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School of Architecture and Built Environment

Course Template

Department of Design and Visual Communications


B.A. Design and Visual Communications
Course DES 222 Communications Theory, 2 Crs : 2 Lectures
Prerequisite DES 221 Creativity Training
.::. Course Description:

The course introduces terms and conceptual models of communication, describing the dynamic
interactive process of human communication (linear, non-linear and multi-dimensional models). It
also explores rhetorical situations and different examples transmitting messages from a source via
channel or medium to a receiver, considering the different meanings a message may have,
depending upon the specific context, setting or cultural background. The course also describes
the use of communicative knowledge for the creation of efficient design solutions, where either
people or people and technology meet (human-machine interface). The controversial discussion
of practical and ethic relevant aspects of product and media design, brand communication,
corporate design and advertising is further included.

Module Description Weeks


Foundations What is Communication? 1st
What is Theory? 2nd
Theories Concepts and Models for Communications 3rd
Theory of Media and Theory of Society 4th
New Media, New Theory 5th
Theories of Message Production and Processing 6th
7th
Normative Theory of Media and Society 8th
Mid Term Exams Period 9th
Structures Media Structure and Performance 10th
Global Mass Communication 11th
Organization The Production of Media Culture 12th
Audiences Audience Formation and Experience 13th
Effects Processes and Models of Media Effects 14th
News, Public Opinion and Political Communication 15th
Final Exams Period 16th
.::. Learning Outcomes:

a) Knowledge and Understanding


1. Understand the meaning of Communication and the various forms and media of
communication in our times
2. Know the main theories that address issues of communication, their perspective, their
processes and contexts.

b) Intellectual Skills
3. Understand the interrelated effects of communications, mass communications, media and
society.
4. Understand the relationship between symbolic designs and communication.
5. Understand the target Audience and how they effect the communicative aspects of any
design and media.
6. Understand the various effects; socio-political and cultural of mass communication.

c) Professional Skills
7. Develop an analytical approach to issues related to communications theories and their
effects on media and society.

d) Transferable Skills
8. Enhance the student's verbal, logical and analytical expression of ideas and concepts.

.::. Teaching Methods:


This course consists of two lecture sessions per week, these sessions are composed of:
[ ] Lectures as outlined in the Modules outline.
[ ] Discussion sessions of given readings.

ALL Students will sign in to a social network created for them [ http://fusionists.ning.com/].
After signing in they will have to contribute to this network by videos, images, discussion forums,
etc. Their contribution will be assessed as their course portfolio and therefore is a MUST.

.::. Assessment:

The criteria of assessment are:


[ ] Clarity of stating key issues and providing a framework for answering the questions.
[ ] Analytical and critical thinking and expression.
[ ] Developing logical and coherent arguments and ideas.
[ ] Correct and effective use of English Language.

The grading system:


1. Exams: 60 %
Mid Term Exam 20%
Final Exam 40%

2. Assigned Readings, exercises and homework 30%


3. Student's Portfolio [His/ her profile at [Fusionists network]] 10%

Assignments must be submitted on time. No late submittal is accepted except in cases of


emergency and meeting the instructor's and the Dean's approval.

.::. Text Books

:: McQuail, Denis, (2008), Mass Communication Theory, Sage Publishing, 5th Ed.
:: McLuhan, Marshall and Fiore, Quentine, (2005), The Medium is the Massage, Gingko Press.

.::. References

:: Bryant, Jennings and Thompson, Susan, (2002), Fundamentals of Media Effects, McGraw Hill
Publishing.
:: Miller, Katerine, (2005), Communication Theories; Perspectives, Processes, and Contexts,
McGraw Hill, 2nd Ed.
:: Mulhern, Francis, (2000), Culture/ Metaculture, Routledge.
:: Stevenson, Nicholas, (2009), Understanding Media Cultures: Social Theory and Mass
Communication, Sage Publishing, 2nd Ed.

Instructor Arch. Rusaila Bazlamit, M.Sc. Design and Digital Media