to reframe/ reconceptualize “information” and “report” as story, how to locate the small story that illuminates the larger issue, and what it takes to produce such work. At its heart, the class is about learning how to conceptualize issues, topics, brands, and ideas as narratives. Students will learn to “think story,” to pinpoint, pitch and gather material for the production of original, compelling and persuasive content.

Student Testimonial:

“Storytelling is THE foundational skill every student must have a deep understanding of in order to succeed in the Comm. Lead program. Take this course if you want to learn how to craft a captivating story, if you want to be challenged, and if you want to improve as a writer, researcher, and interviewer. Thinking Story shows students how much thought is required to create an entertaining, purposeful, and persuasive story. The assigned reading, viewing, and listening materials are a combination of interesting examples of storytelling and long form nonfiction, intended to introduce students to the idea that humans are “wired for story.” Each assignment builds on the next, leading up to the final deliverable, a storyboard of the narrative you researched and developed all quarter. Professor Kessler asks her students to choose topics that are important and of interest to them. The work you will produce in Thinking Story feels more like a passion project rather than tasks you must complete. I recommend this class for all students in the program!”

[Course Description +]

COM 597: Distributed and Diverse Teams: Leading and Communicating with Impact (Chang) - 2018 Summer

Track Neutral
Saturdays 6/23, 6/30, 8/4, 8/11 I 9:00am-5:00pm | CMU 302
Registration SLN: 14484

Course Description:

Through this practical and applied course, students will build their leadership and communication effectiveness to work in distributed teams at the global, national or local levels. With increasing inter-connectedness that builds larger and more complex teams and also reduces face/face time of those teams, competencies in distributed leadership are a rapidly evolving must-have set in any professional context but especially in ther field of communications. And yet opportunities to sharpen those nuanced skills remain less than optimal. Enrolled students will embark on a full-immersion experience by working in distributed teams using a combination of relevant practical materials and readings, ongoing team and individual assignments, personal self-reflection and improved self-awareness and the planning and execution of a class-wise exercise such as a strategy retreat or Hackathon. Topics covered will include project planning, goal setting, managing through direct and indirect influence and communicating with impact over the e-highways. Distributed team technology will anchor the students together as they move through coursework that will help them to stretch, struggle and succeed. By the end of the course, students will be able to not only recognize their progression but will also be able to more effectively articulate the related competencies using terminology and language relevant for professional pursuits.

[Course Description +]

COMMLD 570: Communication and Teams in Organizations: Leading with Impact (Chang) - 2018 Fall

Track Neutral
Thursdays, 9/27-11/15 (8 sessions) | 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 302
Registration SLN: 23728

Course Description:

The workplace is increasingly connected and diverse, where teams and leaders work face to face, virtually or in hybrid teams with multiple audiences, clients, customers or suppliers. In this complex setting, responsive and adaptable leadership and communication skills are core competencies to create business and team effectiveness, not just from the organizationally designated “leader” but for anyone involved. And yet the technical skill building and conceptual internalization required to build –and demonstrate — those competencies can feel elusive and difficult to learn, articulate and track. This course is for anyone who says: “I want to become a better leader and communicate more effectively in this diversifying workplace.” In this course, students will advance their ability to generate clear technical communication results, team effectiveness and thought leadership through improved leadership communication competencies. They will do this by using a very practical, hands-on approach to applying various approaches, projects and tools to the workplace, diving into better understanding their own worldviews that shape how they engage with and react to teams, and bringing more explicit articulation to their leadership competencies. By the end of this course, students will be better equipped to provide leadership to and within teams, to articulate and measure their leadership growth and competencies, and to translate it all into a clear and compelling narrative.

