Effective group/team processes are invaluable to every organization. Even so, we know that ensuring productive and satisfying interactional outcomes in organizational, professional and personal settings can be difficult. Focusing upon theory, application and practice of small group processes?including development of group dynamics, leadership and teams?allows students to incorporate new skills, enhance productivity, and reduce barriers to effective communication.
This course provides students with an opportunity to view current trends and practices in business communication, and examine presentational speaking concepts and skills that are necessary in business, organizational or professional settings. Students gain experience through classroom presentations that allow them to apply the theoretical concepts. Topics such as organizing the contents of the speech, developing effective delivery skills, and using visual aids, are covered in class sessions and applied to students' current experiences. Assignments include formal and impromptu presentations, readings and discussions, written papers and outlines. This course is highly interactive, and attendance is mandatory.
The ability to write and speak in a persuasive manner is often the difference between success and failure. This course looks at a variety of concepts, techniques, and tools designed to improve the persuasiveness of written and spoken interactions. Differences between persuasion, negotiation and mediation are discussed and applied to case presentations. This course requires participation and presentations, readings, discussions and projects. This course is highly interactive, and attendance is mandatory.
In this course, students study the field of communication past and present. Career options, communication-related industries, and communication specialties, serve as the core content for this course. Students are exposed to current issues, developments, and trends in the communication field. Students study various communication topics and the scope of activities related to training and development, PR and marketing, consulting, leadership functions, coaching and mentoring, alternative dispute resolution, global perspectives, and the role of e-communication in the 21st century. Ethics related to the field of communication are also explored. Potential areas of interest and growth become more conceivable to students, and serve as the foundation for special projects used to contrast communication functions of the past and future.
This course prepares students to be change leaders in their organizations. The course begins with a focus on understanding critical change dynamics, including organizational structure, phases and roles. The students study and practice competencies which allow organizational members to direct change dynamics in effective ways. The development of competencies are accomplished through discussion, lecture, video, case studies, and change assessment inventories. Concepts and practices of coaching, mentoring and facilitation are explored as methods of supporting change leaders with intergenerational knowledge transfer, or employee development.
This course provides an examination of the critical thinking processes and models of decision making and problem solving. The suitability, usage, and effectiveness of critical thinking models in achieving positive organizational outcomes are emphasized. Faculty and student perspectives and experiences, along with case studies, demonstrate applications of the critical thinking and problem solving processes within various communication settings and specialties.
Today's organizations face constant pressures to change - the need for groups to change is one of the hallmarks of contemporary organizations, whether it's a government entity, a private business, a not-for-profit, or an educational institution. For organizational members and managers, the ability to effectively facilitate organizational change often distinguishes the implementation of a mediocre solution from an extraordinary one that makes a difference. In this class we examine how to facilitate change effectively. We explore the issues and practices of organizational development to understand what kinds of interventions are useful in what situations. This course examines the major components of organization development and design; the evolution of organization development, the nature of change, and how to effectively manage and implement change in organizational environments. We discuss the OD process in depth to familiarize students with the process of contracting, data gathering diagnosis, giving feedback, conducting interventions, and evaluating results. This course is recommended for students interested in consulting, management, or other roles that involve change and development in the workplace.
This course emphasizes the many communication theories, their origin, and applied use in personal, organizational and smaller professional settings. The course utilizes case studies, surveys, projects, and self-assessment to encourage students to reflect on personal experiences with issues like interpersonal communication and group and team dynamics to facilitate understanding of the importance of applying theory to practice. Key skills and strengths are identified as they relate to students' professional goals and objectives.
This course introduces students to primary principles and practices of marketing and the decision-making processes necessary to effectively manage a marketing environment. Areas of concentration include market oriented strategic planning, competitive analysis, target market segmentation, branding, positioning and differentiation, global marketing issues, paradigms and tools, pricing strategies and channel management. Major factors and decisions essential to marketing professionals are emphasized. Students develop skills and enhance understanding of implementation strategies for effective marketing of products and services in a 21st century global economy.
