Classes

  • The Communication Leadership curriculum includes core courses and a variety of electives. 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. Registration SLNs can be located on the Time Schedule. Please read the Department’s statement on internet resource requirements for access to courses.

COMMLD 510: Aligning UX Design With User Psychology (Evans) - 2018-2019 Winter

MCDM Elective | Meets Research Methods Core Requirement
Tuesdays, 1/8-3/12 | 6:00-9:50pm | SOCC 303
Registration SLN: 12624

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 524: Copywriting Fundamentals for Marketing (Schiller) - 2021-2022 Autumn 2021

Track Neutral | 3 Credits
Sundays 10/03, 10/17, 10/31 9:00AM – 5:00PM PDT

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.

[Course Description +]

COMMLD 534: Visual Storytelling (Salkowitz) - 2019-2020 Spring

MCDM Elective
Saturdays, 4/4,4/18,5/2,5/16,5/30 | 9:00am-4:50pm | CMU 126

Course Description:

This course 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, video games 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.

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 +]

COMMLD 520: Analytics and Insights for Brands: Measuring Marketing Effectiveness (Rehfeldt) - 2019-2020 Autumn

MCDM Elective | Meets Research Methods Core Requirement
Wednesdays | 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 126
Registration SLN: 12814

Course Description: 

This course will introduce students to the fundamentals of analytics and insights derived from marketing. We will look at data-driven marketing measurement including how to calculate the financial return of investment. We will compare and evaluate some of the tools and learn how to drive data-driven marketing through developing a marketing strategy. Finally, we will understand the marketing investment required to develop and operate a truly data-driven team. We will 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; and end with an exercise in segmentation.

[Course Description +]

COMMLD 514: Product Content Strategy (Schwieterman) - 2019-2020 Winter

MCDM Elective | Meets Research Methods Requirement
Wednesdays, 1/8 – 3/18 | 6:00 – 9:50pm | CMU 232
*Will not meet 2/5, last class session 3/18

Course Description:

The goal of this course is to provide a strong foundational knowledge of product content strategy as a function within a user experience design team. Skill areas include responsive content strategy, inclusive design, content auditing, performance auditing and more. Specific focus is also given to understanding the perspectives of partner roles, building skills around collaborating and communicating with each role type. You should walk away ready to join a real team and get to work. You will also gain real work examples by working with brands from around the region.

[Course Description +]

COMMLD 530: Visual Storytelling: Graphic Storytelling as Communication Platform (Salkowitz) - 2018-2019 Spring

MCDM Elective | 5 Credits
Saturdays, 4/6. 4/27, 5/4, 5/18, 6/1 | 9:00am-4:50pm | CMU 126

Course Description:

This course 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, video games 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.

[Course Description +]

COMMLD 522: Future of Marketing (Salkowitz) - 2020-2021 Autumn

MCDM Elective
Tuesdays 10/6-12/8, 6:00pm – 9:50pm | Online

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.

[Course Description +]

COMMLD 524: Copywriting Fundamentals for Marketing (Schiller) - 2020-2021 Winter

Track Neutral Elective | 3 Credits
Sundays 1/10, 1/24, 2/7 | 9:00am – 5:00pm | Online

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.

[Course Description +]

COMMLD 512: User Research and UX Strategies (Levine) - 2020-2021 Spring

MCDM Elective | Meets Research Methods Requirement | 5 Credits
Tuesdays 3/30-6/1, 6:00PM PST – 9:50PM PST | Online

Course Description:

This course focuses on the design, implementation, and evaluation of user interfaces from a usability perspective. The aim of the class 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.

The above 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. The work examples are designed for students 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 articulate its advantages and disadvantages, establish useful test objectives, and prepare reports and presenting results.

Meets Research Methods Requirement.

