Seminar: From Digital Analytics to Communication Action – DIGI 825

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

A study of the use of analytics in shaping promotional messages in the digital age, maximizing the effectiveness of digital and strategic communication.


DIGI 700


This core Ph.D. level research seminar will involve careful consideration of the approaches to analytics commonly employed in the field of digital and strategic communication practice studies. Traditionally, these approaches have included: (1) historical-critical (or rhetorical-critical) research, (2) qualitative research, and (3) quantitative research. The essential assumptions of this course are that the field of communication is an amalgam of the humanities, arts, and social sciences and that potentially all communication research approaches are valuable in the quest for understanding how digital and strategic communication works, has worked, fails, and has failed.  The course is intended to open the door for the student to the major approaches employed in this multi-faceted field so that the student can better decide which direction(s) to take for future research and messaging ventures.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Compare the historical roots of the field of communication and the development of its research methodologies.
  2. Evaluate selected communication theories that have guided, or continue to guide, the field of communication study.
  3. Differentiate methodological approaches to communication research.
  4. Utilize a scholarly writing style appropriate to the research methodology.
  5. Create a complete research proposal on a suitable topic within the field of communication.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations


After reading the Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.


Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, students will create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be supported by reading and study materials, pertinent examples, and thoughtful analysis. Each thread must be at least 600 words.  In addition to the thread, students are required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 450 words.


The research concept is a one-paragraph statement of the projected focal point of the research, the grounding worldview, and the basic research method (quantitative, qualitative or mixed-methods).


A bullet-point outline of the major points of the study.


In this first chapter of the study, the student will write five paragraphs (the Research Problem Paragraph, the Studies Addressing Problem Paragraph, the Deficiencies in Past Paragraph, the Study Significance Paragraph, and the Purpose Statement Paragraph).


In this second chapter of the study, the student will provide 52 resources over three sections which show a historical perspective, a perspective on the current state of the field, current gaps in the literature, and theory (for quantitative) or philosophy (for qualitative) or both (for mixed-methods) on the subject. 


In this third chapter of the study, the student will be evaluated on their Composition and their Comprehensiveness. Composition is a measure of the focus, logic, and substantiation of claims in your work. Comprehensiveness is a measure of the extent to which the student address the necessary elements of their particular research approach. A list of checklists will be used for this evaluation for Quantitative Surveys, Quantitative Experiments, Qualitative Studies, and/or Mixed Methods Studies.


The student will submit a research introduction which is a video simulation of the defense of their actual dissertation proposal that will be given to the dissertation committee. As such, it should accomplish the five provided objectives which should each be covered in approximately 2 minutes each.