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COMM 250 COMMUNICATION THEORY

Syllabus Fall 2010


INSTRUCTOR: Prof. Karen Shearer Dunn OFFICE PHONE: (704)337-2370 OFFICE: Dana 103 HOME PHONE: (704)246-8501 OFFICE HOURS: Mondays: 1:30-5:00; Tuesdays: 12:00-1:30; Wednesdays: on campus but no office hours (contact me via email); Thursdays: not on campus; Fridays: on campus (by appointment) EMAIL: dunnk@queens.edu Course Description:
The Communication Theory course is the introductory course of a three-course sequence designed to integrate all the theoretical strands of the material you will be studying in Communication at Queens. This course includes the study of various communication theories as they frame research questions and influence conclusions. Theories range from basic concepts of the communication process through interpersonal, public, and mass communication. Throughout the course we will explore approximately 25 communicationrelated theories in-depth.

Text
Griffin, Em. A First Look at Communication Theory. (7th ed.) New York, NY: McGrawHill. 2009 . ISBN: 0073385026

Evaluation
Midterm Exam Final Exam Teaching a Theory presentation 40% 40 % 20% 100%

Your grade will be determined on the following scale: 100-94% A 93.9-90% A89.9-87% B+ 86.9-84% B 79.9-77% C+ 76.9-74% C 69.9-65% D+ 64.9-60% D

83.9-80% B73.9-70% C59.9 down is failing

Conferences
I am always happy to meet with you to discuss any problems you may be encountering. My office hours are listed above. Additionally, I can arrange to meet you by appointment.

Attendance
As in any course, especially in communication, attendance is important to your success and understanding of the course material. I recommend strongly that you attend every class meeting. When you miss a class, you are missing lecture and discussion which will hinder your ability to perform well on exams. Four (4) absences will result in earning a full-grade reduction. Excessive absences (eight (8) or more) will result in a failing grade for this course regardless of your scores on exams and presentation. When you miss a class, YOU are responsible for getting the notes and information that you missed. Please do not call me to ask for notes, handouts and assignments. Exchange phone numbers and/or email addresses with someone in the class early on, so that you can call him/her to get the information you missed.

The Exams
The midterm and final exams are objective, composed of multiple choice, true/false, matching and short answer questions. The midterm covers theories discussed in the first half of the semester. The final exam covers theories discussed in the second half of the semester.

Teaching a Theory Presentation


You will be assigned a theory you will "teach" to your classmates in a formal presentation. Students will explain and illustrate and/or lead a discussion about one of the theories covered in the textbook in a 20-25 minute presentation. This will be done in teams of two. You will also be responsible for writing 10 exam questions over your theory for the Midterm or Final Exam.

Disability Accommodations
If you are a student with a verified disability and you require accommodations, please provide me with the necessary memorandum that was given to you by Student Disability Services. Contact: The Coordinator of Disability Services: Sandy Rogelberg, 704-337-2508.

Honor Code
The Honor Code, which permeates all phases of university life, is based on three fundamental principles. It assumes that Queens students: a) are truthful at all times, b) respect the property of others (this includes written works, thus, plagiarism is a Honor Code violation), and c) are honest in tests, examinations, term papers, and all other academic assignments. It is a violation of the Honor Code for a student to be untruthful concerning the reason for a class absence. If you believe that you have witnessed a violation of the Queens Honor Code, I encourage you to speak with me confidentially. All members of the Queens community adhere to the Honor Code, these expectations are outlined in the Honor Code Booklet, http://portal.queens.edu.

University Closings / Cancelled Classes


In the rare occasion when it is necessary to close the university announcements will be made on TV and radio, and will be posted on the Queens web site, www.queens.edu. The best way for the Queens community to receive fast and accurate information about closings is to sign up for QALERT. QALERT: Receive campus emergency notifications via voicemail, text and/or e-mail, sign up at www.queens.edu/alert. Remember, you must register as a new user each academic year, even if youve signed up in the past. The system is wiped clean every August, and you will receive a message before that happens. For more information, e-mail alert@queens.edu. NOTE: If classes are meeting but you feel that you cannot find a safe way to get to class, you should notify me as soon as possible.

COMMUNICATION THEORY
The Schedule (subject to change)
Week Aug 25 Aug 30 Topic Orientation to course The academic field of communication Humanism vs. Determinism Labor DayNo Class Primary research sources and methodologies Teaching a theory selection lottery Theories about Verbal Communication and Meaning Theories taught by Prof. Dunn Symbolic Interaction Ch. 5 Coordinated Management of Meaning Ch. 6 Theories about Nonverbal Communication and Semiotics Theories taught by Prof. Dunn Expectancy Violation Theory Ch. 7 Semiotics Ch. 25 Chapters 1-4 Reading Assignment

Sep 6 Sep 8

Sep 13

Sep 20

Sep 27 & Oct 4 Theories about Interpersonal Communication Theories taught by Prof. Dunn Social Penetration Theory Ch. 9 Social Exchange Theory Relational Dialectics Ch. 12 Interactional View Ch. 13 Oct 11 Oct 18 Fall BreakNo Class Student taught theories Constructivism Uncertainty Reduction Theory Social Information Processing Midterm Exam Theories about Persuasion Student taught theories Social Judgment Theory Elaboration Liklihood Model

Ch. 8 Ch. 10 Ch. 11

Oct 25 Oct 27

Ch. 14 Ch. 15

Nov 1

Theories about Group and Organizational Communication Student taught theories Functional Perspective Ch. 17 Cultural Approach to Organizations Ch. 19 Critical Theory Approach to Organizations Ch. 20 Theories about Rhetoric Student taught theory Narrative Paradigm

Ch. 23

Nov 8

Theories about Mass Media Theory taught be Prof. Dunn Cultivation Theory Student taught theories Spiral of Silence Agenda Setting Theory

Ch. 27

Ch. 29 Ch. 28

Nov 22 Nov 29

Thanksgiving BreakNo Classes Theories about Intercultural Communication Theories taught by Prof. Dunn Face Negotiation Theory Ch. 31 Student taught theories Speech Codes

Ch. 32

Dec 6

Theories about Feminist and Gender Communication Theory taught by Prof. Dunn Muted Group Theory Ch. 35 Student taught theory Standpoint Theory Ch. 34 Final Exam at 8:30 AM

Dec 14

Teach a Theory Presentation Dates

Theory and Suggested Movie

Presentation Date

Constructivism in Hotel Rwanda or Dead Man Walking ______________________________________________

Oct 18

Uncertainty Reduction Theory in Driving Miss Daisy ______________________________________________

Oct 20

Social Information Processing in You've Got Mail _______________________________________________

Oct 20

Social Judgment Theory in Schindler's List _______________________________________________

Oct 27

Elaboration Liklihood Model in Twelve Angry Men _______________________________________________

Oct 27

Functional Perspective on Group Decision Making in Apollo 13 _______________________________________________

Nov 1

Cultural Approach to Organizations in A Few Good Men _______________________________________________

Nov 1

Critical Theory Approach to Organizations in Erin Brockovich ________________________________________________

Nov 3

Narrative Paradigm in Forrest Gump _______________________________________________

Nov 3

Spiral of Silence in Mississippi Burning ________________________________________________

Nov 10

Agenda Setting Theory in All the President's Men ________________________________________________

Nov 10

Speech Codes Theory in Dances with Wolves __________________________________________________

Dec 1

Standpoint Theory in The Cider House Rules ___________________________________________________

Dec 8