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Course offerings reflect the 2020-2021 Elmhurst University Catalog. One unit of credit equals four semester hours.

Communication | Digital Media

Bidisciplinary courses may also be taken for major or minor credit for this program.

Communication and Multimedia Journalism

An introduction to the foundations of theory and practice in oral communication. Topics include: (a) interpersonal context; self-concept, listening, conflict management, verbal and nonverbal communication, gender roles, relationship development and maintenance; (b) public context; effective oral presentation skills, audience analysis, communication anxiety and organizational patterns; (c) small group context; effective decision making, leadership, empowerment, cultural diversity, group dynamics, team management and participation. Appropriate for English education students and others intending to take the State of Illinois English Language Arts Licensure Exam.

This course is not intended for communication majors. Spring Term.

A course designed to enhance interpersonal communication skills as well as survey-related theoretical foundations. The focus of the course is on verbal and nonverbal forms of human interaction. Issues such as listening, self-disclosure, conflict management and relational development and disengagement are explored in theory and practice.

The history of media in the United States with an emphasis on the origin, nature and effects of media on society. Fall Term.

An introductory course in oral presentation that combines theory with practical application.


An introduction to writing for various forms of mass media such as print, broadcasting, advertising, public relations copy, blogs, and social media. The course will survey policy, ethics, and legal issues associated with delivering content in diverse forms. Fall Term.

Introduction to and practice in journalistic style and the techniques of writing for mass communication, including interview techniques, media law, ethics and other components of print or online media.

Prerequisite(s): ENG 106 or equivalent. Fall Term.

As part of the core curriculum in the Multimedia Journalism major, this course moves students beyond the basics of news reporting and editing and into more complex writing projects, including a collaborative class project and using social media as a journalistic tool. Final writing assignments will be submitted for publication in national or regional media.

Prerequisite(s): ENG 106 or equivalent. Spring Term.

This course explores communication within the context of professional interpersonal relationships. Topics include: interpersonal communication concepts, monitoring the internal and external environmental factors of a professional interpersonal relationship determining the relational context, identifying the appropriate communication channel for interpersonal exchanges at work and reducing unintended messages. Students will prepare a formal team presentation and a written analysis of their communication experiences in a professional interpersonal relationship. Alternating Fall Terms.

A course designed to explore the nature of group processes, with an emphasis on effective task-group discussion, decision making, problem solving and conflict resolution. Development of personal leadership skills and observational-analytic skills through structured group communication activities.

Prerequisite: COM 114. Alternating Fall Terms.

Both cross-cultural and intercultural aspects of communication, verbal and nonverbal, are examined in domestic and international cultures. Cultural differences in values and beliefs are also examined. Important dimensions of communication are treated in specific contexts such as medical, business and social. In addition, students will be asked to analyze their own intercultural variables and communication behaviors. Overall, this course will build cultural awareness and knowledge of how to transcend cultural and ethnic differences to build community through communication.

A course that surveys the major theories in the field of communication, analyzing theories of nonverbal, intrapersonal, verbal, mass, intercultural and relational communication. Emphasis on the relationship among theory, research and communication science.

Prerequisites: COM 114 and one other course at the 200 level or above.

Examination of the rhetorical and social scientific theories of persuasive communication. Students will gain practical experience by examining the ethical, logical and motivational means of influencing others in a variety of persuasive situations. Coursework will include analysis, criticism and application of persuasive discourse across a diverse range of contexts. Alternating Fall Terms.

A course designed to examine gender as it is created and recreated through the process of communication. This course focuses on gender and gender stereotypes in four primary contexts of media, education, organizations and intimate relationships, such as friendships and family relationships. Students will gain a better understanding of the process of communication and how it affects the social construction of gender. Spring Term.

A course designed to improve writing, speaking and listening skills essential to effective communication in a variety of business and professional settings. This course takes a practiceoriented approach to crafting, delivering and evaluating various types of informative, demonstrative and persuasive documents and presentations.

Prerequisite: COM 213.

