Differ for undergrads (457) and grads (557). Grads see points 1b, 4b, 6b.
Attendance is required. You will be working in small groups each week. Students
will work in different 4 or 5-person groups in the first and second week. By the end of
week 2, students will form permanent groups and work in those groups for the rest of
the term. If a group member (1) routinely fails to attend class or (2) does not come
prepared for group assignments or (3) behaves badly, groups may petition to drop that
member. Dropped members may complete course work individually or join a different
group if the group agrees. If you are unhappy with your group, you may also move to a
different group if they are willing to admit you. If you cannot commit to regular
attendance, this is not the course for you. Groups can be fun and can also be
infuriating. View your group experiences as part of the learning experience and that
will help make them productive.
Group members will rate the quality of one another's participation at the end of
the course. To receive full participation credit, students must also take part in the
formal group exercise, and turn in required data for the correlational study.
1b. Grad students: After moving around to different small groups during the early
rotations, you will work together as graduate students in a separate group. Grad
student participation also includes posts to the "HELP" topic on MOTET.
There are two texts: D. R. Forsyth, Group dynamics (2d ed.) & J. R. Hackman (Ed.),
Groups that work (and those that don't), three articles in a reading packet, and a novel.
Each student will buy only ONE of the two reading packets (A or B). IMPORTANT: Do
NOT buy a packet until you are settled in your permanent group and know which
packet to buy.
3. Individual responses (7) and group essays (5)
In weeks 2-5 and 7-9, students will write a short typed response (100-150 words) using information in the readings to respond to the week's essay assignment. Bring two copies to class on Monday. Late individual responses will earn 0 points (but may still be useful to the group).
In weeks 3, 5, and 7-9, group members will also collaborate on a 1-page essay
that addresses the week's assignment, drawing upon the assigned readings for the
week. Group essays will be drafted in class, with a typed version due next class. They
should be carefully reasoned, clearly written, and grammatically correct. Every
sentence should contain specific, meaningful information that is clearly related to the
assignment; sentences and paragraphs should be ordered and composed according to a
logical plan. Judgments and opinions should be directly supported with evidence from
the readings (cite author, date, page number). Essays must not exceed 300 words, with
all words spelled correctly and used according to a standard definition, and must NOT
EXCEED A SINGLE PAGE. Double-spacing and space-and-a-half are both fine. Put
name, group number, and week number on individual responses; group and week
number on group essays.
4a. Research report (undergrads only)
This formal paper will analyze data from either the class exercise or the questionnaire
study. This paper should be 5-10 pp. double-spaced (7 MAX for the text, counting title
page and references) and follow APA format. Tables and figures not included in the
page maximum. Paper due end week 6.
The report should: (1) Introduce the study, citing relevant literature; (2) propose one
or more hypotheses for the study based on the literature; (3) describe the research
design and participants (methods section); (4) present the results, clearly describing
what analyses were performed; (5) state whether the results support the hypotheses or
not; and (6) discuss the outcomes and note the limitations of the study. Students may
complete the assignment individually or in pairs. For dyadic papers, specify the
division of labor in a endnote.
4b. Grad students
You will not complete a research report. Instead, write a 3-4 page paper on the novel
Whiteout, analyzing how membership in Edges affects the self-concept and identity of
its members. The paper should have a clear thesis, and should support this thesis by
analyzing specific evidence from the book. Paper due end of week 6. Graduate
student papers will be duplicated and distributed to the rest of the class to provide the
basis for discussing the book in week 10, and to provide undergraduates with
examples that should help them complete their take-home final analyzing a different
group dynamics topic in the novel.
5. Journal on class exercises and other experiences in groups.
All students are responsible for making weekly posts at the class Motet site on the web.
In the first week, you must register to use Motet, a web-based conference system.
Journal entries should be short, should focus on the topic specified for each week, and
should be entered by 1 PM Friday of each week. In case of technical difficulty
(computer crashes, etc.), the back-up option is to submit a typed journal to the front
office (Straub 131) to be put in Dr. Arrow's mailbox. Deadline for typed journals is 5
PM Friday (when office closes).
6a. Take-home final (undergrads, 457)
Analyze a specific aspect of group dynamics for the Edges group in Whiteout. Pick any
topic except how membership in Edges affects the self-concept and identity of its
members (which the grad students covered in their assignment). The paper should
have a clear thesis, and support it by analyzing specific evidence from the book. 3-4
pp. typed double-spaced.
6b. Final paper for grad students (557): Case study or lit review:
Case study option: Write a case study based on your observations of a small group (size
3-25) and/or interviews with its members. Use the Hackman cases as a model. Be
sure to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the group and analyze what you see as
the contributing factors to these strengths and weaknesses. Consider composition,
structure, task, context, and group development. Make one specific recommendation
for improving the functioning of the group. The paper should have 4 sections: Intro,
description, analysis, and recommendation, and should not exceed 7 pages double-spaced, including title page and references.
Lit review option: Your final paper should review the literature for a specific topic in small groups. Based on your reading of at least 10 different articles or book chapters published in the past ten years, identify (1) the different approaches used to study the topic; (2) the types of groups studied (3) the primary findings on this topic; and (4) one important question that has not been addressed by the literature that you read. Paper should be 5-10 pages double-spaced, including title page and references.