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Course Descriptions

Mass Media Arts and Journalism Courses

MMAJ 426: Telecommunications Policy 3 s.h.

Provides a foundation in the U.S. policymaking process in telecommunications (broadcasting, cable, telephone, and the Internet). Examines the impact of technology and social influences on policymaking and the theoretical perspectives that drive policymaking. Prerequisite: MMAJ 100 OR 101. 

MMAJ 427: Ethnicity, Gender, and the Media 3 s.h.

This course investigates the role of ethnicity and gender in a variety of media. The course critically analyzes how the media has historically portrayed women and people of color, how they portray these groups today in a diverse, global media environment, and how these portrayals have influenced public opinion and public policy. The course also examines the historical and current role of women and minority communities in the media business. Prerequisite: MMAJ 100 or 101.

MMAJ 441: Advanced Media Writing 3 s.h.

Extensive work in research, writing, and marketing of written products for magazines, newspapers, and other publications.  Requires selection and acquisition of appropriate photographs and graphics to complement the articles. Prerequisite: MMAJ 140.

MMAJ 442: Broadcast Newswriting 3 s.h.

Provides students with advanced instruction and experience in writing and reporting news for radio and television. Topics include script types and formats, leads, writing for the eye and ear, interviewing techniques, feature writing, packages, readers and teasers and investigative research and reporting techniques. Prerequisite: MMAJ 140

MMAJ 443: Public Relations Writing 3 s.h.

Provides students with advanced instruction and experience in writing for the public relations and advertising professions. Projects include news releases, media kits, advertisements, newsletters, brochures, and web pages. Coursework also stresses ethical and legal responsibilities of the public relations writer, research, persuasion, and visual elements of communication. Prerequisites: MMAJ 100 OR 101, and 140.

MMAJ 445: Digital/Film Producing 3 s.h.

Explores all aspects of the role of the producer for film. The student will examine the business of film production, from the development of script proposals through final distribution. The student will become involved in all areas of script breakdown, storyboard development, planning, budgets, and legal aspects. Prerequisite: MMAJ 302.

MMAJ 455: Digital/Film Directing 3 s.h.

Provides students with hands-on experience as a single-camera director. Students will critique professional directors and examine directing theories and techniques and will apply theory and techniques of script breakdown, directing talent and blocking, camera placement, shot execution, and communication of the director's vision to crew and talent. Students will direct a narrative short or one-act screenplay. Prerequisite: MMAJ 351.

MMAJ 476: Short Film 3 s.h.

A film-production course in which students make up a crew and produce a feature-style film short. This capstone course in the film concentration applies previous coursework and experience to the creation of a major work and allows students the full expression of the concentration. Prerequisite: MMAJ 445, 455.

MMAJ 524: Critical Analysis of Mass Media 3 s.h.

Focuses on critical frames of analysis applied to various mass media messages, such as film, recordings, television, and print media. Rhetorical, semiotic, ideological, and dramatistic modes of analysis are applied in historical and current media contexts. Focus may be made on a specific medium.

MMAJ 525: Mass Communication Theory 3 s.h.

Provides introduction and examination of the major theories relevant in the study of mass communication. Students understand the application and relevance of these theories in the industries, practices, and effects of the mass media.

MMAJ/ED 540: Principles of Instructional Design in Educational Technology 3 s.h.

Focuses on systematic procedures for designing, developing, evaluating and revising instruction to meet identified goals and objectives for promoting educational technology. Instructional design theories and applications are examined. The appropriateness and production of both projected and non-projected multimedia are explored in the production of instructional solutions for the targeted audience including the K-12 community and other training and development learning environments.

MMAJ 551: Public Relations Foundations 3 s.h.

Focuses on the roles and responsibilities of public relations professionals, theories and principles of public relations, and public relations programming. Students will work to develop knowledge, expertise and skills that lead to professional competence in the field. As part of their study, students will also consider the legal and ethical dimensions of public relations, and develop a public relations writing portfolio.

MMAJ 552: Journalism Foundations 3 s.h.

Provides students with a historical, theoretical and practical overview of the traditional principles and practices of journalism and an analysis of the applicability of those characteristics in today’s media environment. This course will focus on a critical examination of the history, principles and practices of American journalism. It will address the functions of the press in a democratic society, and students will examine the structure and nature of the press and media’s relationship with government and the public.

MMAJ 558: Society, Law, and Media Technology 3 s.h.

Examines the social impact and regulation of media technology in society. The course explores the relationships between societal uses of media technology, the law that addresses media technology issues, and the role of media in larger communication and mass media systems.

MMAJ 559: Management of the Communication Process 3 s.h.

Defines and applies the general principles of management-planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling-to the design and administration of communication organizations and communication functions. The course relates behavioral variables to the understanding and motivation of employees.

MMAJ 560: Audio and Television Production 3 s.h.

Develops basic skills in audio, ENG, and television production. A variety of projects in both media concentrates on proper equipment operation and recording and editing techniques.

MMAJ 565: Photography and Graphics Production 3 s.h.

Provides an integrated introduction into graphic and photographic production techniques. Layout, design, and composition techniques will be developed.

MMAJ 572: Designing World Wide Web Media 3 s.h.

Prepares students to design World Wide Web-based media. Students will learn to structure Websites, layout copy, use color and text effectively, position images, and deploy sound and video on pages as necessary.

MMAJ 573: Public Relations Ethics and Professional Responsibility 3 s.h.

Addresses the ethical and moral dimensions of the public relations practice, and prepares students to understand the ethical responsibilities of the public relations professional. Through case studies, analysis of current events, and hands-on exercises, this course provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to reach and justify ethical decisions in a range of situations. Throughout, students work to build a sense of personal and professional responsibility in public relations.

