PSYC105 Introduction to Group Dynamics

Department of Social & Behavioral Science: Psychology

I. Course Number and Title
PSYC105 Introduction to Group Dynamics
II. Number of Credits
3 credits
III. Minimum Number of Instructional Minutes Per Semester
IV. Prerequisites
COMP110 (C or better)
V. Other Pertinent Information
VI. Catalog Course Description
This course focuses on the communication behavior of individuals within group structures. Didactic and experiential techniques are used to explore the stages of group development, decision-making techniques, group problems and problem solving, resolution skills, norms, structures, leadership, authority, membership, ethics, cultural sensitivity and the intra-and inter-personal dynamics within small groups.
VII. Required Course Content and Direction
  1. Learning Goals:

    1. Course
    2. Students will:
      1. define a group;
      2. explain the major theories of group development;
      3. describe methods for identifying group problems and appropriate strategies for their resolution;
      4. demonstrate effective communication and decision making skills in small group settings;
      5. identify issues in group dynamics such as group norms, structures, leadership, authority, membership, cultural sensitivity, and ethics; and
      6. describe the interpersonal and their own intrapersonal reactions within the context of the group.

    3. Core (if applicable)
    4. Category III
      Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
      Students will:
      1. use methods, concepts and theories in new situations (Application Skills).

      Students will
      1. identify and practice elements of effective group process;
      2. practice effective small group communication skills;
      3. resolve conflicts/make decisions effectively; and
      4. honor commitments made to the group.
  2. Planned Sequence of Topics and/or Learning Activities:

    The following topics are presented:
    1. definition of a group
    2. theories and stages of group development
    3. verbal and non-verbal communication
    4. roles and leadership in groups
    5. power in group strategies
    6. conflict management in groups
    7. ethics
    8. cultural sensitivity
    9. competent communication
    10. decision making
    11. intra- and interpersonal group dynamics
    12. group norms, structure, and authority
  3. Assessment Methods for Core Learning Goals:

    1. Course
    2. Exams, quizzes, classroom exercises, group exercises, class participation, and/or projects as specified in the individual instructor's course format will be utilized.

    3. Core (if applicable)
    4. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: Written assignments will be used to assess students' abilities to apply concepts and theories from the list of Planned Topics to their lives.

      Collaboration: Group tasks and analysis, student to student evaluations, self-evaluations, and written assignments will be used to assess the students' abilities to communicate effectively, resolve conflict, and honor commitments to their groups in applying at least one of the Planned Topics.
  4. Reference, Resource, or Learning Materials to be used by Students:

    Students use educational resources as specified in the individual instructor's format.
VIII. Teaching Methods Employed
Section VIII is not being used in new and revised syllabi as of 12/10/08.

Review/Approval Date - 11/98; Core Goals/Objectives added 5/03; Revised 3/2010