Communications Methods Review

Grant program: Teaching and Learning Development Grant (TLDG)

Grant recipients: Katherine Reilly and Daniel Ahadi, School of Communication

Project team: Ayaka Yoshimizu, research assistant, Chris Jeschelnik, Frederik Lesage, Jan Marontate, and David Murphy School of Communication

Timeframe: March to October 2016  

Funding: $5,000

Courses addressed:

  • CMNS 260 – Empirical Communication Research Methods (Q designation)
  • CMNS 261 – Documentary Research in Communication (also offered as CODE course)
  • CMNS 262 – Qualitative Communication Research Methods

Final report: View Katherine Reilly's short verion final report (PDF) and long version final report (PDF)

Description: The 200-level methods curriculum in the School of Communication needs enhancement. Recent innovations have been introduced within specific courses. However, the Undergraduate Studies Committee (USC) is now encouraging a general review of methods instruction so that we can better allocate topics among methods courses, and better integrate these courses into the wider CMNS curriculum. In addition, methods instruction in the School is plagued with significant enrolment bottlenecks that need to be resolved.  Overall, we would like to enhance coordination and timing of the methodology courses to better meet student needs, and better prepare them for upper year courses, graduate education and their working lives.

Goals of the project:

  • Establish channels of communication to support ongoing exchange between methods instructors in the School.
  • Produce evidence to support informed changes to the School’s 200-level methods curriculum.
  • Develop a curriculum plan that a) incorporates existing teaching materials thus minimizing the need for extensive curricular overhaul by any one individual, and b) balances the need for teaching coordination with the need for teaching autonomy.
  • Advance a proposal for calendar revision.
  • Produce a School-level learning outcome statement around methods, as well as general statements of learning outcomes for 200-level methods instruction.

Knowledge sharing: Our report will be circulated to School colleagues for comment, both in written form, and through discussions at School meetings. In addition, the report will be published on the TLDG website as a resource for other SFU faculty who are considering similar review of methods teaching.