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 Story and Communities (Crofts) - 2019 Autumn

Required Core Course for MCDM and MCCN
Lecture: Saturdays, 9/28, 10/12, 10/26, 11/9, 12:00-1:50pm, SAV 260, and 11/23, 9:00-4:50pm, MGH 241
Sections: (By Assignment) Thursdays, 9/26, 10/10, 10/24, 11/7, 10:00-11:50am or 2:00-3:50pm, CMU 126
or Saturdays, 9/28, 10/12, 10/26, 11/9, 9:30-11:20am, SAV 162 or SAV 168, or 2:30-4:20pm, SAV 168

Course Description:

The Comm Lead core classes are designed to build off one another, with the Fall core class focused on personal narrative and leadership styles, with the Spring core class opening the aperture on narrative to include organizational storytelling and engagement. Both classes are also designed to set expectations and behaviors for a fruitful graduate school experience that encourages students to take accountability for their own learning, to see themselves as creatives, as leaders, and as entrepreneurial thinkers whose evolving expertise serves not just their own professional growth, but the wellbeing of their greater community at large.

This foundational class considers personal leadership development through the two lenses of story and community, with particular attention paid to the Declaration of Communication Leadership. In this digital age when the technology of communication is so pervasive and accessible for many, leadership and story go hand in hand to produce strong community engagement in the service a more equitable and just world. One’s personal history and cultural context influence one’s leadership style, so using cross-sector profiles and guest speakers, we will carefully consider a range of leaders, their personal narratives, communication styles, and how they connect meaningfully to customers, colleagues, and constituents. As part of the course applied learning, you will be asked to produce a portfolio with a section for each of the seven tenets of the declaration: storytelling, technology, values, responsibility, community, advocacy, and leadership. Credit/no-credit only.

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COMMLD 524: Copywriting Fundamentals for Marketing (Schiller) - 2019 Autumn

Track Neutral Elective | 3 Credits
Saturdays 10/5, 10/19, 11/2 | 9:00am-5:00pm | CMU 126

Course Description: 

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

Student Testimonial:

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

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COMMLD 560: Individualized Research (Philipsen) - 2020 Spring Winter 2019 Autumn

Track Neutral Elective | Meets Research Methods Core Requirement
Meetings to be arranged between enrolled students and instructor
(application and add code required)

Course Description:

This course is designed for students who want to explore an area and develop a research project of their own. Students work individually in this class with the instructor, Dr. Gerry Philipsen, to develop a negotiated plan of work, involving the reading of important scholarly works in the area of study and the development of an individual creative project designed to enhance the student’s intellectual and practical development. The topics to choose from with Dr. Gerry Philipsen as the instructor/advisor are: Communication that enhances effectiveness in workplace teams, personal negotiation strategies and conflict management in the workplace, and beyond, and cultural and intergroup communication.

Submit your application for this class here: https://forms.gle/Ft4nsCc2c2AMXwVMA.

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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 230
Note: Due to the holiday the final class will be Monday, December 9.

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.”

 

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COMMLD 512: User Research & UX Strategies (Levine) - 2019 Autumn

MCDM Elective | Meets Research Methods Core Requirement
Wednesdays, 9/25-12/4 (no class 11/27) | 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 230

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 following 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 articulating its advantages and disadvantages, establish useful test objectives, and prepare reports and presenting results.

 

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COMMLD 520: Communicating With Data (Fink) - 2019 Autumn

MCDM Elective
Tuesdays, 10/1-12/3 | 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 230

Course Description:

The world is growing increasingly reliant on collecting and analyzing data to inform colleagues and communities, to persuade them to take action and to help them make decisions. Because of this, the 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. Throughout the term, we will explore concepts in decision-making, human perception, data analysis, storytelling and presenting as they apply to data-driven communication. Whether you’re an aspiring communications professional or data scientist, or you just want to learn effective ways of presenting data, this course will help you build a strong foundation in how to communicate with data and motivate people to  data.

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

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COMMLD 522: The Future of Marketing (Salkowitz) - 2019 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.”

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

 

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COMMLD 558: Law and Policy (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 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.”

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COMMLD 510: Content Marketing and Strategy for Communities (Weaver) - 2019 Autumn

MCCN Elective
Saturdays, 10/5, 10/19, 11/2, 11/16, 12/7 | 9:00am-5:00pm | CMU 302

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

MCCN Elective | Meets Law and Ethics Core Requirement
Mondays, 9/30-12/2 | 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 126
Note: Due to the holiday the final class will be Monday, December 9.

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.

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COMMLD 560: Communication for Change Management: Supporting People and Organizational Culture (Hall) - 2019 Autumn

MCCN Elective
Thursdays, 9/26-12/5 (no class 11/28) | 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 126

Course Description:

People and culture are the key driving forces to sustain and grow an organization. In this class students will be asked to participate in an action research case study on culture and people, and how to manage the two. As a leader in an organization, communication is key to manage vision and purpose. Students in this class will take their action research and apply it to their final project on implementing their case study into their organization, team, or a selected organization to add to their Human Resources strategic plan including leadership training to assist organizations in managing vision and purpose. Upon completing the course, students will be able to work with organizations in helping to implement trainings and programs to drive the people to drive the culture and manage it.

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