This course focuses on the application of communication theories as applied to organizational structures and design. Topics include open-systems theory, productivity, power, culture, socialization, identity, technology, ethics and globalization within a wide range of organizations and contexts. Alternating Spring Terms.

A course designed to analyze problems and issues in crisis communication through case histories, exercises and projects. The course takes a case-study approach, focusing on typical communication difficulties in crisis management. Alternating Spring Terms.

A course designed to enhance conflict communication skills focusing on understanding the theories of conflict, the nature and function of conflict, and how communication contributes to conflict management and resolution.

Prerequisite: COM 114. Alternating Spring Terms.

Communication is central to the functioning of the family and extended family systems. This course explores topics that are relevant to understanding communication phenomena in the setting of the family. Topics include: families as systems, patterns, meanings, rituals, stories, roles and types, family life cycles, stressors and conflict, power and decision making, family forms and contexts. January Term.

This course focuses on the interactive relationship between communication and issues of health and medicine. The roles of patients and caregivers and social and intercultural issues in health care are explored.

Fall Term.

In Environmental Communication students will explore the impact of sustainable/green/environmental messages on an audience. Topics include how we communicate about environmental issues, how easy it is to “tune out” an environmental message, the application of the transactional human communication model to advocacy campaigns, developing and conveying possible solutions to stakeholders, managing conflict between stakeholders, assessing green marketing and corporate campaigns, and developing persuasive techniques. Students will develop a persuasive plan based on an environmental practice or initiative and, along with preparing a document, share their ideas in a formal presentation. Alternating Fall Terms.

This course explores the fundamentals of event management. Students will learn how to apply project management to the creation, development and implementation of large-scale events such as professional conferences, ceremonies, formal events, concerts, athletic events or conventions. Course content focuses on working in teams, negotiation, conflict management, organization, oral and written communication, interpersonal skills, and motivation. Fall Term.

This course provides an opportunity to examine the commodification of mediated culture and the resulting impact on cultural identity. Several cultural lenses will be used including religion, sexual orientation, gender, race, ethnicity and ability. A variety of mediated texts will be examined including film, television, music and print sources. Alternating Spring Terms.

An opportunity for intensive exploration of a particular topic chosen by the instructor. Repeatable for credit.

.25 credit

General introduction to all aspects of broadcasting. Basic training and introduction to production equipment and the day-to-day workings of WRSE, the campus radio station. After gaining experience, students will have more advanced opportunities in the radio industry, including music air shifts, promotions, news, sports and other administrative duties at WRSE. Participation may be in the form of an independent on-air music show, or administrative responsibilities assigned by the station manager in a specific area of interest, such as news, promotion or music. Five hours per week of participation is required.

This is an applied course in digital media designed to teach the skills needed to produce digital media in a variety of formats. A minimum of five hours of activity per week is required.

An examination of the impact of mass communication media on society. Research findings are discussed in terms of their political, social and ethical implications, as well as their relationship to contemporary theories.

Prerequisite: COM 211.

Students will refine and enhance their rhetorical skill set and ability to act as a public advocate. They will participate in researching significant societal issues and the subsequent construction of arguments surrounding these topics. Students will also refine and enhance their delivery style during classroom, campus and community presentations.

Prerequisite: COM 213.

Advanced exploration of business and professional communication, including the curation, interpretation and analysis of documents and information. Covers the generation and management of online communication within social media and other online platforms. Alternating Spring Terms.

This course is designed to help students develop a conceptual framework for evaluating communication ethics and examining controversial issues and case studies in a variety of communication contexts, with a particular focus on media communication settings. Students will explore fundamental issues and standards of ethics in interpersonal, group, public and mass communication contexts. Alternating Spring Terms.

This course is an overview of the relationship between communication principles and the phenomenon of leadership. Analysis of various leadership approaches and their communicative content are undertaken. Students will be asked to engage in qualitative research exploring the nature of leadership as a product of human communication.

Prerequisite: COM 114. Alternating Fall Terms.

