Structuring Group Projects I
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Structuring Group Projects I

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Starting, Storming, Solving, Selling: Teaching Problem-Solving and Teamwork Skills Through a Four-step Model

Starting, Storming, Solving, Selling: Teaching Problem-Solving and Teamwork Skills Through a Four-step Model

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Structuring Group Projects I Structuring Group Projects I Presentation Transcript

  • Starting, storming, solving, selling: Teaching problem-solving and teamwork skills through a four-step model. Lynn Donahue, Ed.D. Communication/Journalism Department St. John Fisher College
  • Goals:
    • Teach students to solve problems using a problem-solving process.
    • Teach students to effectively collaborative with each other using the combined resources of the group.
    • Reduce student procrastination by providing structure to the process.
    • Reduce interpersonal conflicts by providing communication skills.
    • Provide opportunities for students to receive multiple sources of feedback through multi-level assessments.
  • The Problem-Solving Process Define and Analyze the Problem Generate Arguments Develop Support for your Claims Identify and Evaluate Solutions
  • Teamwork Skills:
    • Phases of Group Development (i.e. Norming)
    • Active Listening (i.e. Paraphrasing)
    • Non-listening (i.e. Selective Listening)
    • Perceptions of Others (i.e. First Impressions)
    • Speech Delivery (i.e. Audience Engagement)
  • The Project Assignment:
    • Using secondary and primary research, your group will research a topic and propose a solution to a problem or issue of social significance. There are three goals:
    • First, you will learn how to problem-solve and create effective arguments regarding a topic of social significance.
    • Second, you will learn how to work effectively as a team by applying interpersonal and group work skills.
    • Last, you will learn, and have an opportunity to apply, public speaking skills by presenting your findings to the class during a final presentation.
  • Examples of Student Projects:
    • Reducing the spread of AIDS.
    • Combating the negative effects of sexuality in the media.
    • Meeting the needs of the medically uninsured.
    • Curtailing violence within schools.
  • A Four Step Group Process Model
    • Step 1: Starting
    • Establishing norms and identifying the problem
    • Step 2: Storming
    • Refining your Assertion and Creating Arguments
    • Step 3: Solving
    • Creating Solutions and Reducing Resistance
    • Step 4: Selling
    • Organizing your Information and Presenting the Results
  • Examples of Student Presentations
    • Example #1:
    • Sexuality in the Media
    • Example #2:
    • AIDS in Africa
  • Five-Tier Assessment
    • Tier 1: Group Portfolio (4 Phases, Outline of Presentation, PowerPoint copies, Bibliography, Meeting Notes (Comm 250)
    • Tier 2: Critical Critique of performance in group applying communication concepts
    • Tier 3: Peer Evaluation of 1) member participation and 2) individual and group presentation.
    • Tier 4: Instructor Assessment of Individual and Group Presentation
    • Tier 5: Instructor Assessment of Individual and Group Participation
  • Challenges:
    • Gaps were present in problem-solving process:
      • Some of claims were not supported with sufficient evidence
      • Research wasn’t consistently cited in Power Point
      • Some of alternative arguments and rebuttals were weak
    • Students procrastinated:
      • Regardless of structure in class, students still left majority of substance of project to last minute.
    • Some group work challenges:
      • Despite teaching communication and conflict-management skills, group members were resistant to confront members not performing to the same level.
      • Peer evaluations were somewhat unhelpful – 4’s and 5’s.
    • Feedback became too complex
      • Thorough, but time-intensive and somewhat confusing for students (and still difficult to grade subjective measures like individual and group participation).
  • Accomplishments:
    • Created an assertion and 3 arguments with evidence:
      • Example: The growing rate of AIDS among African people is due to the lack of education, good health care and funding.
    • Created solutions: Example:
      • Safe sex/sex ed Clean needles
      • Clean needles Proper medical care
      • Protect open cuts/sores Better schooling and educators
    • Worked collaboratively on project:
      • All students able to take on leadership roles during 4 Phases
      • Students gained insight on use of communication skills and were motivated to use these skills in groups (result of critical critiques, structured process).
    • Oral presentation was professional and well-done:
      • Students practiced individually and as a group and implemented public speaking skills to an appropriate level.
  • Questions?
    • Discussion and Application:
    • Please answer the 3 questions individually. Then get in groups of 3 and discuss your answers.
    • How do you/could you apply the Problem-Solving Process and Four-Phase approach to your group work?
    • How do you/could you apply the evaluation tools to your group work?
    • What challenges do you experience in your group work that you need feedback on?