SRJC Course Outlines

12/7/2023 3:00:09 PMCOMM 5 Course Outline as of Fall 2017

Changed Course

Discipline and Nbr:  COMM 5Title:  GRP DISCUSSION PROB SOLV  
Full Title:  Group Discussion and Problem Solving
Last Reviewed:2/13/2023

UnitsCourse Hours per Week Nbr of WeeksCourse Hours Total
Maximum3.00Lecture Scheduled3.0017.5 max.Lecture Scheduled52.50
Minimum3.00Lab Scheduled05 min.Lab Scheduled0
 Contact DHR0 Contact DHR0
 Contact Total3.00 Contact Total52.50
 Non-contact DHR0 Non-contact DHR Total0

 Total Out of Class Hours:  105.00Total Student Learning Hours: 157.50 

Title 5 Category:  AA Degree Applicable
Grading:  Grade or P/NP
Repeatability:  00 - Two Repeats if Grade was D, F, NC, or NP
Also Listed As: 
Formerly:  SPCH 5

Catalog Description:
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Experiential study of small-group discussion, including problem solving, conflict resolution, group roles, leadership styles, interest-based negotiating, group-meeting protocols, organizational communication, and cultural diversity.


Recommended Preparation:
Course Completion of ENGL 100 OR Course Completion of EMLS 100 ( or ESL 100)

Limits on Enrollment:

Schedule of Classes Information
Description: Untitled document
Experiential study of small-group discussion, including problem solving, conflict resolution, group roles, leadership styles, interest-based negotiating, group-meeting protocols, organizational communication, and cultural diversity.
(Grade or P/NP)

Recommended:Course Completion of ENGL 100 OR Course Completion of EMLS 100 ( or ESL 100)
Limits on Enrollment:
Transfer Credit:CSU;UC.
Repeatability:00 - Two Repeats if Grade was D, F, NC, or NP


Associate Degree:Effective:Fall 1981
Communication and Analytical Thinking
CSU GE:Transfer Area Effective:Inactive:
 ELifelong Learning and Self DevelopmentFall 1981
IGETC:Transfer Area Effective:Inactive:
CSU Transfer:TransferableEffective:Fall 1981Inactive:
UC Transfer:TransferableEffective:Fall 1981Inactive:
 CID Descriptor: COMM 140 Small Group Communication SRJC Equivalent Course(s): COMM5

Certificate/Major Applicable: Both Certificate and Major Applicable


Outcomes and Objectives:
At the conclusion of this course, the student should be able to:
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Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:
1. Describe, compare, and analyze a variety of small-group communication behaviors.
2. Choose and practice methods for communicating with other members of a small group.
3. Describe, compare and analyze some culturally-based differences in cognitive styles and
    worldviews of group members.
4. Describe and practice supportive communication behaviors.
5. Discuss and practice listening skills related to small-group communication.
6. Discuss and practice communication skills related to leadership and decision making.
7. Demonstrate an appreciation for the sociological and behavioral differences between people,
    especially those of various cultures, personality types and learning styles.
8. Strategize and practice methods for individual and group problem solving.
9. Discuss and practice both task and maintenance roles and behaviors.
10. Discuss and practice methods of group consensus building, rather than less inclusive means
    of decision-making, such as majority vote or trading.
11. Define, discuss, identify and avoid groupthink.
12. Create a meeting agenda and lead a group meeting utilizing Parliamentary Procedure.
13. Observe and explain concepts or organizational communication, including organizational
14. Explain and practice methods of effective leadership in a variety of situations.

