Excellent first on-line MCM733 CommTheory Class

Tonight I led my first on-line tutorial with my class of professional communicators in the Communication Theory course I teach for the Master of Communications Management program (joint between McMaster U’s DeGroote Business School and Syracuse U’s Newhouse School of Public Communication). We had an excellent session.

The students in the class, whom I have listed before, are a very engaged and thoughtful group. They’re well prepared and full of examples, ideas and opinions. I think that creates a really good scenario for on-line learning – student and professor engagement and student-student engagement. As well as good preparation.

We use the Elluminate 9.7 software that McMaster prefers. It worked quite well – a great improvement over the last version of the software. It allows written chat, as well as full-duplex audio conversation among multiple parties. The moderator can also share documents through other applications that are open on the moderator’s desktop. That was really useful.

Today we discussed cultivation theory, framing theory and cognitive dissonance/resonance. It was a great discussion. We discussed the textbook examples, and then got into examples such as how to ethically handle the recent Lindsay Lohan scandal, how an organisation would handle the Virginia Tech shooting and the display of the shooter’s manifesto video, Apple Inc’s famous cultivation of a mainstream audience through their “Rip. Mix. Burn.” campaign, which was a very powerful campaign involving active cultivation of an audience. Here’s the first TV ad for iTunes – amazing how this started a culture of personal album creation that shattered the music labels:

Then we discussed the first two assignments, which are critical reflections on a theory using an example from professional practice as a mini-case study. I am really looking forward to getting the first assignments in and reading them on July 25th

All in all – a great class. Two hours well-spent!

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