This CoronaComm Halfmester Syllabus was designed as part of my COVID-19 online transition. The syllabus is built around four central concepts:

  • Mobile-Friendly/Low Bandwidth: It is unclear what access options students will have during social distancing. Therefore, this syllabus excludes many excellent, relevant PDFs and focuses primarily on short web articles using responsive webdesign.
  • Accessibility Oriented: This syllabus is not 100% accessible. However, it focuses on screen-reader compliant materials and all audio/video content includes professional transcripts. Where materials are not accessible, the limited accessibility will be a focus of class discussion.
  • Asynchronicity: With students potentially a) distributed across time zones, b) focused on potential health concerns and/or family care, and c) focused on reconfigured employment, it does not seem appropriate to require participation in synchronous activities. Additionally, there are reasonable concerns about overloading LMS servers.
  • Public Sci Comm: These materials are designed for an upper-division undergraduate course on Technical Communication and Wicked Problems. However, they would be broadly applicable for a wide range of of courses in tech comm, sci comm, and/or health comm.

CoronaComm Readings and Viewings

COVID-19 as a Wicked Problem

COVID-19 Public Communication Exemplars

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science Communication Toolkit

Note: This is not my favorite resource for SciComm guidance, but it’s about the only good mobile-friendly option out there.

Science, Politics, and Democracy

CoronaComm Assignments

Artifact Analysis Packet: Students will identify and analyze two communication artifacts designed to inform or engage public audiences about the chosen wicked problem.

Public Engagement Plan: Using their analysis of preexisting public engagement materials as a guide, students will create a custom public engagement plan designed to catalyze stakeholder engagement with the identified wicked problem. Public Engagement Plans will be designed to be deployed in a social distancing situation. The plan will detail specific initiatives designed to foster dialogue among diverse stakeholders and will include appropriate briefing books for included audiences.

Public Engagement Artifacts: Students will create two sample public engagement artifacts that would be used as a part of their public engagement plan.

CornonaComm Syllabus

Week 1: We’re Online, Now What?

Week 2: COVID-19 as a Wicked Problem

  • Readings: COVID-19 Wicked Problem Readings
  • Activities: Asynchronous Wicked Problems Discussion; Public Exemplars Analysis Activities

Week 3:  Science, Democracy, and Politics

  • Readings: PEW Readings; Democratic Model Video or Transcript
  • Activities: Science in the Public Sphere Discussion; Artifact Analysis Orientation

Week 4: Public Science Comm

  • Readings: AAAS Toolkit
  • Activities: Artifact Analysis Assignment

Week 5: Public Engagement Plan

  • Activities: Public Engagement Plan Assignment

Week 6: Public Engagement Artifacts

  • Activities: Public Engagement Artifacts Assignment