Public relations professionals are being asked to uphold the goal of effective communication in a complex global environment. Business, government, nonprofit, and other organizations depend upon PR professionals who communicate effectively to constituencies, and represent constituency concerns back to the organization. This course explores the essential components of public relations through an examination of the profession, its principles and processes. Areas of emphasis include the characteristics of effective communication and relationships, the nature and history of public relations, media relations, public relations and organizational decision making, and an overview of professional communications options available to the public relations professional. Students learn how to work with reporters representing major media venues to gain editorial coverage for their organizations, as well as learn what works best for messaging to their target audience. Students also learn how to recognize a news angle and set up contracts.
Students examine the purposes, style, format, content, and distribution of written materials used to support public relations programs. Special emphasis is placed on materials prepared for the mass media, such as news releases, fact sheets, media advisories, feature articles, news stories, effective letters and appeals, and internet venues. Discussions, research and writing assignments support the development of improved public relations writing skills.
An increased focus on accountability and the "bottom line" make the tracking, measurement and effectiveness of public relations and marketing communication more crucial than ever before. If such effectiveness is not demonstrated fiscally, downsizing, mergers or outsourcing of public relations and marketing professionals may result. This course examines research methods for evaluating advertising, packaging, names, image, and customer satisfaction as related to public relations tactics and strategies. A software package and tool incorporated into this course streamline the measurement process while facilitating the development of measurement tools.
Designing training that maximizes results is a central concern in organizations. This course identifies the elements of effective training, how learning occurs both formally and informally, how trainers must plan for learning in order to meet organizational objectives, and potential learning strategies for maximizing learning effectiveness. Students are presented with many examples and case studies illustrating how organizations have approached learning objectives. They are given an opportunity to create a strategy that might be applied in their work settings. This course provides participants involved in corporate training with a fundamental understanding of technology uses for skill and professional development.
Adult learning is very different from the learning processes in children. Adults bring a great deal of experience to the learning situation and are intent on the application of their newfound knowledge and skills. The factors that determine how adults learn, as well as appropriate instructional strategies to best reach these learners, are discussed. The course focuses on using adult learning principles to strategically design training materials and facilitate adult learning.
Assessment and evaluation enables training professionals to determine if the costs of training were worth the benefits, whether the training met organizational goals, and if further training is necessary. Through case studies, practice exercises, and the development of an authentic assessment plan, students learn how to design and administer different types of training evaluations. In addition, students explore how to report results to management and build ongoing support for training programs.
In many companies it seems that moving the "boxes" on the organizational chart is an annual event. Sadly, most of these changes fail to achieve the desired results. One of the reasons that many restructuring efforts fails is that they do not take an organization design perspective into consideration - they may create new titles and reporting relationships, but fail to address supporting processes and systems that have a significant impact on the structure's success. In this course, we examine how to design an organization to match its strategy, ensuring the alignment of work processes, structure, rewards, people and capabilities, and management processes. We look at different options for structuring organizations, consider the advantages and disadvantages of each, and learn how to implement an organizational design change. By the end of the course, students have a greater appreciation for the complexities and processes of organization design.
This course develops the competencies necessary to become a skilled internal consultant. Human Resources professionals, training professionals, and any student interested in organizational consultation should enroll. Topics include the role of the performance consultant, the performance consulting process, forming a data collection strategy for needs assessment, contracting and client intervention. Students also learn how to plan for an initial project meeting and differentiate between business, performance, learning, and work environment needs. This course also helps students establish a framework for leadership coaching to help leaders develop clarity and effectively communicate a vision for moving into a desired future. The principles of coaching are explored from the vantage point of leadership and communication theories including transformational leadership, conflict management, and the use of effective dialogue to coordinate management of meaning (how individuals organize and manage meanings and how they coordinate their meanings with one another).
