Author: Vincent Wang, BCom 2017 ­ Business and Computer Science Co-­op

Year course was taken: 2015W


The Introduction:

Unlike most of the other Commerce courses you have taken so far, Comm 394 takes an

unique approach by combining the textbook knowledge with various in­class discussions and

debates relevant to current events. Though the course outline might vary depending on your

professor, the learning objectives will remain quite similar. This being said, I took this course

with Jose Pineda and this blog will be my perspective and takeaways from his class.


The Class:

Overall, the lecture summarizes all the important points in the textbook quite well. There is a

huge focus on participation; there will be discussions based on the lecture topic and how it

relates to current events happening today. The in­class discussions are quite important as

half of the exam will be focused on the written portion (which I will talk about later), the topics

are quite interesting and generally does not have a “right answer” but tests you on how to

see the situation from multiple perspectives.


The Book:

As mentioned previously, the lectures will provide a summary of the book which means

keeping up with the readings is crucial for providing detailed responses during the in­class

discussions. You should read the book. The book will provide a lot of “extra” examples

which are quite long and not as helpful unless you are struggling with the concepts (I

recommend skimming through these examples). Half of the exam will be in a T/F format

where it will test your knowledge on textbook concepts and how to apply these concepts

correctly. Hint: Understand the graphs and its representation, this will definitely help

throughout the exam.


The Debate:

Near the end of the semester, you will be required to participate in a debate with a team.

There will be six topics and teams will have to pick a For or Against side. All topics will be

part of the final exam and students are encouraged to participate and ask questions. When

structuring your argument for the debate, make sure your strong points closely apply the

course concepts. Moreover, it would be smart to look for ‘not­so­obvious’ points as the

opposing team can create counter arguments. While researching for your debate, prepare

for counter argument points as well.


The Exam:

The exam has a written and a T/F part. The T/F questions will cover the textbook and

powerpoint slides quite closely. The questions are divided by topics and will have questions

on graphs as well. The written questions focus more on the in­class discussions and a few of

the textbook examples. Generally, there is no right or wrong answer but rather how

effectively you can support your argument and whether your argument logically makes

sense. Focus on applying class concepts and discuss from multiple perspectives. Aim for a

strong, structured argument.

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