Topic Name Description
Course Introduction Page Course Syllabus
Unit 1: Introduction to Group Communication URL Group Communication

Read Chapter 10 for an in-depth discussion of group communication and its functions. Pay close attention to the definition of groups and teams. In this chapter, you will read about the formation of groups, our roles in these groups, and how communication facilitates production and decision-making. After reading the chapter, complete the discussion questions and write definitions for the key terms listed at the end of the chapter. These assignments will help prepare you for the final exam.

URL Managing Groups and Teams

Read this chapter, starting with the chapter introduction. This chapter reinforces basic concepts of group communication challenges as encountered in the workplace. Attempt the exercises at the end of each section as well as the chapter exercises in section 9.7.  

Page Theories and Models of Group Communication

These three videos give insight into how we communicate in small groups. In the first video, Alexandra Riecke-Gonzales and her students discuss the process of group communication and how technology has changed our notions of groups from face-to-face collections of people to group members connected by technology. In the second video, Carl Isaacson gives an overview of the components of group communication, and he leads the class in a discussion of the conflicts that can occur during group decision making. In the last video, Ryan Guy discusses the process of creative and critical thinking that assist or hinder successful group communication.

These videos explain theories and models of group communication and give examples. Listen in particular for information about group development, group functions, and the applications of theory that make for successful group decision making.

Page Group Formation

This short video explains the stages of group formation and group development. These include forming, storming, norming, and performing. As you view this selection watch for the discussion of the four types of roles members take on in groups. These include task-oriented roles, social-emotional roles (relationship maintenance roles), procedural roles, and individual roles (also known as self-centered behaviors).

Page Group Problem-Solving Procedures

These two short videos explain the stages of group decision making. The first explains the systematic model of group decision making, or problem solving. The second discusses the diamond model of group participation. Watch for the four components of problem-solving, which include defining and analyzing the challenge; determining measurement criteria; identifying solutions; evaluating solutions; and selecting a solution.   

Unit 2: Theories of Group Communication Page Groupthink

This short article explains the nature of groupthink as a deterrent to participatory decision making in groups.

Page More on Groupthink

This article provides additional insight into the challenges created by the group decision process and provides tips for avoiding groupthink.  

Unit 3: Conflict Management and Group Communication Page Managing Conflicts Productively

This lecture explains a number of strategies group members may use in managing conflict that can occur when working in groups. It gives definitions of conflict and conflict management, and addresses types of conflicts along with possible outcomes of conflicts, including group member behaviors.

Unit 4: Small Group Communication in Action Page Making Group-Work Work

Watch this video of a small group attempting to complete a class project about small group communication. Throughout the video, members of the group exhibit examples of positive and negative group behaviors as they attempt to employ a problem-solving model. As you watch the video, see how many principles from this unit you can identify.