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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. Students will 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, students will be introduced to the profession, and learn how to sharpen their 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

This course consists of a survey of the main sectors of public relations activity, from marketing to management issues 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

This course approaches effective communication both as an essential personal-professional skill and as an important function of management. It also 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.

IDCC325 Communication Theory for Business

Prerequisite(s): Expository Writing I

This course examines communication theories that are most relevant for professional communicators in the information age. It considers interpretive approaches to theory that are both scientific and humanistic. The course offers a primer in major communication theories concerning businesses and their use of and coverage by mass media; teams; gender issues in corporate communication; information processing and cognitive elements in communication; and selected issues in business and new media. By understanding the interrelated elements of messages, audiences, message creators, cognitive and social factors and technology, students will be better equipped to read, interpret and in some cases predict communication flows that are intrinsic to contemporary business.

IDCC340 Advanced Visual Communication

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

This course prepares students 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, students will use design methodology to identify their needs and project constraints. Students 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.

IDCC345 Environmental Graphic Design

Prerequisite(s): EXP 101

Wayfinding is behavior, and it means knowing where you are, knowing your destination, following the best route to your destination, recognizing your destination when you arrive, and being able to reverse the whole process and finding your way back out. Wayfinding design systems are used internationally for exterior and interior environments. Usually these communication systems incorporate signs, symbols and pictograms to assist and guide visitors, tourists and consumers to find what they are looking for in museums, airports, train stations, zoos, brick and mortar retail environments, and city centers. This course serves as an introduction to the Environmental Graphic Design discipline through lectures, and assigned projects. Examples of Environmental Graphic Design include wayfinding systems, architectural graphics, signage, interpretive graphics, exhibit design, identity graphics, pictogram design, retail and store design, mapping and themed environments.

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. The course explores communication strategies, and looks 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 Digital Public Relations

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 public relations 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, sport, athlete, location or corporate involvement. Students will also learn how sports public relations 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 students who take this course wi 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 best professional practices necessary to create effective pages for the web. Students will learn the importance of designing web pages based on client brand identity. The course focuses on purpose, scope and audience considerations in page design, navigation and the importance of website and wireframes in the development of a web site. Students will also learn the importance of employing the fundamental principles of color theory, typography, layout and visual communication design for the web. Combining lab, lecture and discussion, students learn the best practices of page design to create their own interactive web site using Photoshop design techniques for creative web page design.

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 websites. Designing such a user interface is an important and difficult process, which students will learn and practice with hands-on activities. Understanding how to approach a design problem also helps with doing research for almost any ill-defined problem as real-world problems often are. More concretely, students 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.

IDCC376 Concept Development

Prerequisite(s): EXP 100 level class

IDCC 376 Concept Development is designed to teach concept development skills for visual communication solutions. Students will learn creative brainstorming techniques. Every project starts with a creative idea. Where do these ideas come from? How do you form a visual concept? The course structure will concentrate on the essential skills necessary to understand how visual communication design is important in all areas of business best practices, that includes marketing, advertising and promotion. The course will teach real-world application skills to be able to develop concepts and actual finished visual communication design projects. The student will also learn the importance and proper use of client brand identity. The skills learned in this course will allow the student to evaluate and critique professional visual communication materials to determine that the design is the best solution for the client’s message. Adobe Photoshop CC is the design tool for this course.

IDCC380 Web Design II: Information Architecture and Site Management

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

This course develops the generally accepted concepts and applications of information architecture, human factors, and usability in creating and managing websites. Topics include page layout and design, navigation systems, interface design, web graphics and multimedia, interactivity, writing for the web, site architecture, management and maintenance. The projects focus on a continued understanding of client brand identity. Students will work with Photoshop to create essential site elements. By the end of the course, students will design and create web user experience based on mobile application design, creating interactive prototypes based on smart design and organized wireframe mock-ups.

IDCC385 Elements of Usability and 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 interfaces, how they remember how to use interfaces, how to use interfaces to make decisions, and what makes people trust systems or have fun with them. This requires that the students 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.

IDCC386 Research Methods

Prerequisite(s): Expositiory Wriring I and GB 213 Pre or Co-req.

This course introduces fundamental research concepts and methods with an emphasis on experiential learning, the scientific process, and the role of research in designing high quality products and experiences. The goals of this course are to provide students with an understanding of the range of design research methods available, and how to apply them to solving complex design challenges. Specific topics covered include basic research and design principles, the role of research in business, the product development process, problem definition, developing research questions, ethical considerations, hypothesis formulation and testing, experimental design, observational techniques, interviewing, surveys, field studies, contextual inquiry, focus groups, basic statistics, usability testing, analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data, product requirements, personas, use cases and scenarios, as well as basic ideation and sketching techniques.

IDCC390 Selected Topics in Information Design and Corporate Communication

Prerequisite(s): Expository Writing I

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

IDCC401 Directed Study in Information Design and Corporate Communication

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 Information Design and Corporate Communication

Prerequisite(s): Permission of IDCC internship director

Requires students 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 Information Design and Corporate Communication

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

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

Introduces the student to the real world of communicating 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.