[Course Description +]

COMMLD 558: Law, Data, and Privacy (Baker) - 2019 Autumn

MCDM Elective | Meets Law and Ethics Core Requirement
Thursdays, 9/26-12/5 (no class 11/28) | 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 232

Course Description:

“Big Data”, “The Internet of Things”, “Behavioral Advertising”, “Analytics” — all buzzwords capturing the explosion of data and the promise of what we can do with data. Collecting, using, organizing, and sharing data and information also evokes legal issues and individual and collective uncertainty over who owns this data, what rights does one own, how does the data usage implicate privacy issues, how is and how should data use be regulated by the government, by private entities, for advertising, etc. This course will explore the legal issues associated with data usage, data collection, sharing of user information, and licensing. This course will pay particular attention to privacy laws in the United States, how the FTC and other regulators are approaching advertisers’ use of personal information, how organizations attempt to keep data secure, and how intellectual property rights protect (and don’t protect) data and databases.

[Course Description +]

COM 597: Design + Content: Introduction to UX Content Strategy (Holmberg) - 2016 Fall

MCDM Elective, Meets Research Methods Core Requirement
Mondays, 10/3/16-12/5/16, 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 126

Course Description:

The role of the content strategist requires an understanding of the fundamentals of both traditional UX and content strategy, and this class seeks to build the overlapping skills and concepts needed to succeed in this role, whether as a dedicated content strategist or if it’s just one part of the work. Students will learn the foundations of both UX and content strategy, including user journeys and user research, content hierarchies, basic wireframing, principles of IA, and more, culminating in a creative strategy brief which encompasses both fields. The goal is to come away from the class with a holistic understanding of both UX and content strategy, and their relationship to one another.

Student Testimonial:

“From class activities to assignments to even the class slides, Dave crafts an optimal user experience for the student. He takes the time to provide useful, in-depth feedback on all assignments which enhances the learning experience considerably. The UX Content Strategy Playbook we created was an incredible way to learn the specifics of UX exercises we studied in class; I’m sure I’ll use it for years to come. The books Dave selected for class will serve as excellent resources down the road as well. This was definitely one of the best classes I’ve taken in the Comm Lead program.”

[Course Description +]

COMMLD 520: Brand Values and Creativity in Marketing Communications (Howard) - 2019 Winter

Track Neutral
Tuesdays, 1/8-3/12 | 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 302
Registration SLN: 22050

Course Description:

This course will take a close up look at corporate brand values in marketing communications today. Brand values should be timeless and unchanging, but in a constantly fluctuating business environment, is this goal even possible? While high volume video advertising and A/B testing is exploding, paradoxically, messaging of corporate brand values is oftentimes minimized. Marketing today is comprised of ever-changing algorithms, transactional communications, and confusing narratives.Should creativity play a bigger role in storytelling in today’s marketplace? Do customers even know what the companies they make purchases from actually stand for values-wise? Does it matter? How can companies still connect emotionally with consumers? Students will conceive of, research, shoot, edit, and create a marketing film for a company of their choice. All the while, they’ll be considering deeply how emotion, story, and marketing message function in a project that resonates with the consumer while also reinforcing a company’s belief system.

 

 

[Course Description +]

COM 583: Multimedia Storytelling: Digital Distribution and the Story (Keller) - 2017 Winter

MCDM Elective
Tuesdays, 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 242

Course Description:

The landscape of web-distributed video can be broadly divided into three motifs: Entertainment, Newsgathering, and Business Communication. From YouTube to Vimeo, Netflix to Hulu, 12seconds.tv to Facebook, online video is a storytelling revolution. Or is it? How do storytelling choices affect message reception? Storytelling has been part of the human experience since the formation of language. Today, the technology that surrounds the “tell” of a story (the modes and channels of communication) directly shape the immersive experience felt by the viewer, while leveraging the lessons of narrative and myth. This course focuses on the decisions we make when we tell our stories. This course is both theoretical and practical. Students will be afforded the skills to create and distribute video stories. Additionally, students will be expected to display critical thinking around point of view, audience targeting, ROI success criteria, methodology, and production standards. Students are expected to exercise the craft of content creation while at the same time critically evaluating and deconstructing content they see in the marketplace.

Student Testimonial:

“Drew Keller’s Multimedia Storytelling class deftly weaves in the interconnected components of effective multimedia communication. Whether you are a novice or expert videographer, this class takes you to the next level by covering video syndication, platform selection, and monetization. In addition to perfectly balancing theory, guest lectures and hands on work, Drew went above and beyond by providing weekend tutorials on video composition, shooting and editing. He even provided 1:1 help during work!”

