Fall 2020 - CMNS 362 D100

Evaluation Methods for Applied Communication Research (6)

Class Number: 6909

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 11:30 AM – 2:20 PM

  • Prerequisites:

    60 units including CMNS 253 (or 253W), and two of CMNS 201W (201 or 260), CMNS 202 (or 262) or CMNS 261.



Research design and techniques for the study of the introduction, uses and consequences of new media and technologies, new communication policies and practices in their socio-economic and cultural context, and communication in innovation and change.


This is a course in applied communication that spans theory and methods of communication research. Methods introduced in this course can appropriately be used to pursue research questions in a number of areas, however mass mediated communication and media infrastructures will be the focus of class discussion. Lectures introduce a variety of theoretical issues, as well as pragmatic concerns that arise in utilizing the methods introduced in the course. Students will be introduced to a variety of research methods that may include: interview techniques, textual discourse and content analysis, survey research, and focus groups. Student groups will work together to design, develop, and implement an original pilot study using at least two methods introduced in class on a self-selected topic (subject to approval from the course instructor). In previous iterations of this class, students have examined the gamification and quantified care of the self; precarious labour in creative and cultural industries; the representation of race, gender, class and/or sexuality in the media; but these need not confine or demarcate areas of research. Suitable topics tend to synthesize at least two of the three research areas taught within the School of Communication: cultural studies, technology studies, and political economy. They also reflect a historically situated awareness of current events.


  • Subject to change with notice.
  • Research Topic (Team) 5%
  • Project Literature Review (Team) 10%
  • Project Proposal (Team) 15%
  • Project Proposal Presentation (Team) 5%
  • Project Report (Team) 35%
  • Presentation of Findings (Team) 15%
  • Peer/Self Evaluation (Individual) 15%


The course is organized as one 3-hour lecture per week, with 1-hour tutorials following. The instructor will combine a mixture of lectures and interactive training sessions. On occasion, time will be set aside for group meetings. We will not be holding tutorials per se, rather these will be dedicated workspaces for students, with the TA available for consultation. Attendance is mandatory for every class/workshop.

The School expects that the grades awarded in this course will bear some reasonable relation to established university-wide practices with respect to both levels and distribution of grades. In addition, the School will follow Policy S10.01 with respect to Academic Integrity, and Policies S10.02, S10.03 and S10.04 as regards Student Discipline. [Note: as of May 1, 2009, the previous T10 series of policies covering Intellectual Honesty (T10.02), and Academic Discipline (T10.03) have been replaced with the new S10 series of policies.]



Readings will be available on Canvas.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2020 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).