COM 520 Small Group Communication

Fall, 2014


Instructor: Dr. Marcia D. Dixson
Office hours: T 11:00 - 1:00; R 4:15 - 5:45 pm and by appointment
Office: NF 230B
Phone: 481-6558 Email:


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Part I The Nature of Groups

Chapter 1 Group as Systems

1. Read the chapter and the article An interact systems model: Generating a grounded theory of small groups about systems theory (in Blackboard).

Be prepared to define:

Consider two ideas/concepts/assertions from this chapter/reading that you feel are important to understanding and improving group communication. How might you investigate/apply/test these ideas?

Chapter 2 Rethinking the Nature of Groups: A Bona Fide Group Perspective

1. Define, in your own words, what the bona fide group perspective encompasses (remember the two interrelated characteristics).

2. There are four features of group process which infuence the permeability of boundaries (p. 10). Be prepared to explain those.

3. There are four elements which comprise interdependence with relevant contexts (p. 12). Be prepared to explain those.

4. Can we "see" these features and elements in the Jury article?

5. What is the utility of the bona fide group perspective?

6. How does it differ from systems theory?

Link to "Toxic Boss" article

Chapter 3 Distinguishing Characteristics of Virtual Groups

1. What is a virtual group?

2. What are the four distinguishing characteristics of virtual groups?

3. What are the four interaction challenges in virtual contexts?

4. What challenges and rewards do you find from virtual contexts?

5. Look over your assignment: "Report on FTF vs. chat vs. discussion for problem solving groups"