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OEL 525: Group Process and Team Dynamics (Graduate Level)

Course Description

This course will focus on exposing students to the social and psychological effects of group and team dynamics on an organization's ability to stay competitive in a global environment. Students will have an opportunity to explore various concepts associated with the formation of groups, inter-and intra-group relations, and other methods for measuring and improving group effectiveness. Emphasis will be placed on theory and practice related to the various types of leadership teams, team cohesiveness, group communication, conflict resolution, and other concepts related to group processes and team dynamics. (3 credits)

Prerequisite

  • OEL 501: Learning Community

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  1. Evaluate the social and psychological effects of group and team dynamics on an organization performance.
  2. Examine the various aspects of group formation (inter-and intra-group relations) and methods for measuring and improving group effectiveness.
  3. Apply theory and practice as an approach for developing an effective team.
  4. Apply various group models to specific group conditions/situations.
  5. Examine the communication challenges leading virtual teams compared to a traditional on-site team.
  6. Analyze various leadership types and its influences on the effectiveness of the team.
  7. Develop a personal philosophy of working with individuals in a group that respects human diversity.

Applicable Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

  • PLO 1. Assess and design learning communities in organizations.
  • PLO 2. Evaluate and formulate an individual leadership style.
  • PLO 3. Develop professional communication skills.
  • PLO 4. Recommend how one develops effective groups.
  • PLO 5. Construct organizational leadership strategies
  • PLO 8. Create strategies to support intercultural/global inter-relationships.
  • PLO 13. Conduct research utilizing online sources and databases and write research papers that analyze and synthesize information and data gathered.

Course Activities and Grading

Assignments

Points

Team Work (6 Assignments @ 60 points each)

360

Discussion Questions (8 Questions at 20 points each)

160

Reflection Journal (7 assignments @ 20 points)

140

Final Summary Paper Project - Applied Team Theory (Total Combined 320 points)

Outline Submitted - Week 4

Draft Submitted - Week 7

Final Paper Submitted to Turnitin and Faculty - Week 8

 

20

120

200

Total

1000

Required Textbooks

Available through https://bookstore.mbsdirect.net/vbm/vb_home.php?FVCUSNO=35478

  • Levi, D. (2017). Group Dynamics for Teams. 5th ed. Sage Publishing. ISBN-13: 978-1-4833-7834-3

 

Additional Required Course Materials (Not available through the COSC bookstore):

Course Schedule

Week

PLOs

SLOs

Readings and Exercises

Assignments

1

1,3,4,5

1,2,3

Weekly Topics:

    • Course Overview
    • Introductions
    • Team Basics
    • Understanding Teams and Team Success


  • Readings:
    • Group Dynamics - Chapters 1, 2 & Appendix
  • Review Course Policies
  • Read Assigned Material
  • Review Lecture
  • Team Work
    • Prepare Draft Contract Due Week 1
    • Post to DB
  • Discussion Board
    • Meet and Greet
    • Provide Draft Contract Feedback
  • Reflection Journal
    • Chapter 1 Survey - Attitudes towards Teamwork

2

1,3,4

1,2

Weekly Topics:

    • Stages of team formation
    • Basic team processes such as cooperation, competition


  • Readings:
    • Group Dynamics - Chapters 3, 4 & 5
    • Assigned case
  • Read Assigned Material
  • Review Lecture
  • Team Work
  • Post Finalized Contract to DB and Submit to Faculty
    • Read Case for Case Assignment 1
    • Plan Out Team Case Analysis Due Week 3
  • Discussion Board
    • Team Leader Challenge 4
      • Post & Respond
    • Reflection Journal
      • Chapter 5 Survey Cooperative, Competitive, or Individualistic Orientation
    • Final Project
Review Assignment and Consider Topics

3

1,3,4,5

1,2,3,4

Weekly Topics:

    • Communication
    • Managing conflict


  • Readings:
    • Group Dynamics - Chapters 6 & 7
    • Read Case Study Posts
  • Read Assigned Material
  • Review Lecture
  • Team Work
    • Complete Case 1 Analysis
    • Prepare and Post to DB and Submit to Faculty
  • Discussion Board
    • Team Leader Challenge 6
      • Post & Respond
    • Reflection Journal
      • Chapter 7 Survey Conflict Resolution Styles
    • Final Project
Select and Submit Topic for Final Project                                                  

