Communications (COMM) 100

Introduction to Research and Study Skills (Revision 4)

COMM 100

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Applied Studies
(Business and Administrative Studies)

Prerequisite: None

Sample Course Pages

Faculty: Faculty of Business

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**Note: Students registering in grouped study mode are advised that there may be some differences in the evaluation and course materials information indicated below. To obtain the most up-to-date information, contact the Faculty of Business Student Support Centre at 1-800-468-6531.


Communications 100 is designed to help you improve the academic skills you need to be a successful university student. The course teaches planning and time management skills, strategies for critical thinking, online research skills and information literacy, methods to improve reading and note-taking, and how to write better research papers and be prepared to do well on tests and exams. You are encouraged to understand yourself as a critical learner, as you reflect on what you are learning, actively participate in academic culture, and engage in critical inquiry. Your learning in this course will help you in your future studies, in your work, and in life in general as you identify problems and seek solutions to them.


Unit 1: Getting the Most Out of Your Education

  • Lesson 1: Online and Distance Learning and Higher Education
  • Lesson 2: Understanding Yourself as a Learner
  • Lesson 3: Time Management

Unit 2: Active Reading and Effective Note-Taking

  • Lesson 4: Active Reading Strategies
  • Lesson 5: Effective Note-Taking Strategies

Unit 3: Being a Critical Learner

  • Lesson 6: What Does It Mean to Be Critical?
  • Lesson 7: What Does It Mean to Be Information Literate?

Unit 4: Using Libraries and the Internet for Research

  • Lesson 8: Beginning a Research-Based Writing Project
  • Lesson 9: Evaluating Sources
  • Lesson 9: Finding Sources

Unit 5: Research-Based Writing

  • Lesson 11: Writing as Process and Conversation
  • Lesson 12: Intellectual Honesty

Unit 6: Memory and Test-Taking

  • Lesson 13: Memory Techniques
  • Lesson 14: Strategies for Tests and Examinations


To receive credit for COMM 100, you must

  • complete all four assignments
  • complete all six end-of-unit online quizzes
  • participate in class discussions.

A pass will be awarded only if all of the above conditions are satisfied and you achieve a composite course mark of at least D (50 percent).

There is no final examination for this course.

The following chart summarizes each type of activity, the credit weight associated with it, and its placement in the course.

Activity Description Weighting Complete By
Assignment 1 "Planning for success" questions 10% end of Unit 1
Assignment 2 Reflective essay 20% end of Unit 3
Assignment 3 Research journal 20% end of Unit 4
Assignment 4 Research essay 30% end of Unit 6
Online unit quizzes Multiple choice/true or false 9% end of Units 1-6
Discussion Contribute to three of six class discussions 11% end of Units 1-6
Total 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials

Print Textbook

Ellis, D., & Dawson, D. (2020). Becoming a master student (7th Cdn. ed.). Toronto: Nelson. ISBN: 9780176766009

Other materials

All other course materials are provided online.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 4, December 5, 2019.

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