[Course Description +]

COM 558: Law of Digital Media, Interactive Media, and Content (Baker) - 2017 Spring

MCDM Elective, Meets Law & Ethics Requirement
Thursday, 3/27/17-6/2/17, 6-9:50pm | CMU 302

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.”

[Course Description +]

COM 583: Advanced Narrative Multimedia Storytelling (Stonehill) - 2017 Fall

MCDM Elective
Thursdays, 9/28-12/7, 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 302

Course Description:

From prehistoric cave paintings to Netflix binges, our innate attraction to stories defines us as a species. Yet as professional communication tools and techniques become more sophisticated, there’s a tendency to forget the fundamentals and lose sight of what makes storytelling such a persuasive tool.

This class will explore those fundamentals while practically tackling the relational challenges of storytelling: building trust with subjects and clients, telling the stories of others ethically, capturing authenticity without equipment getting in the way, and crafting a compelling narrative from sometimes messy real-life material. This coursework is designed to support students as they create high-value work in one of the most challenging but powerful modes of storytelling: human-driven documentary film. They’ll conceive of, research, shoot, edit, and create a distribution plan for a short, character-driven documentary on the subject of their choice, in partnership with a client. All the while, they’ll be considering deeply how story functions throughout our media and applying those lessons to their project.

This is an advanced course that will assume a basic knowledge of technical aspects of video production and editing, so a previous foundational MCDM storytelling class or equivalent technical experience is strongly recommended. Given that the emphasis of this course is on the interpersonal aspects of storytelling, that baseline technical familiarity will be vital to your success. While your technical skills will improve through the filmmaking process, this course is not a deep dive into the latest and greatest technology in filmmaking. It is a deep dive into the tried and true pillars of great storytelling. Contact instructor with any questions.

Student Testimonial:

“I can’t say enough good things about this class. [The instructors] are gifted educators and expert storytellers. As educators, I found them open and willing to engage many points of view with equal respect. That’s a rare talent. Their entry in the Seattle International Film Festival 2013 (Barzan) attests to the pedigree of their storytelling. They encouraged me to seek a challenging topic. In the few weeks we had in the class, they were mindful to remind the class to stay on pace. They grounded this advice in real-world experience. A big debt of thanks to Comm Lead for leveraging [the instructor’s] abilities and experience into a rewarding experience; the class was over all too quickly.”

[Course Description +]

COM 597: Measuring Marketing Effectiveness: Analytics and Insights for Brands (Myers) - 2017 Summer

MCDM Elective, Meets Research Requirement
Mondays, 6/19-8/14, 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 126
Please note this class will not meet on July 3 but will instead add a class on Tuesday, July 11, 6:00-9:50pm in CMU 126.

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.

[Course Description +]

COM 597: Aligning UX Design With User Psychology (Evans) - 2018 Winter

MCDM Elective, Meets Research Methods Core Requirement
Tuesdays, Jan 9th-March 6th, 6-9:50pm | DEN 303

Course Description: 

Designers, product marketers, and entrepreneurs will learn the psychological constrictions of attention, perception, memory, disposition, motivation, and social influence that determine whether or not customers will be receptive to their digital innovations. This will give their innovations an edge on what are increasingly competitive platforms such as apps, bots, in-car apps, augmented reality content). Students will learn…

  • The psychological processes determining users’ perception of, engagement with, and recommendation of digital innovations
  • Examples of interfaces before and after simple psychological alignments that vastly enhanced their effectiveness
  • How to identify, apply theory, and develop consulting or research recommendations based on psychological theory
  • Application to their own business interests. A deeper understanding of common digital interfaces such as conversion funnels, display advertisements, and mobile notifications.
  • A broader understanding of the human context of digital ventures, and the ethical differences between alignment and meeting needs vs. exploitation and unsustainable design approaches

Student Testimonial: 