[Course Description +]

COM 597: Communication Through Culture: Ethnographic Approaches to Understanding and Motivating Organizations and Communities (Philipsen) - 2016-2017 Fall

MCCN Elective, Meets Research Methods Core Requirement
Wednesdays, 9/28/16-12/7/16, 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 126

Course Description:

Each organization and community has its unique “culture.” As technology has both enhanced and disrupted how we traditionally connect to each other, harnessing the culture within these specific social structures is an increasingly valuable strategy in the networked age. If we can discern the cultural foundation of an organization or community, we can interact with, and motivate its members more effectively and efficiently. In this course, you will learn how to determine the heart of a particular, localized culture of an organization (businesses, non-profits, civic entities) or community. Specifically, you will learn how to see the cultural values, rules, and symbols of a culture as vital resources for promoting successful collaboration within and across groups. This is a crucial undertaking for 21st century leaders who seek to inspire and transform through communication.

Student Testimonial: 

“Communicating Through Culture was the most unexpectedly rewarding class I ever took. When the quarter began, I had no idea what to expect, and I was leery of the plentiful, heavily academic readings listed in the syllabus. I ended up enjoying the class so much I was sad when the quarter ended! Lisa took an arguably esoteric subject matter (the ethnography of communication) and not only did she help me to understand it, but she bridged the gap between academia and industry. I came out of the course with a newly positive attitude toward research and a keen interest in knowing more about how people communicate.”

[Course Description +]

COMMLD 559: Law, Data and Privacy (Baker) - 2019-2020 Spring

MCDM Elective, Meets Law & Ethics Core Requirement
Tuesdays, 3/30 – 6/5 | 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 do not protect) data and databases.

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 +]

COM 597: Community and Media: Storytelling and Audience Engagement (Banel) - 2016-2017 Winter

MCCN Elective
Thursdays, 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 302

Course Description:

This class is about putting smart, strategic and soulful storytelling to work to rise above the roar of everyday digital media. As professionals honing messages, sharing stories and conducting outreach to 21st century audiences, the ability to craft meaningful narratives that engage audiences and create real connections is more important than ever.  A deep understanding of the transformative power of engagement and connection throughout recent history is critical to mastering the skills necessary to become communications leaders in digital media. “Community and Media: Storytelling and Audience Engagement” is a hands-on, practical course designed to teach students storytelling skills, along with a fundamental strategic underpinning, to help create deep connections between storytellers and audiences.  Along the way, we’ll examine the history and context of 20th century media storytelling, and mine award-winning radio and TV programs for timeless audience engagement techniques and methods that worked in previous eras, but that are still relevant and effective in the digital era. We’ll also learn practical strategies from contemporary media professionals who are constantly navigating profound changes to the technology, economics, architecture and even the social consciousness of the modern media landscape. Through case studies and hands-on exercises with communications professionals, we’ll learn how to create engaging interactions with audiences, and powerful connections with each other and our communities.

Student Testimonial:

“The class was driven by conversational discussion of contemporary news as relative to media history, and as intersections with the readings assigned. Lengthy interviews with local-legend media producers brought venerable views and opinions of contemporary community media outlets–their struggles and successes. The final projects were explorations and research of media effects, students had wide leeway in choosing their content and presentation style.”

[Course Description +]

COM 597: Design + Content: An Introduction to UX and Content Strategy (Holmberg) - 2017-2018 Fall

MCDM Elective, Meets Research Methods Core Requirement
Mondays, 10/2-12/4, 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 126

Course Description:

This course focuses on the fundamentals of both traditional user experience (UX) and content strategy, and seeks to build the overlapping skills and concepts needed to successfully design products and services for humans (otherwise known as the human-centered design process). Students will learn the foundations of both UX and content strategy, including user journeys and user research, content hierarchies, basic wireframing, principles of information architecture, basic prototyping 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 +]

COM 597: Graphic Storytelling as Communication Platform (Salkowitz) - 2017-2018 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.”

[Course Description +]

COMMLD 530: Multimedia Storytelling: Digital Distribution and the Story (Keller) - 2018-2019 Fall

MCDM Elective
Mondays, 10/1-12/10 (no class on 11/12) | 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 302/126
Registration SLN: 23670

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 +]

COMMLD 510: User Research & UX Strategies (Levine) - 2018-2019 Winter

MCDM Elective | Meets Research Methods Core Requirement
Wednesdays, 1/9-3/13 | 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 126
Registration SLN: 22053

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 522: The Future of Marketing (Salkowitz) - 2019-2020 Autumn

MCDM Elective
Tuesdays, 10/1-12/3 | 6:00-9:50pm | 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.

