Course Syllabus


COMM 111; One of the following strongly recommended: FDMAT 108; FDMAT 109; FDMAT 110; FDMAT 112; FDMAT 221; FDMAT 222; FDMAT 223; FDMAT 224

Course Description

This course is designed to help students learn about communication research tools, methods, and presentation. Its central point is helping students learn how to take raw data and make it understandable and actionable. Students will learn Excel and basic analytics. Students will learn various research methods and principles and discuss how research is shaping our world today. They will learn more about ratings, index numbers, social media, and search engine optimization tools.

Course Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate understanding of the ways and frequency with which communication professionals and scholars use research.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of important academic and media technology and sources.
  3. Demonstrate basic knowledge of common quantitative and qualitative research methods.
  4. Demonstrate understanding of common statistical principles.
  5. Demonstrate proficiency with essential Excel function, usage, and design.
  6. Demonstrate the ability to extract findings from data through questions and present the answers to those questions in a compelling and ethical fashion.

All papers must be written in AP style, that is Associated Press, not APA (American Psychological Association) style.

Required Materials

All required reading and reference materials are provided in the course.

The AP Stylebook is available for purchase via a link in the Student Resources Section at the bottom of the module list in this course, or you may choose to purchase a print copy from the bookstore. (You may have it already as part of Communication 111.)

Additionally, you will use the following resources for this course (all are available free or free to BYU-I students):

  • Excel
  • Google Trends, Facebook Analytics
  • Library Resources: Academic Search Premiere, MRI-Simmons, Mintel, Mergent Intellect

Microsoft Office

You will use Microsoft Excel extensively in this course. BYU-I students may download and install Microsoft Office Suite (free) from the BYU-I bookstore.

Project-based Learning

This is a project-based course. During this course, you will work in a team to conduct a communications survey research project. Project-based learning reflects the learning and work people do in the everyday world outside the classroom.

Group Meetings

Starting in Week 02, you will meet weekly with a group of 3-5 students to discuss the group project, excel exercises, analytics, and learning activities. Your group will determine the day, time and how you meet. For instance, your group may meet using Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype, or another collaboration tool.

Course Structure

Each lesson is divided into seven assignment categories that are directly tied to the overall course outcomes.

  1. Learn Research Terms and Concepts: You will study important research terms and principles each week. Two specific research methods are introduced in this course, quantitative and qualitative research. It is important for you to understand how professionals are using quantitative and qualitative research methods in today's world.
  2. LearnAnalytics & Tools: Each week you will increase your understanding of key analytic metrics and important market research technologies. It is not expected that you become an expert, but it is expected that you gain a basic understanding.
  3. Assessments/Assignments: Each week you will demonstrate your ability to analyze data, make a clear and coherent recommendation and present findings.
  4. Final Projects: Working with a group, you will experience the joy of research, and will wrestle with data as you determine how to analyze it, and how to present a finding in a clear, useful, compelling, and ethical fashion. You will collaborate on a group project to deepen your own understanding of how well-presented research can influence and impact lives. Make sure to invest the necessary time to fully contribute as you work with your group.
Methodologies/Concepts Introduced
  • Case Studies
  • Content Analysis
  • Charts
  • Data Mining
  • Data Storytelling
  • Depth Interviews
  • Experiments
  • Facebook Insights
  • Focus Groups
  • Google Trends
  • Graphs
  • Infographics
  • Index Numbers
  • Qualitative
  • Quantitative
  • Pivot Tables
  • Ratings
  • Sampling
  • Statistics
  • Surveys

Assignment Structure

Each week you will participate in learning activities that teach you how to conduct communications research. The course is based on points. Each assignment category is worth a portion of your overall grade. 

Assignment Categories     Points         # of Assignments in Category Total Points Possible
Final Group Project  500 1 500

Weekly Group Project Deliverables 

50 - 200

5 450

Group Assessments




25 - 45

12 320

Course Organization/Writing Basics Quiz: Lesson 01

57.75 1 57.75

Formatting and presenting–Rough Draft

150  1 150

Formatting and presenting–Final

300 1 300
*Learning Assignments 100 - 250  9 1050
Self-assessment 10 - 25  9 179
Discussions 25 7 175

*Learning activities take more time to complete and require creative integration and application of the COMM 280 concepts. 


Letter Grade Percentage Range
A 100% –93%
A- 92% – 90%
B+ 89% – 87%
B 86% – 83%
B- 82% – 80%
C+ 79% – 77%
C 76% – 73%
C- 72% – 70%
D+ 69% – 67%
D 66% – 63%
D- 62% – 60%
F 59% and below


1. Keep track of your homework assignments.

2. Mulligan. If you communicate with your instructor before the assignment due date, you may miss one quiz, not a group assignment, and make it up later. Otherwise, no late work is accepted. This doesn't include the final paper and its rough draft.

3. Some of the resources, notably Mintel Oxygen and Internet Reporter, can be gimpy. It is your responsibility to find a solution to using them. You may collaborate on figuring out how to use any resource, but not on getting answers to quizzes.

4. Students with Disabilities: In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, all qualified students are entitled to "reasonable accommodation." It is the student's responsibility to disclose to the teacher any special needs she/he may have before the end of the first week of class.

5. No plagiarism.

6. No fabrication.

University Policies
Students with Disabilities

Brigham Young University-Idaho is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere that accommodates qualified persons with disabilities. If you have a disability and require accommodations, please contact the Disability Services Office at (208) 496-9210 or visit their website and follow the Steps for Receiving Accommodations. Reasonable academic accommodations are reviewed for all students who have qualified documented disabilities. Services are coordinated with students and instructors by the Disability Services Office.

This course does require synchronous meetings. If you are currently registered with the Disability Services Office and need an interpreter or transcriber for these meetings, please contact the deaf and hard of hearing coordinator at (208) 496-9219.

Other University Policies

Student Honor and Other Policies

Please read through the document called University Policies. It gives important information about the following topics:

  • Student Honor
    • Academic Honesty
    • Student Conduct
      • Sexual Harassment
  • Student with Disabilities
  • Complaints and Grievances
  • Copyright Notice

Go to the Student Resources module to review further resources and information.

Course Summary:

Date Details Due