Caleb T. Carr, Ph.D.

Professor of Communication











Teaching Navigation Overview Traditional Courses Nontraditional Online Development Syllabi

News Blotter


February, 2024 Journal of Media Psychology

Every Friday after work you go out with coworkers for a few drinks, and invariable end up posting a few pictures of your Friday Funzies to Instagram. Can the way you depict yourself in relation to alcohol actually change your relationship with alcohol? A registered report by Dr. Femke Geusens, myself, and Dr. Kathleen Beullens drew on identity shift theory to answer this question. Perhaps fortunately, neither posting pictures of alcohol or being social with alcohol affected participants' intention to drink in the future.


January, 2024 Media Psychology

It is pretty well established that recent social media posts can affect employers' perceptions of an applicant; but what about when employers find those posts you made years ago? New research by brilliant graduate scholars Mary C. Katreeb (now a PhD student at Arizona State) and Ertemisa P. Godinez (now a talent specialist for a financial services firm) looks at the effect of post temporality on current impressions. The good news is that older posts seem to impact perceptions of the 'now' you less than more recent posts.


November, 2023 Human Communication & Technology

Do sponsored posts tell us as much about a target's offline self as either self-statements or third party reviews? New research by a group of graduate scholars tells us that influencers may be better than an organization's own claims; but aren't as good as true reviewers from unknowns. This paper was the output of my Fall 2022 COM418 course, and demonstrates how well the enrolled scholars mastered the warranting construct.


Summer, 2021 CMC Textbook

A long while in the making, you can now pre-order Computer-mediated communication, my new textbook for undergraduate scholars, is now available. The book focuses on both theories and applications of mediated communication, presenting classic theories in contemporary environments. Chapters address interpersonal, group, organizational, and political communication online, as well as social media, CMC for education and persuasion, and other contemporary topics. Instructor supplements forthcoming, including test bank and sample assignments.




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). If you are interested in working with me as an advisor or committee member, please see my open letter to prospective graduate students.


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 undergraduates 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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