AP3ID4-Principles of Communication Design for Development

Module Provider: School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Dr Sarah Cardey

Email: s.p.cardey@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

Learn how to apply key principles of development communication in practice and how to identify and address key factors that influence the design of communication interventions, through a group design project and interaction with experienced professionals.


The aim of the module is for students to understand how the design of communication interventions is influenced by the needs and situation of the intended users as well as by the technical capabilities and limitations of communication channels.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • Critically assess the processes used in designing print, radio, web-based and ICT material in development contexts

  • Apply the concept of usability to the design of communication media in development

  • Articulate a critical analysis of the use of communication media in different development contexts

  • Present a reasoned case for the selection and use of communicatio n media and activities appropriate to a given audience, context and objectives

  • Specify a design process for a given communication intervention.

Additional outcomes:

Students will enhance their skills in preparing and giving oral presentations. The module will also strengthen their teamwork and their ability to reflect critically on their own learning.

Outline content:

Understanding the "audience" for communication media

Use and usability of communication media

Design of communication strategies, media and activities: a generic model

Principles of print media design

Designing radio and television for development

Designing material for social media 

Global context:

This module focuses on the use of communication technologies and principles in developing countries. It uses case study material from sub-Saharan Africa, with a focus on understanding cultural and social diversity in communication.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Teaching and learning methods will include lectures, reading assignments, formative tasks, group discussions and presentations, review of case studies, and a project to design complementary print and radio materials for a communication intervention. Discussion and feedback will take place through e-mail, as well as during class sessions. Visiting lecturers will contribute to the module.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Guided independent study: 80
Total hours by term 100
Total hours for module 100

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Report 50
Project output other than dissertation 50

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

The module will be assessed by coursework based on a group project:

1) a group project of the designs for radio and print media to support a communication campaign (50%)

2) an individual report, comprising a critical appraisal of the process and the outputs of the group project (50%) (mandatory word limit: 2000)

More details and submission dates will be provided in the first lecture of the module.

Formative assessment methods:

Students will submit draft content for their media project and receive feedback in advance of submission. They will also informally present their project to the class for peer and module convenor feedback.

Penalties for late submission:

The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

Assessment requirements for a pass:

A mark of 40% overall.

Reassessment arrangements:

Design of a communication strategy for a development intervention, chosen from a list of three topics and to include a critical commentary on the strategy.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 16 July 2020


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