Introduction to Digital Communications

Core Course

Digital media, including web, social and mobile technologies, has dramatically affected and expanded the ways in which we communicate, including the creation, dissemination and consumption of news and information. More recently, Web 2.0 and social media have evolved to form a global communications layer that has reshaped personal and professional interaction in our time. Students in this course will examine the evolving nature of digital communications, beginning with an understanding of foundational concepts of Internet technologies and web content as well as critical issues of digital media culture, Internet governance, ethics and diversity in the digital age. Students will evaluate the use and impact of digital communications technologies and media in the context of existing theory and research as well as case studies and analyses of emerging trends across the public communications spectrum.


Ability to explain and differentiate between various analog and digital media technologies


Twitter, WordPress, Hootsuite, Google Analytics


  • Explain and differentiate between the characteristics of analog and digital media as well as the properties of digital media technologies that impact traditional practices and create new opportunities in communications industries, including broadcast and print media, advertising, public relations and journalism.
  • Describe and explain the evolution of digital communications platforms in the Internet age, including foundational Internet technologies and those of the dynamic Web 2.0 era as well as emergent post-PC technologies.
  • Explain and address the evolving needs and behaviors of the digital media user, emergent trends in online and mobile communications, and concepts of interactive and responsive design.
  • Develop and reinforce essential skills for communicators in the digital age, including the creation and consumption of digital media; a foundational understanding of blogging, digital content management and social networking platforms; and mobile and emergent media platforms.
  • Differentiate between innovations across communications organizations by identifying best practices, trends, entrepreneurship efforts and needs for further innovation.


Doug Strahler