“This course explores the fascinating relationship between UX design and human psychology. In his lessons, Professor David Evans describes the psychological constraints of attention, perception, memory, disposition, motivation, and social influence, and uses real-world examples to provide a deeper understanding of their role in user design. Students are assigned weekly assignments where they apply one of the psychological processes to an example of their choice. Additionally, this class includes an in-depth ethics discussion centered on human behavioral traits and whether UX designers meet user needs or exploit them. As a final deliverable, students write an ethics paper based on the discussions. As a whole, Aligning UX Design with User Psychology is beneficial beyond the classroom because David’s enjoyable teaching style ingrains the lessons in his students. At the very least, this class will draw awareness to your own behavioral traits and help identify when they are manipulated.”

[Course Description +]

COMMLD 520: Community Data Science: Programming and Data Science for Communicators (Guy) - 2019 Spring

MCDM, Meets Research Methods Core Requirement
Wednesdays, 4/3/19-6/5/19 | 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 302
Registration SLN: 12428

Course Description:

This course will introduce basic programming and data science tools to give students the skills to find, access, and synthesize data into information that can be analyzed and acted on. We will cover the basics of the Python programming language, web APIs including APIs from Wikipedia and Twitter, and basic tools for statistical hypothesis testing, data manipulation, and visualization. Students will be encouraged to bring questions and problems from their own area of interest and apply Python and Data Science to those problems through an independent project. Our target audience is students with no previous programming experience.

[Course Description +]

COM 585: Multi-Platform Content Strategy (Magwire) - 2018 Winter

MCDM Elective, Meets Research Methods Core Requirement
Wednesdays, Jan 3rd-March 7th, 6-9:50pm I CMU 302

Course Description:

This course will focus in two areas: 1) Teaching the skills, techniques and tools used by product content strategists like, wireframing, responsive content modeling, and journey mapping. 2) Outlining how to successfully apply these skills in real world scenarios within interdisciplinary teams. Each skill will be applied in both hypothetical product teams and with real brands from around the region.

Student Testimonial: 

“Multi-Platform Content Strategy with Professor Magwire was such an amazing hands-on experience of what it is like to be a content strategist. This was a perfect blend of concepts and technical skills needed to grasp what happens in the field and how to be successful in it. I really enjoyed working with actual clients and acquiring the skills over the course of the quarter to make real recommendations on how best to improve their strategy. My favorite part of the class were the amazing guest speakers that were able to speak to their personal experiences working with or as content strategists. Definitely recommend the class for any working professional whether you are going into content strategy or not!”

[Course Description +]

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.”

[Course Description +]

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

MCDM Elective, Meets Research Requirement
Tuesdays, 6/19-8/14, 6:00-9:50pm | SAV 132
Registration SLN: 10852

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.

[Course Description +]

COMMLD 510: User Research and UX Strategies (Levine) - 2018 Fall

MCDM Elective | Meets Research Methods Core Requirement
Wednesdays, 9/26-12/5 | 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 230
Registration SLN: 23734

Course Description: 

This course focuses on the design, implementation, and evaluation of user interfaces from a usability perspective. The aim of the course is to study the concepts, methods, and techniques of usability engineering, with a focus on the artifacts where user experience is essential. Historically, usability has covered aspects of efficiency, learnability, and ease of use. Today, a large number of other measures for success rely on elements such as playability, engagement, entertainment, immersion, and aesthetics.

Several concepts will be detailed with the expectation that by the end of the quarter, students will recognize the aspects of each of the following deliverables within Interface Design and User Research. At the completion of this course, students will have portfolio-ready, end-to-end work examples to demonstrate they can:

  • Understand basic principles of user interface design, implementation, and evaluation
  • Design and conduct usability studies
  • Select an appropriate evaluation method and articulating its advantages and disadvantages
  • Establish useful test objectives
  • Prepare reports and presenting results
[Course Description +]

COMMLD 559: Law, Data, and Privacy: Legal and Privacy Issues with Data, the Cloud, Internet of Things, and Artificial Intelligence (Baker) - 2019 Spring

