MDST 580

Issues in Communication Technology

4 Undergraduate credits
Effective August 24, 2002 – Present

Graduation requirements this course fulfills

This course is concerned with the impact communication technologies have had and continue to have on human societies. The course begins with a brief examination of two technologies that have had a profound impact on how people think about communication. It looks at the background and impact of current technologies. And it also looks at new and emerging technologies - such as hypermedia, neural nets, virtual reality - speculating about how these technologies will change people in the near future and later in the twenty-first century.

Learning outcomes


  • Students explore at an advanced level the complex relationship between communication technologies and society.
  • Students learn relevant communication theory, explore key social trends and examine a number of technologies in depth.
  • Students learn a historical perspective on communication technologies.
  • Students explore, critique and discuss speculation about future technologies.
  • Students develop an advanced understanding of how communication technologies connect people (and who they leave out) and how technologies often evolve beyond their original purpose.
  • Students write advanced level research papers on class topics and present their research to the class.