.50, 1.00 or 1.50 credit

Designed to provide students with supervised, on-the-job experience with participating businesses, government agencies, institutions and radio/television stations. May be taken during the regular term with part-time employment of 7 to 13 hours weekly for .50 credit, 14 to 17 hours weekly for 1.00 credit, 18 to 20 hours weekly for 1.50 credit, or during Summer Term with 12 to 15 hours weekly for .50 credit, 25 to 30 hours weekly for 1.00 credit or 32 to 36 hours weekly for 1.50 credit. Applications should be made early in the term preceding registration and are reviewed on the basis of academic grade-point average, faculty recommendations, professional progress and demonstrated interest.

Repeatable for credit. Consent of instructor required during previous term unless exception is granted by internship coordinator. Offered for Pass/No Pass grading.

This senior seminar is a capstone option for communication majors. This course will allow students an opportunity to pursue advanced study of a topic in communication beyond the regular course offerings. Topics will vary each year and could include: race and gender in the media, cultural identity in the media, the dark side of communication and the role of communication within the liberal arts. Students will write a literature review paper on a course topic as the capstone of their work in the major. This course should be taken in the spring term closest to a student’s graduation, assuming that student is not choosing to do an internship in communication as his or her capstone in the major. Spring Term.

.25, .50 or 1.00 credit

Majors may engage in directed study of a chosen subject. Studies may include creative projects, directed readings or research. Consent of instructor required.

.50 credit

This course gives Honors Program students the opportunity to design and implement a significant research project in the field of communications, culminating in an appropriate public dissemination of research methods and findings. This research must build upon previous coursework taken within the major or minor, facilitating faculty supervision and guidance.

Repeatable for credit. Permission of the faculty supervisor and the director of the Honors Program required prior to registration.

1.00 or 1.50 credit

Designed to provide all department majors with supervised, on-the-job experience with participating businesses, government agencies, institutions and radio/television stations. May be taken during the regular term with part-time employment of 7 to 13 hours weekly for .50 credit, 14 to 17 hours weekly for 1.00 credit or 18 to 20 hours weekly for 1.50 credit, or during summer term with 12 to 15 hours weekly for .50 credit, 25 to 30 hours weekly for 1.00 credit or 32 to 36 hours weekly for 1.50 credit. Additional assignments required as part of a capstone experience in communication. Applications should be made early in the term preceding registration and are reviewed based on academic grade-point average, faculty recommendations, professional progress and demonstrated interest.

Consent of instructor required during previous term unless exception is granted by internship coordinator. Offered for Pass/No Pass grading. Repeatable for credit at .50 credit.

Digital Media

This course introduces students to the step-by-step process of making a short narrative film. Students will learn how to turn their ideas into a short screenplay. They will take that screenplay and make a practical production plan around it. They will learn shooting strategies and techniques. Finally, they will learn the basics of editing and assemble their rough elements into a final cut. The course will conclude with a screening of all of the students’ short films.

Students will be introduced to the history of cinema and various types of film analysis. Students will examine films from a filmmaking perspective, analyzing elements such as writing, cinematography, and sound, as well as from a theoretical perspective, examining films through various lenses which may include, but are not limited to: feminism, Marxism, queer theory, psychoanalytic, and genre studies. Students will be introduced to filmmakers from around the world and will study films ranging from the birth of cinema to contemporary blockbusters. Students will examine the impact new technology has had on filmmaking, as well as how filmmaking has created new technologies used beyond the world of cinema.

Prerequisite: ENG 105.

Students will be introduced to the fundamentals of animation including: hand-drawn, stop motion, 2D, and 3D tools and techniques. Students will also learn about the history of animation as well as how it was impacted by and continues to be impacted by emerging technologies. Students will discover the numerous roles that animation plays in the media world from narrative film to digital game design to motion graphics for web design and commercial productions.

Prerequisite: ART 113.

What makes a good story? This class will examine the fundamental principles of effective storytelling in literature, film, television, and other media. Students will study Aristotle’s “Poetics” and see how much of what he described centuries ago still applies to contemporary storytelling, such as character, plot, and theme. While examining literature, film and television, students will learn traditional three-act structure as well as alternative structures such as the ensemble, non-linear, dual-protagonist, and experimental.