MCDM, Meets Law and Ethics Core Requirement
Tuesdays, 4/2/19-6/4/19 | 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 302
Registration SLN: 12433

Course Description:

“Big Data”, “The Internet of Things”, “Behavioral Advertising”, “Analytics” — all buzzwords capturing the explosion of data and the promise of what we can do with data. Collecting, using, organizing, and sharing data and information also evokes legal issues and individual and collective uncertainty over who owns this data, what rights does one own, how does the data usage implicate privacy issues, how is and how should data use be regulated by the government, by private entities, for advertising, etc. This course will explore the legal issues associated with data usage, data collection, sharing of user information, and licensing. This course will pay particular attention to privacy laws in the United States, how the FTC and other regulators are approaching advertisers’ use of personal information, how organizations attempt to keep data secure, and how intellectual property rights protect (and don’t protect) data and databases.

[Course Description +]

COM 583: Advanced Multimedia Storytelling: Human-Driven Documentary (Stonehill, Stuteville) - 2016 Fall

MCDM Elective
Thursdays, 9/29/16-12/8/16, 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 302

Add-code required. 

Course Description:

Just a few years ago, creating rich multimedia was a boutique interest of elite journalists and filmmakers. But as lives and communities move further online, multimedia and character-driven, documentary-style storytelling is becoming a lingua franca for journalists, advocates, entrepreneurs, communities, and organizations. This course is a project-based class that teaches character-driven video production. Instruction will take students through story development, research and interview techniques, the technical aspects of shooting, editing, and production, as well as distribution and marketing. Emphasis will be given to reporting, interviewing, and the challenges of telling others’ stories well. Previous foundational MCDM storytelling class or demonstrated digital storytelling or video experience is strongly recommended. The Seattle Globalist is a nonprofit publication based in the UW Department of Communication that covers international connections in Seattle and specializes in human-centered multimedia journalism.

For an add code please send a short paragraph describing your experience, previous video/storytelling classes you’ve taken, and links to past work you’ve produced to stonehil@uw.edu.

Student Testimonial: 

“I can’t say enough good things about Alex Stonehill’s and Sarah Stuteville’s class. Both are gifted educators and expert storytellers. As educators, I found them open and willing to engage many points of view with equal respect. That’s a rare talent. Their entry in the Seattle International Film Festival 2013 (Barzan) attests to the pedigree of their storytelling. They encouraged me to seek a challenging topic. In the few weeks we had in the class, they were mindful to remind the class to stay on pace. They grounded this advice in real-world experience. A big debt of thanks to Comm Lead for leveraging Alex and Sarah’s abilities and experience into a rewarding experience; the class was over all too quickly.”

[Course Description +]

COM 585: Multi-platform Content Strategy: A Practical Approach to Immersive & Responsive Content (Vanderburg-Paner) - 2017 Winter

MCDM Elective, Meets Research Methods Core Requirement
Tuesdays, 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 126

Course Description:

In the ever-changing world of search algorithms and content marketing, businesses have become focused on maximizing the impact of their online content. Content is no longer simply what is written on the page, rather it has become the integrated discipline of Content Strategy. This class will provide students with the skills and practice for the movement of thought from a Content Editor to a Content Strategist. Using Kristina Halvorson’s text “Content Strategy for the Web” to provide the template for structure around editorial content, students will practice the fundamentals on creating a content strategy through auditing content, developing governance, building a scorecard and defining key metrics for content. Additional readings on topics such as multi-channel delivery, collaborative authoring, knowledge management, user-generated content, and SEO will support further analysis and conversation around defining quality and relevant content. Students will leave this class with a tool-kit, vocabulary and skills to approach content in a strategic context.

Student Testimonial:

“This course is essential for understanding both how to implement content strategy (you’ll tackle all the phases of a real-world project) and how to present content strategy conclusions to colleagues and employers. The class is a perfect introduction to the discipline of content strategy for newcomers, but as a current content strategist, the work I did in class paid off for me professionally. I recently accepted a position with a major tech company as a strategist, and used skills and examples directly from this class in the interview process.”

