Communication Campaigns and Research

2018-2019

Course Objective

In this course students will gain an understanding of:
- Communication theory and theories of persuasion that relate to mass
and new media health campaigns
- How to analyze campaign content in terms of message factors and
communication strategies
- How to develop and deliver mass media and new media communication
campaign messages
- How to evaluate the effects of a media health campaign (by using
quantitative methods)
- How to advise institutions about (the implementation of) mass and new
media communication campaigns

Course Content

This course, fits in the program of the specialization Prevention and
Public Health. Within this specialization you are trained to become a
health promotor who is able to work in a theory- & evidence-based way
and is able to link research, practice and policy.

The courses within this specialization are structured according to the
six steps of Intervention Mapping. These steps are: 1) Needs assessment,
2) Preparing matrices of change objectives, 3) Selecting theory-informed
intervention methods and practical applications, 4) Producing program
components and materials, 5) Planning program adoption, implementation,
and sustainability and 6) Planning for evaluation.

The course Communication Campaigns and Research will pay special
attention to step 3, 4 and 6 of Intervention Mapping with a focus on
communication theories, strategies and applications.

In this course, students will learn about the creation of theory-based
health communication campaigns, how to analyze the effect of such a
campaign, advise institutions on campaign strategies and prepare for
campaign evaluation. In course readings and lectures, students read and
apply relevant communication theory (e.g. about message factors and
theories of persuasion). They will learn about both the intended and
unintended effects of campaigns and how to understand and measure these
effects. Furthermore, we will pay particular attention to the use of
mass and new media for health campaigns and how to target particular
risk groups (relating to step 3 and step 4 of Intervention Mapping).

The course will culminate in a group assignment in which students will
combine theory, research and practice. Students will reflect on a
real-life health campaign in terms of the communication strategies and
message factors used to achieve the campaigns’ aims and reach specific
target groups. Theory-based hypotheses will be articulated and tested
using a real-world dataset. There will be attention for planned
development and evaluation of communication strategies. The assignment
will include some ‘hands-on practice with analyses as well.

Teaching Methods

This course is rewarded with 6 ECTs.

Communication Campaigns and Research is a full-time course, this means
that 42 hours a week are necessary to pursuit the goals of this course.

Regular attendance during the weeks is mandatory.

Teaching activities include: lectures (L), work group meetings (W),
project work, consultation hours, and feedback on assignments (PRO), and
computer practica (PRA).

Method of Assessment

An individual examination that counts for 50% of the final grade of this
course. An assignment conducted in small groups, that counts for 50% of
the final grade of this course. To pass this course you have to have at
least a 5.5 for both the individual exam and the assignment.

Entry Requirements

At the start of this course, we expect you to master knowledge, insight,
attitude and skills at a level which is comparable to the final
qualifications stated by the Bachelor Health Sciences at the VU.

Literature

The following book is required for students who follow the
specialization Prevention and Public Health. Planning Health Promotion
Programs: An Intervention Mapping Approach, 3rd Edition, by L. Kay
Bartholomew, Guy S. Parcel, Gerjo Kok, Nell H. Gottlieb, Maria E.
Fernandez. February 2011, Hardcover (E-book also available). Chapters
which are applicable to this course will be announced through BB.

Other literature will be provided through a literature list in the
course manual (and CANVAS).

Target Audience

MSc Health Sciences

Custom Course Registration

Registration for this course via VU-net.

Recommended background knowledge

Basic experience with SPSS.
The following course of the Master health sciences is strongly
recommended: ‘Health Promotion and Disease Prevention’.

General Information

Course Code AM_470129
Credits 6 EC
Period P3
Course Level 500
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator dr. J. Veldhuis
Examiner dr. J. Veldhuis
Teaching Staff drs. E.R. Schagen
dr. J. Veldhuis

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Lecture, Study Group, Computer lab
Target audiences

This course is also available as: