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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)

1. Assess and design learning communities in organizations.
2. Evaluate and formulate an individual leadership style.
3. Develop professional communication skills.
4. Recommend how one develops effective groups.
5. Construct organizational leadership strategies
8. Create strategies to support intercultural/global inter-relationships.
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 (8 assignments @ 20 points)

160

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

320

Total

1000

Required Textbooks

(Available through our 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

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
    • Draft Contract due Week 1
    • Final due Week 2
    • 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
    • Read Case for Case Assignment 1
    • Plan Out Team 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
  • Discussion Board
    • Team Leader Challenge 6
      • Post & Respond
  • Reflection Journal
    • Chapter 7 Survey Conflict Resolution Styles
  • Final Project
    • Submit Topic for Final Project

4

1-5

1,2,6

Weekly Topics:

  • Power
  • Team Leadership
  • Readings:
    • Group Dynamics - Chapters 8 & 10
  • Read assigned material
  • Review Lecture
  • Team Work
    • Evaluate Team Performance
    • Develop Rx for Improvement
    • Read Case for Case Study 2
    • Plan out Team Analysis Due Week 5
  • (Team) Discussion Board
    • Members Post Team Performance Evaluations and Reactions
  • Reflection Journal
    • Chapter 10 Survey Leadership Styles
  • Final Project
    • Develop Outline
    • 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
  • 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
  • (Team) Discussion Board
    • Members Post Review of Team Performance and Responses
  • Reflection Journal
    • Chapter 13 Survey: Attitudes Towards Diversity
  • Final Project
    • Conduct Research
    • Prepare 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

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
  • Reflection Journal
    • Chapter 17 Activity Appreciative Inquiry of Teamwork
  • Final Project
    • Submit Final Project
  • 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 in a Discussion Board environment.  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 to each weekly graded Discussion Board.  The three posts consist of one initial post addressing the Discussion Board assignment and two posts responding to the initial posts of two classmates. 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. 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 choose a topic for their final project from the list below. The emphasis of the project is the application of theory to practice. Students will consider how they would apply concepts associated with the selected topic to improve either a current, past or upcoming team experience.   

Key deliverables for the project begin in week 3.  Students will submit their selected topic to the instructor by Sunday of week 3. For week 4 students will prepare and submit an outline of their planned paper. Students are expected to include a minimum of 5 references including peer-reviewed journals, the textbook and other sources as appropriate. In weeks 5 and 6, students are expected to conduct a literature search and begin writing.  A first draft of the final project is due week 7. The final paper is due on Sunday of week 8.  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:
•    Team formation and stages
•    Norms, Roles, Cohesion and Groupthink
•    Communication
•    Conflict management
•    Problem solving, and decision making processes
•    Creativity
•    Power
•    Leadership
•    Diversity
•    Culture
•    Evaluation and rewards
•    Team building, training and development
•    Decision making
•    Virtual Team Work

The paper will be graded on content, and writing including adherence to APA citation and reference standards. Please refer to the Final Research Project rubric for details about grading and expectations.

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.