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COMM 320 Individual Rights and Public Discourse

This course is designed to introduce students to their First Amendment rights to freedom of religion, freedom of expression, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly and freedom to petition. It will also explore citizens' corresponding responsibilities and our frequent disagreements over these rights and responsibilities. Through course assignments students will develop a greater capacity to engage in civic activities by understanding the First Amendment, being able to more fully articulate their personal view of their First Amendment rights and responsibilities, refining their research and analysis skills, and developing their expertise in oral argumentation.
4 Undergraduate credits

Effective August 27, 2005 to present

Meets graduation requirements for

Learning outcomes


  • Demonstrate ability to conduct academic research on the First Amendment.
  • Demonstrate an ability to act responsibly within First Amendment rights by providing evidence of understanding of these rights and corresponding responsibilities.
  • Exercise higher order thinking skills necessary to analyze and evaluate a variety of perspectives on issues arising from the First Amendment.
  • Identify opportunities to exercise citizenship rights pertaining to First Amendment issues.
  • Know and understand a broad range of social, political and personal ramifications of First Amendment rights.
  • Display argumentation skills necessary to advocate a well-researched, logical and clearly articulated position on a significant issue arising from the First Amendment and rebut competing arguments.

Minnesota Transfer Curriculum

Goal 1: Communication

  • Understand/demonstrate the writing and speaking processes through invention, organization, drafting, revision, editing and presentation.
  • Participate effectively in groups with emphasis on listening, critical and reflective thinking, and responding.
  • Locate, evaluate, and synthesize in a responsible manner material from diverse sources and points of view.
  • Select appropriate communication choices for specific audiences.
  • Construct logical and coherent arguments.
  • Use authority, point-of-view, and individual voice and style in their writing and speaking.
  • Employ syntax and usage appropriate to academic disciplines and the professional world.


Goal 9: Ethical and Civic Responsibility

  • Examine, articulate, and apply their own ethical views.
  • Understand and apply core concepts (e.g. politics, rights and obligations, justice, liberty) to specific issues.
  • Analyze and reflect on the ethical dimensions of legal, social, and scientific issues.
  • Recognize the diversity of political motivations and interests of others.
  • Identify ways to exercise the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.

Summer 2021

Section Title Instructor
50 Individual Rights and Public Discourse Skarphol Kaml, Shannon M Books Course details

Fall 2021

Section Title Instructor
50 Individual Rights and Public Discourse Skarphol Kaml, Shannon M Books Course details