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 +]

COMMLD 525: Brand Values, Creativity, and Innovation (Howard) - 2021-2022 Autumn 2021

Track Neutral | 5 Credits
Tuesdays 10/05-12/07, 6:00PM – 9:50PM PDT

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 composed 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 ideate a marketing film for a company or nonprofit 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 an organization’s belief system.

[Course Description +]

COMMLD 517: The Psychology of User Experience (Evans) - 2019-2020 Winter

MCDM Elective | Meets Research Methods Requirement
Tuesdays, 1/7-3/10 | 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 232

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 524: Copywriting Fundamentals for Marketing (Schiller) - 2020-2021 Autumn

Track Neutral | 3 Credits
Sundays 10/4, 10/18, 11/1, 9:00am – 5:00pm | Online

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.

[Course Description +]

COMMLD 513: Content Marketing (Weaver) - 2020-2021 Spring

MCCN Elective | Meets Research Methods Requirement | 5 Credits
Saturdays 4/10, 4/24, 5/8, 5/22, 6/5 | 9:00AM PST – 5:00AM PST | Online

Course Description:

This course focuses on the approach and implementation of marketing programs that encourage community building and engagement. The course starts with how to build a content strategy that supports the organization and its audiences as a foundation for content marketing. Building from strategy, we’ll explore best practices and tactics to create impactful campaigns and adaptable content for a variety of channels and platforms. Class work focuses on building brand storytelling, effective messaging, and models for optimizing and measuring digital marketing.

Meets Research Methods Requirement.

[Course Description +]

COMMLD 530: Storytelling and Communications for Mission-Driven Organizations (Melograna) - 2020-2021 Winter

MCCN Elective | Meets Law & Ethics Requirement | 5 Credits
Thursdays 1/7-3/11 | 6:00pm – 9:50pm | Online

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 +]

COM 597: Building Successful Online Communities (Hill) - 2016-2017 Fall

MCCN Elective
Mondays, 10/3/16-12/5/16 , 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 302

Course Description:

Before Wikipedia was created, there were seven very similar attempts to build online collaborative encyclopedias. Before Facebook, there were dozens of very similar social networks. Why did Wikipedia and Facebook take off when so many similar sites struggled? Why do some attempts to build communities online lead to large thriving communities while most struggle to attract even a small group of users?

This class will begin with an introduction to several decades of research on computer-mediated communication and online communities to try and understand the building blocks of successful online communities. With this theoretical background in hand, every student will then apply this new understanding by helping to design, build, and improve a real online community.

Student Testimonial: 

Building Successful Online Communities focuses on the hearts and minds behind the screens. Using elements of social psychology, group dynamics, and more as guideposts, Mako showed us how online platforms can be configured to shape users’ behavior and stimulate growth. The course offered a refreshing mix of theory and pragmatism: the first half was dedicated to learning/practicing concepts (largely through Wikipedia exercises), while the second half allowed us to apply our knowledge as consultants for local organizations. Though class discussion was frequent, introverts shouldn’t worry—Mako’s enthusiasm helped ease conversation along. All CommLead students, regardless of track, should consider taking this course—its lessons on understanding and managing the human element of digital networks are invaluable for today’s communications professionals.

[Course Description +]

COM 597: Visual Communication (Faris) - 2016-2017 Winter

MCCN Elective
Tuesday, 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 302

Course Description:

Images have a profound impact on our lives and have shaped our communities – from ancient cave drawings to today’s live broadcast of events around the globe. Today, visuals are our communication method of choice – with less time to spare and more content than ever coming our way, visuals are the most influential tool we can deploy. Visuals reach people at an emotional level motivating us to act on a cause, influencing our decisions, or convincing us to buy one product over another. From video to photography to infographics and data visualization, today’s visual options are seemingly endless. This class will explore the latest research about how the brain processes images, how to adapt a visual story for a multicultural audience, the use of emotions in pictures and video to persuade and motivate, and how to apply that knowledge strategically to communication and community engagement, whether for nonprofits, private or public sector work. Through interactive course work, thoughtful discussion and real world examples, students will walk away with the tools and knowledge for making their marketing and communication projects more visual and effective.

