Group Dynamics – HSCO 511

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

This course involves the study of human beings in relationship to other persons, singularly and in groups. The course explores—in theory and through in-class exercises—the real-life application of various aspects of group dynamics including (but not limited to) leadership, motivation, perception, power, and decision-making.




Conducting counseling in group settings is a popular practice in the human services professions. Additionally, most vocations require involvement in groups or teams. Thus, understanding group development, dynamics, therapeutic principles, and leadership is essential for group members as well as leaders. This course equips students through interactive and experiential learning to effectively use different interventions and techniques to meet various group goals; attend to both content and process; and to understand group leader roles, behaviors, and responsibilities.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

    1. Demonstrate familiarity with different types of groups, including their formation, structure, function, power distribution, and member motivation.
    2. Examine how group dynamics, processes, and therapeutic aspects are cultivated and experienced within various group contexts.
    3. Critically evaluate the effectiveness of various leadership styles, activities, and techniques in different types of groups.
    4. Apply best practices, ethical guidelines, and biblical principles to group leadership.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and video presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (5)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. The student will participate in 5 Discussion Board Forums. For each forum, the student is required to create a 300–350-word thread addressing a specific topic. In addition, he/she must respond to at least 2 classmates’ threads with 200–250-word replies. For Discussion Board Forums 3–5, the student will be required to write 3 replies of 200–250 words each that will be divided between 2 modules/weeks. Threads and replies must demonstrate course-related knowledge and be supported by the course literature and materials. (MLO: A, B, C, D)

Support Group Experience

The student will participate in 4 open support groups or self-help groups in his/her community. After attending these meetings, the student will then write a paper describing his/her observations and experiences. This assignment consists of 3 parts:

Support Group Selection Form

The student will submit the Support Group Selection Form available on Blackboard to indicate that he/she has chosen an open support group or self-help group in his/her community and committed to attend 4 of the group’s meetings. (MLO: A)

Support Group Attendance Form

The student will bring the Support Group Attendance Form, available on Blackboard, to each of the 4 support/self-help group meetings attended. The group leader/facilitator/chairperson must sign and date the form, thus verifying the student’s attendance. The student will scan and submit the completed form. (MLO: A, B)

Support Group Paper

After attending the support/self-help group meetings, the student will describe and evaluate his/her experiences and observations of the group’s dynamics, leadership, meeting content, and processes in a 7–8age paper. The paper will include personal reflections and applications. Relevant ideas from all required course texts and 2 additional scholarly research articles must be integrated as part of the analysis. The paper must be well-written and organized, written in current APA format, and submitted as a Word document. (MLO: B, C)

Reflection Paper

The student will watch the Groups in Action DVD by Corey et al. guided by the workbook and articulate his/her observations, reflections, and personal applications in a 3–4-page paper. The paper must be submitted as a Word document, written in current APA format, and must be well written and organized. (MLO: B, C)

Group Leading Project

The student will develop a proposal for a 1–2-hour group meeting in his/her community, and will then lead the meeting. After the meeting, the student will report on his/her experience. This assignment will consist of 2 parts:

Group Leading Proposal

The student will develop a proposal for leading a group meeting in his/her community. The proposal must be submitted as a Word document in current APA format, describe the group context and the setting of the meeting, and outline a plan for the session. (MLO: A, B, D)

Group Leading Report

The student will report on his/her experience leading a group meeting by producing a 5–7-minute video describing and evaluating the meeting and his/her performance leading it. (MLO: A, B, C, D)

Exams (3)

This course includes 3 exams, each consisting of 40 multiple-choice questions based on the Forsyth and Jacobs et al. texts. These exams are open-book/open-notes, and will have a time limit of 2 hours and 30 minutes. (MLO: A, B)