Communication and Media Studies 231

COMS 231: Research Methods in Communication

Prerequisites: COMS 130 or permission of the instructor

Credit hours (3)

An overview of research methods necessary for understanding and performing communication research in a variety of contexts. Includes methods of basic research, survey construction, experimental techniques and qualitative analysis.

Detailed Description of Course

This course focuses on the use of research in the fields of communication and media.  An analysis of the use of research in developing objectives and strategies for communication and media campaigns is presented.

Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

A thorough discussion of various research methodologies including secondary, quantitative (survey/experimental), qualitative (focus groups/in-depth interviews), and experiential (observation) methods are covered.  Students are challenged to use various research methodologies to develop communication campaigns or answers to communication research problems using problem solving skills.

Goals and Objectives of the Course

After successfully completing this course, the student will:
    1) Understand the basic vocabulary of communication research methodology.
    2) Develop skills in using secondary, qualitative, and quantitative research methods.
    3) Demonstrate proficiency with the skills in survey design, focus groups, experimental methods, and secondary research.
    4) Understand how data from communication research is analyzed and applied to answer communication problems.
    5) Articulate research concepts, research analysis, and research conclusions both in writing and oral presentation.

Assessment Measures

    1) Tests covering course content (readings, videos, lectures, etc.)
    2) Laboratory exercises in which students demonstrate a working knowledge of concepts and processes.
    3) Class participation, which demonstrates the acquisition of concepts and processes of basic communication research
    4) Research projects demonstrating knowledge of research methods and creative problem solving using research data.

Other Course Information



Review and Approval

April 19, 2016
May 2011