4

1-5

1,2,6

Weekly Topics:

  • Power
  • Team Leadership
  • Readings:
    • Group Dynamics - Chapters 8 & 10
    • Assigned Case
  • Read Assigned Material
  • Review Lecture
  • Team Work
    • Evaluate Team Performance
    • Develop Rx for Improvement
    • Submit Performance Assessment and Recommendations to Faculty
    • Read Case for Case Study 2
    • Plan out Team Case Analysis Due Week 5
  • (Team) Discussion Board
    • Members Post Their Individual Evaluations of Their Team’s Performance
    • Members Respond to 2 Team Mates’ Team Performance Evaluations
  • Reflection Journal
    • Chapter 10 Survey Leadership Styles
  • Final Project
    • Develop Outline and Submit to Faculty
    • Initiate Literature Review

5

1,3-5

1-5

Weekly Topics:

    • Decision Making
    • Problem Solving
    • Creativity


  • Readings:
    • Group Dynamics - Chapters 9, 11 & 12
    • Read Case Study Posts
  • Read Assigned Material
  • Review Lecture
  • Team Work
    • Complete Case 2 Analysis
    • Prepare and Post to DB and Submit to Faculty
  • Discussion Board
    • Team Leader Challenge 11
      • Post & Respond
    • Reflection Journal
      • Posted Questions on Creativity
    • Final Project
      • Continue Literature Review

6

1,2,4,5,8

1,3,4,7

Weekly Topics:

    • Diversity
    • Culture


  • Readings:
    • Group Dynamics - Chapters 13 & 14
  • Read Assigned Material
  • Review Lecture
  • Team Work
    • Evaluate Team Performance
    • Submit Final Team Performance Assessment to Faculty
  • (Team) Discussion Board
    • Members Post Their Individual Evaluations of Their Team’s Performance
    • Members Respond to 2 Team Mates’ Team Performance Evaluations
  • Reflection Journal
    • Chapter 13 Survey: Attitudes Towards Diversity
  • Final Project
    • Conduct Research
    • Work on Initial draft

7

1,3-5

1,2,5

Weekly Topics:

    • Virtual Teamwork
    • Evaluating and Rewarding Teams
    • Team Building and Training


  • Readings:
    • Group Dynamics - Chapters 15, 16 & 17
  • Read Assigned Material
  • Review Lecture
  • Discussion Board
    • Case study Team Leader Challenge 15
      • Post & Respond
    • Reflection Journal
      • Chapter 16 Individual vs. Team Rewards
    • Final Project
      • Conduct Research
      • Submit Initial Draft to Faculty

8

1-5,8,13

1-7

Weekly Topics:

    • Final Project
    • Course Evaluations


  • Readings:
    • Review all chapters
    • Read Assigned Material
    • Review Lecture
      • Discussion Board
        • What Will I Do Differently on Current or Future Team Projects
          • Post & Respond
        • Final Project
          • Submit Final Project to Turnitin and Faculty
      Complete Course Evaluation

Team Work
During the course the class will engage in team activities.  Team assignments provide an opportunity to explore concepts and practice techniques within the class environment.  Teams will be set up and members assigned by the instructor.  The number of teams will vary depending on class enrollment.  Team size will range from a minimum of three to a maximum of five members.

Team assignments include developing a team contract (draft and final), analyzing two case studies and completing two team performance assessments.  The team assignments will be completed during the first six weeks of class.  Specific weekly due dates will be noted each week in Course Content section of Blackboard.

Discussion Board
Each week students will have an opportunity to discuss their learning with their classmates or team mates in a Discussion Board environment, either the main Discussion Board or the Team Discussion Board.  The dialogues are an excellent means of sharing knowledge and experiences to reinforce understanding and inform current and future practice.  Students are required to post a minimum of three high quality posts for each weekly graded Discussion Board assignment.  The three posts consist of one initial post addressing the Discussion Board assignment and two posts responding to the initial posts of two classmates or team mates. All posts are expected to be informed by the concepts introduced in the readings and other sources as appropriate. Citations and references to source material will add to the learning experience.  Responses should provide additional information or elaboration.  Examples drawn from experience will enrich the discussions and help relate theory to practice.  Use APA style for citations and references; however, references can be listed at the end of the discussion board post. Initial posts are due no later than Wednesday evening by 11:59 PM and response posts are due no later than Sunday evening by 11:59 PM.  However, to get the most from the dialogue available through the discussion board students are encouraged to post initial and response posts earlier than the required due dates.

