Fall 2019 - CMNS 346 E100

Development Communication (4)

Class Number: 10387

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 5:30 PM – 9:20 PM
    HCC 2510, Vancouver

  • Prerequisites:

    60 units including CMNS 240 or 247.



An introduction to different ways of thinking about the role that communication plays in development including both historical and contemporary thought. The course will explore the nature and causes of unequal opportunities for economic growth, human security, environmental sustainability and social resilience, focusing on the contributions of the information economy and knowledge society. It provides a workshop for development and communication practices. Students with credit for CMNS 345 may not complete this course for further credit


This course will establish the history of the concept of development since 1945 (modernization, imperialism and dependency, globalization and entrepreneurialism, cultural resistance).  In particular, we will learn about how media and communications technologies have been applied to development objectives in each time period. We will then focus on the contemporary period: we will explore the UN’s new Sustainable Development Goals, and consider what they mean for the role of communication in development today.  And, in particular, we will explore the significance of big data and the platform economy for problems of marginalization and poverty in the world today.


Learning Objectives: By the end of this course, students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of:

  •     Development theory, and the role of communication in development.
  •     The historical evolution of key debates in development communication.
  •     Contemporary perspectives on development communication.
  •     Contemporary issues in development communication.


  • Grading is based on a scaffolded assignment structure that builds towards a final paper.
  • Literature Review 15%
  • Proposal 20%
  • In-Class Presentations & Participation 30%
  • Term Paper 35%


The school expects that grades awarded in this course will bear 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 1 May 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.]

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



Required readings will be made available online, at the first class.

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