 MMAJ 574: Public Relations Cases and Campaigns 3 s.h.

Using public relations cases and campaigns as models, this course examines the development of public relations strategies along with the tactical communications and actions that were instituted to achieve organizational goals. Public relations programs directed toward employees, the news media, the community, the consumer, governmental officials and agencies, stockholders and other relevant groups are included in the course.

MMAJ 575: Principles of Integrated Communications 3 s.h.

This course examines the theories and techniques of integrated communications, including public relations, advertising, marketing, sales promotions, and personal selling. It explores how all forms of communications work together to achieve organizational objectives and contribute to its overall "brand." In this course, students will also learn how to research and evaluate a company's marketing and promotional situation, and use this information to develop effective integrated communications strategies and programs.

MMAJ 580: Applied Design and Production 3 s.h.

Prepares students to design and produce multimedia programs for communication functions. Explores research concerning interactive multimedia as a delivery medium, and examines key elements of program design, pre-production, and evaluation.

MMAJ 591: Independent Study 1-2 s.h.

Allows the imaginative student to structure an independent research project in the area of communication with a minimum of faculty supervision. A proposal specifying objectives, methods, and evaluation techniques must be submitted and approved by the student's advisor prior to enrolling in the course. 1 or 2 credit hours.

MMAJ 621: Mass Communication Research 3 s.h.

Examines research in mass communication and develops competencies in research methods. Topics include statistical analysis, experimental and survey research methods in communication, content analysis, and evaluation of mass media technology in communication.

MMAJ 641: Professional Communication Writing 3 s.h.

Provides advanced instruction in communication writing for use in a range of media-related careers. Focuses on the methodology and execution of specific projects professionals are likely to encounter in the workplace including speeches, grants, visual presentations, and research reports. Prerequisites: MMAJ 525 and 551.

MMAJ 642: Advanced Public Relations Writing 3 s.h.

Provides advanced instruction in writing for the public relations profession. Focuses on the methodology and execution of specific projects including news releases and media kits, crisis communication plans, backgrounders, annual reports, feature stories, speeches and presentations, and websites.  Stresses planning and research, message strategy, and ethical and legal responsibilities. Students will produce written pieces suitable for a professional portfolio. 

MMAJ/CIS 650: Advanced Technology Applications 3 s.h.

This course develops advanced skills to support instructional technology programs. Coursework will cover areas such as advanced microcomputer applications, Internet concepts as they apply to instructional technology, and PC operating system issues related to instructional technology. The focus will be on computers and related technologies used in educational and training environments.

MMAJ/CIS 651: Networking Media Technology Centers 3 s.h.

This course will enable the student to install and configure computers and computer networks in educational/training settings. Emphasis will be placed on systems commonly found in K-12 schools. Software/hardware selection, installation and maintenance will be covered as related to technology integration. The student will identify ethical and legal procedures as well as issues related to adaptive assistive hardware/software.

MMAJ 692: Seminar in Communication Education and Mass Media Technology 3 s.h.

Focuses on critical examination of issues, research, and innovations in the field of communication education and mass media technology.

MMAJ 700: Thesis 6 s.h.

Requires the student to conduct a research study in communication, using acceptable research methods and under the supervision of a faculty member and committee. Permission to enroll in the course is by invitation of the graduate faculty in the Department of Communication. The course is one of three options to complete the degree requirements in the graduate program. Prerequisite: MMAJ 621. Three or six credits a semester for an overall total of six credits.

MMAJ 701: Internship 6 s.h.

Provides practical experience in the supervision and operations of some aspect of a communication/instructional system program. A proposal specifying objectives, methods, and evaluation techniques must be submitted and approved by the student's advisor and the cooperating agency prior to enrolling in the course. The course is one of three options to complete degree requirements in the graduate program. Students may take three credits in two consecutive semesters or six credits in one semester. Prerequisite: MMAJ 621.

MMAJ 702: Portfolio 6 s.h.

Requires the student to prepare a portfolio of professional materials, including written documentation outlining the purpose and application of the materials. Students will produce professional-quality media products, such as video programs, multimedia programs, printed materials, audio programs, or Web-based products. Students complete a comprehensive examination. The course is one of three options to complete the degree requirements in the graduate program. Prerequisite: MMAJ 621. Six credits (required/maximum); students can enroll for three credits in two consecutive semesters or six credits in one semester.

CMST 602: Seminar in Conflict Management 3 s.h.This course is designed to help students develop strong communication skills for reacting, interacting, and intervening in conflict situations. It offers a summary and synthesis of research and theory on conflict that guides communication choices for effectively responding to conflict in any environment across personal relationships, small group interactions, management and labor, public administration, and education.

CMST 603: Organizational Communication 3 s.h.

This course is designed to help students develop communication skills that enable them to become change masters in the organizations and work groups they are part of. Students will learn an analytical framework to identify key decision variables, and ways of behaving and communicating that allow people in organizations to make and implement good decisions fast. The course introduces students to issues such as the function of communication in organizational planning, strategy, and marketing; the role of communication issues in collaboration and negotiation; communication leadership; managing email and written communication; risk communication; cross-cultural communication; and communication ethics. The course also introduces students to a range of qualitative and quantitative research methods for analyzing and assessing communication in organizations.

CMST 604: Communication in Instructional Environments 3 s.h.

Communication in a variety of instructional contexts, with focuses on communication skills for instructors in business, professions, and education. Emphasis is placed on the literature, philosophies, and theories concerning instructional communication.