Communication and Media Studies 620

COMS 620: Training and Development

Prerequisites: Graduate standing and COMS 605 or permission of instructor

Credit Hours: (3)

This course provides an overview of the communication skills important in contemporary organization, and of the theoretic and practical concerns inherent in the assessment of communication needs within organizations, the provision of communication training and development, and the assessment of outcomes. These processes are viewed from the perspective of internal organizational function, as well as from that of external consultants.


Detailed Description of Content of the Course

I. The importance of communication skills in the organization.

            a. Information flow in the organization
            b. Individual relationships and organizational culture
            c. Worker motivation and job satisfaction
            d. Productivity

II. The assessment of communication practices and training needs.

            a. Communication audits and their function
            b. An overview of communication competence
            c. Assessing individual communication skills and abilities
            d. Assessing readiness to change

III. Setting up communicative structures in organization.

            a. Team sand team development
            b. Upward and downward communication channels
            c. Lateral communication structures
            d. Special purpose channels

IV. Development and delivery of training programs.

            a. Determining program content
            b. Adapting to your audience
            c. Timing, duration and scheduling
            d. Presentational styles
            e. Using technology
            f. The uses of lecture
            g. Student participation and its integration
            h. Dealing with the reluctant participant

V. Outcomes assessment.

            a. Identifying and operationalizing appropriate outcomes variables
            b. Applicable measurement and scaling techniques
            c. The collection of data
            d. Data treatment
            e. Reporting and interpreting outcomes for the organization

VI. Ethical standards for communication training.


Detailed Description of the Conduct of Course

The course will be presented primarily in lecture/discussion format, with students actively involved in actual training and consulting activities whenever possible. Extensive use will also be made of case studies.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

This course is designed to provide students with the necessary background to provide communication training and development services in organizations. Specifically, they should gain a functional understanding of the following areas:

(1) communication needs assessment,
(2) the development and presentation of training programs,
(3) implementing and reinforcing communicative structures, and
(4) outcomes assessment 


Assessment Measure

Assessment measures for the class will include graded materials and student evaluation of instruction. Graded activities will include written papers and examinations.


Other Course Information 


Review and Approval

August 2001 changed Web addresses and place on Web page William R. Kennan, Chair