- Assignment InstructionsHere are the instructions to complete your problem-solving group project:
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- Create a group of 3 to 5 people. Post in the Group Project forum in the discussion board to find group members from this class. If you choose to form your group outside of the classroom, the group members need to be over the age of 18 and available to meet at the same time. This can be a group of friends, work associates, or a study group. This can be a group you create or a group in which you are already a part. It can be a virtual group or a face-to-face group. If you are currently part of a problem-solving group, you may use that group experience for the reaction essay.
- Before you meet with your group, you will choose a problem for the group to solve. Choose a topic from the provided list or decide on your own problem to solve. Send me a message for topic approval no later than the end of Lesson 4.
- Meet as a group to brainstorm the problem and a solution. You will need to take good notes during your meeting, so make sure to have note taking materials. Remember, this should be a synchronous group meeting. It should last at least 1 hour.
- Your group will brainstorm your problem and solution following this format below. Write down each step in as much detail as you can as you will be turning in this step for points toward your total project grade.
- Once your group has finished the brainstorming session, you will write a reaction essay. See the instructions at the bottom of the page for the reaction essay.
- Problem Solving IdeasHere are some ideas for topics for your group project. You can use one of these ideas or create your own topic for your group. Either way, make sure to send me a message so I can approve your topic by the end of Lesson 4.
- Relational Issues / Work Related Issues
- A teenager asks for permission to extend weekend curfew hours.
- Your spouse/child/roommate is constantly late. Late to get up, late to school/work, late to dinner, etc. The habitual lateness is causing frustration at home.
- A subordinate asks for time off during a very busy time at work. As the superior, you have to decide whether to give the employee time off.
- Employees are arriving late to work due to heavy morning rush hour traffic.
- Social Issues
- Illiteracy in America
- Excessive student loan debts
- Should the US allow driverless cars
- Should the state decriminalize drug related offenses
- Transportation issues like drunk driving or texting and driving
- Should guns be allowed on college campuses
- Relational Issues / Work Related Issues
- Group Project Brainstorming ReportWhen meeting in your problem-solving group, you will be discussing in detail the problem. After clearly identifying, defining, and clarifying the problem, your group will create one solution that helps to solve the problem you described. There will probably not be a solution that is a 100% fix, and that’s okay. Your group can talk about the strengths and the weaknesses of the solution to meeting the problem. Remember, take good notes while meeting with your group. All of the steps in the organizational format below should be explained in great detail, not just notes.
Organizational Format for Brainstorming Session
- Identify – clearly state the problem you are trying to solve.
- Define – thoroughly describe the problem. Why does the problem exist? What are the cause and effects? Are there drawbacks to solving this problem?
- Clarify – who is impacted by the problem? How are they impacted?
- Solve – offer one solution to satisfy the problem. Include strengths and weaknesses of this solution as it relates to the problem you described.
- If you work with others in your class on this project, you need to turn in your own original brainstorming report. You may not write up a single report and turn it in for all group members.
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- Group Project Reaction EssayOnce your group meeting is complete, you will analyze your experience in a reaction essay by answering the questions below. The essay should be 2-3 pages, double-spaced, Times New Roman font.
Reaction Essay Questions
- Verbal/Nonverbal Analysis – Did each group member contribute to the problem solving discussion? How did the group decide who would talk at a time? Did one group member talk more than others? Overall was the group effective with verbal communication? How did nonverbal messages contribute to the group process?
- Listening Analysis– How effective were the group members at listening to one another? Was there a member who exhibited good or poor listening skills? Why are listening skills important when working in a group?
- Conflict Analysis – Did your group experience any conflict or differing opinions? What type of conflict: pseudoconflict, simple conflict, or ego conflict? How did conflict impact the group problem-solving experience? If conflict was not experienced, how did your group avoid conflict?
- What insights did you gain about the interpersonal communication process through working in this problem-solving group?