We are doing a major curriculum change in communications here at Elon University*, where I work. And it’s hard. We want our graduates to be competent communicators when they leave us, but defining what the competencies should be can be tricky.
I like Neal Schaeffer’s take on it. Being able to apply tools strategically is important. Being able to use whatever tool is hot today, less so. It is essential to deeply understand the problem you are trying to solve, be it to communicate clearly, to change someone’s mind or to just make someone laugh, before you choose and apply tools to those problems. Otherwise, the audience gets forgotten.
Tools need to be taught in that light.
*Coming – a new major in media analytics that I am VERY excited about.