Small Group Communication: Principles in Action
Choose Your Format
The uncertainty of instructional delivery during the Covid-19 crisis has created new challenges for community college instructors. Many instructors have been forced to instantly shift from the brick and mortar classroom to a virtual online environment. In addition, many companies and organizations are realizing that working in teams will never be the same. Some are permanently shifting to virtual work spaces after realizing efficiency gains and cost savings. Small Group Communication: Principles in Action introduces group theory and practice with an emphasis on application including guides to virtual group communication. The online course package provides ongoing case studies demonstrating the chapter material in a traditional classroom group, as well as a workplace group. Each chapter concludes with case study discussion questions allowing students an opportunity to reflect after reading the chapter, as well as engage in higher-level group dialogue. The authors balance theory and practice throughout the text in an effort to engage students by allowing them to form more meaningful connections to the material by drawing from over 50 years of combined experience leading and facilitating groups in both private and non-profit sectors.
Teresa Patterson and Cynthia Luna’s Small Group Communication: Principles in Action:
- includes guides to virtual group communication applications in every chapter.
- focuses on culturally competent group communication in diverse settings.
- provides internal checks for understanding by first emphasizing key ideas in “Let’s Review” sections and “In Action” activities to be performed in the classroom, with a final set of "Check Your Understanding" questions within each chapter.
- is instructor friendly! “In Action” activities require minimal instructor preparation and materials, allowing them to quickly jump into an exercise when students are needing additional work with the content, as well as engage different styles of learners.
- is easy to adopt! Test banks, quizzes, and PowerPoint presentations are designed for each chapter including supplemental recorded lectures for those wishing to use a “flipped” classroom approach or are teaching online.
- features a no-nonsense approach to group communication that allows for a candid and sometimes humorous look at the pros, cons, joys, and struggles inherent to group work, with the intent of providing a realistic framework through which students can approach not only their small group communication course, but future workgroups as well.
- includes an embedded learning management system for student easy access at home or work.
- is smart phone and tablet compatible.
- includes compelling serial case studies based on both classroom and workplace group experiences promoting stimulating discussions in class and online discussion boards.
- Includes an easy to follow handbook that takes students step by step through the group problem solving process.
- is grounded in group communication theory and scholarly research.
- features a comprehensive learning management system with 24/7 online instructor and student support.
Chapter One: Overview of Small Groups
Chapter Two: Small Group Formation
Chapter Three: Diversity in Small Groups
Chapter Four: Small Group Leadership
Chapter Five: Effective Group Communication
Chapter Six: Small Group Conflict
Chapter Seven: Improving Small Group Productivity
Chapter Eight: Small Group Decision-Making and Problem-Solving
Chapter Nine: Small Group Presentations
Appendix A: Small Group Communication in a Post-Pandemic World
Appendix B: Effective Meetings
Appendix C: Service-Learning in Small Groups
Dr. Teresa Patterson teaches communication courses at Fresno City College in Central California. Her background also includes over more than 30 years of public relations and communications experience in both private and public sectors where she led and facilitated numerous groups. In addition, Teresa has conducted training for many profit and non-profit organizations in the areas of team building, leadership and conflict resolution. Teresa has a B.A. in Human Resource Management from Fresno Pacific University, an M.A. in Communication from California State University, Fresno and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from the Joint Doctoral Program UC Davis/CSU Fresno. Teresa lives in Clovis, California with her husband Bill and enjoys spending time with her favorite small group of all…her family which includes her two adorable grandchildren, Haven and Wilder.
Ms. Cyndie Luna is Communication faculty and coaches Forensics at Fresno City College. She is also a lecturer in communication at California State University, Fresno. She has been with State Center Community College District since 1998 and in addition to teaching she has worked in accreditation and assessment. Overseeing such projects involves chairing and participating on many committees, and these experiences in group work inspired her to co-author this small group communication textbook. She teaches courses in traditional face-to-face format and a variety of online formats giving her a unique perspective on the influence of technology in curriculum, as well as the workplace. She loves to cook and travel with her husband, Jerry and her teenage son, Joey. She holds an MA in Speech Communication from California State University, Fresno and is currently enrolled in the doctoral program for educational leadership through CSU Fresno.
Teaching small group communication presents many challenges, especially when you are thrust into online instruction. Fortunately, Small Group Communication: Principles in Action is a textbook that I have found to be a valuable resource both in my face-to-face courses and now, online. The format lends itself beautifully to both environments and provides students with a digestible and entertaining way to learn small group communication theories and concepts. It includes ongoing real-life case studies that read like a compelling novel. What I really love is the abundance of practical instructor resources including pre-recorded lectures with PowerPoints, test banks, problem solving student handbook, and a sample online course outline that could easily be adjusted for a face-to-face classroom. The authors have thought of everything to make teaching small group communication easy, fun and educational. I can’t say enough good things about this book!
Instructor, Communication Arts
Fresno City College
In Bloom’s Taxonomy of skills, I would have to say Small Group Communication: Principles in Action assesses all the level of cognitive skills, from basic knowledge of key ideas all the way to more sophisticated levels of analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. The text is designed to be useful in both online and face-to-face instruction and includes case studies which provide students with the opportunity to engage in thoughtful discussion of the real issues that face small groups in both the classroom and the workplace. The authors have carefully considered both the instructor wishing to use a theory-based textbook with a rich bank of valuable resources and the student needing a text that is sharp, witty and easy to comprehend. I have been looking for a small group communication textbook for quite some time and I am relieved to have finally found one that checks all the boxes.
Lorraine J. Thiesen
Adjunct Instructor, Communication Arts
Fresno City College
I have used several different group communication textbooks over the years and have found that Small Group Communication: Principles in Action is by far the best fit for my students and for me. The chapters are well-organized with activities and review sections. The case studies are fun and interesting to read and allow students to conceptualize course content. The virtual application portion of the chapters especially were beneficial when I found myself suddenly teaching online mid-semester during the Covid 19 crisis. It became an instant resource for students as well as they were grappling with becoming a virtual group. The instructor resources were invaluable for both face-to-face instruction and online. The authors know how to balance the content by keeping it entertaining yet theoretically sound. I will most definitely continue to use this book in the future.
Instructor, Communication Arts
Fresno City College