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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Communication Arts and Sciences (CAS)

CAS 450W Group Communication Theory and Research (3) Selected theories of problem solving through group discussion emphasizing participation and leadership.

CAS 450W Group Communication Theory and Research (3)

(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.

CAS 450W: Group Communication Theory and Research is a writing-intensive course in which students study a broad range of theories and perspectives concerning the role of communication in decision-making and problem-solving groups through a variety of writings by leading scholars in the area of Group Communication. The objectives of CAS 450W are: (1) to expose students to various facets of group life and theories that account for their performance; (2) to provide a summary knowledge of representative findings from research on group interaction; (3) to develop critical skill in the assessment of theoretical arguments and the adequacy of the evidence on which they are based; and (4) to enhance students' capacities for addressing, both orally and in writing, substantive issues posed by the subject matter. Theoretical material is examined with a view toward determining how to improve the performance of decision-making and problem-solving groups. Hence, the course has a strong concern with the identification of communication practices on which students can draw in making choices concerning how to participate in such groups. The course incorporates a discussion, rather than lecture, format. Attendance is required. Students will receive a set of questions in advance of each reading assignment that will provide a basis for discussion in the class sessions. The questions for the first five reading assignments will also serve as topics for a series of five short position papers that fulfill the writing intensive component of the course. In addition to the position papers, students are required to complete a midterm and final examination, both of the open-book, essay variety, and a course paper exploring a significant communication issue raised in the course. Among the topics covered in the course are the impact of member characteristics on interaction, the social dynamics of groups, the management of conflict, argument and decisional outcomes, leadership, and principles of meeting management. Students completing the course will have not only a better understanding of why decision-making and problem-solving groups both succeed and fail, but also a much improved basis for contributing effectively to them. CAS 450W satisfies requirements in the Communication Arts and Sciences Major and Minor, the Liberal Arts Business Minor, and the Dispute Management and Resolution Minor. It may also be used as an elective and is complementary to courses dealing with groups and group process in Psychology, Sociology, and Management.

General Education: None
Diversity: None
Bachelor of Arts: Social and Behavioral Science
Effective: Spring 2003
Prerequisite: CAS 100 orCAS 250

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.


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Course descriptions are stored in LionPATH, the University-wide student information system. Please visit the LionPATH Course Catalog to access current course descriptions. At that point, you will be leaving the University Bulletin website.

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