Author: Vincent Wang, BCom 2017 Business and Computer Science Co-op
Year course was taken: 2015W
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.
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.
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.
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 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.