Small Group and Team Communications – COMS 524

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 08/30/2021

Course Description

An analysis of theories, research, and practice of small group communication in various contexts.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


The objective of this course is to teach effective small group communication and problem solving. This course requires the student to study group communication processes and to practice small group decision making as a team. The student will be taught theory and learn how to participate in small groups in application of that theory. This is a required course in the graduate program for an MA in Communication. It may also be used in some business curriculums that give instruction on decision making using the group process.

Using Google Hangout, a group of 5–7 students will solve problems related to presented case studies. Students will have a meeting time and interact together as a group. In the event that students are unable to attend the group session (lasting from 1–4 hours over the course of 2 modules: weeks), they may use the Discussions option in Canvas to communicate with group members.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (4)

The student will complete 4 discussions in this course. The student will post one thread of at least 400 words. The student must then post 2 replies of at least 200 words. For each thread, students must support their assertions with at least 1 scholarly citation in current APA format. Each reply must incorporate at least 1 scholarly citation in current APA format. Any sources cited must have been published within the last five years. Acceptable sources include the textbook, recent scholarly articles, and the Bible. 

Case Study Assignments (2)

The student use a prescriptive problem-solving strategy to solve the problem presented in each case study (found in the Learn folders of weeks 1 and 5, respectively). The students will develop an 8-10 page paper that presents the contents of their analysis and discussion. The parts of the students' paper will include the folllowing: Cover page, abstract, introduction, body, conclusion, and reference page in current APA format. Note: The cover page, abstract, and references pages do not count in the page count. 

Reflection Paper Assignment

The student will compose a paper of no more than 1,000 words responding to various prompts provided by the instructor. The goal of this paper is to identify and evaluate the non-decision-making elements of the participants within the small group the student participated in during this course. The paper must have an abstract, introduction, body that reflects a graduate-level discussion or teammates by name, and a conclusion. If references are used (they are not required), the student must also have a reference page and in-text citations that reflect the current edition of the APA Style Manual.

Quizzes (2)

Each quiz will cover the Learn material for the assigned modules: weeks. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 50 multiple-choice and/or true/false questions, and have a time limit of 1 hour and 30 minutes.

  • Quiz: Mid-term Examination
  • Quiz: Final Examination