[Course Description +]

COM 597: Leadership and Teams (Philipsen) - 2016-2017 Spring

MCCN Elective
Wednesdays, 3/27/17-6/2/17, 6-9:50pm | CMU 126

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.

[Course Description +]

COM 597: Visual Communication (Faris) - 2017-2018 Winter

MCCN Elective
Wednesdays, Jan 3rd-March 7th, 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 242

Course Description:

Images have a profound impact on our lives and have shaped our communities – from ancient cave drawings to today’s live broadcast of events around the globe. Today, visuals are our communication method of choice – with less time to spare and more content than ever coming our way, visuals are the most influential tool we can deploy. Visuals reach people at an emotional level motivating us to act on a cause, influencing our decisions, or convincing us to buy one product over another. From video to photography to infographics and data visualization, today’s visual options are seemingly endless. This class will explore the latest research about how the brain processes images, how to adapt a visual story for a multicultural audience, the use of emotions in pictures and video to persuade and motivate, and how to apply that knowledge strategically to communication and community engagement, whether for nonprofits, private or public sector work. Through interactive course work, thoughtful discussion and real world examples, students will walk away with the tools and knowledge for making their marketing and communication projects more visual and effective.

[Course Description +]

COM 586: Advanced Content Creation, Curation, and Optimization (Weaver) - 2017-2018 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.

[Course Description +]

COMMLD 558: Law & Policy: Law of Digital Media, Interactive Media, and Content (Baker) - 2018-2019 Fall

MCDM Elective | Meets Law & Ethics Core Requirement
Tuesdays, 10/2-12/4 | 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 302
Registration SLN: 23671

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 +]

COMMLD 580: Communication for Emergent Technologies (Bellinger) - 2018-2019 Winter

MCDM Elective | Meets Research Methods Requirement
Thursdays, 1/10-3/14 | 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 242
Registration SLN: 22058

Course Description:

This course is about dealing with the uncertainty of emerging technologies. While the course will not, unfortunately, provide students with a crystal ball capable of predicting all future impacts of a new technology, we will develop a set of questions and conceptual tools that will enable students to critically assess technologies in early periods of development and adoption, and we will explore strategies that students can use to help their organizations better plan for and adapt to technological change. Part of this will involve critically examining the narratives used to explain new technologies and their development: We will examine the theoretical assumptions underlying accounts of technological change, the limitations and liabilities of different theoretical perspectives, and the ways that these assumptions become integrated into expert commentary on new technologies. We will also, as a class, collaboratively develop a “toolbox” of key questions to ask about emerging technologies, precisely to aid in identifying the aspects of technological change that can be overlooked. And finally, we will review practical models for organizational strategy in the face of uncertain technological developments.

[Course Description +]

COMMLD 531: Foundations of Video Storytelling (Keller) - 2019-2020 Autumn

MCDM Elective
Thursdays, 9/26-12/5 (no class 11/28) | 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 302

Course Description:

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.

 

[Course Description +]

COMMLD 550: Ethical Questions of Big Data (Lohmann) - 2019-2020 Winter

MCDM Elective | Meets Law & Ethics Requirement
Wednesdays 1/8-3/11 | 6:00pm-9:50pm | CMU 242

Course Description:

This course provides an overview on the new regulations and conversations around secure data, intellectual property, and the challenge of data privacy. It also examines the benefits of some uses of anonymous big data for research and health innovation and cures. 

[Course Description +]

COMMLD 525: Brand Values and Creativity (Howard) - 2020-2021 Autumn

Track Neutral
Tuesdays 10/6-12/8, 6:00pm – 9:50pm | Online

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 ideate a marketing film for a company or nonprofit 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 an organization’s belief system.

[Course Description +]

COMMLD 530: Storytelling and Communications for Mission-Driven Organizations (Melograna) - 2021-2022 Autumn 2021

MCCN Track | Meets Law & Ethics Requirement | 5 Credits
Mondays 10/04-12/06, 6:00PM – 9:50PM PDT

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 525: Brand Values and Creativity (Howard) - 2020-2021 Spring

Track Neutral Elective | 5 Credits
Mondays 3/29-6/7, 6:00PM PST – 9:50PM PST | Online

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 composed 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 ideate a marketing film for a company or nonprofit 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 an organization’s belief system.

[Course Description +]

COMMLD 531: Foundations of Video Storytelling (Keller) - 2020-2021 Winter

MCDM Elective | 5 Credits
Tuesdays 1/5-3/9 | 6:00pm – 9:50pm | Online

Course Description:

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.

[Course Description +]

COM 597: Community and Media: Storytelling and Audience Engagement (Banel) - 2017-2018 Winter

MCCN Elective
Thursdays, Jan 11th-March 8th, 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 242 (January 4th class has been cancelled, a makeup class is TBD)

Course Description:

This class is about putting smart, strategic and soulful storytelling to work to rise above the roar of everyday digital media. As professionals honing messages, sharing stories and conducting outreach to 21st century audiences, the ability to craft meaningful narratives that engage audiences and create real connections is more important than ever.  A deep understanding of the transformative power of engagement and connection throughout recent history is critical to mastering the skills necessary to become communications leaders in digital media. “Community and Media: Storytelling and Audience Engagement” is a hands-on, practical course designed to teach students storytelling skills, along with a fundamental strategic underpinning, to help create deep connections between storytellers and audiences.  Along the way, we’ll examine the history and context of 20th century media storytelling, and mine award-winning radio and TV programs for timeless audience engagement techniques and methods that worked in previous eras, but that are still relevant and effective in the digital era. We’ll also learn practical strategies from contemporary media professionals who are constantly navigating profound changes to the technology, economics, architecture and even the social consciousness of the modern media landscape. Through case studies and hands-on exercises with communications professionals, we’ll learn how to create engaging interactions with audiences, and powerful connections with each other and our communities.

Student Testimonial:

“The class was driven by conversational discussion of contemporary news as relative to media history, and as intersections with the readings assigned. Lengthy interviews with local-legend media producers brought venerable views and opinions of contemporary community media outlets–their struggles and successes. The final projects were explorations and research of media effects, students had wide leeway in choosing their content and presentation style.”

[Course Description +]

COMMLD 520: Brand Matters (Captain) - 2018-2019 Fall

MCCN Elective
Thursdays, 9/27-12/6 | 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 126
Registration SLN: 23687

This course would bring brand into focus and answer questions such as what is brand and why does it matter? How does an idea become a brand? How can a brand motivate a community or group to take action? How do you create a brand that triggers desired behaviors? Is a person a brand? How do brands stand out in this age of message inundation? What vehicles best communicate brand? What are the most popular brands on the planet and why? This is a timely topic because the media and messaging landscape is morphing so fast. In the era of skeptical consumers, today’s communicators must be savvy thinkers and shrewd creators of future brands.

[Course Description +]

COMMLD 513: Content Marketing (Weaver) - 2019-2020 Spring

MCCN Elective
Saturdays: 4/11, 4/25, 5/9, 5/23, 6/6 | 9:00-5:00pm | CMU 232

*This course was previously Autumn 2019’s COMMLD 510: Content Marketing and Strategy for Communities

Course Description:

This course focuses on the approach and implementation of marketing programs that encourage community building and engagement. The course starts with how to build a content strategy that supports the organization and its audiences as a foundation for content marketing. Building from strategy, we’ll explore best practices and tactics to create impactful campaigns and adaptable content for a variety of channels and platforms. Class work focuses on building brand storytelling, effective messaging, and models for optimizing and measuring digital marketing.

[Course Description +]

COMMLD 550: The Law and Ethics of Community Building in Private, Public, and Nonprofit Entities (Tausch Lapora) - 2018-2019 Spring

MCCN Elective, Meets Law and Ethics Core Requirement
Wednesdays, 4/3/19-6/5/19 | 6:00-9:50pm | Room CMU 242
Registration SLN: 12432

Course Description:

All organizations — private, public and non-profit — inevitably encounter legal and ethical challenges when building and engaging with their communities and networks. Leaders must be able to identify, anticipate, and problem solve issues such as how legal relationships are created and to whom legal and ethical duties are owed. They must also grapple with challenges such as how to balance privacy concerns with building an organization’s base, who owns specific content or ideas, and what advocacy strategies to employ when defining deliverables and implementing initiatives. This course considers and juxtaposes the legal and ethical realities of community building through a cross-sector approach. We will survey a wide array of case studies in which law and ethics may overlap, conflict, or be silent. We will engage in practical story exercises that maximize understanding of how law and ethics impact how organizations communicate to clients, customers, and constituencies. Throughout the course, students are encouraged to bring in legal and ethical issues from their professional experiences to enrich discussion of course topics such as legal relationships and duties, privacy, ownership, and making advocacy choices.

Student Testimonial:

“This course helped me to build a basic understanding of legal and ethical issues related to business and companies. I am very interested in intellectual property and how to protect trademarks and copyright. Thanks to this the class, I have developed a habit of checking every contract from digital services. Before the class, I just clicked “Agree.” I have developed the habit of asking for permission when I record interviewee’s for video or podcast production. Brenda is passionate and informed. She reads business news every day and researched about issues of ethics and law from the news and brought them to class as timely examples. You can feel her enthusiasm from her voice.I was so inspired by her that I even thought about getting a law degree!”

[Course Description +]

COMMLD 532: Advanced Video Storytelling (Chan) - 2020-2021 Spring

MCDM Elective | 5 Credits
Wednesdays, 3/31-6/2, 6:00PM PST – 9:50PM PST | Online

Course Description:

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.

*Students must prove their proficiency in video production to register for this course by meeting the minimum qualifications:

1. Proficient experience in editing video on the following platforms: Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro, and/or DaVinci Resolve.
2. Experience in shooting video with either DSLRs or Video Cinema Cameras.

Students must fill out this application form to prove they meet the minimum qualifications. We are accepting submissions at 6:00AM PST on February 12, 2021. We will not be accepting submissions before this time. After reviewing applicants, add codes will be sent out by the first week of March to the first 15 students who qualify for the course. This allows the course to have the same level of fairness as other courses in the registration process.

For your convenience, the questions on the form are provided below. We recommend preparing your answers ahead of time and copy and pasting your answers when the form goes live:

  1. First and Last Name
  2. UW Email
  3. Please describe your video production experience. List the platforms/programs you have used, as well as how long you’ve worked with them. If you’ve held positions that utilize video production, please list them here as well.
  4. Please provide links to videos that showcase your work.

The application form can be reached here.

[Course Description +]

COMMLD 558: Law and Policy (Baker) - 2019-2020 Autumn

MCDM Elective | Meets Law and Ethics Core Requirement
Thursdays, 9/26-12/5 (no class 11/28) | 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 230

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 +]

COMMLD 580: Communication for Emerging Technologies (Bellinger) - 2019-2020 Winter

MCDM Elective | Meets Research Methods Requirement
Thursdays, 1/9-3/12 | 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 242

Course Description:

This course is about dealing with the uncertainty of emerging technologies. While the course will not, unfortunately, provide students with a crystal ball capable of predicting all future impacts of a new technology, we will develop a set of questions and conceptual tools that will enable students to critically assess technologies in early periods of development and adoption, and we will explore strategies that students can use to help their organizations better plan for and adapt to technological change. Part of this will involve critically examining the narratives used to explain new technologies and their development: We will examine the theoretical assumptions underlying accounts of technological change, the limitations and liabilities of different theoretical perspectives, and the ways that these assumptions become integrated into expert commentary on new technologies. We will also, as a class, collaboratively develop a “toolbox” of key questions to ask about emerging technologies, precisely to aid in identifying the aspects of technological change that can be overlooked. And finally, we will review practical models for organizational strategy in the face of uncertain technological developments.

