Course Syllabus

Purpose

The purpose of this class is to get students out of the classroom and working on professional industry projects. A practicum, as the name implies, is an opportunity to practice what students have been learning in the classroom. 

In this class, each student will be asked to identify a project within their field of interest that they will plan and complete over the course of the semester. They will submit regular accountability quizzes (including public progress updates and hour logs) during the semester and upload a final report to the BYU-Idaho CommShowcase website at the end of the semester. In addition to reporting progress on the designated project every other week, students will be required to spend five hours per week outside of the classroom environment working toward their project completion. 

Students will consider what they would like to do for a living and build a project that will showcase their skills in that area. Ideally, students will be able to utilize their projects as professional deliverables that they can put into a portfolio or show off to a potential employer. Deliverables could include social media content; logos and marketing materials; a podcast; or a detailed event planning schedule. Note that this is not an exhaustive list of what could be considered a deliverable as a result of this course.

Project

Students should choose projects that will advance their skills in the field of communication and are tied to their career goals. Students' projects should be something that they would be excited to explain to a prospective employer. This class is designed for students who have already completed COMM 100, COMM 102, COMM 111, and COMM 130. If a student has not taken those classes, they are advised to wait and take this practicum after they have learned the basic principles to make their practicum experience more meaningful.

Mentor

Students will need to identify a mentor who will help evaluate their performance during the semester practicum and report their observations in a Mentor Evaluation at the conclusion of the course. Mentors should be available to periodically visit with students throughout the semester to discuss ideas, share expertise, and give feedback. 

Mentors must be a person with five or more years of full-time professional experience in communications or a related field. In addition, mentors need to have professional expertise in the same area as your project. If a student is creating logos for a business, they may want to find a mentor with a marketing or graphic design degree. Students cannot be mentored or evaluated by another student supervisor. Family members cannot serve as mentors.

Students will be responsible for finding a mentor suitable for their projects. In the past, students have found mentors through their professional contacts, current employment, and past faculty members. Please check with the instructor if there are any questions about whether a mentor candidate is qualified.

Note about Self-Promotion

Projects that are solely for self-promotion will be rejected—this includes building a portfolio website, self-branding, creating a personal social media presence, and all other personal promotional projects. 

On the other hand, if students would like to work on projects that increase their skills, abilities, and knowledge—resulting in the creation of a professional deliverable—then self-promotion is a natural result of sharing that project publicly.

When thinking about what to do for a project, here’s the question you have to ask yourself: Will my project idea advance my skills, or will it just advance my business or self-promotion? If your project is something that will give you a new set of valuable communication skills, then your instructor can approve it (whether it's self-promotional or not). If, however, your project is something that you find easy to do and will not really teach you anything new, then it is not acceptable for the course. 

Expectations

This is a self-directed course, and students are expected to keep up with the requirements of the course. Unlike most other online courses, the instructor will not post lesson material, and there are no discussion boards or other required student interactions. You are only required to interact with your instructor and your mentor. 

During this project, students will do the following:

  1. Write a Project Proposal describing the work they intend to do.
  2. Work with their instructor to approve the Project Proposal.
  3. Work with a mentor with requisite communication expertise who can sign the Project Proposal and agree to be a point of contact.
  4. Work on the project a minimum of five hours each week from Week 04 to Week 11.
  5. Create and share public updates of their progress every two weeks.
  6. Keep a log of hours worked and what was accomplished during those hours.
  7. Work with the mentor, who will submit an evaluation of students' work.
  8. Create a final report of their project, which is uploaded to the BYU-Idaho CommShowcase website at the end of the semester.

Your grade will be determined by your completion of the required work hours, public updates, and final report. In addition, steps 2, 3, and 7 are required to pass the class; failure to complete any of them may result in a failing grade.

Course Outcome
Students will be able to apply information learned in communication classes to real-life experiences.

Grading

  • Failure to meet the expectations on time as outlined above will automatically result in a failing grade.
  • There are a total of 100 points in this class.
  • The grades break down as follows:

Grading Table

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 <60%

Course Outline

Sprint 1: Ideas

Requirements:

  • Students will locate and meet with their mentors by Saturday of Week 02.
  • Students will discuss project ideas with their mentors.
  • Students will create project contracts and approve them with their mentors by Saturday of Week 03.
  • Students will submit their contracts to I-Learn by 11:59 p.m. (mountain time) on Saturday of Week 03.
  • Failure to get a project approved will result in being dropped from the course.

Sprints 2–5: Execution

Sprint Schedule:

  • Sprint 2: Week 04–Week 05
  • Sprint 3: Week 06Week 07
  • Sprint 4: Week 08Week 09
  • Sprint 5: Week 10Week 11

Sprint Requirements:

  • Students will execute their projects during each two-week sprint.
  • Students should work on their projects for a minimum of 10 hours each sprint (five hours per week).
  • At the end of the sprint (Saturday of the second week), students will show their progress in a public update (see "Public Update Requirements" below).
  • Students will submit proof of their public progress report to I-Learn by 11:59 p.m. (mountain time) on Saturday of the second week of the sprint.

Sprint 6: Report

Requirements:

  • Student mentors will submit evaluations of how the students' projects developed and how the students performed.
    • The mentors' evaluations are required in order to pass the class.
  • Students will create an online post-operation report, write-up, or case study of their projects.
    • Students' reports should include challenges, purpose, objectives, processes, and experiences.
  • Students will share their reports online via social media.
  • Students will present their reports to their mentors.

Public Update Requirements

Students will need to report their progress publicly during each sprint. Public accountability is an important external motivator in most projects. In many cases, it also serves as content marketing. Students may choose the form and content of their reports and the channel through which they will report their progress. They will submit links to their reports for each sprint to their instructor.

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 may 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.

Student Support

If you need assistance, visit the I-Learn Help Tab (the question mark icon) located on the left-hand side of your screen to contact the appropriate support center.

Student Honor

Student honor is following the path of discipleship and learning to be more like Christ by learning to think, feel and act more like Him.

Living a life of honor begins as students learn and live the baseline standards of the honor code, understand the purposes and remain true to the promises they have made. It continues as they heed the promptings of the Spirit to raise their personal bars of righteousness and foster a spirit of integrity, sacrifice, consecration, love, service and willing obedience as students and throughout their lives. A life of honor can prepare students' hearts for devoted discipleship in the family, church, work, and community.

Students are encouraged and expected to live by the principles and policies outlined by the student honor office. This includes grooming, behavior, attendance, and participation in classes.  As students live the principles of honor at BYU-Idaho, they allow the Spirit into the classroom and their lives.

Plagiarism (the use of another's words or ideas without giving credit) of any kind will not be tolerated. Any form of plagiarism, cheating or any other attempt to deceive will result in a failing grade.

Students may not double-count their work on a different course as part of this course. If a student has a large project with enough hours for both classes there must be a clear separation in activities between the two classes and you must have written approval from both instructors. Double-counting hours is cheating and will result in a zero on your final class grade.

Course Summary:

Date Details Due