Research & Sustainability


Author: David Piotto

Bryce Kapsha took Communications Studies 451: Research in Communications in Fall 2008 when the whole class was partnered with the University of Calgary's Office of Sustainability.

COMS 451 students' research results (about students' and instructors' perceptions and educational experiences related to "sustainability") were used to help further the Community Service-Learning (CSL) projects in the Fall 2008 Communications Studies 463: Advanced Professional and Technical Communication class taught by the same teacher.  COMS 463's task was to construct material for a website on "Sustainability in the liberal arts" partly using some material gathered by COMS 451 students earlier in the term.


As stated in the course outline, the objectives of the COMS 451 course were:

  • "To introduce students to a number of research traditions in the field of communications studies and the methods typically employed in these traditions.

  • To familiarize students with methodological issues that affect the selection and implementation of data collection and analysis techniques in communication research.

  • To provide students with practical experience in carrying out research through classroom activities and small data-gathering assignments.

  • To sensitize students to the role of research in public policy discussions and public and personal decision-making related to the course theme described above."

Classes such as these can become the corner stones from which much raw data and research can help to further future CSL classes.

For more information on the benefits discovered through this CSL research course, see the article Benefits Through the Eyes of Others. For some of the challenges and their solutions expereinced in this course, see the article Examining Challenges of CSL First-hand.

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Smith, T. (2008). Coms 451 l01 f08. Retrieved from