Spring 2023 - CMNS 426 D100

Video Design for Social Communication (4)

Class Number: 1199

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    SSCK 8652, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    75 units, including CMNS 226 with a minimum grade of C- and two of CMNS 220, 326, 358, both with a minimum grade of C-.



This workshop examines the growing role that video is playing in a variety of public relations, industrial, advocacy and educational contexts. The emphasis of this course is on issues of communication design in relation to the goals and values in specific communication forums.


Communicating health and risk information to an audience is a challenging and subtle task, and requires an understanding of risk assessment, perception, and communication. Designing communication media that can influence an audience’s perception or behaviour in relation to specific health or environmental risks, requires an understanding of the context, culture, and determinants of both the audience and the messaging. This course provides an overview of risk communication and perception as a background to designing mediated health and environmental risk communication media targeted at specific audiences. 

Students will be expected to design and produce health or environmental risk communication on approved topics, with the final production being video documentaries. This course is designed with both labs to develop skills and techniques for producing risk communication media, and the seminars help to acquire an understanding of the theories and practices involved in risk communication in our society today.   

Students will be required to engage in the current issues and debates in risk communication by giving presentations, participating in discussions, and in writing assignments. Students will also have to demonstrate, by the end of the course, an application of their theoretical understanding, by producing video documentaries that communicate issues regarding environmental and health risks to a specific audience.


  • Theory and Literature Review of Health and Risk Communication 20%
  • Media Analysis Presentation of a Risk Communication Campaign 15%
  • Lab Assignments 15%
  • Learning and Reading Log 15%
  • Communication Design Proposal and Research Presentation 10%
  • Final Communication Design and Evaluation 25%


Enrollment is limited.  Experience with media production is recommended.

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.]


A minimum 2.25 CMNS CGPA and 2.00 overall CGPA, and approval as a communication student is required for entry into most communication upper division courses.



Software and Hardware requirements:

To ensure access to all course materials and activities, we recommend that you are able to maintain a computer with a microphone and camera, and the Internet. Access to Adobe Premiere or equivalent is a requirement for this class, students can purchase student licensing for this software as access and support for the newest version of Adobe Premiere is currently limited on campus.


All readings will be provided on Canvas.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website 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