Intercultural understanding and cultural competence skill development is increasingly important across industries in our global communities. Global workforces are rich with multicultural, multi-ethnic, and multilingual diversity. Inherent in this diversity is a network of cultural traditions, values, and communication styles. Thus, there is a need for intercultural and diversity training in the corporate world, the nonprofit world, and in education and communication training. Management experts need to gain a deeper understanding of these diverse values and communication styles in order to work effectively with and train colleagues and clients. This course illustrates intercultural concepts and processes that require training, including culture shock and adaptation, cultural dialectics, expatriate/repatriation, self reflexivity, etc. Students practice the tools and skills needed to train on these concepts, including conducting needs assessments, defining learning outcomes, and designing and facilitating intercultural training.
The focus of this course is an overview of communication theory as it relates to conflict management. Students study various theories in order to explain and predict the course of conflict interactions. The theories are used to analyze case studies and select the most appropriate method of conflict management from the methods of negotiation, facilitation, mediation, arbitration, and litigation.
This course presents students with an overview of a variety of mediation models, basic principles, procedural steps, and benefits of mediation. Students examine various stages of mediation, including preparation, the mediation session(s), caucusing and settlement. Teaching methods include mini-lectures, discussions, and hands-on experience through role-playing and case studies. COMM 4222 Negotiation Principles & Practice strongly encouraged prior to this course.
Negotiation is at the core of alternative dispute resolution. This course presents the theoretical groundwork for interest-based dispute resolution upon which principled negotiation and other alternative dispute resolution methods are founded. Topics include the definition of the negotiation process, different types of negotiation, and negotiation strategies. Students have an opportunity to practice and compare different negotiation techniques. Teaching methods are experiential in nature and include mini-lectures, discussions, and role-plays. Students also develop strategies for managing challenging negotiations and breakdowns.
Facilitation skills are fundamental to constructive dialogue and collaboration, including successful negotiation and mediation. Specifically, the process-oriented practice of facilitation provides procedural guidance to promote productive and transformative dialogue essential to alternative dispute resolution practices. Topics include exploration of individual conflict styles and strategies; facilitative management techniques; small-group consultant problem solving; facilitation of strategic planning; and practice in listening, framing and reframing skills.
Diversity and multiculturalism are ever present in our global community. Inherent in this diversity is a network of cultural traditions, values and communication styles. This course addresses dispute resolution in multicultural settings and broadens students' understanding of how to assess and resolve conflicts in which ethnicity and other dimensions of cultural diversity are integral components. Only after understanding one's own biases and cultural perspectives can people work to understand others' cultural differences.
Students in this course explore theories and practice of Restorative Practices within alternative dispute resolution models. Restorative practice is a philosophical approach to be used in conjunction with traditional justice and conflict resolution systems. This concept is increasingly used when an offense has occurred, as a method of healing individuals and communities who have been harmed/impacted by that action. With beginnings in indigenous societies, the basic principle is to bring those harmed together with the community in a dialogue aimed at reestablishing personal and relational balance for all involved. Restorative practice's initial practitioners were often within the traditional justice system, yet this method of conflict resolution has expanded to a wide range of applications including education, non-profit, government, human resources, classroom management, and healthcare.
Conflict is a reoccurring part of life in business, government, and nonprofit organizations. It is a product of the human existence and our diversity as an interrelated society. The costs associated with these conflicts are well documented. However, organizations are increasingly recognizing that conflict does not have to carry costly financial and interpersonal burdens and can, in fact, serve as a productive change agent. This course explores the nature and sources of organizational conflict and facilitates development of practical skills to recognize and manage workplace conflict using case studies, interactive lectures, simulations, and field research. Students are introduced to the concept of conflict coaching. This course is well-suited for managers and leaders in any profession who want to increase their capability and enhance their value in organizations.
This course is specifically designed to provide professionals in Training and Development with the knowledge necessary to successfully manage the training function in an organization. A variety of processes and software tools are discussed to create a competency-based organization and to prepare students for managing a training department. Capitalizing on the use of strategies to support organizational objectives is also discussed. The focus of this course is on preparing students to be able to identify major business challenges and the competencies needed to support them from the training perspective. The content of this course stresses that the key to developing and realizing relevant, effective training is to set structured and evaluative objectives that tie programs directly to organizational goals.
The boom in online communication options such as e-newsletters, blogs, wikis, podcasts, virtual communities, discussion forums, social networking, and listservs not only cuts publishing and distribution costs but allows businesses to reach a larger consumer base than ever before. This course uses case studies, teamwork, and personal experience to engage students in the effective use, design, and development of e-communication in business and professional situations. This course also covers topics in ethical writing, evaluating and citing sources, plagiarism, fair use, audience analysis, and usability testing.
Workplace changes over the past decade include how organizational expertise is used, decreased time for formal training, globally distributed workforces, and the use of technologies as drivers of change in the roles and functions of trainers. The current trajectory magnifies the need for skill sets and mindsets that position a workforce for jobs not yet created. This course challenges participants to research changes related to the use of technologies in various fields, analyze and develop their own preparedness for the future, practice environmental scanning, use various online tools and strategies for learning management and communication, facilitation, and performance support. Participants can expect to engage in active-learning strategies including the use of online tools, webliography development, case-based learning, directed discussion, and learner presentations.
The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines a brand as a "name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of the intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers." Organizations of all types ? private, public, and nonprofit ? increasingly recognize the importance of their brand and its role in strategic marketing, particularly market positioning. An in-depth examination of branding includes: brand messaging, the process of brand development, fundamentals and theories of consumer behavior and related environmental, cognitive or behavioral influences. Students have the opportunity to research consumer behavioral strategies and explore issues related to brand creation and maintenance, as well as how to leverage, manage, and evaluate their brand.
The hyper growth of wireless access, cellular devices, and mobile applications has fundamentally transformed the ways in which businesses communicate and engage with customers. Consumers are now demanding information, entertainment and communication whenever and wherever they are. The integration of the Internet, mobility and communications has created a new set of communications imperatives and business opportunities.
Social media techniques, including blogs, social networking sites, online video, bookmarking, and mobile marketing are accelerating the velocity of communications: content is now created, published, accessed, consumed and shared in real time. Organizations must evaluate social media techniques and determine how best to incorporate them to achieve their marketing communication objectives.
This course focuses on integrating social media elements into the enterprise-wide marketing strategy. Students gain first-hand knowledge of various social media techniques through hands-on, practical exercises. Students also develop their own Social Media Plan emphasizing goal setting, tactics, measurements and implementation. Through online research, case studies, and interaction with industry experts, students experience the strategic application of social media marketing communication.
Internet Marketing enables business to reach a vast audience at a fraction fo the cost of traditional marketing media and enables organizations to connect and engage with specific user groups to promote their objectives.
The focus of this course is to provide a fundamental understanding of digital marketing communications techniques and how to integrate them into the traditional marketing mix. Internet strategies, tactics, measurement, and implementation are explored. Through discussion, research, Internet searches, and evaluation of case studies and projects, students learn about the essential elements of Internet Marketing and strategic integrated marketing communication.
One of the key challenges for today's marketers is how to assess, integrate, and measure new digital channels in the traditional marketing mix. Developing an integrated multichannel marketing strategy includes identifying and prioritizing marketing resources across all digital channels, such as sites, blogs, search, display, email and inbound channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube to engage current and prospective customers.
Students explore various strategic planning models, segment target markets, define customer needs, examine buyer behavior and define the marketing tactics, technology and tools to measure multichannel marketing ROI and success.
Today's consumer expectations for relevant, engaging, and timely messages have made email marketing an essential component of the multichannel marketing mix. The creation and delivery of personalized, targeted messages to subscribers can drive both engagement and ROI.
This class examines the development and integration of email marketing (including tools, copy, design, service providers, tracking and measurement) to enhance business relationships, encourage customer loyalty and acquire new customers.
Web analytics is the collection, analysis, and reporting of digital traffic in order to measure and optimize internet marketing programs. The practice of web analytics includes tools for measuring website traffic, conducting business/market research, estimating usage patterns for digital campaigns, and providing insights into visitor behavior.