Prerequisite: ENG 105.

Students will be introduced to various areas within the world of digital media, which may include but are not limited to: filmmaking, screenwriting, animation, game design, virtual reality, broadcast journalism, motion graphics, documentary production, sound design, cinematography, video editing, audio recording, and more. Students will learn history and theory within each area and will then put it into practice in a series of production-based projects. Students will be able to create projects using numerous software applications used in the media fields.

Introduces students to the world of screenwriting, including the differences between writing feature films, episodic shows, web series, and more. Students read screenplays to learn about structure, character development, theme, and dialogue writing and to recognize proper screenplay format as well as how to write visually. Students will each write a short original screenplay.

Prerequisites: ENG 106. Spring 2021.

This is an applied course in digital media designed to teach the skills needed to produce digital media in a variety of formats. A minimum of five hours of activity per week is required.

Students in this course will develop an original concept for a digital game or animated media. They will design the environment, characters, and props required to create the world needed for their game or animation. The relationship between visual design and storytelling will also be emphasized. Upon completion of the course, students will have a pitch and all accompanying concept art for an original game or animated film or television show.

Prerequisite: ART 113.

Editing is often called the final step in the rewriting process as, in post-production, the editor decides what to keep, what to cut, and what the audience will wind up seeing whether it is a film, a commercial, or a news segment. Students will be introduced to basic editing tools, techniques, and software for video editing while gaining an understanding of the role editing played in the evolution of cinema and visual storytelling.

Central to this course is a team project that produces a three-dimensional and interactive game using a gamedevelopment platform, such as Unity. This is a course that enrolls Computer Game and Entertainment Technology (CGE) and Digital Media (DM) students taking the game design track. CGE students apply programming and software development toward the main game project. DM students focus on the art, music, and/or sound assets. CGE students learn how to incorporate the artificial intelligence and physics into games using the game development platform, and DM students learn how to incorporate and integrate created assets into the game. Several small projects are used to learn how to use specific aspects of the development platform. Beyond the software development side, project management and planning tools and techniques are introduced and are used to organize assets, workflows, tasks, versions, testing, and personnel. Both CGE and DM student study the project management aspects of game development.

DM 401 will meet at the same time and rooms as CGE 401. DM students must fulfill these prerequisites. Prerequisites: (CGE 250 or MUS 291) and CGE 303.

Students will write a complete original feature-length screenplay or the “pilot” (first) episode of an idea for an original television show along with an outline for the story arcs of the complete first season. This written product will serve as a portfolio piece that can be sent to agents, managers and producers. Students will learn the business side of becoming a screenwriter, including but not limited to: how to obtain representation, how to pitch, how to approach rewriting, techniques and strategies to us when hired to write an assignment.

Prerequisites: DM/ENG 317 or permission of instructor; Fall 2020.

Students will build upon their existing film and media production skills while also learning new tools, techniques, and processes. Students will go through all the steps of the creative process, from idea generation to pre-production through production and post-production as they create an original piece of new media. Projects may include but are not limited to short narrative films, short documentaries, short stop-motion animation films, web series, and commercials. Students will participate in collaboration by serving in various crew positions on their peers’ projects. The class will end with a public screening of all of the projects.

Prerequisite: CGE 205.

This course is designed for students who are in their final year of study in the B.A. Digital Media degree. Students should enter the course with at least three pieces of digital media and/or media writing in their portfolios. Pieces may come from a variety of digital media disciplines including, but not limited to: narrative film, animation, game design, screenwriting, documentary, commercial production, cinematography, editing, and audio design. Students will reflect on their work to identify the themes that connect their pieces. Students will also be asked to explore the role of art and media in society and the contributions they hope to make as content creators. Students will produce a new piece of media that demonstrates both their media skills as well as reflects the themes they wish to pursue as an artist and professional. Students will polish their portfolio pieces and will host them on a personal website that showcases their unique point of view, style, and voice.

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