INSTRUCTOR:                    Laura Driscoll Nudelman

OFFICE:                                R 230 Office “V”

OFFICE PHONE:                564-2358

OFFICE HOURS:                 11:30-12:30  Monday-Friday or by appointment

E-MAIL:                        (lower case “L” not capital I)

COURSE TEXT:                  Brilhart, Galanes, and Adams (2001), Effective Group Discussion, 10th edition. 



COURSE OBJECTIVE:         This course is designed for the student to explore small group communication theory and concepts and to develop an ability to apply this knowledge to everyday small group experiences.  After completing this course, you will have a better understanding of the behaviors needed to create, lead, and sustain an effective group.


FORMAT-       You will be engaged in activities and discussions designed to aid your understanding of the concepts explored in class.  This course also includes an extensive group project.  Lectures by the instructor will be kept to a minimum.  Given this format, students need to commit to being active participants in this class.  In addition, this area of study contains complex theories and difficult social science jargon.  I will do my best to assist you, but a college reading level is needed to succeed in this course.




Exam #1                                              125                              940-1000=A

Exam #2                                              125                              900-  939=A-

Exam #3                                              125                              860-  899=B+

Exam #4                                              125                              830-  859=B               

Group Analysis #1                               150                              800-  829=B-

Group Analysis #2                               150                              760-  799=C+

Participation                                        100                              730-  759=C

Group Project                                      100                              700-  729=C-

                                                           1000                             660-  699=D+

                                                                                                600-  659=D

                                                                                                    0-  599=F


EXAMS  will cover lecture material, class discussions, handouts, and reading from the text.  Questions will be a combination of true/false & multiple-choice.  Exams will be worth 125 points each. 


PARTICIPATION will be evaluated on the basis of your application of course concepts in classroom discussions and activities, involvement in the group project, preparation of the group’s agenda and meeting notes, behavior in accordance with the class norms, and any other relevant criteria.  Your participation will be evaluated by fellow students and the instructor.  


GROUP PROJECT -You will be in groups of 5-6 people and will begin your project during the third week of the quarter.  The main purpose of the project is to provide a group experience for you to analyze.  Groups will be asked to generate a service learning project for a local community based organization.  Students will be evaluated on the completion of agendas, progress reports, and final outcome of their project.


ANALYSIS  PAPERS  Students will write two papers applying their knowledge of small group communication theory and concepts to their team project experience.  Each paper will be 6 pages typed, double-spaced.



1.      Late work will NOT be accepted or exams given unless arrangements are made with me before the due date.  If you have an emergency on the day of an exam, you need to call my office or email me to arrange an alternate time to complete the test.


2.  Given the group nature of this class, attendance is critical.  Students missing between

     6-9 classes will drop a full letter grade.  Students missing 10 or more classes will not

     receive credit for the class.  Attendance is taken at the beginning of class.  Students

     are responsible for making sure they are counted as present if they are late to class. 

     Students that are more than 10 minutes late will be counted as absent for that day.


3.  Classroom conduct must meet class norms and the behavior outlined in the Arts and

     Humanities Division Student Procedures and Policies Statement.  Please refer to:


4. I am always available during office hours and I encourage you to come in.  If you

    cannot meet with me during this time, feel free to schedule an appointment.  I do

    request that you schedule appointments at least 24 hours in advance.


5. Please contact me as soon as possible if you have a documented disability so

    appropriate accommodation may be made.


6. Extra credit with be given for outlines of the chapters in the assigned reading.  In order   

    to receive credit, you must turn in the 2 page (minimum) handwritten outline that 

    includes an explanation of all bold typed terms in the reading.  This outline is accepted

    only on the first day that the reading is assigned. 5 points will be given for each

    chapter outline. 


7. Many of the handouts for this class will need to be accessed online.  In order to get

    your copy go to: .  Click on the

    following links in this order:

      #2 Course Materials

      Choose Spring Quarter

      Click on the Speech Department

      Scroll down until you find Spch 200 Interpersonal Communication with Nudelman







Tentative Calendar


Week I                                                                                           Reading Assignments

3/31     Overview/Icebreaking                                   

4/1       What is a group exercise                                            Chapter 1

4/2       Advantages and Disadvantages of Groups                Chapter 2

4/3       Perception, Vision and Accountability

4/4       Axioms of Communication


Week II

4/7       Listening                                                                     Chapter 3

4/8       Language                                                                   Chapter 4

4/9       Nonverbal Communication                                                                

4/10     Nonverbal/Exam Review

4/11     Exam #1

Week III

4/14     Culture and Groups                                                    Chapter 5

4/15     Individuals and groups                                                Chapter 6                  

4/16     Keirsey temperament                                                

4/17     Norms and Roles                                                       Chapter 7

4/18     Group Meeting #1                                                   


Week IV

4/21     When Good Groups Go Bad                                                                         

4/22     Exam Review

4/23     Exam #2                                                         

4/24     Group Meeting #2

4/25     NO CLASS                


Week V

4/28     Paper Discussion and Problem Solving                     Chapter 11                            

4/29     Decision Making                                                          Chapter 12    

4/30     Group Meeting #3                                                               

5/1       Cohesiveness and Groupthink                                   Chapter 8                              

5/2       Group Meeting #4                                                                                       

Week VI


5/5       Creativity                                                                     Chapter 14                

5/6       Paper #1 Due /Group Effectiveness Discussion 

5/7       Group Meeting #5

5/8       Formal meetings

5/9       Exam  Review





Week VII

5/12     EXAM #3                                                                    

5/13     Group Meeting #6                                                                           

5/14     Leadership                                                                  Chapter 9

5/15     Leadership

5/16     Leadership                                                                  Chapter 10



5/19     Groups Meet With Laura

5/20     Group Meeting #7                                                               

5/21     Conflict                                                                        Chapter 13

5/22     Conflict                                                           

5/23     Final paper discussion


Week IX

5/26     NO CLASS Vacation Day

5/27     Exam review

5/28     Exam #4

5/29     Group Meeting #8

5/30     Projects Completion Day


Week X

6/2       Presentation Prep Day—Meet in groups

6/3       Groups 1, 2, and 3 present

6/4       Groups 4, 5, and 6 present

6/5       Individual Participation Assessment

6/6       Paper Consultation Day


Week XI

6/9       Final Papers Due/ Wrap Up Discussion

6/10     Conferences