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Campus Compact > Syllabi > Communications > Small Group Communication


Small Group Communication

School: Estrella Mountain Community College
Professor: Dr. Roselyn M. Turner

Spring 2003, Sections 1541 & 1553, TTh 11:30-12:45 a.m.
Office Hours: MTWThF 9-10 a.m.
MON241, (623)935-8454 (Office)
roselyn.turner {at} emcmail.maricopa(.)edu

Course Description
Principles and processes of small groups and development of skills for participation and leadership in small group settings. Practice in problem solving, decision-making, and information sharing.

Course Competencies
1. Identify and describe the basic theories of small group communications.
2. Identify and describe the purposes and functions of small groups.
3. Identify and describe the characteristics of a variety of small groups structures.
4. Organize and conduct small group meetings using a variety of formats.
5. Identify the major factors of small group dynamics.
6. Identify and describe the roles involved within groups.
7. Apply verbal land nonverbal communication techniques in the small group process.
8. Describe how differences in the background and experiences of group members impact the small group process.
9. Identify and demonstrate strategies for developing a supportive climate in a small group.
10. Identify and use effective conflict management strategies in a small group.
11. Demonstrate intercultural sensitivity within the group process.
12. Identify and use team-building techniques.
13. Demonstrate effective interpersonal communication skills in small group settings.
14. Use meeting management techniques to organize, plan, and conduct a small group meeting.
15. Identify information required in the research of a topic.
16. Describe the techniques of information management.
17. Identify and describe theories and styles of leadership.
18. Identify, describe, and demonstrate key leadership functions within small groups.
19. Use appropriate problem solving techniques to identify, analyze and resolve a problem in a small group setting.
20. Utilize Internet technology for communication.
21. Utilize multimedia support to enhance presentations.

Course Evaluation

Grading Criteria:
90-100% = A, 80-89% = B, 70-79% = C, 60-69% = D, <60% = F

    In-class Activities (10 points each)
    Homework Exercises (10 points each)
    Group Projects (50-500 points each)

Required Materials
Text: Packet of readings from Communicating in Groups and Teams, Lumsden and Lumsden, 3rd Edition, Wadsworth: Belmont, California. 2000.
One notebook for keeping notes, handouts, and research materials.
Two 3.5 DSHD floppy disks (double-sided high density) or One Zip 100 disk
Poster boards, or overhead projector transparencies, or other materials as needed for visual aids or props

Homework Policies
The design of this course includes a commitment to perform a minimum of 20 hours of Service Learning. Service performed outside of class will be considered homework, and no additional homework assignments will be required during that time. The course may also require time outside of class for group meetings (in person or on the internet) that will also count as homework time.

Course assignments are due on the day scheduled within the first 10 minutes of the start of class. If you arrive in class more than 20 minutes late on a due date, your assignment will be penalized 10%. Assignments more than one class session late will not be accepted, and a score of 0 points will be recorded for that assignment.

You will receive two grades for group projects and presentations an individual score and a group score. Each group project or presentation will have built-in individual accountability and positive interdependence. In addition, you will engage in self-evaluations and group processing that will also determine your grades.

In-class group work cannot be made up unless the student communicates with the instructor and the group members about a necessary absence PRIOR to the absence. Violating the attendance policy may lower grade.

Extra credit may be afforded students who, are, at the time, passing the course and who have not violated the attendance policy. Extra credit opportunities may included participation in, and support of, service and communications events on or off campus.

Attendance and Tardy Policies
Because of the very nature of this class (i.e., GROUP), it is imperative that students attend all classes. Your established group will be dependent upon you to fulfill your role and tasks in class. Students may be dropped from the class after three absences.

Occasional tardiness is understandable, but if it becomes continual, a private conference will be held between student and instructor. Class will always begin on time, and being tardy means missing important instruction, learning, and performance.

Other Policies
A grade of Incomplete will be given at the discretion of the instructor, and only if a student, at the time of the request for an Incomplete has performed up to that point at a 70%, or higher, level. The grade of Incomplete is not available to students who are performing at less than a 70% (D or F) level.

Policies regarding plagiarism, grade appeals, student grievance, special services, and other concerns are included in the Estrella Mountain Community College 2002-2003 Student Handbook.

Common courtesy to classmates and instructor dictates that all cell phones and pagers should be turned off or put on vibrate mode during class time.

Disclaimer Statement
Instructor reserves the right to alter course assignments and due dates to meet the needs of the class.

Instructor Availability
This instructor firmly believes in the philosophy that YOUR success is MY success. My job is to teach you and provide the conditions, to the best of my ability, to help you achieve the course competencies. I, therefore, make myself available to you for conferences during my office hours and/or by appointment. Please communicate with me and your assigned group members if you have advance notice of a necessary absence so that arrangements can be made for make-up.