[Course Description +]

COMMLD 531: Foundations of Video Storytelling (Keller) - 2021-2022 Autumn 2021

MCDM Track | 5 Credits
Tuesdays 10/05-12/07, 6:00PM – 9:50PM PDT

Course Description:

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.

[Course Description +]

COMMLD 531: Foundations of Video Storytelling (Keller) - 2020-2021 Autumn

MCDM Elective
Wednesdays 9/30-12/9, 6:00pm – 9:50pm | Online

Course Description:

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.

[Course Description +]

COMMLD 535: Foundations of Audio Storytelling (Partnow) - 2020-2021 Winter

Track Neutral Elective | 5 Credits
Tuesdays 1/5-3/9 | 6:00pm – 9:50pm | Online

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 570: Communicating Ideas: Strategies and Theories of Communities and Networks (Yasin) - 2018-2019 Fall

MCCN Elective | Meets Research Methods Core Requirement
Wednesdays, 9/26-12/5 | 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 126
Registration SLN: 23672

Course Description:

Thought leaders such as founders of organizations, researchers and journalists produce ideas that help shape critical conversations. This course examines how ideas produced by thought leaders and public intellectuals in different fields are structured, and what makes these ideas resonate–or not resonate–with audiences. What type of communication techniques these thought leaders develop that result in the impact of their ideas in public discussion? In doing so, the course hopes to train the students as thought leaders by introducing students to both practical and analytical skills necessary to become such a figure.  Throughout the quarter, each student, at least once, will facilitate a conversation in class about an idea produced by a key thought leader or public intellectual – designing an activity to engage crowds. Each student will also prepare a short public talk on a topic related to the class theme of communities and networks. In addition to preparing the talk, students will prepare written proposal for an article or a book based on their idea and will conduct research on the topic of their presentation.

This quarter we will survey key discussions about communities and networks. Today, both organizations and political actors are thinking deeply about the structure and value of contemporary communities and the power of online and offline networks both locally and globally. In order to determine key texts and ideas about this topic, I distributed a survey to key thought leaders, professionals and scholars in my own network soliciting their recommendations of recent discussions on this topic. The ideas we examine in class will be partly based on these recommendations and will include key books, popular and academic articles and talks on this subject by leading thought leaders and public scholars.

[Course Description +]

COMMLD 543: Leadership Approaches to Equity Initiatives in Organizations (Ross) - 2018-2019 Winter

MCCN Elective
Tuesdays, 1/8-3/12 | 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 242
Registration SLN: 22055

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 +]

COMMLD 513: Content Marketing (Weaver) - 2018-2019 Spring

MCCN Elective
Autumn 2019: Saturdays 10/5, 10/19, 11/2, 11/16, 12/7 | 9:00 – 5:00pm | CMU 302
Registration SLN: 23276

Course Description:

This course focuses on the approach and implementation of marketing programs that encourage community building and engagement. The course starts with how to build a content strategy that supports the organization and its audiences as a foundation for content marketing. Building from strategy, we’ll explore best practices and tactics to create impactful campaigns and adaptable content for a variety of channels and platforms. Class work focuses on building brand storytelling, effective messaging, and models for optimizing and measuring digital marketing.

[Course Description +]

COMMLD 535: Foundations of Audio Storytelling (Partnow) - 2021-2022 Autumn 2021

Track Neutral | 5 Credits
Wednesdays 09/29-12/08, 6:00PM – 9:50PM PDT

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 a 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 540: Building Teams and Community (Baltus) - 2020-2021 Autumn

Track Neutral | 3 Credits
Mondays 10/5-12/7, 6:00pm – 8:20pm | Online

Course Description:

Building meaningful community around your work begins with your team. This course focuses on cultivating community from the inside out, in a series of concentric and overlapping circles. First it addresses ways to bring people together within the workplace and make sure they feel valued through rewarding opportunities to brainstorm, collaborate and critique. Then it explores what it means to set communication norms within an organization and how those norms affect an organization’s culture and identity. Finally, it provides a methodology for deepening connections with external audiences, conducting credible outreach, building load-bearing bridges and inviting widespread engagement that leads to social impact.

[Course Description +]