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 502: Narratives and Networks in Digital Media (Yasin) - 2019 Spring

Required Core Course for MCDM and MCCN
Thursdays, 4/4/19-6/6/19 | 6:00-9:50pm | OUG 136
Registration SLN: 12424

Course Description:

This foundational course examines how organizations across all sectors successfully craft their story and message it internally and externally. The course looks at various theories and case studies of organizational storytelling and communication, which provide important context for how organizations map their values, identities and image to the story they convey to employees and the broader public. The course also asks students to apply these theories, create solutions and draft a plan concerning an actual organizational challenge for class clients that they are matched with in the class. In working with real clients, the class hopes to facilitate the pursuit of professional networks for students whilst also building strategic thinking and planning skills, which will be reflected in students’ in-class group projects. In addition to the group projects, students also write professionally oriented articles aimed at developing their leadership in the communication fields.

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COMMLD 570: Listening and Leadership (Crofts) - 2019 Spring

Track Neutral | 2 credits
Wednesdays, 4/3/19-6/5/19 | 6:00-7:50pm | CMU 126
Registration SLN: 12435

Course Description:

This course considers listening skills as a key leadership attribute when it comes to effective communication. The behaviors of a good listener are considered through a range of texts related to leadership, but with additional emphasis on audio programs showcasing the interview format where an interviewer’s ability to listen closely and empathically solicits strong connection and memorable storytelling. Foundations in Audio Story is the production course geared toward audiophiles at Comm Lead, whereas Listening and Leadership is for all Comm Lead students who are keen to hone their ability to listen as a critical career skill.

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COMMLD 510: Product Content Strategy (Magwire) - 2019 Spring

MCDM, Meets Research Methods Core Requirement
Tuesdays, 4/2/19-6/4/19 | 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 232
Registration SLN: 12426

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’ll also gain real work examples by working with brands from around the region.

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

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

Course Description:

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

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

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

Course Description:

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

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COMMLD 530: Storytelling for Emergent Platforms (Macklin) - 2019 Spring

MCDM Elective
Tuesdays, 4/2/19-6/4/19 | 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 318E
Registration SLN: 12429

Course Description:

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

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

MCDM Elective
Saturdays, 4/6, 4/27, 5/4, 5/18, 6/1 | 9:00am-4:50pm | CMU 126
Registration SLN: 12430

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.”

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

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

MCCN Elective
Mondays, 4/1/19-6/10/19 | 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 232
Registration SLN: 12425

Course Description:

This class focuses on the approach and implementation of marketing programs that encourage community building and engagement. Through audience-focused strategies, we’ll explore best practices 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 540: Mastering the Art & Science of Professional Communication (McCarthy) - 2019 Spring

MCCN Elective
Mondays, 4/1/19-6/10/19 | 6:00-9:50pm | CMU 242
Registration SLN: 12431

Course Description:

This course will provide necessary background on the many disciplines in the communications and marketing mix, identify areas of convergence and divergence between these disciplines, and learn how to use these tools help an organization achieve its objectives or business goals. The course will teach participants to anticipate the communications needs of a company or organization’s leadership and include a range of assignments that ask students to apply course teachings to real-world scenarios with strategic thinking, brand development, and compelling storytelling.

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