Skip to main contentSkip to footer

COMS-120 - Small Group Communication - Scott McAfee

Course:Small Group Communication
Professor:Scott McAfee
  • Online
  • OnlineLive
Course Length:
  • 5 Week


Welcome to Small Group Communication!


Over the next several months we will work on developing understanding for group communication theory and applying those theories with a hands-on approach. By the end of this course you will have built a comfort level working with groups that is unique to you. Each student will have the opportunity to try varying roles within a group and develop their own skill set at their comfort level.


To be successful in this course, you must be able to take the initiative and ask for help whenever you  need it. This course is online, with the all of the classwork online. Most of your coursework and communication with your instructor and classmates will be online. It will require you to manage your time well and ask for assistance when needed. In general, do not wait until any minor problem has escalated into a major one.


This is a wonderful foundation course in communication. It will provide you with perspective on your communication tactics with others and the knowledge to observe and predict communication behaviors of others based on the theories we learn. Group work can be difficult in the best circumstances, this course will provide you with tools and skill sets that will help you in your personal life and any profession.

Course Description

Units: 3.00 - UC:CSU, May Be Taken Once for Credit

Explores theories of group decision making and leadership, including critical thinking, problem solving, and strategies for successful group interaction.


Course Objectives


  1. Compare and contrast theories of small group dynamics.
  2. Examine theories of interpersonal needs and interpersonal attraction as they apply to groups.
  3. Distinguish the variables of group roles, norms, culture, status, power, trust, and self-disclosure.
  4. Compare and contrast confirming and disconfirming responses and their application tosupportive and defensive climates.
  5. Assess research findings on nonverbal communication to small group communication and identify guidelines for interpretation.
  6. Develop strategies for group decision making and problem solving.
  7. Evaluate processes of group conflict, groupthink, consensus, and methods for managing different types of conflict.
  8. Examine different approaches to leadership.


Student Learning Outcomes


  1. Analyze theories of small group communication
  2. Evaluate small group communication theories within specific group contexts.

What to Expect in this Course

While there may be variations and/or alternating assignments not listed in the following example, this is generally how my Winter COMS-120 courses look like:


All work is due by Sunday night, 11:59pm. This includes all assignments, new threads posted to the discussion board, meeting notes submissions, quizzes and exams. Group presentations will be recorded and submitted via CANVAS. There are no make-ups for quizzes, discussion boards, etc. All work is by the due dates posted in the calendar below.




Week 1:


  • Introduction/Orientation Group Membership (Ch. 1)
  • Group Development (Ch. 2)
  • Leadership (Ch. 7)
  • Read Chapters 1, 2, & 7.
  • Complete QUIZZES 1, 2, & 7.
  • Attend at least 1 group meetings by end of week/ submit meeting notes by end of week.

Week 2:


  • Management of teams (Ch. 3)
  • Small Group Communications across Cultures (Ch. 4)
  • Problem Solving (Ch. 8)
  • Read Chapters 3, 4, & 8.
  • Complete QUIZZES 3, 4, & 8.
  • Attend at least 1 group meetings by end of week/submit meeting notes by end of week.
  • Group “Movie Review” paper due by end of week.

Week 3:


  • Verbal Communication (Ch. 5)
  • Nonverbal Communication (Ch. 6)
  • Team Conflict (Ch. 9)
  • Read Chapters 5, 6, & 9.
  • Complete QUIZZES 5, 6, & 9.
  • Attend at least 1 group meetings by end of week/submit meeting notes by end of week.
  • Product Brief due by end of week.

Week 4:


  • Listening (Ch. 10)
  • Group Presentation Preparation
  • Group Presentation due next class meeting. Work on this!
  • Read Chapter 10.
  • Attend at least 1 group meetings by end of week/submit meeting notes by end of week.
  • Complete QUIZ 10.

Week 5:


  • Group Presentation
  • Course Closure
  • Peer Evaluations
  • Attend at least 1 group meetings by end of week/submit meeting notes by end of week.
  • Group Presentation (Submitted via CANVAS)
  • Complete course quizzes
  • Submit completed peer evaluations

Types of Assessments

Online quizzes (multiple choice/true or false), online discussion boards, online note submissions, and online group presentations.

Textbook Information

OER/Free Textbook

Provided through CANVAS.

Additional Resources


This course can be accessed on the first day of class via Canvas at Log into Canvas using your CanyonsID single sign-on:

  • CanyonsID Username is your COC student email address (Ex:
  • CanyonsID Password is your COC student email password

Please visit the Get to Know Your Online Classroom page for help logging into Canvas and for tips on using Canvas and Zoom. Canvas Chat Support is also available 24/7 for any Canvas related issues.

Online Education

Check out the Online Education website for more information on a variety of topics that can help you be a successful online student such as: exam proctoring, learning styles, computer skills, and tips for student success. If this is your first online course, feel free to take our online learning readiness assessment to assess your skills.

The Learning Center (TLC)

The TLC provides FREE online tutoring resources to COC students!

Academic Accommodation Center (AAC)

College of the Canyons AAC provides educational services and access for eligible students with documented disabilities who intend to pursue coursework at COC. A variety of programs and services are available which afford eligible students with disabilities the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of the college programs and activities through appropriate and reasonable accommodations. For more information on their services visit the Academic Accomodation Center website.

Online Counseling

The Counseling Department offers appointments online. You can schedule an appointment by visiting the Online Counseling website. Counselors can help you map out a plan to reach your educational goals as well as advise you on course selection and registration.

Management of Stress and Mental Health

Often the pressure on our students is very strong, involving academic commitments, relationships, outside jobs and family pressure to name a few. The staff and faculty of College of the Canyons are here to see you succeed academically and care about your emotional and physical health. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including counseling and mental health services available on campus by visiting the Student Health & Wellness Center in the Student Services Building (across from the bookstore). The phone number is 661-362-3259 that you can call 24/7. You can also e mail for an appointment at At the Canyon Country Campus the Health Center will be in the new Student Services Building.

Also, the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline number is now 988. All students at COC are encouraged to enter that phone number in their cells. You can call it when you, or someone you know, is having thoughts of suicide or is in severe distress.

You can also now use the Crisis Text Line: Just text "Courage" to 741741. Someone will get back to you immediately. Its free, 24/7, and confidential.

Veterans Resource Center

The College of the Canyons Veterans Resource Center is a department within the Student Services Division at the college, created to help veterans and veteran dependents with applying to College of the Canyons, enrolling in classes, and requesting VA Education or Vocational Benefits. For more information please visit the Veterans Resource Center website, email or phone (661) 362-3469.


The Library provides live online and in-person research help, access to a full range of e-resources and physical materials that support the curriculum, individual and group study areas, and much more!

Last updated: 10/25/2021 Sub#: 1006