Local Australian Fair

Course Project Description
Local Australian Fair committee

The purpose of this course project is for the student to integrate knowledge and experience.  This will be done by observing a small group in action and evaluating the groups performance by applying the theories and concepts studied in the course.  The small group you choose to observe should range from three to fifteen members. Written verification is required.

You must make sure that the group you choose to observe meets the definition of small group communication.  In other words, your group must be comprised of 3 or more people who interact with each other, are interdependent, and are working together in pursuit of a common goal.  This would generally exclude social groups and/or family groups.

Some possible groups to observe might include employee staff meetings, faculty meetings, PTA meetings, committee meetings, city council or church council meetings, club meetings, etc.  Virtually any group meeting in which at least three people interact, are interdependent, and are working toward a common purpose or to accomplish a task will be appropriate.  Please contact me if you are unsure that your group meets the proper criteria.

You should arrange to observe the group for at least 3-5 hours (cumulative, not necessarily all at once).  You will be responsible for writing a paper which analyzes your observations on at least five of the following small group characteristics:












        group decision making

        any other topics discussed in our textbook but not listed here.

Your paper should have a clear introductory paragraph and concluding paragraph and must indicate to the reader that you have carefully applied small group communication theory and evaluated the groups performance.   

Your introduction should be an overview of the purpose of the assignment.  Be sure to define what is meant by group.  The introduction should include a description of the group you observed and briefly list which of the group characteristics will be discussed in the paper.

The main body of the paper should focus on your observations and your evaluation of the groups functioning. For each characteristic that you choose to write about you should define the concept (using our text as a reference), explain what the concept means (as you understand it) and then describe how you observed this concept at work in the group you observed providing evidence to support your observations (for example, if you observed conflict in your group, describe the behaviors you saw that lead you to believe conflict existed within the group). 

Once you have defined, described and have given evidence for your observations you should evaluate the groups functioning.  Based on the text descriptions and your observations, how well is the group functioning within the characteristic youve chosen to write about?  For example, if you observe conflict in the group, how well is the group handling it?  If you observe leadership, is it positive or negative? Does it hinder or help the group meet its goals?  If you write about norms, what kind did you observe? Are the norms constructive for the group or counterproductive? In other words, evaluate the groups functioning for each of the characteristics you choose to write about. Try to be as specific as possible.

Your conclusion should be a summary of your groups functioning.  Overall, based on what youve learned about groups from the course and based on your observations, how healthy is the group?  Is this a functional or dysfunctional group?  As an outside observer, what recommendations or advice would you give to the group?

The paper must be typed or computer printed with standard font (10 to 12 point), have margin sizes of 1 inch, Times New Roman font and should be 6-7 pages in length.  Your paper will be evaluated according to the degree of clarity of thought, detailed description, and insight, as well as correctness in spelling, grammar, and punctuation that is consistent with college-level writing.

Although outside sources are not required, the course material should be properly referenced when applying group communication terms, definitions and concepts.  Any outside sources should also be properly referenced. Either MLA or APA format should be followed.

Submit the group below that you feel you will be observing.

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