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 536: Intensive Video Storytelling: Conceptualizing, Shooting, and Editing (Keller) - 2020 Summer

Track Neutral Elective | 3 Credits
Wednesday-Sunday, 8/5-8/9 | 9:00am-5:00pm

Course Description:

Producing a video is a multi-step effort, with thoughtful decision-making involved throughout the process. How do the choices you make in the creation and delivery of your story affect the reception of your message? This course explores how engaging online video relies on effective storytelling. This skills-based course is designed to familiarize you with video tools associated with storytelling: specifically, how to develop, shoot, and edit video.

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 shapes a viewer’s experience. This course focuses on the practical decisions you make as you craft a narrative.

Given the compressed five-day timeline of this course, we will emphasize skills development. Because this class will be taught virtually you will practice these skills using devices you currently have available. This can be as simple as a phone or as advanced as a DSLR. The skills you will be demonstrating (including pre-production, videography, and video editing) are not dependent on the technology on hand

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

Track Neutral Elective
Thursdays, 6/25-8/20 | 6:00-9:50pm

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.

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COMMLD 541: Crisis Communication (Schwartz) - 2020 Summer

Track Neutral Elective | Meets Law and Ethics Core Requirement
Tuesdays, 6/23-8/18 | 5:00-8:50pm*
*Please note non-standard meeting time due to instructor teaching from Eastern Time Zone

Course Description:

The 24-hour news cycle, social media, and online reporting fundamentally changed how institutional leaders, executives, celebrities, politicians, and organizations address crises big and small; internal and external; local, national, and international. Effectively managing a crisis means not just employing PR strategies, but developing a comprehensive communications plan that disseminates actionable content and engages all stakeholders with equal focus across multiple and diverse networks. This course will address how the tools of communication influence crisis communication strategies. In addition, it will identify the key issues that must be addressed during an organizational crisis (real or imagined) from a communications perspective. It will examine implementation strategies to engage traditional and social media; digital networks; federal, state and local lawmakers; external and internal stakeholders; and consumers or constituents. As important, it will deconstruct and reinforce the personal ethics and behavior required by professionals in a crisis situation. This class uses current events, interactive discussions, real-time exercises, and engaging guest lectures to provide practical insight about effective techniques and lessons learned.

Student Testimonial: 

“This course is one of my favorites and Melissa is infectious. The variety of crisis cases that we looked at, presented each week and the readings that were required to be read were mind boggling. Not only did the course teach how to handle crisis, but also taught how to improve presentation skills, public speaking skills and more than anything, how to prevent crisis especially on social media when you have the option of preventing. Overall an amazing program and I have already recommended it to a lot of my classmates who started in Fall.”

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COMMLD 580: Communicating Trust and Credibility for Emerging Technologies (Lohmann) - 2020 Summer

MCDM Elective | Meets Law & Ethics Core Requirement
Mondays, 6/22-8/3; Wednesdays 7/22, 7/29 | 6:00-9:50pm

Note: Classes meet Monday evenings June 22 to August 3, for a total of seven weeks. On weeks five and six, classes meet on both Monday and Wednesday evenings (July 20/22 and 27/29), for a normal summer quarter total of nine class sessions.

Course Description:

This course introduces students to the art of honestly advocating for emerging technologies that an organization has decided to adopt and deploy. It provides a foundation to ensure students understand how to effectively inform stakeholders that these new solutions are both useful, safe and align with values that prioritize the good of the community as a whole. Yet, there’s a fine line between storytelling and propaganda, especially when it comes to making the case around these powerful innovations. What are the ethics of effective advocacy?
How can propaganda be differentiated from honest storytelling? How do we most effectively champion appropriate technologies to our employees, customers, clients or constituents?

We will also examine questions about the platforms and technology themselves: What reference should we use to recognize that emerging technologies are serving as trustful conduits and not propagating misinformation or disinformation? What communications methods, platforms and amplifiers are being used to spread propaganda and fake news, and how does this impact democracy? By learning how to critically think about such questions, students will learn how to communicate clearly and ethically in favor of the use of nascent technology solutions that might impact an organization or community.

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COMMLD 543: Leadership Approaches to Equity Initiatives in Organizations (Ross) - 2020 Summer

MCCN Elective
Wednesdays 6/24-8/19 | 6:00-9:50pm

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.”

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