[Course Description +]

COM 583: Multimedia Storytelling: Immersive Production Studio (Macklin) - 2017 Spring

MCDM Elective
Wednesday, 3/27/17-6/2/17, 6-9:50pm | CMU 318E

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.”

[Course Description +]

COM 597: The Future of Marketing: How Digital Media is Changing the Practice of Commercial and Consumer Engagement (Salkowitz) - 2017 Fall

MCDM Elective
Wednesdays, 9/27-12/13, 6:00-9:50pm, no class Oct. 4, instead class will be held December 13 | CMU 302

Course Description:

Rapid evolution of digital media and technology continues to disrupt the business of marketing, making it essential for professionals in the field to keep abreast of trends in a number of areas. This class focuses on the technologies shaping marketing, advertising, media, public relations and communications in the 2-4 year horizon and explores strategies of successful marketing organizations, both digital and traditional. We will examine the impact of social media, mobility, big data, new content and rich media distribution technologies, multi-platform storytelling, apps, and other digital innovation on audience engagement. We will study how consumers and audience expectations are changing, and how marketers must shift their models to accommodate new realities and expectations. Finally, we will look at changes to the structures and processes that marketing organizations – corporate, agency or otherwise – can adopt to become resilient in the face of rapid change. This class assumes a general familiarity with the practices of digital marketing and digital technologies. It is recommended for marketing, advertising and commercial communications professionals interested in developments at the cutting edge of the field. We will offer a survey of techniques and practices, including case studies, readings from contemporary practitioners and thought leaders, and expert guest speakers.

Student Testimonial:

“The first day of class, Rob Salkowitz tells you that there is no crystal ball to predict the future of marketing. However, it really does feel like we were able to divine the future. Based around a technique called scenario planning, as a class and as groups, we looked at the future of technology (from 3D printing to Internet of Things), content/content creation, and a whole host of other things as they would relate to marketing in the future and to make predictions. It was a great class for thinking about trends and their influences and ways that marketers can stay ahead of the curve based on the knowledge that we have in-hand today.”

[Course Description +]

COM 597: Mastering the Art and Science of Professional Communication (McCarthy) - 2017 Summer

MCCN Elective
Thursdays, 6/22-8/17, 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 126

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.

[Course Description +]

COM 597: Audio Storytelling (Partnow) - 2018 Winter

MCDM Elective
Wednesdays, Jan 3rd-March 7th, 6-9:50pm I CMU 318E

Course Description: 

Whether gathered around a radio in a living room or walking plugged in with headphones, the medium of audio storytelling has always offered the opportunity to build mindset-shifting community around content. This course traces the evolution of audio storytelling from radio to podcasting that links to communities for various purposes: to educate, to entertain, and to inspire action — and the new golden age of podcasting that we find ourselves in means that audio storytelling has the potential for broad reach and powerful impact. Consideration is given to the core characteristics of strong storytelling, observed through an auditory filter. Class materials are twinned with a selection of cross-sector guest speakers who bring their own craft perspective. Students will experiment with designing their own short audio pieces.

[Course Description +]

COMMLD 520: Marketing Copywriting (Text-Based Marketing) (Schiller) - 2019 Winter

Track Neutral | 3 Credits
Saturdays, 1/12, 1/26, 2/9 | 9:00am-5:00pm | CMU 242
Registration SLN: 22048

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.”

[Course Description +]

COMMLD 511: Introduction to User Centered Design (Holmberg) - 2019 Autumn

MCDM Elective | Meets Research Methods Core Requirement
Mondays, 9/30-12/2 | 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 232

Course Description:

This course focuses on the fundamentals of user experience design, focusing on the skills and concepts needed to successfully design products and services for humans. We will learn the principles of design thinking so that students come away from the class with a framework for understanding how to identify real user problems, design solutions for how to solve those problems, and then test those solutions with real people.

