Theories of communication(s) and media provide a foundational knowledge base for students majoring in Digital Communications and Integrated Media. This module aims to introduce students to many of the well-known theories. Along the way, relevant media concepts will also be introduced. Through the learning of a curated set of theories and concepts, students will gain deeper and more holistic, nuanced and critical understanding of how ‘communication’ and ‘media’ work. Students who are beginning their academic journey in this degree will attain the necessary experience to become critical thinkers and skilful practitioners (though this is eventually depend on mastery in other modules as well).
The module will supplement theoretical discussions with examples and case studies, from both local and global settings, so that students will know how to apply the theoretical knowledge that they have gained in a practical manner – applied learning. Students are expected to prepare for their lessons by completing the readings and/or doing online research. The topics covered include semiotics, framing theory, persuasion theories, active audiences, uses and gratifications theory, media effects, agenda-setting theory, cultivation theory, knowledge gap hypothesis, spiral of silence theory, two-step flow model, diffusion of innovations theory, group communication and relational communication theories, theories of the network society and communication power, theories of the information society. Students’ progress and learning outcomes are assessed through individual assignments, and a group project to be presented in the second half of the module.