Topics and Scope
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I. The Nature of Small Group Discussion
    A. The importance of groups in society
    B. Group roles and norms
    C. Supportive versus defensive behaviors
    D. Definitions of terms
         1. small group
         2. communication
         3. conflict
    E. Maintenance and task roles
    F. Consensus building
    G. Group decision making
    H. When groups make better decisions than individuals
         1. synergy and assembly effect
         2. process loss
    I. When groups are not the best decision-making vehicle
         1. when conditions are changing rapidly (such as on a
              battlefield or during an emergency)
         2. when group members are unknowledgeable or immature
II. Diversity in Group Communication
    A. Cultural diversity
    B. Learning styles
    C. Personality types
III. Conflict Resolution
    A. Conflict management
    B. Negotiations
    C. Avoidance of groupthink
    D. Consensus
    E. Compromise
    F. Avoidance and accommodation
IV. Systematic Approaches to Problem Solving (Procedural Model of Problem Solving or
    Reflective Approach)
    A. Understanding, researching and analyzing the problem
    B. Generating possible solutions
    C. Evaluating possible solutions
    D. Selecting the best solutions
    E. Implementing solutions
V. Systems Theory (or Substitute Theory)
    A. Input, throughput, output
    B. Environment
    C. Open versus closed systems
    D. Group as system
VI. Leadership
    A. Understanding and managing diversity
    B. Employing lawful and ethical leadership strategies
    C. Using interpersonal power ethically and positively
    D. Employing effective communication
    E. Fostering a positive communication climate
    F. Evaluating group and organizational leadership
    G. Employing the most appropriate style of leadership for the situation, organization, or
VII. Components of Group Communication
    A. Beliefs
    B. Values
    C. Behaviors (norms)
    D. Listening
    E. Practicing supportive communication
    F. Avoiding defensive communication
VIII. Evaluation of Groups and Organizations
IX. Methods of Collecting and Analyzing Group Communication Data
X. Nonverbal Communication
    A. Kinesics
    B. Proxemics
    C. Dress
    D. Vocalics
    E. Oculesics
    F. Haptics
    G. Chronemics
XI. Understanding an Individual's Place in the Group
    A. Interdependence as the goal
    B. Independence
    C. Dependence, co-dependence
XII. Critical Thinking and Research Gathering in Group Contexts
XIII. Participating in and Running a Meeting
    A. Parliamentary Procedure
    B. Agenda
         1. soliciting input
          2. constructing an agenda
         3. promulgating the final draft agenda to all members
    C. Taking and distributing minutes
    D. Archiving a group's history
XIV. Organizational Communication
    A. Organizational culture
    B. Group and institutional evaluations
    C. Management evaluations

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Assignments will include:
1. Experiential games and simulation exercises
2. Participation in various forms of group communication
3. Written group presentations (1 - 3)
4. Oral group presentations (2 - 6)
5. Oral and written analysis of group communication
6. Problem solving exercises and projects (2 - 4)
7. Exams (2 - 20)
8. Homework will include:
    a. weekly assignments such as 1-2 mini papers  (200 to 300 words)
    b. reports
    c. research
    d. assigned or suggested reading
    e. written homework

Methods of Evaluation/Basis of Grade.
Writing: Assessment tools that demonstrate writing skill and/or require students to select, organize and explain ideas in writing.Writing
10 - 20%
Weekly mini papers (200-300 words); major written group presentations
Problem solving: Assessment tools, other than exams, that demonstrate competence in computational or non-computational problem solving skills.Problem Solving
15 - 25%
Experiential games and simulations
Skill Demonstrations: All skill-based and physical demonstrations used for assessment purposes including skill performance exams.Skill Demonstrations
15 - 25%
Group presentations; group discussions
Exams: All forms of formal testing, other than skill performance exams.Exams
15 - 25%
Quizzes; multiple choice exams; essay exams
Other: Includes any assessment tools that do not logically fit into the above categories.Other Category
15 - 25%
Class participation; in-class exercises; attendance

Representative Textbooks and Materials:
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In Mixed Company: Communicating in Small Groups. 9th ed. Rothwell, Dan. Cengage. 2015
Communicating in Groups: Applications and Skills. 9th ed. Adams, Katherine and Galanes, Gloria. McGraw-Hill. 2014
Communicating in Small Groups: Principles and Practices. 11th ed. Beebe, Steven and Masterson, John. Pearson. 2014
Effective Group Discussion: Theory and Practice. 14th ed. Galanes, Gloria and Adams, Katherine. McGraw-Hill. 2012 (classic)
Systems Approach to Small Group Interaction [with CD]. 11th ed. Tubbs, Stewart. McGraw-Hill. 2011 (classic)

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