Student Testimonial:

“From class activities to assignments to even the class slides, Dave crafts an optimal user experience for the student. He takes the time to provide useful, in-depth feedback on all assignments which enhances the learning experience considerably. The UX Content Strategy Playbook we created was an incredible way to learn the specifics of UX exercises we studied in class; I’m sure I’ll use it for years to come. The books Dave selected for class will serve as excellent resources down the road as well. This was definitely one of the best classes I’ve taken in the Comm Lead program.”

 

[Course Description +]

COMMLD 530: Storytelling and Communication for Mission-Driven Organizations (Melograna) - 2019 Summer

MCCN Elective
Saturdays 6/29, 7/13, 7/20, 7/27, and 8/10 | 9:00am-5:00pm | SAV 130
Registration SLN: 10907

Course Description:

Nonprofits, NGOs, campaigns and social enterprises are driven by their desire to make the world a better place. As their storytellers, our job is to make sure their messages reach the right audiences and recruit those audiences to the cause. Keeping in mind that mission-driven organizations will often work on complex issues involving vulnerable populations, our job is to pursue this work within an ethical framework that centers the concerns and desires of the people whom our clients serve. Upon completing the course, students will be able to work with mission-driven organizations as their primary storytellers.

[Course Description +]

COMMLD 511: Introduction to User Centered Design (Holmberg) - 2018 Fall

MCDM Elective | Meets Research Methods Core Requirement
Mondays, 10/1-12/10 (no class on 11/12) | 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 230
Registration SLN: 23669

Course Description: 

This course focuses on the fundamentals of user experience (UX) design, focusing on the skills and concepts needed to successfully design products and services for humans (otherwise known as the human-centered design process). We will learn the principles of design thinking, so that students come away from the class with a framework for understanding how to identify real user problems, design solutions for how to solve those problems, and then test those solutions with real people.

Over the course of the quarter, students will learn the foundations of user experience design, covering the entire cycle from ideation to implementation, and all of the design phases in between. We will cover a wide range of UX skills, including user research, user journeys, sketching, wireframing, principles of information architecture, prototyping, and usability studies. Additionally, we will consider the larger ethical questions raised by designing products in the digital age.

Student Testimonial:

“From class activities to assignments to even the class slides, Dave crafts an optimal user experience for the student. He takes the time to provide useful, in-depth feedback on all assignments which enhances the learning experience considerably. The UX Content Strategy Playbook we created was an incredible way to learn the specifics of UX exercises we studied in class; I’m sure I’ll use it for years to come. The books Dave selected for class will serve as excellent resources down the road as well. This was definitely one of the best classes I’ve taken in the Comm Lead program.”

[Course Description +]

COMMLD 520: Analytics and Insights for Brands: Measuring Marketing Effectiveness (TBD) - 2019 Autumn

MCDM Elective | Meets Research Methods Core Requirement
Wednesdays, 9/25-12/4 (no class 11/27) | 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 126

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.

[Course Description +]

COM 588: Marketing and Branding in Digital Communication (Marr) - 2017 Winter

MCDM Elective
Thursdays Jan 12th – March 16th, 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 126

Course Description:

This course is designed for students that will be utilizing their MCDM education and experience in the marketing arenas in businesses and organizations (including non-profits) or in leadership functions where an understanding of marketing is an important skill. The focus on the course will be on how to best utilize digital media vehicles along with more traditional forms of communications and advertising (and other marketing or Research and Development functions). Because of the ever changing nature of the advertising world with the advances and acceptances of digital media platforms, we will showcase industry “heavy hitters” from local marketing and advertising agencies to discuss the trends and issues the industry faces, using real life situations to explore alternatives and solutions. We will also explore how new media can be used with traditional channels of distribution (clicks and bricks), as well as in the R & D functions by encouraging and mining information from current and potential customers. Students that have not had a basic marketing class will be assigned pre-course supplemental readings and we will do a quick review at our first session so that everyone has a common understanding of the subject before we move into the more cutting edge concepts.

