Communication Studies

COM Undergraduate Learning Outcomes

learningoutcomeOur four learning outcomes below seek to produce key aptitudes in our students that help to develop communication competence. That term is generally understood to be the integration of two elements: Effectiveness (ability to reach your goals) and appropriateness (ability to meet social, cultural, ethical and situational expectations).

Each course and assignment that you encounter will have one or more of these educational objectives. Each time you approach such assignments with effort and attention to detail you should be further developing the outcomes listed here and the core skills.
If that is not happening, you are likely not doing the assignment as intended or with the rigor and reflection necessary to refine your attributes and abilities and mastery of the discipline. If you don't see how a specific assignment could foster such skills and outcomes, please find an appropriate time and place to discuss your concerns with your instructor.

COM Undergraduate Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcome: The capacity…

Examples from COM Curriculum

…To build and deliver an effective oral argument or performance of text, based on thorough audience analysis and clear rhetorical objectives.

UNCW Learning Goals: Critical Thinking, Thoughtful Expression

You'll do a variety of oral presentations in many classes. It is important to realize that college is cumulative and each presentation, however informal, should demonstrate your ongoing growth as a communicator.

…To construct effective written argument or media product based on thorough audience analysis and clear rhetorical objectives.

UNCW Learning Goals: Critical Thinking, Thoughtful Expression

Papers should demonstrate advanced writing skills. Many courses require ongoing refinement of these skills during the planning stages even if the final product may ultimately be in a different medium.

…To locate and critically evaluate secondary research, conduct original primary research, and integrate such information into new communication products.

UNCW Learning Goals: Foundational Knowledge, Information Literacy, Inquiry

COM 200 is just the beginning of engaging in formal research about communication. Many advanced courses will require some level of original research as well as secondary research.

…To analyze and critique messages in all forms and across objectives from an informed, critical perspective.

UNCW Learning Goals: Critical Thinking, Diversity, Global Citizenship, Inquiry

Many COM classes will require an evaluation of messages using theories and concepts (interpersonal, media, rhetorical and others) to inform your analysis and critique.

The goals we share as a department are not unique to UNCW. The National Communication Association (NCA) has offered a more comprehensive set of learning objectives for communication studies majors from which we derived ours. You should understand these goals and keep them in mind as you approach each course and assignment. If you are not sure what "the point" of an assignment is, respectfully approach your instructor for clarification and consider using this document as a starting point. The goals below are adapted from a document on undergraduate curriculum approved by the National Communication Association.

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