ERIC Number: ED368021
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Nov-21
Applying Theory to the Case Study Course.
A chronic problem in public relations education is the fragmentation of coursework, particularly as this fragmentation impacts on the application of communication theory. Public relations textbooks presentation of theory is often fragmented and segregated in to "theoretical" chapters and "applied" chapters with little integration between the two. Popular case study books reinforce a formulated problem-solving approach (such as the RACE formula) in examining case studies. Much of the class activity of a public relations cases course, restricted to graduating seniors, involves peer and instructor evaluation of the work of teams who examine and study case studies primarily from a textbook. At the end of the course, students present individually prepared case studies. The instructor observed that students were graduating from the program with little appreciation for how communication theory can serve as a critical tool of professional public relations practitioners. He added a requirement that students support their conclusions with communication theory. Once the students realized that the application of communication theory to case study analysis added a supportive dimension to their problem-solving recommendations, they began to enjoy the task of finding such supporting theories to lend credence to their recommendations. Student found themselves investing their research time in providing theoretical insights. Students, particularly those enrolled in the class the second summer the course was taught, thrived on the assignment, and course evaluations showed that the requirement of theoretical support was the most popular "new" expectation of the course. (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (79th, Miami Beach, FL, November 18-21, 1993).