Social Networks

COM 380/580, Spring 2011 (website)
COM 380-02/580-02, Spring 2012 (website)
COM 380-02/580-02, Fall 2012 (website)

Social networks were around and being studied long before Facebook. This class is about using a social network perspective. In it, you’ll learn how to collect and analyze social network data and to take a network perspective on issues such as wealth and poverty, deviance and conformity. In addition to academic literature, we’ll use readings from the popular press, clips from film and movies, and data from our own social lives to examine the ways in which different types of community structures and positions allow for different possibilities for individual and group actions.

Some of the things you’ll be able to do after completing this class include

  • Discuss a variety of measures and properties of networks,
  • Identify various types of social networks,
  • Use software tools to analyze social network data, and
  • Explain how a network perspective provides alternative explanations for some popular narratives.

Knowledge Management

COM 542, Fall 2012 (syllabus)

This course provides a critical introduction to knowledge management. It reviews the concepts, principles, and practices of knowledge management, including technologies for managing knowledge. For instance, we will examine the nature of knowledge, the role of knowledge in 21st century organizations, dynamics of knowledge generation, and socio-technical issues around knowledge sharing.

After completing this course, you will be able to

  • Explain the role of knowledge in 21st century organizations;
  • Describe challenges related to the creation, transfer, and storage of knowledge in organizations;
  • Identify, discuss, and address difficulties in implementing knowledge management systems; and
  • Present well-argued action plans for addressing an organization’s knowledge management needs.

Communication in Organizations

COM 380/580, Fall 2011 (website)
COM 380/580, Spring 2013 (draft syllabus)

This class provides an opportunity to examine and discuss the ways in which organizing, communication, and interacting affect our worlds. Some of the things you will learn in this class include the knowledge to

  • explain various theories of communication from different approaches to organizational scholarship;
  • understand the relationships between social trends and organizational communication practices;
  • discuss the roles of collaboration, participation, socialization, etc. in the workplace; and
  • describe developments in organizational scholarship related to leadership, management, communication technologies.

Qualitative Research

COM 602, Spring 2012 (expected)

Example Syllabus

A course is intended for graduate students in Technical Communication and related fields who are planning to conduct qualitative research in a variety of settings. We will read texts aimed at teaching or outlining qualitative methods such as case studies and ethnography. We will complement those readings with examples of qualitative research in the academic press.

    After completing this course, you will be able to

  • Describe various methods of qualitative research and explain when and how they should be used,
  • Design appropriate qualitative research studies, and
  • Critically interpret reports on qualitative research.

User Experience Research

COM 525, Fall 2010 (syllabus)
COM 525, Fall 2011 (website)

After completing this course, you will be able to

  • understand and explain what user research is and why it matters to various stakeholders
  • understand various methods for conducting user research
  • plan, administer, and report on user research projects
  • explain relationships among user research, design, and project management