Course Requirements

Differ for undergrads (457) and grads (557). Grads see points 7 & 8.

1. Participation

Attendance is required. You will be working in small groups each week. If a group member (1) fails to attend class or (2) does not come prepared for the group essays 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 cannot commit to attending class faithfully, you SHOULD NOT TAKE THIS COURSE. Group members will rate the quality of one another's participation at the end of the course.

2. Readings

Chapters from J. R. Hackman, Groups that work (and those that don't): Creating conditions for effective teamwork, plus articles from reading packet. Each student will buy only ONE of the three DIFFERENT reading packets. IMPORTANT: Do NOT buy a packet until you have b een assigned to a group and told which packet to buy.

3. Individual and group essays

In weeks 2-9, you will write a short typed response (50-100 words) to your assigned reading, and bring two copies to class. In weeks 3-9, you will collaborate with your groups on an in-class essay that draws on reading from all 3 packets. Groups essays will be drafted in class, with a typed version due next class. They must be double-spaced, logically organized, clearly written, and must NOT EXCEED 300 words.

4. Research report (undergrads only)

A formal paper reporting results from one of three class exercises. This paper should be 6-10 pp. double-spaced (10 is absolute MAX, counting title page and references) and follow APA format. It needs to do the following: (1) Introduce the study, citing relevant literature (2) Propose one or more hypotheses for the class exercise based on the literature (3) Describe the design of the exercise (4) Present the results (5) State whether the results support the hypotheses or not and (6) Discuss the outcomes. Students may complete the assignment individually or in pairs. A clear division of labor is essential for dyadic papers, and the nature of each author's contribution should be specified in a endnote.

5. Journal on class exercises and other experiences in groups.

Low-tech and high-tech options are available. Low-tech requires weekly typed comments; high-tech requires weekly posts at the class Motet site. ALL STUDENTS must register to use Motet and visit the site at least 3 times, even if they choose the low-tech journal option. Motet is a web-based conference system. Journal entries and posts should focus on experiences in groups (both class groups and other groups) related to the week's topic.

6. Final paper: Undergrads

The final paper will be due Monday March 16, by 3 PM. Focus on one of the topics studied in class, pick two case studies from the Hackman book, and analyze these cases based on concepts and findings in the literature on small groups. Find, read, and cite at least one article that is NOT in the assigned readings. Every student will need to choose a different mix of topics and cases. No more than five pages double-spaced text, plus list of references. Writing should be concise, grammatical, and follow APA style. Spell check!

7. Final paper: Grad students (557)

Your final paper will review the literature for a specific topic in small groups. Drawing on at least 15 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) two important questions not addressed by what you read. Guzzo & Dickson in your packets is a literature review article. Messick & Brewer (X), McCollom (Y), and Weldon & Weingart (Z) also incorporate literature reviews. Paper should be 10-20 pages double-spaced, including references. Use APA or other established style in your field.

8. Other differences in requirements for grad students (557)

Grad students will NOT complete the research report. Their participation will consist of helping to run the three class exercises on which the research reports will be based. This will involve short meetings outside of class in advance of each exercise. Grad students will work together with other grad students on the group essays, and will be graded on a higher standard. As noted in the point breakdown below, the final paper will count for a major portion of the course grade for grad students.