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Theory and History of Communication

Code: 104720 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2503873 Interactive Communication FB 1 1


Emilio Fernandez Peña

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
spanish (spa)
Some groups entirely in English:
Some groups entirely in Catalan:
Some groups entirely in Spanish:


Pedro Molina Rodríguez-Navas


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Objectives and Contextualisation

As a general objective, students will learn to think about interactive communication. Interactive communication is understood as that of the technical devices and programs that are used to communicate the so-called internet protocol. It also includes video games, virtual reality and big data. At the same time, the subject has the following secondary objectives:

a) Know the culture of the internet, computing and social networks

b) Learn its origins, its historical evolution and its influences on people's lives.

c) To deepen in those aspects of interactive communication that go beyond their appearances


  • Act with ethical responsibility and respect for fundamental rights and duties, diversity and democratic values.
  • Act within one's own area of knowledge, evaluating sex/gender-based inequalities.
  • Distinguish between and apply the principal theories, conceptual frameworks and approaches regulating interactive communication.
  • Introduce changes in the methods and processes of the field of knowledge to provide innovative responses to the needs and demands of society.
  • Manage time efficiently and plan for short-, medium- and long-term tasks.
  • Search for, select and rank any type of source and document that is useful for creating messages, academic papers, presentations, etc.
  • Students must be capable of applying their knowledge to their work or vocation in a professional way and they should have building arguments and problem resolution skills within their area of study.
  • Students must be capable of collecting and interpreting relevant data (usually within their area of study) in order to make statements that reflect social, scientific or ethical relevant issues.
  • Students must have and understand knowledge of an area of study built on the basis of general secondary education, and while it relies on some advanced textbooks it also includes some aspects coming from the forefront of its field of study.
  • Take account of social, economic and environmental impacts when operating within one's own area of knowledge.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Communicate using language that is not sexist or discriminatory.
  2. Cross-check information to establish its veracity, using evaluation criteria.
  3. Differentiate between the actors of communication structure in new media. .
  4. Discuss data from social behaviours in the interconnected society.
  5. Distinguish the salient features in all types of documents within the subject.
  6. Identify situations in which a change or improvement is needed.
  7. Identify the social, economic and environmental implications of academic and professional activities within one's own area of knowledge.
  8. Interpret and discuss documents on the main theories of interactive communication and communication structure.
  9. Master basic theoretical concepts of communication in new media and its distinguishing features.
  10. Plan and conduct academic studies in the field of theory, history and structure of communication and photography.
  11. Propose new methods or well-founded alternative solutions.
  12. Propose projects and actions that are in accordance with the principles of ethical responsibility and respect for fundamental rights and obligations, diversity and democratic values.
  13. Propose projects and actions that incorporate the gender perspective.
  14. Propose viable projects and actions to boost social, economic and environmental benefits.
  15. Submit course assignments on time, showing the individual and/or group planning involved.


1. Interactive communication: a definition 

2. The origins of interactive communication 

3. Internet

4. The birth of the World Wide Web

5. Internet Communication Processes 

6. Hackers' Culture

7. The social Internet

8. Apple: a holistic vision

9. Big Data, privacy and application 

The calendar will be available on the first day of class. Students will find all information on the Virtual Campus: the description of the activities, teaching materials, and any necessary information for the proper follow-up of the subject. In case of a change of teaching modality for health reasons, teachers will make readjustments in the schedule and methodologies.


The theory part will be taught through master classes by the professor responsible for the subject. At the same time, the responsible teacher will supervise the work of the students throughout their realization process. The seminar classes will consist of the discussion of readings and the preparation of critical comments of the same that will be delivered on the day scheduled for the seminar. Attendance at all theory and seminar sessions is compulsory. The detailed calendar with the content of the different sessions will be exposed on the day of presentation of the subject. It will also be posted on the Virtual Campus where students can find the detailed description of the exercises and practices, the various teaching materials and any information necessary for the proper monitoring of the subject. In the event of a change in the teaching modality for health reasons, the teaching staff will inform of the changes that will occur in the programming of the subject and in the teaching methodologies.

The proposed teaching methodology and evaluation activities may undergo some modifications depending on the health authorities' attendance restrictions.

Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Theory 33 1.32 3, 9
Type: Supervised      
Essay 92.5 3.7 5, 3, 8
Seminar 15 0.6 2, 5, 8, 15
Tutorial 2 0.08 8


Attendance at all theory and seminar sessions is mandatory. In order to be able to attend the the revaluation exam, it will be necessary to obtain more than 3.5 points in the theory exam. To pass the course it will be necessary to individually pass the theory part and the essay. The teaching method and the proposed evaluation   may undergo some modification depending on the restrictions on attendance that the health authorities impose. Plagiarism and copying in any exercise of the subject: theory, seminars or work will be sanctioned with a 0 in the final grade of the subject. In the case of a second enrolment, students can do a single synthesis exam/assignment that will consist of an exam on the subjet, accompanied by questions about the compulsory readings. The grading of the subject will correspond to the grade of the synthesis exam/assignment.

The activity that is excluded from the revaluation process is the essay. 

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Essay 40% 2 0.08 2, 9, 10, 15, 11, 14
Seminar 20% 2.5 0.1 2, 5, 6, 8, 15, 12
Theory 40% 3 0.12 1, 3, 4, 9, 7, 11, 13, 14


Christakis, Nicholas, & Fowler, James (2010). Conectados : el sorprendente poder de las redes sociales y cómo nos afectan. Madrid : Taurus

Byung-Chul, Han  (2014). En el enjambre / Byung-Chul Han ; traducción de Raúl Gabás. Barcelona : Herder

Byung-Chul, Han (2013). La sociedad de la transparencia. Barcelona : Herder

Fernández Peña, Emilio (2016). Juegos Olímpicos, Televisión y Redes Sociales.  Barcelona: UOC

Fuchs, Christian (2013). Social media : a critical introduction. Thousand Oaks, CA : Sage Publication

Foucault, Michel (1979). Vigilar y castigar : nacimiento de la prisión. Madrid : Siglo XXI. 

Gebser, Jean (2011). Origen y presente. Vilaür, Girona : Atalanta. 

Isaacson, Walter (2011). Steve Jobs : la biografía / Walter Isaacson ; traducción de David González-Iglesias González. Barcelona : Random House Mondadori

Johnson, Steven (2003). Sistemas emergentes : o qué tienen en común hormigas, neuronas, ciudades y software. Turner. 

Jarvis, Jeff (2010). Y Google ¿cómo lo haría?. Barcelona : Gestión 2000.

Himanen, Pekka  (2002). La Ética del hacker y el espíritu de la era de la información / Pekka Himanen ; prólogo de Linus Torvalds ; epílogo de Manuel Castells ; traducción de Ferran Meler Ortí. Barcelona : Destino.

Sloterdijk, Peter  (2012). Has de cambiar tu vida : sobre antropotécnica. Valencia : Pre-Textos. 

Tarnas, Richard (2008). Cosmos y psique : indicios parauna nueva visión del mundo. Vilaür, Girona : Atalanta. 

Zuboff, Shoshana (2019) The age of surveilance capitalism: The fight for a human future at the new frontier of power. London: Profile Books







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