The focus of this class is on developing a performance measurement system for the digital channel, incorporating both on-site and off-site analytics. Key performance indicators are tied to internet marketing goals and tactical campaigns. Students conduct a review of online metrics, compare analytics vendors, and develop a performance tracking system and a management dashboard report.
Search engines are one of the primary ways that Internet users find the information they are seeking. Search Engine Marketing (SEM) seeks to promote websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) through the use of paid placement, contextual advertising and paid inclusion.
This class focuses on promoting an organization through search engines, delivering relevant content in the search listings, and encouraging users to click through to a designation site. Both of the two key techniques of SEM are explored: search engine optimization(SEO) to improve results from the natural or organic listings, and paid search marketing or pay-per-click (PPC) to deliver results from the sponsored listings within search engines. Navigational search and universal search practices are also explored.
Development of successful digital marketing campaign depends on clear articulation of objectives tied to overall organizational goals and existing marketing strategies. Success of a digital campaign is also rooted within the human, technical and business processes through which it comes to life.
Students explore a variety of digital techniques including web marketing, search engine marketing, interactive advertising, affiliate marketing, social media, email marketing, mobile marketing and more. Focus is on planning steps, management and measurement against key performance indicators.
The Capstone Project provides students the opportunity to research a topics, problem, or issue within their field of study, and work individually with a Capstone advisor. Similar in weight to a thesis, but more flexible, this final project synthesizes and applies core concepts acquired from the program. The student selects an appropriate Capstone advisor who is knowledgeable in the field of study to work closely with and whom can guide the research project. Evaluation will be focused on the quality and professionalism of applied research and writing; critical and creative thinking; problem-solving skills; knowledge of research design, method, and implementation; and contribution to the field and topic of study. View the Capstone Guidelines for additional details. Prerequisites: A Capstone Proposal that has been approved by both the Capstone Advisor and the Academic Director, unconditional acceptance as a degree candidate, completion of at least 40 quarter-hours (including all core courses) with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better, and a B or better in MALS 4020. A final grade of B or better must be earned in this course to meet degree requirements.
The Capstone Seminar is a graduate seminar in which students utilize the knowledge and skills gained through the degree program to create a culminating work that critically addresses a problem or issue in the degree field of study. The student produces a paper of 7000-8000 words that presents a position on a relevant problem or issue, supports the position with professional and academic work in the field, analyzes and tests the paper position, and discusses the role of the findings within the field of study. The seminar is dependent upon collegial discussion of student research and work under the facilitation of a faculty member, and it is governed by the quality of participation and contributions of the students. The course structure, facilitated by the faculty member, guides the students through the process of independent research and writing of a capstone paper; the instructor provides intensive feedback on the capstone process and papers. Students are responsible for generating the course content through ongoing discussion of and peer feedback on the capstone process and individual papers, as well as the analysis and contextualization of focused students papers within the wider degree field of study. Students professionally and academically communicate their findings through written work and oral presentations. Students must have: unconditional acceptance as a degree candidate, completion of at least 40 quarter-hours (including all core courses) with a cumulative GPS of 3.0 or better, and a B or better in MALS 4020. A final grade of B or better must be earned in this course to meet degree requirements. Students must complete the Capstone Seminar in one quarter; no incomplete grades are assigned.
The Organizational and Professional Communication Internship is designed to offer students a purposeful experience in a practical, industry related setting. The internship is an individualized learning experience. A training plan is created for each student in conjunction with the internship site supervisor to provide experiences related to the skills and knowledge covered in the certificate and master's programs as well as professional goals. Students are responsible for finding their own internship site and proposing their internship ideas. University College will send notification to all COMM students if they hear of internship possibilities. Students may also work through the DU career center, to explore opportunities for internship experiences. To be eligible for an internship, completion of a minimum of 28 hours of graduate coursework in the field of specialty is required OR Academic Director approval for students with previous work experience in the field.