We can all be great, because we can all serve.
–Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

COM230 Small Group Communication
Course Assignments and Due Dates

T,1/21 I d really rather work alone Your Groups and Teams
Introduction to course
I m not a leader I m a follower! Your Teamwork Responsibility
Homework: Read pp. 12-24 – Your Groups and Teams and do ex. #2, p. 24
Read pp. 28-31- What Leadership Means and do ex. #1, p. 50

Th,1/23 I can t do it all myself! Helping Leaders Help the Team
Roster, Truth/Truth/Lie, Scavenger hunt
Homework: Survey of problems, and read assigned article

T,1/28 Make a team outta this group? The work in teamwork.
Group processes, shared image activity
We ll solve the world s problems! Problem-Based Learning (PBL) and Service Learning (SL)

Jigsaw/presentation assignment
Homework: Individual assignments
Read pp. 356-365, Common Preparation Steps

Th,1/30 Now that we know it all, how do we tell the world?
Groups prepare PBL and SL PowerPoint presentation.
T,2/4 Now we see the whole picture! PBL and SL Presentations.

PBL/SL Assignment
Homework: Conduct research regarding volunteer/problem-solving opportunities on and/or off campus.

Th,2/6 Hey! I need a group! Group Formation for PBL/SL Project
Sharing of information opportunities, problems, schedules
Group formation, group identity activity
PBL process Problem statement, what you know, what you need to know, hypotheses, research
Homework: Read pp. 262-274, Approaches to Leading and do ex. 1 p. 273
And ex. 3, p. 274
Individual research assignment

T,2/11 Who is the new leader? Visionary, Transformative, Inclusive, and Servant Leadership.
Ex. 1 and 2, p. 275
I need a plan, man. Planning the SL project
Sharing of research findings, begin group workbooks
Homework: Individual assignments
Ex. 3, p. 303

Th,2/13 Why can t I just go along with the group?? Groupthink.
Read assigned section from pp. 288-292 and handout. Do ex. 4, p. 303
Progress reports regarding SL projects

T,2/18 Whaddya mean I can t give a thumbs-up ? Nonverbal Communication
Reform groups, Group research assignment nonverbal communication
Research and DiscussionBoard training
Homework: Individual assignments

Th,2/20 Group Research at EMC commons
Homework: Individual assignments

T,2/25 So, how are we gonna present? Public Meeting Formats
Forum, Symposium, Lecture, Panel, Colloquy, Debate, Performance, Buzz Group, Role Playing, Workshop, Seminar, pp. 336-347
Research/presentation preparation
Homework: Individual assignments

Th,2/27 Group Presentations on Nonverbal Communication
Group, Self, and Peer evaluations
Progress reports and discussions regarding SL projects
Homework: Read pp. 240-247 Approaches to Listening and Questioning

T,3/4 What s that you said? Active Listening
Homework: Ineffective Listening observations
Read pp. 296-302 Conflict

Th,3/6 Let s just duke it out! Conflict Management
Exercise #1, p. 303 Conflict Assessment Form (due M,3/10 noon)
Homework: Individual assignments, and prepare or purchase food for potluck

T,3/11 So, how are we doin ? Conflict Management Assessments
Homework: Research assignment: Intercultural Group Communication
Read pp. 315-317 Members Who are New or Different

Th,3/13 BlackBoard Assignment Discussion Board: Share a time when working in a group you have observed or experienced miscommunication because of the diversity of the group members. Describe the situation, the membership, and the result of the miscommunication. How could the communication have been improved? React to each other s experiences and provide your insights and suggestions.

T,3/18 – Th,3/20 No Class (Spring Break)

T,3/25 What s in a label? That which they label a rose is still as sweet
From Stereotypes to People
Them. They. Those People. Intercultural Competency

Decision-making/labeling group activity and processing
Homework: Your Intercultural Competency

Th,3/27 The games people play and I don t mean Monopoly! Game Playing
Gamebook assignment
Homework: Individual assignments

T,4/1 Preparation of Gamebook
Homework: Individual assignments

Th,4/3 Group presentations of Gamebook
Homework: Read pp. 200-202 Decision Modes

T,4/8 Decisions, decisions! Achieving Consensus
Consensus activity
Homework: Brainstorm rules for ethical group communication

Th,4/10 Is it right or wrong? Ethical Group Communication
Code of Ethics group brainstorming and consensus activity
Homework: Individual assignments

T,4/15 Preparation of Code of Ethics
Homework: Individual assignments

Th,4/17 Presentation of Code of Ethics
Service Learning web page assignment
Homework: Complete Service Learning journals

T,4/22 Sharing and analysis of Service Learning journal entries
Web page planning
Homework: Individual assignments

Th,4/23 Web page planning
Homework: Individual assignments

T,4/28 – Th,5/1 Web page production
Homework: Individual assignments

T,5/6 Web page production
Disks due end of class time
Homework: Make or purchase food for potluck

Th,5/8 Final Exam Service Learning Web Pages Showcase

We came we formed we normed we stormed we PERFORMED!!

I consider Campus Compact to be one of the most enlightened and farsighted ventures that American colleges and universities have undertaken.... It provides evidence that there are, in the world of higher education, people more than willing to pitch in, people of vision and commitment."

-John Gardner, former U.S. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare