COM 201, Introduction to Communication
Spring 2009

Class Meeting Times and Place Monday & Wednesday, 1:30-2:45 p.m.
Crawford Hall 115
Professor Tom Kelleher, Ph.D.
Crawford Hall 314
Professor's Office Hours

Monday, 3-5 p.m.
Thursday, 10 a.m.-Noon
By appointment.


David San Jose
Crawford Hall 311
Office hours:
Mon: 9-10 a.m.
Wednesday, 5-6 p.m.

Course Overview
COM 201 is an overview of communication emphasizing interpersonal, intercultural, organizational and international communication, with management, multimedia, mass media, and telecommunication perspectives. Some of the broad topics that we'll cover include the following.

Objectives and Expectations 
COM 201 is the foundation course in the School of Communications. It is a pre-requisite for all other COM courses. Successful completion of the course with a grade of B or better is one of the basic requirements for declaring a major in communication. Please note that admissions requirements have changed as of 2008.

Earning a grade of B or above requires a commitment to:

Your final grade will be based on exams, in-class participation, attendance and online modules with readings, group work and individual writing requirements. Readings and activities will be assigned from the Web, library resources and handouts throughout the semester. Finding online resources is one of the course objectives. In some cases, this may require logging in to subscription services via the UH Libraries Web site and searching databases for full-text readings. This type of online information retrieval is very much part of how you will demonstrate competence with online media. Therefore, you are expected to attain these resources independently.

Success in this course means you will:

  1. locate, read and understand relevant online resources
  2. identify different types of communication
  3. analyze communication processes
  4. interpret personal experiences in terms of communication concepts
  5. interpret local and global events in terms of communication concepts
  6. evaluate media uses and effects
  7. explore your scholarly and career options in communications
Primary Objectives Covered
Online modules
Other participation activities (see activity points page)

Exams (2 @ 35% each)
Primary objectives: 1, 2, 3
Two major exams (35 points each) will cover material from class lectures, class discussion, guest speakers, handouts, online postings and assigned readings. Exams may include true-false, multiple-choice, matching and short-answer questions. THERE ARE ABSOLUTELY NO MAKE-UP EXAMS without proper documentation for your absence, which must be provided before the absence if at all possible. A missed exam will count as a zero.

Online Modules (2 @ 10 each%)
Primary objectives: 1, 4, 5, 6
Students are expected to complete two online modules this semester. Details will be discussed in class and online.

Other Participation & Attendance (10%)
Primary objectives: 2, 3, 5, 7
You may earn up to, but not exceeding, 10 points toward your final grade by participating in certain activities by the given deadline. There is no extra credit, but you should be able to factor in an easy 10/10 (100%) participation score to your overall grade if you always attend class on time and prepared (i.e., you've read the assigned readings before class).

These activities may include oral presentations on current events, mini-quizzes on readings, and participation in research studies. By the end of the semester, many more than 10 points of credit will have been offered, so no single activity will be absolutely required. However, failure to attend class will result in a zero for any participation opportunities offered that day. Many opportunities for participation will be unannounced. The idea is to reward regular reading, promptness and participation with easy opportunities for credit. See the activity points page for point details.

Grading Weight
Midterm exam in class on March 4 35 points
(35 % of final grade)
Final exam at 2:15 p.m. on May 11 35 points
(35% of final grade)
Online module #1 10 points

Online module #2

10 points
Other participation activities (see activity points page) 10 points

Final Grade Requirements
90-100 80-89.9 70-79.9 60-69.9 59.9 and below

There will be absolutely no adjustment of grades on an individual basis (e.g., "I'm only one point away from a B, and I must get a B because I already plan to be a COM major.") Any requests for exceptions will be seen as an attempted breach of fairness to the rest of the class. I know the decimals look technical, but there must be a cutoff somewhere for each grade, and given the requirement that students must earn at least a "B" in COM 201 to become COM majors, this cutoff point is especially important.

Seeking Help
This course should provide a great learning experience for all of us. The success of the course depends largely on effective student-teacher interaction. Don't feel like you have to have a pressing problem to talk to me. I'll be available during my office hours unless announced otherwise. Of course, I'm often in and available at times not posted as office hours. Generally, I'll leave my office door open if I'm available. If my door is closed, that either means I'm out or that I'm in but working on deadline or getting ready for class. In any case, we can set an appointment if that works better.

Special Accommodations
Students requiring special accommodations must notify me and present appropriate supporting documentation by the end of the second week of class.

Academic Honesty
Academic dishonesty of any sort will not be tolerated. I take cheating issues very seriously, and I've had some unpleasant experiences dealing with cases of cheating in recent semesters. Please see me if you have any questions about academic honesty, and I'll be happy to discuss such issues in advance of you taking an exam or submitting your work.

Preliminary Class Timeline 
Please make a careful note of the exam dates. Make sure that you do not have any scheduling conflicts. The exam dates are very unlikely to change. Other topics and readings are subject to change, especially to accommodate current events and guest speaker schedules. Additional readings, speakers and assignments may be added as we go.
Class Days General Topics Required Reading Assignments Due & Scheduling Notes
Jan 12 & 14
  • Syllabus
  • Media literacy
  • Pricey textbooks (handout) by Wednesday
  • Media literacy (PDF) by Wednesday
  • Read syllabus and first two readings by Jan 14
Jan 21
  • Types of communication
  • Conceptualizing communication
  • The challenge of organizational communication (PDF) by Wednesday
  • Announcements on COM major
Jan 26 & 28
  • Online communication
  • Ethics
  • Cultural fluency (HTML for Online Module) by Monday or Communication ethics (PDF) by Wednesday
  • Students will be randomly assigned to Online Module #1 or in-class activities


