Syllabus for Group Dynamics
Term: Fall, 2008
Instructor: Sharon Thompson
E mail: email@example.com or if you cannot reach me there:
Email me at any time and I will get back to you within 48 hours! If you need to ask a question during the daytime hours, e-mail is the quickest way.
Phone: Home: 608-224-0517 Cell: 608-358-6151
Skype: contact name: sharon.dave Use this contact if you have Skype, and have a quick question.
Virtual Office Hours: Daily, 5-7 pm for Skype or Phone calls.
This is a high school course in Group Dynamics that begins with a body of knowledge about individual behavior, how groups develop, and the reasons why people act the way they do within a group.
The class will include an authentic small group experience through which students will observe and connect principles of group dynamics that we study.
The 8-week class will be entirely online, but will use collaboration tools that provide video and audio interaction within the small groups.
Goals and Objectives:
Course Mind Map:
Weekly topics will include all (but not limited to) of the following in this order generally:
Week 1. Getting connected
Week 2. Members in focus
Week 3. Development of Groups
Week 4. Group Project Orientation
Week 5. Leadership in Groups
Week 6. Roles and Norms in Groups
Week 7. Conflict within Groups
Week 8. Power
Week 9. Decision Making
The Group Project will begin approximately the fourth week and will continue until the last week, running parallel with your regular assignments. You will be assigned to a group who will collaboratively online, using a project scenario, plan a project using real information, and authentic solutions.
Using a variety of online technology, the group will present its project, when completed, for feedback by the other class members. Written reflections and observations of the principles of group dynamics operating within their group, is part of the individual grade. The group presentation is the group grade, partially determined by other class members.
The first thing that you do in this course is to browse the Dynamics Course Wiki.
The first page that you see is the Home Page which will contain links to the outside sites and applications that we will be using in this class.
The Discussion Forum is found just under the “Dynamic Groups” title. When you click on the Discussion forum, you will see the list of Threads that we will use, identified by Module number and subject. The Thread titled “THE CIRCLE” is the place to discuss with your classmates, and ask questions. The Thread titled “INSTRUCTOR’S Q & A” is the place to ask me a question, because I will check that often,
Going back to the Home Page, you will see a navigation pane on the left side of the page. Each module begins with its module number, and may contain any number of pages under it. Under each Module, you will find a page for Reading Assignments, Activities, and other relevant information. Near the bottom of the Navigation Pane, you will find a page that contains extra links and resources that you may find helpful.
Daily attendance in this class is required. Since this is a completely online course, you need to understand what I mean by “attendance.” This does mean that you will need to log in to our class site at least 4 days per week. You will find new announcements, if any, on the home page, or on the first page of the Module.
You will need to check for any assignments that are posted as a Discussion Thread topic, and add your responses. Remember that you will not be considered present unless you post a response on the Discussion board that day.
A minimum of 3 responses per topic, per week, plus your original posts.
In order to pace yourself, you will want to keep close to the following schedule:
Monday – reading assignments, begin work on activities (individual or group)
Tuesday – reading assignments, begin work on activities (individual or group)
Wednesday – post original response to discussion prompts and responses to others
Thursday – Work on activities, post responses (individual or group)
Friday – Work on activities, post responses (individual or group)
Weekend – (optional) Finish any projects and submit by Midnight (CST). Work on group project
A – 90-100%
B – 80-90%
C – 70-80 %
D – 60-70 %
F – Below 60%
Weight of Course components
1/3 individual assignments
1/3 group project (50% of this based on class feedback)
In this class, you will find that you will be rewarded for three things in your weekly assignments and activities: Quality of response, Quantity of response, and Timeliness of your responses.
Quality: Your responses should be well-planned and written clearly addressing the issues or questions involved. They should be on the subject and not include a lot of off-subject social “talk.” There is a place in the “Circle” for just hanging out! This means that your responses should not use IM shortcuts and should be spell-checked. You may include general questions after your response or address someone by name. Some students find it more comfortable to write their responses in a Word document and then cut and paste it into the discussion thread. This also gives you a good record of your responses when you are finished.
Quantity: You will post your original response to a discussion prompt. In addition, you will need to respond to at least three of your classmates’ original posts. Beyond that, you will need to answer any response you may get to your original post as well as others that you feel you could comment on. Avoid writing “I agree” or “That is great!” response without furthering the conversation with an explanation of why, or a question that probes deeper or wider into the subject. I suggest you keep a check off list of your response activity each module so that you make sure you are meeting the requirements.
Timeliness: You will need to have all weekly assignments in by midnight on Sunday night. However, written original posts must be submitted by Wednesday midnight. Your written responses can be throughout the week, but on at least three separate days. I suggest that you keep track of the days that you responded, so that the opportunity to respond in a timely manner is not lost. Remember, discussion for your group is hindered when you are absent
Rubrics: Your performance on each of the above areas will be graded by using a rubric. Click here to see a sample rubric. Please notice that for each category, I have described the quality level and associated grade. I suggest you print out your Discussions Rubric and keep it by your computer for your reference.
A large part of your learning in this course will happen in the Discussion areas. You will be reporting findings, responding to prompts and conversing about a number of subjects. It is a graded component of the class, so you will need to keep checking the Discussion area to find responses.
Please note that due dates and times are CST. If you live outside of this time zone, please calculate what time you need to submit your assignments so they will arrive on time CST. The same is true for my office hours. Please make sure that you are attempting to contact me by phone or Skype using the CST standard.
This course is divided into 8 major subtopics and will require you to actually experience what you are learning about! While learning about each of these aspects of Group Dynamics, you will be collaborating with your small group about its own created project. Your weekly assignments will be due on the noted dates. Your group project will be self-paced (decided collaboratively) within your group with several checkpoints due (decided by the instructor) throughout the time of the course.
While you will be graded individually on the weekly assignments, your project will be a group grade. Part of that grade will be the quality of your project and the quality of your collaboration. So you will need to regularly reflect on your roles and responsibilities as well as of others in your group. This weekly reflection will be accumulated on your blog so that at the end of the course, your reflection will be already consolidated for grading.
Late Work Policy:
Late work will be graded if handed in within 12 hours of the due date. Any work finished after that (up to 48 hours) will be assigned a 50% grade. You may contact me by email in advance if you know you are going to be late. I will adjust the above policy at my discretion.