Category Archives: COMM135

Dog days of summer and digital pedagogy

It is seemingly the middle of summer, but as August arrives so, too, does preparation for next semester. I’m dusting off my blog and thinking fresh about digital pedagogy– or how to more effectively integrate digital tools to support student learning outcomes.

As part of Pacific’s commitment to pursuing innovative learning methods, I am participating in a pilot program in which we have access to a slew of new technology-based tools that we can integrate into one or a few classes over the next year. This year, I am looking forward to incorporating a digital assignment into Communication 135: Principles of Public Relations. While I’m still fine-tuning the assignment I think students will be excited to work with these new tools in the context of the course.

I’m also looking forward to developing a digital hub to support Communication students during their internships. I envision an online community where students can reflect, share experiences, and connect what they’ve learned in the classroom to their practical experience.

I hope you’re all enjoying the summer and I look forward to seeing you back on campus!

Welcome to the Fall 2014 semester!

I really am beside myself with excitement about the start of the new semester! I love the promise the start of each semester brings. It’s like New Year’s Day, but better.

This semester I am particularly excited about the courses I’m teaching. In COMM 135 – Principles of Public Relations, we study more broadly the field of public relations and students learn about the public relations function through our readings, guest lectures, in-class discussions, and hands-on work. Public relations is all around us, and we all have to engage in our own public relations as we develop our professional lives, in particular. So, even if students have no desire to pursue a professional career in public relations, there are other personal and professional benefits that accrue to students in the class, not the least of which is learning how to be a more critical media consumer.  However, for students wanting to pursue a career as a professional communicator, this is a great jumping off point into the field of public relations.

COMM 193A/293A – Social Media for Public Relations is an ever-evolving class as we learn about the new developments in social media and consider how we, as communicators, can more effectively use these platforms to most effectively reach our communication objectives. This class is exciting because it often resembles trying to shoot at a moving target. However, while the platforms continue to change and evolve, thinking about effective messaging and audience analysis — in other words, strategy — is something that does not change as quickly. Therefore, this class is exciting because we can consider new technological platforms while also being mindful of the tenets of effective communication and public relations that should guide the application of these platforms.

It’s going to be an exciting semester and I look forward to working with new and returning students at the University of the Pacific!

Fall 2014 semester is upon us!

Well, it’s that time again — school starts in less than two weeks — and I don’t know about you, but I’m getting excited about the Fall 2014 semester!

This semester I am looking forward to teaching COMM135, Principles of Public Relations, and COMM193, a special topics class on Social Media for Public Relations. Both classes are taught on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I really enjoy teaching both these classes because they’re a lot of fun and they provide students with an introduction to essential public relations skills and critical thinking.

COMM 135 is an introductory course to the practice and study of public relations. We go through a lot of material and learn some of the basic skills of a public relations practitioner, such as media relations, crisis communication, campaign strategy and planning, etc. This course combines hands-on skill development with critical thinking related to campaign strategy.

COMM 193, Social Media for Public Relations, also focuses on combining theory and practice in regards to social media planning and implementation. While this course constantly adapts and responds to new social media tools as they become available, the backbone of the course is an emphasis on effective public relations strategy– a focus which is less vulnerable to the changing social media landscape.

If you are interested in learning more about these classes, please email me. Meanwhile, enjoy your last few weeks of summer break!


Upcoming Quizzes

Hello Students:
I wanted to remind you that students in C193/293 (Social Media for PR) will be writing a short quiz on Thursday, September 20.  The quiz will cover Groundswell readings, Chapters 1 -4. Make sure you’re up-to-date on the readings (i.e. have read + processed the material) and you’ll be fine.

For students in C135 your first exam is on Tuesday, September 25. This exam will cover chapters 1 – 6. Again, attending class lectures and discussion, and actively reading and understanding the material is good preparation. As an extra check of your knowledge, try to answer the questions throughout each of the chapters.

Good luck! With preparation you’ll all do great! While tests can be stressful they can be an effective learning tool. So, enjoy the process of acquiring  knowledge! 🙂