Communication and Media Studies 415

COMS 415: Communication Training and Development

Prerequisites: COMS 130 and COMS 230 or permission of instructor

Credit Hours: (3) Three hours lecture, discussion, and participation

The study of internal and external communication training and consulting in business, education, government, and other professional environments. Instruction focuses on developing, proposing, conducting, and evaluating communication training and development programs.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

I. An introduction to communication training and development

            A. Definitions and types of training and development
            B. Characteristics of trainers and consultants
            C. What clients expect from trainers and consultants
            D. Characteristics of adult learners

II. Developing a background in training and development

            A. Communication skills
            B. Teaching skills
            C. Data-gathering skills
            D. Technological skills
            E. Political skills
            F. Cultural diversity skills
            G. Content vs. Process skills

III. Conducting a needs assessment

            A. Purposes of a needs assessment
            B. Components of a needs assessment
            C. Procedures for a needs assessment
            D. Audiences for a needs assessment

IV. Constructing and presenting training and development proposals

            A. Types of proposals
            B. Formats of proposals
            C. Developing proposals
            D. Presenting proposals

V. Designing training and development programs

            A. Goal development
            B. Objectives development
            C. Training models

VI. Instructional strategies for training and development programs

            A. Lecture
            B. Discussion
            C. Case studies
            D. Structured experiences
            E. Self-discovery and assessment instruments
            F. Technology-aided instruction
            G. Handouts and readings

VII. Conducting training and development programs

            A. Environmental considerations
            B. Training formats
            C. Technological aids

VIII. Evaluating training and development programs

            A. Types of evaluations
            B. Trainees’ immediate responses
            C. Relationship to performance on the job
            D. Long-term implications

IX. The ethics of training and development

            A. Ethical concerns and situations
            B. Professionalism
            C. Codes of ethics
            D. Evaluating and enhancing training expertise

X. Establishing a consulting business

            A. Areas of communication expertise
            B. Legal issues in consulting
            C. Marketing consulting services


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The topics listed in Detailed Description of Content of Course will be presented through the textbook, lectures, student reports, class discussion, and guest speakers. Students will engage in a variety of application exercises such as case studies, role playing, interviews, and simulations. Students will draw from content learned in other communication classes and adapt that information for training and development to business and professional audiences. In addition to tests, research assignments, and reflective essays, each student will develop a communication training or development workshop package (See Assessment Measures for description of this project).


Goals and Objectives of the Course

This course studies communication training and development in a variety of corporate and professional environments. After completing this class, students should

(1) understand principles of communication competence instruction and their application in corporate and professional environments.
(2) understand the roles, competencies, attributes, training, and ethical responsibilities of communication trainers and consultants.
(3) be able to identify, access, adapt, and utilize resources for training and development.
(4) be able to apply communication principles learned in other courses to training and development environments.
(5) be able to assess clients’ communication competencies and needs.
(6) be able to assist clients to enhance their communication competencies.
(7) discover their style and strengths as communication trainers and consultants.


Assessment Measures

Students will be tested over material in the textbook, lecture, handouts, reports, and class discussion. Students will be graded on the content and presentational style of individual and group reports and simulated training sessions.

Each student will develop a communication training or development workshop package that will include the following: (1) a title page with abstract, (2) a statement of need for the workshop, (3) a statement of workshop objectives, (4) an agenda and a detailed description of the objectives, content, procedures, and materials for each session, and (5) a list of resources consulted in constructing the package.


Other course information



September, 2001 Bill Kennan, Chair