Feb 2 & 4
  • Online communication
  • Ethics
  • Cultural fluency (HTML for Online Module) by Monday or Communication ethics (PDF) by Wednesday
  • Students will be randomly assigned to Online Module #1 or in-class activities (opposite of prior week)
Feb 9 & 11
  • Intercultural and cross-cultural communication
  • Ecoshock and presence
  • David San Jose on Feb 9
Feb 18
  • Organizational culture
  • Journalism
  • Professor Auman on Feb 18
Feb 23 & 25
  • Changing news environment
  • (New) Media & society
  • Key news audiences now blend online and traditional sources (HTML) by Monday
  • Watch News War (Part Three)
  • Professor Kato on Feb 23
  • News War (Part Three)
March 2 & 4
  • Review
  • Exam
  • Key concepts handout
  • MIDTERM EXAM, Wednesday, March 4
March 9 & 11
  • Public relations
  • Interactivity
  • Official statement on public relations (HTML) by Monday
  • Interactive public relations (PDF) by Monday
  • Introduce Module #2 in class
March 16 & 18
  • Social media
  • What is Social Media? (PDF) by Monday
  • A Primer in Social Media (PDF) by Monday
  • Complete Module #2 online by Wednesday, March 18
March 23-27 Spring Break No Class  
March 30 & April 1
  • Media effects
  • Media uses
  • The man who counts the killings (HTML) by Monday
  • Cantor's comments on media violence to the FCC (HTML) by Monday
  • Is Google making us stupid? (HTML) by Wednesday
April 6 & 8
  • Diffusion of innovations
  • Interpersonal influence
  • Demassification
  • Rogers, "Elements of Diffusion" (on reserve -- see Laulima resources) by Monday
  • Chaffee, "End of Mass Communication?" (Mass Communication & Society via UH libraries) by Wednesday
  • Professor Kim on April 6
  • Professor Kawamoto on April 8
April 13 & 15
  • Video and film
  • Professor Moody on April 13
April 20 & 22
  • Long tail
  • Social impact of communication technologies
  • The long tail (HTML) by Monday
  • Wednesday reading TBA
  • Professor Davis on April 22
April 27 & 29
  • ICTs & policy
  • Convergence
  • World Information Society Report. (PDF) by Monday
  • Convergence? I Diverge (PDF) by Wednesday
  • Professor Winter on April 27
May 4 & 6
  • Media futures
  • Wrap-up & review
  • Key concepts handout
  • Professor Wedemeyer (tentative)

Monday, May 11
:15-4:15 p.m.

  • Final Exam
  • FINAL EXAM Monday 5/11, 2:15-4:15 p.m.

Working Bibliography

Anderson, C. (2004, October). The long tail. Wired, 12.10. Available online in HTML.

Auman, A. (2007, Summer). Survival in paradise: How "local identity" helped save the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 84 (2). Available online in full text via UH Libraries online databases.

Cantor, J. (2004, September 15). Comments of Joanne Cantor in Response to FCC Notice of Inquiry in the Matter of Violent Television Programming and Its Impact on Children. Available from author in HTML.

Carr, N. (2008, July/August). Is Google making us stupid? The Atlantic. Available online in HTML.

Chaffee, S. H., & Metzger, M. J. (2001). The end of mass communication? Mass Communication & Society, 4, 365-379. Available online in full text via UH Libraries online databases.

Fassler, K. (2008, July 21). Hawaii college students on the lookout for deals on pricey textbooks. The Honolulu Advertiser.

Fontaine, G. (2002). Teams in teleland: Working effectively in geographically dispersed teams in the Asia Pacific. Team Performance Management: An International Journal, 8 (5/6), 122-133. Available online in full text via UH Libraries online databases.

Greenblatt, A. (2007, Feb. 16). Television's future. CQ Researcher. Available online in full text via UH Libraries online databases.

Griffin, E. (1994). Communication ethics. In A First Look at Communication Theory. New York: McGraw Hill. Chapter available from author in HTML.

iCrossing (2007, November). What is Social Media? An e-book from iCrossing. Available online in PDF.

Inoue, Y. (2007, November). Cultural fluency as a guide to effective intercultural communication: The case of Japan and the U.S. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 15. Available online in HTML.

International Telecommunication Union. (2007). Executive summary. In World Information Society Report 2007. Available online in PDF.

Jenkins, H. (2001, June). Convergence? I diverge. Technology Review. Available online from author in PDF.

Karjaluoto, E. (2008, March 1). A Primer for Social Media: Examining the Phenomenon, Its Relevance, Promise and Risks. A smashLAB white paper available online in PDF.

Kelleher, T. (2007). Interactive public relations. In Public Relations Online: Lasting Concepts for Changing Media. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Sample chapter available in PDF from the publisher.

Miller, K. (2009). The challenge of organizational communication. In Organizational Communication: Approaches and Processes, 5th ed., Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Sample chapter available in PDF from the publisher.

Pew Research Center (2008). Key News Audiences Now Blend Online and Traditional Sources. Available online in HTML.

Public Relations Society of America (n.d.). Official statement on public relations. Available online in HTML.

Rogers, E.M. (2003). Elements of diffusion. In E.M. Rogers, Diffusion of Innovations (5th ed., pp.1-38). New York: Simon & Schuster.

Stossel, S. (1997, May). The man who counts the killings. The Atlantic. Available online in HTML.

Thoman, E., & Jolls, T. (2004, March). Media literacy: A national priority for a changing world. Available online in HTML and PDF from the Center for Media Literacy.