COMM 210 CRN 32540 Spring 2024

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Comm 210 Spring 2024 Syllabus

Joshua J. Lyman

Department of Languages and Communication
Online Office Hours: TBA
Contact Number: Phone: 805-546-3100 ex.2856

Generally, I will only respond to emails M-F, between 9am and 5pm PST.

Welcome to Communication 210

CRN: 32540

Zoom Meeting Time: Thursdays, 4:00PM-5:50PM


Explores the theories, techniques, and methods of small group communication. Develops participation and leadership skills of effective communicators within the small group setting by focusing on problem-solving, decision-making, conflict resolution, dimensions of diversity, responsibilities of group members, and managing the group process. Provides applied practice through group activities, group presentations, and project group work. Involves regular outside of class group meetings.

Description and Objectives: This is an introductory course in Group Communication designed to provide the opportunity for improvement in both theoretical understanding and practical performance of human communication. This class satisfies the general education requirement in oral communication and is acceptable for UC and CSU transfer credit.

My objectives for this course are for you:

  1. To learn the basic principles of human communication.
  2. To become a more effective communicator. This involves an analysis of your communication situation, audience, occasion, and purpose; selection of subject matter; research, analysis, and organization of material; presentation of the message, and evaluation of the effectiveness of your
  3. To become a more careful and critical thinker and communicator, both as a speaker and a listener.
  4. To understand your relationship and ethical responsibilities to others involved in the communication transaction.
  5. To understand the necessity of working in a variety of groups and how those groups develop, deal with conflict, leadership, participation and presentation.

Student Learning Outcomes:

--Use problem solving methods to create solutions to group problems.

--Identify and employ effective conflict management strategies.

--Describe how to successfully lead, follow, and motivate diverse group members.

--Explain how to organize and conduct productive group meetings.

--Design and deliver effective team presentations.

--Identify appropriate group communication techniques for specific group situations.

--Use and describe effective listening skills.

--Understand how the constructive use of technology facilitates successful group communication.

Important note on your assigned group: Groups are randomly assigned by the Canvas system and are locked-in for the semester.  Your goal is to develop a solid, working relationship with your group and group members throughout the course.  Do not request a change of membership or group at any time. 

Add/Drop Policy:  

Adds: If spots are available, I will add students from the wait list the first week of the course.  No need to contact me, I will contact you.

Drops: If at any time you need to drop the class, do it.  I do not drop students and am required to assign a grade to every student that is on my roster at the end of the semester.  In other words, if you disappear from the course and don't drop it, you risk receiving a failing grade that won't disappear.  There is no shame in needing to drop a class, but it is your responsibility to get it done.


Rothwell, J. Dan.  (2019).  In Mixed Company: Communication in Small Groups and Teams (10th ed.). New York, NY; Oxford University Press.

ISBN 9780190919900

Major Activities:

Movie Review--Your group will do a Small Group Communication Analysis of a full-length movie.  You will be assigned to watch a movie that shows various aspects of Small Group Communication, analyze the movie, work with your group to develop a summary of your findings, and finally, share your findings through a class discussion.

Problem-Solving Discussion--Your group will be hosting a week-long discussion with the class.  You will pick and research a problem of significance, introduce the problem to the class and share your research.  Through the process of the discussion, you will attempt to achieve a common, deeper understanding of the issue and come up with a viable, reasonable solution.  You will be required to do research and develop it into a Formal Annotated Bibliography with a minimum of five sources, Host a 30 minute class discussion, and write a final Group Report on your conclusions.

Coordinated Group Presentation--In a 30 minute group presentation, your group will present an in-depth oral report.  Each member will be expected to do an individual speech and present an equal portion of the coordinated group presentation.  You will be expected to develop a speech with a specific purpose, clear organization, and formally cited your research sources.  Outside research (at least three sources), a Group Outline, and an Individual Formal Outline will be required.

Discussions--In addition to the major assignments, you will be participating in regular class discussions on a variety of topics.  These discussions are required and provide an important forum for class, group, and community development. 

Examinations: There will be three (3) exams based on the reading material from the textbook.

Evaluation Paper:  A formal personal evaluation paper will be due at the end of the semester. 

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