Department of Speech Communication
Introduction to Communication/Modern Communication Theories
COMM 1001 Section TR2 (Course Code 31331); 3 Credits
SPEC 1205 Section TR2 (Course Code 31328); 3 Credits
Spring, 2018; Tuesday & Thursday; 02:15-03:30PM
403 Whitehall
Dr. Foulger

Discussion Notes / Assignments (Class Moodle)

Course Description

We live in our communication, but we generally don't give it much thought. Communication is most often how we do things rather than what we are doing. It's a tool, much as food, housing, clothing, transportation and other goods and services are. This course seeks to take you inside your communication and give you an understanding of the many ways in which we choose to communicate, including the messages we create, the languages we create them with, the media we entrust our messages to, and the cultures that shape our communication choices. Our journey will take us from the oldest media we use (face to face interaction) to the most advanced stored, manufactured, broadcast, and streamed media that have evolved since; from the relationships that shape our communication choices to the organizations and societies that we make those choices in; from observation and history to theory and prediction.

Brooklyn College Catalog Description for COMM 1001 and SPCH 1205: Survey of basic concepts in modern communication, including history, theories, models and issues pertaining to intrapersonal, interpersonal, nonverbal, small group, intercultural, and mass communication. Includes examination of technology, literacy, and communication processes.


Jones, Richard.  (2013).  Communication in the Real World: An Introduction to Communication Studies.  Open Textbook Library. Retrieved from on August 28, 2016.

Lule, Jack.  (2016).  Understanding Media and Culture:  An Introduction to Mass Communication.  Open Textbook Library. Retrieved from on August 28, 2016.

Both of these texts are open source electronic texts that you can either read on the web or download to your computer, tablet, or other PDF capable electronic device.  I'll be reading them that way too.  I find e-books more convenient than books when reading on the subway, but because these texts are open source you can use them for free.  Note that you can do the readings on machines on campus using a web browser or by downloading the text to a memory card or USB memory stick.  Brooklyn College also loans laptop computers to students on a first come, first served basis. Laptops are loaned out from the New Media Service Desk, located on the second floor of the library building.

Additional Materials

Learning Objectives

  1. Understand the fundamental elements and principles of communication.
  2. Recognize the variety of options we have for communicating with others, from interpersonal media to mass media, how they have developed, and those options shape our world.
  3. Develop an understanding of different communication theories.and recognize how communication theories apply to various situations in the world around you.
  4. Improve your own ability to use communication theories in various situations.
  5. Sharpen your writing skills, particularly those necessary to analytical and professional writing.

Outcomes Assessment

  1. 10% Participation in Class Discussions.
  2. 10% Submission of Questions based on the course readings. Each student should submit two questions based on each set of readings an hour before the class at which those readings are due.
  3. 10% Submission of Think Assignments assigned over the course of the semester. Each student should submit their think assignment at least an hour before the class at which it is due.
  4. 30% Communication Experience Journal
  5. 15% Mid-Term Exam
  6. 25% Final Exam

Instructions for Accessing the Moodle Discussion/Learning Space

  1. Point your web browser at
  2. Click on "Login" at the bottom of the screen.
  3. If you haven't accessed this Moodle before.
    1. Press the "Create New Account" button in the right column of the login screen.
    2. You'll be asked to fill in a series of fields that include your user ID, password, e-mail address, location, etc. Fill them in as accurately as you can. Remember your userid and password. You will need them to log in again.
    3. When processing of this page completes you will be sent an e-mail at the address you specify. Open that e-mail and confirm your registration by pressing the confirmation link in the e--mail.
    4. When you submit this page you will enter the moodle environment. If you see a button marked courses, press it. You will see this course (“Introduction to Communication Spring 2018”) listed. Select the course.
  4. If you are already registered for this Moodle, enter your user id and Password and then select "Introduction to Communication Spring 2018".
  5. You will be asked for a key. It is "icts2018". Pay attention to case. All letters must be written in lower case. There are no spaces.

Course Rules

  1. Attendance is required for all classes, including the final exam period. Please be on time.
  2. Complete reading assignments, questions, and think assignments prior to coming to class. Be prepared to discuss readings.
  3. Write in your own words. Reference the ideas you use to the original sources. Plagiarism and cheating will are unacceptable.
  4. Unexcused late papers will be penalized 1/2 of a letter grade if one period late and one full grade thereafter.
  5. Like many of you, I come to Brooklyn College on the Subway. I endeavor to arrive on campus at least an hour before class every class day, but I don't control the Subways. If I am late for class and you have not heard directly from me that class is cancelled, do not leave. Instead, form groups to discuss the questions you posted from the reading assignments. I'll will ask you about those discussions WHEN I arrive.
  6. We have a lot to do during the semester. If I seek to end a discussion (often by saying "let's discuss this after class) I have a good reason for doing so. Please respect the rest of the class by deferring such discussion when I ask you to do so. If you are afraid you'll forget, write down a few words about the issue on a piece of paper. That's usually all you'll need.

Good Advice

  1. You will get out of this course what you put into it. Learning is effortful. There are no shortcuts.
  2. The reading and writing load for this course is moderate, but needs to be done. If you can't keep up with the readings or other assignments, you may want to drop the course early on and try again in another semester.
  3. Keep a copy of anything you submit, just in case the original gets lost.  It's good practice to write your questions and think assignments in a memo tool or text editor (but not a word processor) and then cut and paste from the editor to the Moodle.
  4. Write your name on the front of any assignment you submit on paper, including your exams and reflective paper.
  5. Assuming you work on a computer, maintain backups of your paper in a reliable and convenient format. USB flash drives work on just about all computers now, can be readily obtained for less than $20.00, and are much less likely to fail than disks. Assume the worst. Maintain two backups. A virtual backup using Google Drive, Dropbox, or some similar service is a good idea.
  6. If at any time you find yourself confused or have questions, especially in terms of the writing assignments, please ask me (either in class or in private) for help. One person's question may help countless others in class. If you can't meet me during my office hours, we can probably find another time.
  7. Please speak with me confidentially if you have a disabling condition that may require some accommodation in class. I'm here to help.

Attendance Policy

Attendance is mandatory. The Brooklyn College Bulletin states that "Students are expected to attend all scheduled sessions of every class for which they register. Students late for class may be excluded from the room. An instructor may consider attendance and class participation in determining course grade." While I am unlikely to lock the door and don't grade attendance directly, I will indirectly take account of missed class time in computing grades. You should not, as a general note, ask me for "permission" to miss class and I don't need an explanation.  I will always try to be understanding of documented emergencies, but the basic reality (which has more to do with your ability to learn when you aren't in class than anything else) is that absences make your grade grow smaller.

Communication with the Professor

I encourage students who feel they need to talk to me about any issue to talk to me after class or during office hours. My office schedule and contact information can be found on my Brooklyn College Student web site Brooklyn College Student web site.

I have found e-mail to be a poor way to interact with students. If you must send me a message, use the message facility on the Moodle rather than e-mail. Don’t send me a message if you are missing class. While I’m sympathetic with the very real problems you may have during the semester, I don’t grade attendance and don’t need to know why you missed class. You are an adult and I trust you had a good reason. I do grade participation and will know if you were in class, but the best way for you to catch up on important work (every day of class is important) is to talk to other students and get a copy of their notes. If they don’t think anything important happened, find another peer in the class and talk to them. Do talk to me (preferred) or send me a message if you have missed a significant number of classes.

Disabilities Accommodation

In order to receive disability-related academic accommodations, students must first be registered with the Center for Student Disability Services. Students who have a documented disability, or suspect they may have a disability, are invited to set an appointment with the Director of the Center for Student Disability Services in 138 Roosevelt Hall. If you have already registered with the Center for Student Disability Services please provide me with the course accommodation form and discuss your specific accommodation with me.

Religious policy statement

Students who are unable, because of religious beliefs, to attend class or participate in any examination, study, or class-related activity on a particular day should contact the instructor ahead of the time to facilitate their absence without prejudice or penalty; please see the link below for further information: