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Information Design and Corporate Communication Undergraduate Courses

In addition to the courses listed below, the following courses with an "COM" designation may be applied to all Information Design and Corporate Communication (IDCC) programs of study: COM 210 Effective Speaking COM 320 Intercultural Communication COM 321 Mass Communication COM 322 Theories of Persuasion: From Plato to Vance Packard COM 323 Small-Group Communication COM 324 Design as Communication COM 325 Introduction to Linguistics COM 390 Special Topics in Language Studies and Communication COM 410 Communication Research Design COM 411 Research Project (EN 411) COM 421 Internship in Communication

IDCC230 Fundamentals of Content Development

Prerequisite(s): Expository Writing I

If information is the commodity of the information age, effective content is the key to building value for organizations. This course teaches the basics of content development about business and technical subjects. You'll develop how-to articles intended for publication on the Web, procedures, catalog entries, and proposals geared towards high tech, biotech, e-commerce and financial services. In the process, you'll be introduced to the profession, and learn how to sharpen your writing, use page design to attractively present content, and communicate ideas visually.

IDCC240 Fundamentals of Visual Communication

Prerequisite(s): Expository Writing I

The business world is dominated by visual images, and this course explores how to choose and present them. Build your visual literacy as you learn about typography, color, layout, pictures, and symbols. Learn to master principles such as rhythm and balance. You will redesign pages and screens, prepare corporate identities, and develop brochures and quick references, which are all intended as potential portfolio pieces.

IDCC250 Public Relations Theory and Practice

Prerequisite(s): Expository Writing I

A survey of the main sectors of public relations activity: from marketing to issues management to crisis communications. Students explore real public relations problems - including some still in progress - with both a domestic and international perspective. They also survey the ethical challenges faced in this profoundly influential field, and prepare recommendations and pitch proposals on behalf of a specific organization.

IDCC255 Public Relations Writing

Prerequisite(s): Expository Writing I

At the heart of effective public relations lies effective writing. This course introduces students to the main areas of public relations writing: news releases, mission statements, public affairs announcements, articles, profiles, brochures, flyers, in-house public relations, and the construction of a media information pack for a specific organization.

IDCC320 Managerial Communication

Prerequisite(s): Expository Writing I

Approaches effective communication both as an essential personal-professional skill and as an important function of management. Discusses the elements of communication (argumentation, structure, style, tone and visual appeal) and presents techniques for increasing effectiveness in each area. Students read, discuss and write about cases based on tasks that managers commonly face, such as explaining changes in policy, writing performance evaluations, analyzing survey results, and communicating with employees, shareholders, the press, and the public.

IDCC340 Advanced Visual Communication

Prerequisite(s): Expository Writing I & IDCC 240 highly recommended.

Prepares you to apply design methods and tools to professional communication projects. Building on the discussions of typography, color, layout, images, and symbols in Fundamentals of Visual Communication (IDCC 240), this course explores how to integrate their use and apply them to complex communication projects. Working in teams on projects for real clients, you'll use design methodology to identify their needs and project constraints. You will also develop a visual identity, estimate the budget, set the schedule for the project, and produce design copy suitable for delivery through multiple channels.

IDCC350 Journalism for the Web

Prerequisite(s): Expository Writing I

This class teaches students how to write for online and traditional news publications with an emphasis on getting published. Students will learn the basics of print journalism and how the Internet's explosive growth has changed journalism. Assignments include generating story ideas in a newsroom environment, learning how to pitch stories to editors and writing articles. Students will try to sell stories to publications, from The Vanguard to national magazines to Internet news sources.

IDCC355 Strategies in International Corporation Communication

Prerequisite(s): Expository Writing I

With globalization and the information revolution, it's important to understand the communication strategies needed to connect companies, consumers, rights groups, and governments worldwide. A good relationship with these groups is essential for international consultancies, companies and nonprofits operating across one or more countries. We explore communication strategies, and look at global communication in action in ways that can help or damage the reputation of nonprofits, companies and their products.

IDCC356 Effective Business Presentations: Crisis Communication

Prerequisite(s): Expository Writing I

Companies face the ongoing likelihood that, due to factors both within and outside their control, crises will emerge which require timely and effective oral responses to multiple stakeholders: the public at large, including government and regulators; employees; victims; and corporate leaders inside the company. In this class students will learn how to prepare and deliver statements at press conferences; respond to questions from reporters; prepare video statements for employees; prepare for and effectively interact with victims and survivors in one-on-one settings; and craft and deliver persuasive presentations to corporate boards regarding crisis planning and prevention. In addition to public and interpersonal communication development, students will also develop skills in creating dynamic and effective PowerPoint presentations, and professional-quality videos.

IDCC360 Public Relations and Information Technology

Prerequisite(s): Expository Writing I

Introduces students to the tools, critical thinking, and skills needed to manage and exploit information technology in high tech public relations and public relations generally. Whether promoting a product or controlling a rumor, high tech plays an important role in public relations strategy. High tech opens the door to new audiences and shortens timelines. High tech provides an immediate means of dialogue, criticism, and persuasion among companies and their audiences, both internal and external. The explosion of online media presents new opportunities for companies to deliver key messages about their products, services, activities, and reputation.

