Crispin Thurlow Faber
B CUSP 178
Introduces topics in the study of human communication. Focuses on key goals such as identities, relationships, and communities; modes of interaction such as linguistic, kinesthetic, visual, and mediated; and settings such as one-to-one, small group, organizations, virtual, and mass media. Offered: ASp.
NOTE: Please see online syllabus for more extensive information about this course (weblink below).
In this course you will be learning about some of the main themes, theories and concepts that underpin the study of human communication. We will examine how humans interact with each other to achieve different goals (e.g. constructing identities, establishing and maintaining relationships, building communities). We will look at the different ways these goals are achieved through a range of different modes of communication (e.g. linguistic, nonverbal, visual). We will also look at the ways people communicate in a number of different settings (e.g. one-to-one, organizational, political).
As you will hear in the first week of class, BCUSP 178 is deliberately structured around six "core concepts" in communication: PROCESS, CONTEXT, RELATIONSHIP, CULTURE, MEANING and POWER. We will be dealing with each of these core concepts in turn. In addition, every week you will be introduced to a different sub-field of human communication scholarship (e.g. nonverbal communication, relational communication).
BCUSP 178 will be of interest for anyone wanting to understand how communication operates in their everyday life. It is an ideal introduction for anyone wanting to pursue advanced studies in Media and Communication.
Student learning goals
Demonstrate increased knowledge of how human communication operates at the level of interpersonal, intergroup and intercultural interaction.
Be able to identify and describe different modes of communication such as linguistic, nonverbal, visual, and electronic.
Be able to identify and critique a variety of communication contexts such as face-to-face, mediatized, institutional and cross-cultural settings.
Have developed an increased awareness of the ethical, political and ideological implications of everyday communication practices.
Exhibit an increased ability to read and understand primary research in communication studies.
General method of instruction
Again, please see online syllabus (weblink below) for more detailed information about the organization of this class. You can also download a PDF copy of the weekly schedule. Your learning in this course will be guided by the following instructional activities: twice-weekly lectures, weekly documentary film screenings, class discussions, independent reading exercises, two tests, and a small research project/presentation.
There are no prerequisites for this class and no advanced preparation is necessary either.
Class assignments and grading
The online syllabus contains detailed information about coursework and assessment. There are three main activities for you to demonstrate your effort and learning: (1) weekly quizzes based on primary scholarly sources (e.g. journal articles); (2) two multiple choice tests (one based on the first half of the course, one based on the second half of the course); (3) a small research project on organizational communication, culminating in a short presentation to the rest of the class.
The eight reading quizzes are graded and count for 25% of the final grade for BCUSP 178. (You will be allowed to drop your two lowest grades at the end of the quarter.) The two tests are graded and, together, count for 60% of the final grade for BCUSP 178. The research project/presentation will be awarded "credit", "no credit" or "half credit" and counts for 15% of the final grade for BCUSP 178.