Caleb T. Carr, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Communication











Teaching Navigation Overview Traditional Courses Nontraditional Online Development Syllabi

News Blotter


March, 2018 New Media & Society

Our articulation of the Masspersonal Communication Model. For at least two decades, communication scholars have lamented the intradisiciplinary chasm between interpersonal and mass communication. The concept of masspersonal communication bridges this historic divide, identifying messages that are personalized yet accessible. Particularly in social media, masspersonal communication reflects a convergence of previously-siloed thinking. Championed by Dr. Patrick O'Sullivan, he kindly let me tag along on this one.


February, 2018 Communication Research Reports

What makes a social media post "successful?" findings from a survey of college student Facebook users indicate social comparison (how many we see comparable others receive) and reciprocity norms (those who Like more expect more Likes in return) guide perceptions of successful self-presentation. The fifth in our growing collaboration we lovingly refer to as "the Liking Studies," with the amazing Dr. Rebecca A. Hayes and Dr. Erin M. Sumner (nee Bryant).


September, 2017 Journal of Social Psychology

For decades it was thought the mere disclosure of one's religion enhanced perceptions of a speaker. New research revisits this assumption through a social identity lens. Findings reveal that it is not the mere disclosure of one's religion, but rather the congruence between the discloser's and target's religious beliefs that predicts attributions of professionalism in a business context. Now out in the Journal of Social Psychology.


July, 2017 Management Communication Quarterly

Why would a voice-over artist feel compelled to include a photo in her/his profile? Such was the guiding question of a recent article in MCQ, exploring the effects of various text- and pictographic-disclosures either related or not related to job tasks on employability within the micro-task service Fiverr. A great piece with some excellent collaborators:
Robbie Hall (now at Nebraska)
Adam Mason (now at Michigan State)
Eric Varney (now at Bradley)




I have taught over 200 credit hours of graduate and undergraduate courses in several departments (Business, Communication, and Telecommunication) and in many formats (traditional, residential college, returning students, and online courses).


Traditional Courses


I have really enjoyed my classroom hours working with students at various stages in their academic careers. I have taught several entry-level and survey courses, as well as upper-level and specialized courses, each deriving a unique joy of teaching. In entry-level courses, I have particularly enjoyed the opportunity to engage and nurture developing scholars, challenging them to think creatively yet objectively, and in doing so illustrate the exciting fields they have chosen to explore. Upper-level courses have presented their own enjoyment for me, such as the ability in IPC495A to train senior scholars to be classroom discussion leaders and facilitators--essentially teaching others how to teach. At the same time, teaching a course with 8 enrolled students has been very different from teaching a course whose enrollment exceeds 250 students. In a small class, I try to make the course personal and personable, using individual presentations and reports to guide and govern class discussion. In a large class, daily individual attention becomes impractical, but the large number of students allows opportunities for more group work and small-group interaction. In the Spring of 2009, the 200+ students enrolled in my TC100 course gained first-hand knowledge of mass collaboration by collaborating on a single 25-page final paper using a Wikipedia-like program-a project less feasible with only a handful of students.


Nontraditional Courses


One challenge facing many institutions today is the nontraditional student. Some students return to college following children or jobs to better themselves or provide an opportunity for job advancement. Others enter school following corporate downsizing, learning new skills to re-enter a competitive job market. These students present challenges, but also new opportunity, for a classroom environment. In several classes I have dealt with students (and sometimes even a course-load) who are resuming their higher education after taking time off for professional development, family, and health reasons. I have tried to draw on these students' experiences as much as possible to illustrate that more often than not it is not about learning entirely new skill sets, but rather looking at a familiar situation from a new perspective. I considered it a successful class period when a student (who lost his labor-intensive job after 25 years when the plant closed) explained to me the managerial and financial benefits of closing his former employer's factory and offshoring the job--and in doing so preparing himself for a position that cannot be outsourced.


Online Courses


Online classrooms and courses are a mixed blessing: Highly desirable for their flexibility and low overhead, yet challenging as it requires decades-old pedagogy to be rethought and applied in a mediated environment. I have been fortunate to work with several online courses that have begun to address these challenges while aspiring to their benefits. For example, an online public speaking course has allowed deployed soldiers and rural students to get a University-level education, utilizing iTunes to record, upload, and view class speeches. Another online course, Group Dynamics, has been focused to discuss online group interaction, using class groups, discussion fora, and decision support systems to create teachable moments while discussing course content.


Course Development


One challenge to teaching is creating a course. Once created it is relatively easy to copy and tweak, yet its genesis takes careful planning, articulation of goals and evaluations, and pedagogical style to implement. I have developed several courses, both within and outside of academia. I was responsible for the redevelopment of SPK211: Group Dynamics, an online course at Baker College, and worked closely with staff to construct a syllabus, timelines, assignments, and evaluation materials. In an applied setting, I worked with a non-profit organization to create a 13-week training program to provide individuals with disabilities job-seeking and public speaking skills to increase their employability.


Sample Syllabi


TC100: The Information Society (MSU)
SDA101: Introduction to Communication (CMU)
SPK211: Group Dynamics (DU)
MGMT225: International Business (DU)
COM229: Foundations of Organizational Communication (ILSTU)
COMM5363: Communication and Technology (OU)

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