Course Descriptions

HSC 557: Human Communication & Behavior Change

This course provides the theories of behavioral change communication with a special focus on health. It provides an introductory perspective on communication practices towards behavior change in national and international contexts. Examining the role of human communication in everyday lives as well as in organizational and societal contexts, there will be focus on various influential models of behavior change communication. Reviewing case studies, the course critically will assesses the possibility of changing behavior through communication. It will also enhance students’ ability to present information effectively and persuade the audience for social and behavior change.
Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  1. Define BCC, Communication for development and SBCC
  2. Describe the role of social and psychosocial factors in SBCC
  3. Delineate prominent theories of BCC and SBCC
  4. Develop an understanding on the significance of adopting SBCC dimension in public health interventions
  5. Describe the ethical issues in human communication and Behavior change
  6. Describe the potential public health strategies and approaches concentrating human communication and behavior change
  7. Describe and critique human and behavior change related community health programs in Bangladesh and the region
  8. Able to develop, describe the design, planning and implementation of human communication and behavior change initiatives
  1. It is the student’s responsibility to gather information about the assignments and covered topics during the lectures missed. Regular class attendance is mandatory. Points will be taken off for missing classes. Without 70% of attendance, sitting for the final exam is NOT allowed. According to IUB system, students must enter the classroom within the first 20 minutes to get the attendance submitted.
  2. The date and syllabus of the quiz, midterm, and final exam are already given here, however, announcements will be given ahead of time. There is NO provision for make-up quizzes.
  3. The reading materials for each class will be given prior to that class so that student may have a cursory look at the materials.
  4. Class participation is vital for better discussing of sociological issues. Students are invited to raise questions.
  5. Students should take tutorials with the instructor during the office hours. Prior appointment is required.
  6. Students must maintain the IUB code of conduct and ethical guidelines offered by the School of Public Health.
The course will be based mostly on the following books [some other books and journals may be referred time to time]:
  1. Robert Hornik:Public Health Communication: Evidence for Behavior Change (Rutledge Communication Series)Editor:
  2. Ruben. MacMillan Publ: Communication and human behavior, 1984.
  3. DL Kincaid (2004) Centola (2010) Kapadia-Kundu (1994, 1998)
  4. Shannon & Weaver (1949): The mathematical theory of communication
  5. Lazarsfeld, Berelson & Gaudet (1944): The People’s Choice; Katz & Lazarsfeld (1955): Personal Influence
  6. Berlo, D. K. (1960). The Process of Communication.
  7. Kincaid, D. L., & Schramm, W. (1975). Fundamental Human
  8. Communication. Professional Development Module. Honolulu, Hawaii:
  9. East-West Center Communication Institute.
  10. Kincaid, D. L. (2004). From innovation to social norm: Bounded normative influence. Journal of Health Communication, 9: 37–57, 2004
  11. Kincaid, D. L. (1987). The convergence theory of communication, self-organization and cultural evolution. In D. L. Kincaid (Ed.) Communication
Students will be assessed on the basis of their overall performance in all the exams, quizzes, and class participation. Final numeric reward will be the compilation of:
  • Written class exam(final exam) (30%)
  • Assignment(final exam)(20%)
  • Final Presentation and viva(final exam) (20%)
  • Mid term Exam (20%)
  • Class attendance (10%)
[Class attendance is mandatory; failure to do so may result in deduction of final marks]
The following chart will be followed for grading. This has been customized from the guideline provided by the School of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.
A A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D F
90-100 85-89 80-84 75-79 70-74 65-69 60-64 55-59 50-54 45-49 0-44
* Numbers are inclusive
Students who are willing to audit the course are welcome during the first two classes and are advised to contact the instructor after that.
Plagiarism – that is, the presentation of another person’s thoughts or words as student’s own without appropriate acknowledgement–must be strictly avoided. Cheating and plagiarism on exam and assignments are unacceptable.
Please see the Green Book for further information about academic regulation and policies, including withdrawal and grading, appeals and penalties for plagiarism and academic misconduct.
Students with disabilities are required to inform the MPH program manager for any specific requirement for classes or examination as soon as possible.
Awarding of Incomplete or ‘I’ grades should be strongly discouraged. ‘I’ will only be allowed for students who have a valid reason (ascertained by the senior management). In situations where the student is unable to complete the course due to unanticipated illness or family emergency and has not attended at least 75% of the classes held, he/she will be asked to withdraw from that course and repeat it. In unavoidable circumstances where students have completed 75% of the classes but are unable to continue (due to illness or family emergency), incomplete grade of ‘I’ may be granted. Incomplete course has to be completed by the end of the next semester, otherwise grade ‘I’ automatically becomes grade ‘F’. The student is not required to register for the course in the next semester.
A ‘W’ grade means withdrawal. A student may decide to withdraw from a course by the University wide deadline. Students must apply to the Program Office for withdrawal from a course with the permission of the concerned course instructor, Academic Advisor, and the Dean. Withdrawal from only one course in a semester is allowed but the students should provide valid reason along with documents while applying for the withdrawal.
A student can misses a maximum of 8 classes for a particular course. After that the course will be automatically withdrawn. A student automatically withdrawn from a course will NOT be allowed to UNDO it under any circumstances.
Change of grade is strongly discouraged. However, an instructor may request a change of grade when a computational or procedural error occurred in the original assignment of a grade. Instructor must submit the ‘Grade Change Form’ to the respective program office within one month of submitting the final grade rolls. A Grade change has to be requested within 1 month of the day of publishing the grades.