Student Testimonial:

“Marketing and Branding is one of the most useful and fun classes that I have taken within the Communication Leadership program. This course offers updated and relevant information regarding the exponential growth of marketing in the digital sphere. This class builds upon the basics of branding and marketing skills and gives you new skills to take to other courses and/or to your career. You will also discuss the importance of branding and the role that it plays in company evolution as well as with a start up business. The homework involved in this class is engaging and useful to every lecture. The instructor has made sure to include guest speakers from all walks of the industry. From their insight, the class content becomes more real, impactful, and valuable to your education. I highly recommend this class to any member of the Communication Leadership program.”

[Course Description +]

COM 597: Graphic Storytelling as Communication Platform (Salkowitz) - 2017 Spring

MCDM Elective
Saturdays, April 8, 22, May 6, 20, and June 3, 9-5pm | CMU 126

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.”

[Course Description +]

COM 560: Law, Data and Privacy: Legal and Privacy Issues with Data, the Cloud, Internet of Things, and Artificial Intelligence (Baker) - 2017 Fall

MCDM Elective, Meets Law & Ethics Core Requirement
Tuesdays, 10/3-12/5, 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 302

Course Description:

“Big Data”, “The Internet of Things”, “Behavioral Advertising”, “Analytics” — all buzzwords capturing the explosion of data and the promise of what we can do with data. Collecting, using, organizing, and sharing data and information also evokes legal issues and individual and collective uncertainty over who owns this data, what rights does one own, how does the data usage implicate privacy issues, how is and how should data use be regulated by the government, by private entities, for advertising, etc. This course will explore the legal issues associated with data usage, data collection, sharing of user information, and licensing. This course will pay particular attention to privacy laws in the United States, how the FTC and other regulators are approaching advertisers’ use of personal information, how organizations attempt to keep data secure, and how intellectual property rights protect (and don’t protect) data and databases. 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 law and policy course offered in the Spring, which focuses more on free expression and intellectual property issues around content.

Student Testimonial:

“This course was a fascinating overview of a quickly changing field. We touched on a variety of ethical and legal issues surrounding emerging fields such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and big data. The course is exciting and engaging because many of these areas are so new that laws haven’t even been written, and it provided a great framework to view these topics through a legal lens. Although we charted lots of unfamiliar territory, Kraig Baker is an outstanding lecturer and makes the topics approachable and even fun. You don’t have to have a law background to glean interesting and useful information from this course, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in how nascent digital fields will be shaped by the law, and vice versa.”

[Course Description +]

COMMLD 520: The Future of Marketing: How Digital Media is Changing the Practice of Commercial and Consumer Engagement (Salkowitz) - 2018 Fall

MCDM Elective
Wednesdays, 9/26-12/5 | 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 302
Registration SLN: 23689

Course Description:

Rapid evolution of digital media and technology continues to disrupt the business of marketing, making it essential for professionals in the field to keep abreast of trends in a number of areas. This class focuses on the technologies shaping marketing, advertising, media, public relations and communications in the 2-4 year horizon and explores strategies of successful marketing organizations, both digital and traditional. We will examine the impact of social media, mobility, big data, new content and rich media distribution technologies, multi-platform storytelling, apps, and other digital innovation on audience engagement. We will study how consumers and audience expectations are changing, and how marketers must shift their models to accommodate new realities and expectations. Finally, we will look at changes to the structures and processes that marketing organizations – corporate, agency or otherwise – can adopt to become resilient in the face of rapid change. This class assumes a general familiarity with the practices of digital marketing and digital technologies. It is recommended for marketing, advertising and commercial communications professionals interested in developments at the cutting edge of the field. We will offer a survey of techniques and practices, including case studies, readings from contemporary practitioners and thought leaders, and expert guest speakers.

Student Testimonial:

“The first day of class, Rob Salkowitz tells you that there is no crystal ball to predict the future of marketing. However, it really does feel like we were able to divine the future. Based around a technique called scenario planning, as a class and as groups, we looked at the future of technology (from 3D printing to Internet of Things), content/content creation, and a whole host of other things as they would relate to marketing in the future and to make predictions. It was a great class for thinking about trends and their influences and ways that marketers can stay ahead of the curve based on the knowledge that we have in-hand today.”

[Course Description +]