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Preface

PLEASE NOTE: This book is currently in draft form; material is not final.

Summary

Exploring Group Communication offers a practical introduction to the theory and practice of group communication, with an emphasis on real world applications to develop an awareness, understanding, and skills to effectively participate as a productive group member. Through a clear and concise approach to group decision-making and dynamics in teams and leadership, students are presented with the tools needed to create plans, find solutions to problems, produce goods or deliver services, and evaluate their performance through self and peer assessments.

Thank you for reading Exploring Group Communication!

We’ve both taught the group communication course for several years and never found a text that was just right until now: we can each use different versions of this text in our courses! With a solid introduction to group communication combined with Unnamed Publisher’s mix and match flexibility, this text can be what you want it to be.

Groups and teams are an important part of our daily lives. They are important to our personal and professional success. Learning ways to be a productive group member, within our families, church, work, or community, make a significant difference. From schools to hospitals, colleges and universities, businesses and government, everyone has come to recognize the importance of effective, collaborative groups and teams. This text is all about providing you with a solid foundation for success!

Exploring Group Communication starts each chapter with introductory exercises that involve experiential and self-reflection activities to spark curiosity. Chapter previews introduce each section followed by discussions and additional activities that provide opportunities for skill mastery, increased awareness, and a better understanding of group communication. Key words are clearly indicated, and the organizational structure of each section is designed to make them easy and fun to read. Sections conclude with takeaway main points, exercises, and references.

Based on extensive feedback from previous texts in the discipline of Communication, this text is written in a clear, concise and engaging way. Key terms are defined in the same paragraph. Figures, diagrams, and images reinforce the written word. Learning units are presented in ways that are easy to grasp the first time you read them.

The book’s unique points include a chapter on group conflict and meetings and several innovative, optional assignments which instructors may use to have their students participate in real-world group activities. An On-/Off-Campus Student Involvement Project, for instance, permits whole classes to participate in and assess campus committee and advisory group meetings. This text and its resources are designed to extend learning beyond the traditional walls of the classroom.

This text provides a solid foundation in group communication and incorporates the many resources available online, including self-assessments, to expand the discussion and explore each topic. With our “available from Day 1” online access, this text is an immediate resource for both instructors and students, and is perfect for hybrid and online classes.

We welcome you to this introduction to group communication text and would like to extend an offer: partner with us! This text is a labor of love and is available free online to everyone. If you perceive an extra section or chapter would make this text useful to you and your students, please consider contributing it! The Make-It-Your-Own (MIYO) tool allows this text to be adapted quickly and efficiently, but requires us to take the first step. With this text we have taken several steps toward developing a comprehensive collection of learning units and sections organized into a positive, productive textbook on group communication. Your additions, from exercises to areas of emphasis, make this project more useful and rewarding for us all. Thank you for reading Exploring Group Communication and we hope you will make it your own.

Phil and Scott