Spring 2022 - CMNS 362 D100

Evaluation Methods for Applied Communication Research (6)

Class Number: 2932

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM
    BLU 10011, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    60 units including CMNS 253 (or 253W) with a minimum grade of C-, and two of CMNS 201W (201 or 260), CMNS 202 (or 262) or CMNS 261, both with a minimum grade of C-.



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.


Course Organization

This is a course in applied communication which spans theory and methods of communication research. It builds on your earlier studies of research methods.  Lectures will introduce a variety of theoretical issues, as well as pragmatic concerns that arise in utilizing the methods covered in the course. Students will be introduced to a variety of research methods which may include: analysis of bibliographic information, interview techniques, content analysis, and survey research.

Students will design, develop and implement an original pilot study using at least two methods introduced in class (one qualitative and one quantitative). There have been a number of themes in 362 in the past. For Spring 2022 we are focusing on university student life during the COVID pandemic. Themes you may wish to focus on include student attitudes to organizations (such as trust in actions by the government or experiences at SFU), reactions to remote and in-class instruction, lived experiences during the COVID pandemic (for example related to housing, availability of work or other issues), personal challenges (such as relations with friends or use of on-line networks) or other issues related to their attitudes about more general concerns (for example, approaches to climate change).

Teams of students will choose and define a research question, review relevant literature and propose researchable questions (subject to approval from course instructors). Teams are required to present their team's findings in a conference-style presentation during lecture time at the end of the course.


Format and Educational Goals

The goal of this course is to provide students with enhanced opportunities to continue to develop research goals and experience the opportunity to work in a team and discuss research with others.  This course includes weekly lectures and one hour of tutorials (except in the first week when there will be no tutorials). Individual work is also included as part of the course.  Active participation and providing feedback are important, notably when student serve as discussants.  Most of the materials will be posted on a Canvas website for the course and students will be expected to submit electronic documents.

This course is scheduled to be given in person.  However, your enrollment (in this course) means you acknowledge that the university may need to require remote study arrangements depending on advice from the government during the pandemic. 

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). 


  • Attendance and Active Participation in tutorials 10%
  • Short Assignments (individual or team, to be submitted on Canvas) 25%
  • Discussant work (individual) 10%
  • Term Assignment Proposal (team) 10%
  • Roundtable presentation and slides (team) 10%
  • Term Paper (team) 35%


Please note that the grading scheme above is tentative and subject to change.

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 (See the S10 series of policies.]



Readings will be available electronically through Canvas or put on reserve in the Library.

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 spring 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware 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.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.