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Communication theory: bridging academia and practice

Higher School of Economics via Coursera

  • Provider Coursera
  • Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
  • Session In progress
  • Language English
  • Certificate Paid Certificate Available
  • Start Date
  • Duration 9 weeks long
  • Learn more about MOOCs

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Overview

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This course is about communication on various levels. Over these 9 weeks we will cover a number of theories, cases and applications in the field of communication science. We will start with the foundational concepts of communication theory, defining what the theory is and going through a number of approaches to communication itself.

Each week you will have a test to check on your progress and understanding. We also have a final text in the end of the course and a little bit of writing. As Oscar Wilde said, if you cannot write, you cannot think. If you cannot think, others will do thinking for you. So we find writing and reflecting pretty important for our classes. Along the course we provide you with in-class materials: lecture presentations, articles and additional readings. If you really want to get into the topic, don’t avoid this extra work.

Although a substantial part of this course is theory-based, communication theory has a very practical application. Communication is an underlying process which creates and develops relationships, communities, societies. We communicative on a daily basis via a variety of means and channels. In our globalised and increasingly interconnected world, communication skills are essential in both the personal and professional spheres. It is our goal to leave you with a contextualisation and conceptualisation of communicative processes that will poise you to hone your own communicative skills — in other words, to put theory into practice.

Syllabus

Introduction
-This lecture provides the context of the course, defines the key concepts to operate with and introduces students to the field of Communication Studies. Here we discuss what communication is and set up the place of the theory in communication research and practice. What is the typology of theories and how to distinguish good theory from the bad one. During this class students will also learn major approaches to communication theory through the Craig's typology.

Interpersonal communication
-Interpersonal communication is an underlying field of communication studies. In this lecture students will learn the main concepts to explain and predict how relationships are built, maintained and followed upon the dissolution in human communication.

Group Communication
-How group dynamics can be maintained and what are the main approaches to navigate effective group work? This lecture provides you with answers for these questions as well as it highlight the importance of leadership in group communication.

Public Rhetoric and Persuasion
-The main focus of this lecture is to introduce student to the field of rhetorics. This class focuses at theoretical approaches to persuasion and the ways how to craft messages that influence the audience. Here we discuss approaches to the public speaking and online communication.

Mass communication and media effects
-In this lecture student will be provided with the brief history of media effects theories and further in-depth explanation of various traditions in media effects. Why some people are being more influenced, how do we select and process the information and what is the role of media in society? All these questions will be addressed in this class along with the case study in the end.

Social Media
-Social media in general can be considered as a quite new phenomenon. In this lecture we discuss the way how emergence of social media influences the society and the social order, go through the main characteristics of social media and distinguish what makes it popular among the larger audiences.

Theories of PR
-This lecture introduces students to the field of Public Relations, we discuss the main theories explaining and describing approaches to maintain relationships between organisations and strategic publics.

Critical Theory in Communication
-This class is devoted to the complex issues of critical theory considering culture, media, and the way norms and beliefs are reproduced in the existing society throughout communication patterns. Critical theory is all about the critique of existing social order and this lecture provides students with an in-depth understanding of how our society is functioning.

Theory guided communication
-The final lecture revises all the chapters discussed so far and brings some insights on how theory can be applied to practice. Here we also introduce you to some aspects that haven't been covered.

Taught by

Olga Solovyeva and Maria Mordvinova

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