IDCC361 Sports Public Relations

Prerequisite(s): Expository Writing I

Sports are important socially and economically, globally and locally. Businesses, teams, athletes, nonprofit organizations and governments turn to PR in order to maximize the benefits of sports: whether promoting a particular sport, or team, or a city or nation bidding to attract a major sporting event such as the Olympics. The ramifications of sport are felt politically, economically and socially and this means that public relations practitioners are deeply involved with the sports business. In this course you will explore the main publicity techniques used by the main stakeholders in the sports business, whether they are promoting a team, a sport, an athlete, a location or corporate involvement. You will also learn how Sports PR goes beyond traditional media relations to include specialist activities like issues and crisis management, reputation management, community relations and emerging technology.

IDCC365 Crisis Communication Management

Prerequisite(s): Expository Writing I

Crises are an increasing fact of corporate life, and you will be involved in them. Disasters, scandals, rumors, panic are forcing corporations, governments, and nonprofits to reevaluate their approach to communication both nationally and internationally. Shortening timeframes, globalization, outsourced activities and social media complicate the task of rescuing an organization thrown into the public spotlight. The escalation of uncertainty into crisis occurs more rapidly with less time for stricken organizations to gain control of the turbulent crisis environment. This course introduces you to the business of managing communication under pressure across and inside continents and cultures, the close relationship between communication and operational decisions, the importance of digital and traditional media in surviving the opening moments through to rebuilding and recovering damaged corporate, product or personal reputations on a global scale and also domestically.

IDCC370 Web Design I: Information Design, Principles and Practices

Prerequisite(s): Expository Writing I

A revolutionary development in communication, the World Wide Web offers unprecedented access to mass audiences. This introductory course focuses on the principles and practices necessary to create effective pages for the Web. Students receive instruction in writing hypertext documents, designing Web pages, authoring well-formed HTML, and meeting a variety of technical challenges. The course focuses on purpose, scope, and audience considerations in page design; writing informative and persuasive on-line documents; designing coherent, portable, navigable, and interactive pages; and employing the fundamental principles of color theory, typography, layout and graphic design for the Web. Combining lab, lecture, and discussion, students learn the best practices of electronic design to create their own interactive web sites.

IDCC375 User Interface Design

Prerequisite(s): Expository Writing I

Everything we interact with has a user interface, from newspapers and grocery stores to cell phones and web sites. Designing such a user interface is an important and difficult process, which we will learn and practice with hands-on activities. Understanding how to approach a design problem also helps doing research for almost any ill-defined problem as real-world problems often are. More concretely, you will learn and practice, among other things, how to brainstorm, do a contextual inquiry, iteratively approach an ill-defined problem, come up with and evaluate alternative solutions, and build models.

IDCC380 Web Design II: Information Architecture and Site Management

Prerequisite(s): IDCC 370 or instructor's permission

Building upon the knowledge and experience gained in IDCC 370 Web Design I, this course develops further the generally accepted concepts and applications of information architecture, human factors, and usability in creating and managing Web sites. Topics include page layout and design, navigation systems, interface design, Web graphics and multimedia, interactivity, writing for the Web, site architecture, management, and maintenance. Students will work with high-end web authoring tools to create various site elements. By the end of the course, students will design and create fully functional prototype web sites.

IDCC385 Elements of Usability & User Experience

Prerequisite(s): Expository Writing I

In this course, students will learn how people interact with different interfaces, how people think and reason about them, how they remember how to use them, how to use them to make decisions, and what makes people trust systems or have fun with them. This requires that the students will gain knowledge of the human cognitive processes from perception to action and learn about human cognitive and physical limitations and strengths. Students will undertake a thorough user analysis, including scenario writing and persona creation. Finally, students will plan and conduct a usability and user experience evaluation.

IDCC390 Selected Topics in IDCC

Prerequisite(s): Expository Writing I

Discusses current topics in information design and corporate communication based on readings in the professional literature and assigned texts. Examines a different topic each semester offered. Students undertake individual or group research projects. (Allows repetition for credit.)

IDCC401 Directed Study in IDCC

Prerequisite(s): IDCC chair's permission

Permits superior students to study special topics in information design and corporate communication. (Allows repetition for credit.)

IDCC411 Research in IDCC

Prerequisite(s): Permission of IDCC internship director

Requires the student to select, in consultation with the departmental adviser, a topic related to information design and corporate communication; to undertake both bibliographical and field research, as appropriate; and to prepare and submit for approval a substantial documented report.

IDCC421 Internship in IDCC

Prerequisite(s): Junior- or senior-level standing

Pre or Corequisite(s): Internship director's permission

Introduces the student to the "real world" of communicating to the several public serviced by a corporation or an agency; emphasizes the practical aspects of internal and external communication by assigning the student to a professional in the field under whose supervision the intern participates in planning and implementing various types of communication. The internship is both task-oriented and research-oriented; the intern's progress is monitored jointly by the field supervisor and the faculty coordinator during the semester internship.