 

Individual Self-Assessment Reflection Journal

Reflection nurtures personal development by cultivating life-long learning skills, fostering understanding, refining problem solving skills, and acquiring additional knowledge, skills and abilities thereby building confidence. To encourage in-depth reflection and critical thinking, there is a reflection journal due every week for seven weeks. Some weeks the focus will be self-assessment. Other weeks the topic will relate to team management or assessment. It is important to combine reflections with a cognitive analysis of the readings, specialized terms, concepts, theories and other materials presented in the course.  It is also expected that the concepts presented in the readings will be applied to real life examples related to the topic. Reflection Journals should be approximately 1-2 pages, using APA style citations and reference list as appropriate. Reflection journals are due on Sunday by 11:59 PM.


Final Summary Paper Project

Each student will prepare a Final Summary Paper focused on the subject of team work.  The emphasis of the project is the application of theory to practice.  In the paper, students will consider how they would apply concepts associated with a selected teamwork topic to improve either a past, current or upcoming team experience.  Students are invited to choose a team focused topic for their final project from the Topics List; however, if the student wishes to pursue a different line of inquiry, they should contact the instructor to discuss. A list of topics is included below.

The Final Summary Paper should be seven (7) to ten (10) pages long. Students are expected to include a minimum of 5 references including peer-reviewed journals, the textbook, and other sources as appropriate. Per APA standards, references will be listed on a separate page; therefore the reference page is not included in the seven to ten page count. Students are expected to follow APA formatting standards for the paper.

 

Key deliverables for the project are:

  • Week 3 - Topic Selection (see topic list below) - Submitted to the instructor.
  • Week 4 - Outline - Submitted to the instructor.
  • Weeks 5 and 6 - Conduct Research and initiate writing.  No submissions due.
  • Week 7 - Draft - Submitted to the instructor.
  • Week 8 - Final Project Summary Paper - Submitted to Turnitin and Instructor.  

 

As noted, in addition to submitting the final paper to Blackboard, students must submit the final project to Turnitin.  The Final Summary must be submitted to Turnitin and Blackboard no later than Sunday, Week 8 by 11:59 PM.                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Topics for Final Project:

Please choose one topic from the following list for your Final Research Project Paper.  (As noted above, if you wish to pursue a topic not included on the list, please contact the instructor to discuss.)
•    Team formation and stages
•    Team norms, roles, cohesion and groupthink
•    Communication in teams
•    Conflict management in teams
•    Team problem solving, and decision making processes
•    Creativity in teams
•    Power in teams
•    Team Leadership
•    Diversity in teams
•    Culture in teams
•    Team evaluation and rewards
•    Team building, training and development
•    Decision making in teams
•    Virtual team work


Students Please Note:
•    It is the student’s responsibility to understand all course requirements and policies as identified in the course syllabus and / or Blackboard.
•    Grading polices, course rubrics, and student expectations will be found in the Course Policies Section of Blackboard. Detailed assignment instructions will be found in the Weekly Course Modules and Discussion Board sections of Blackboard.
•    All items in this syllabus, including course assignments and due dates, are subject to change at the discretion of the course instructor. It is the student’s responsibility to check Blackboard for corrections or updates to the syllabus. All changes will be clearly communicated to the students in the Course Announcement section in Blackboard.

 

COSC Accessibility Statement

Charter Oak State College encourages students with disabilities, including non-visible disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning disabilities, head injury, attention deficit/hyperactive disorder, or psychiatric disabilities, to discuss appropriate accommodations with the Office of Accessibility Services at OAS@charteroak.edu.

COSC Policies, Course Policies, Academic Support Services and Resources

Students are responsible for knowing all Charter Oak State College (COSC) institutional policies, course-specific policies, procedures, and available academic support services and resources. Please see COSC Policies for COSC institutional policies, and see also specific policies related to this course. See COSC Resources for information regarding available academic support services and resources.