Group Communication is a 300 level course teaching about the fundamentals of communication within teams and groups. It is an interactive course in which communication theory students learn inside class are applied to a real life situation: a team service learning project. Student groups choose their own project which requires a total of community hour work that equals the number of team members X 5 hours. So a team of 5 will need to have 25 hours of community service to their project. However, who completes the work will depend on the team. One member may contribute 21 hours while the other 4 complete one hour each. This is negotiated within the team (one of the in-class activities).
In addition to the work, students will need to complete some formal communication tasks (thus teaching them how to communicate formally within and as a group. These include:
a) a service project proposal which includes the name of the organization (including contact information), the type of work the group will do, goals for the project, a tentative time table for the work (including tasks team members will be responsible for), impact the group expects to have on the organization;
b) a project management site on Trello.com for the group to keep track of their tasks and what has been accomplished. They can also share information, site links, and supporting documentation they will need in their final report;
c) a progress report which will identify planned tasks and their state of completion, changes to the project and explanations for the changes, preliminary analysis of team communication, and recommendations for the project work completion including challenges and successes to date;
d) Final Report which will include an executive summary, an overview and explanation of the project, an analysis of the team process and communication, an analysis of the impact of the project on team/team members and the organization where they conducted the project, suggestions for the organization, and appendices supporting their analysis and report including documentation supporting the time they completed (e.g. letter from the service organization, letter from adviser for volunteer organization such as fraternity, sorority, or professional organization, link to video clip of work) and the work they did (i.e. photos, letters of thanks, name cards). In the past, individual team members have written a reflection of the impact of the experience on themselves as individuals;
e) A blog post to this blog explaining what their service project was and some information about the location(s) in which they worked.