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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

CMNS 1161: Introduction to Communications

Students think critically about a range of communication theories tied to examples from popular culture and address how we transmit information, how we create meaning, and how we persuade others, with a focus on many communication contexts, including interpersonal communication, group and organizational communication, public space, mass media, and culture and diversity. Students explore what it means to communicate in these various contexts, and appreciate the contribution of theory to helping us understand what we do when we communicate and why it sometimes goes wrong.

Learning outcomes

  • Explain the key terms and assumptions from a range of communication theories in multiple contests, including organizational, interpersonal, mass media, and culture and diversity.
  • Apply communication theories to interpret and illuminate particular communication scenarios and challenges.
  • Assess critically and compare the potential and limitations of particular communication theories.

Course topics

  • Module 1: Introduction to Communication
  • Module 2: Introduction to Communication Theories
  • Module 3: Intrapersonal Communication
  • Module 4: Interpersonal Communication
  • Module 5: Group and Team Communication
  • Module 6: Organizational Communication
  • Module 7: Public Discourse
  • Module 8: Intercultural Communication
  • Module 9: Mass Media Communication
  • Module 10: Critical and Cultural Studies in Communication
  • Module 11: Postmodern Theorizing in Communication
  • Module 12: Communication Theories in Practice

Required text and materials

Students will need to source the following on their own:

  1. Wood, J.T., Communication theories in action: An introduction, 2004, 3e, Cengage Learning.
    Type: Textbook. ISBN: 978-0-534-56639-5


Please be aware that should your course have a final exam, you are responsible for the fee to the online proctoring service, ProctorU, or to the in-person approved Testing Centre. Please contact with any questions about this.

To successfully complete this course, students must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course, and 50% or higher on the final mandatory exam.

Quiz 1 20%
Quiz 2 20%
Quiz 3 20%
Online Postings 10%
Final Exam (mandatory) 30%
Total 100%

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

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