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.

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COMMLD 501: Leadership Through Communities (Crofts) - 2020 Autumn

Track Neutral | Core Requirement | 2 Credits
Thursdays 10/1-12/10, 6:00pm – 7:50pm | Online

Course Description:

This foundational class considers leadership development through the two lenses of story and community. Sustained community engagement in the service of a more equitable and just world requires strong leadership models. Personal history and cultural context influence leadership styles, so using cross-sector profiles and guest speakers, we will carefully consider a range of leaders, their life stories, communication styles, and how they connect meaningfully to customers, colleagues, and constituents. Credit/No Credit only.

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COMMLD 510: Leveraging Diverse Perspectives for Product Content Strategy (Davies) - 2020 Autumn

Track Neutral | 3 Credits
Wednesdays 10/7-12/9, 6:00pm – 8:20pm | Online

Course Description:

This course will guide students through a variety of techniques and processes to building experiences that are inclusive, and designed to directly serve their intended audience. This includes a lightweight look at understanding and defining your audience, testing for a variety of accessibility challenges, designing for inclusion, and an overview of ways to get feedback from your audience.Students will then be able to leverage these techniques to evaluate experiences to identify opportunities to improve.

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COMMLD 511: Introduction to User Centered Design (Holmberg) - 2020 Autumn

MCDM Elective | Meets Research Methods Requirement
Mondays 10/5-12/7, 6:00pm-9:50pm | Online

Course Description:

This course focuses on the fundamentals of user experience design, identifying 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.

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

MCDM Elective | Meets Research Methods Requirement
Wednesdays 9/30-12/9, 6:00pm – 9:50pm | 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.

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COMMLD 513: Content Marketing (Weaver) - 2020 Autumn

MCCN Elective
Saturdays 10/3, 10/17, 10/31, 11/14, 12/5, 9:00am – 5:00pm | 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.

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COMMLD 520: Communicating with Data (Fink) - 2020 Autumn

Track Neutral | 2 Credits
Mondays 10/5-12/7, 6:00pm – 7:50pm | Online

Course Description:

The world is growing increasingly reliant on collecting and analyzing data to inform and persuade colleagues and communities to take action and to help them make decisions. Thus ability to communicate effectively with data is an important skill across nearly all disciplines. In this course, students will learn the foundations of visual analytics and build their skills in communicating using data. We will explore concepts in decision-making, human perception, data analysis, storytelling and presenting as they apply to data-driven communication. This course will help you build a strong foundation in how to communicate with data.

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COMMLD 522: Future of Marketing (Salkowitz) - 2020 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.

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

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

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

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COMMLD 540: Building Teams and Community (Baltus) - 2020 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.

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COMMLD 540: Distributed and Diverse Teams (Chang) - 2020 Autumn

Track Neutral
Saturdays/Sunday, 10/10, 10/11, 10/24, 11/21, 9:00am – 5:00pm | Online

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 interconnectedness 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 the field of communications. And yet opportunities to sharpen those nuanced skills remain less than optimal. 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 other learning event. 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. Please note that this course models distributed team leadership in that students will have a weekly distributed leadership team call and work in addition to the 4 on-site classes; this applied approach to the course offers deeper leadership transformation as well as practical skill development.

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COMMLD 540: Professional Short-Form Writing (Tomasic) - 2020 Autumn

Track Neutral | 3 Credits
Wednesdays 9/30-12/9, 6:00pm – 8:20pm | Online

Course Description:

This collaborative hands-on course explores the kind of short-form writing that dominates today’s rapidly evolving professional communications space — the digital space where lines between content and form increasingly blur and where always-on media feeds deliver a mix of advertising, marketing, public relations, human resources, personal brand-building and journalistic reporting and research. It’s a space that presents new writing challenges every day: professional emails, office memos, newsletters, website copy, funding proposals, executive summaries, op-eds, tweets, blurbs, blogs. Much of this material is badly done. Most of it is mediocre. The best of it, though, sings out and demands our attention, demonstrating mastery in the kind of critical thinking and dedicated practice that delivers copy sharply focused and sure in matching voice and material with form and audience. This course is part professional-communications criticism class and part writing workshop. It’s about learning how to identify good writing; it’s about understanding the process that produces good writing; and it’s about practicing that process yourself.

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

MCDM Elective | Meets Law and Ethics Requirement
Tuesdays 10/6-12/8, 6:00pm – 9:50pm | Online

Course Description:

This course looks at how 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.

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