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1.1 Introduction to Communication Science


Welcome to the course Introduction to
Communication Science. My name is dr. Rutger de Graaf and I’m a
lecturer here at the University of Amsterdam, the departement
of Communication Science. We’re standing in the beautiful courtyard of the
17th century headquarters of the Dutch East India Company. ‘Het Oost-Indisch huis’. In this historical landmark, over 150 scientists
study and teach the science of communication. This course is a so called MOOC. This is a new
trend of online courses, initially designed by Stanford and MIT. MOOC
stands for Massive Open Online Course. It’s massive in the sense that it’s open to a
potentially much larger audience than our normal courses, which are of course
limited to the available space in a classroom. A MOOC is completely open, which means it’s
free of costs and designed so that everyone, also without any specific experience in the field,
can enter. Finally, all our lectures, class materials, self-
evaluation tests and exams, will be available through an online portal. This of course, gives new options to our
teaching environment. For instance, you can download all captions. Also, additional links and tips for further content
will be offered at the end of each class. Also, additional links and tips for further content
will be offered at the end of each class. Next to this, there’s a small community in which
you can ask questions or share your thoughts. And to test your recall and understanding of
each topic, I’ll often add some multiple choice questions
that you can use for self evaluation. We will cover some of the basic theories,
models and concepts from the field of communication. On this first class I’ll talk about the scope of our
field, what exactly is communication? and how does our discipline relate to other
studies, like sociology and psychology. and how does our discipline relate to other
studies, like sociology and psychology. In future weeks we’ll discuss the history of
communication theory. Obvisiously, people have been communicating
since the dawn of men, but when and why did communication theory
arise? but when and why did communication theory
arise? but when and why did communication theory
arise? After that, we’ll use three dominant approaches
to the field to discuss our topic further. First, we’ll look at communication as a means of
persuasion, both from a political and a corporate angle. The second perspective is that of
communication processing, which is simply put ‘how we give meaning to a
message?’ The final part of this course will focus on social
and cultural aspects of communication, like group dynamics and audience formation.

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