• School of Communication Studies
  • Lasher Hall, 43 West Union
  • Athens, Ohio 45701
  • Phone: (740) 593-4828
  • Fax: (740) 593-4810

COMS 2050 Instructional Policies

This site provides resources for instructors of COMS 2050, "Techniques of Group Discussion." Although instructors have discretion about the assignments and activities in their own sections, there are a few things that should be consistent in all sections of COMS 2050.

  1. All sections of the course should be oriented toward the same learning objectives, which were decided by the COMS 2050 course director and TA instructors. These objectives are listed in the sample syllabus.
  2. We have two primary books for this course. One is Joann Keyton's textbook, Communicating in Groups: Building Relationships for Group Effectiveness (3rd ed.). The other is a casebook I edited called: Group communication: Cases for analysis, appreciation, and application. These are both required for all sections of COMS 2050 taught at the Athens campus.
  3. First time TA instructors are required to use the standard syllabus. You need to adjust the weekly schedule to fit the dates for your class, account for holidays, and make some other minor personalizations. 
  4. Because the class is explicitly designed for groups of five students, instructors should not overload their courses even by one or two students.  We offer ample sections of this course every semester, there is no need to overload a section.  Any student concerns about this can be directed to the Course Director.
  5. Experienced TA instructors are welcome to adapt assignments and activities to fit your teaching style and needs of your classes. However, even when you adapt, there are some consistent pedagogical features that all of our COMS 2050 sections should share.
  • Instruction in COMS 2050 should emphasize a combination of in-class activities as well as more traditional instruction methods. Activities should be clearly connected to course concepts
  •  Students should have extensive group work in this course. This means that they should have group project assignments and that many of the in-class activities should be done in groups.
  • Students should also have opportunities for individual achievement. This means they should have some assignments (reflection papers, quizzes, etc.) that are individual work. Group work should also incorporate some kind of strategy that differentiates among group members so that the assignments reward those who perform well and discourages social loafing.
  • Exams should involve a combination of group work and individual work. The exams are predominantly cooperative/group processes, but should have some aspect that tests individual knowledge.

Specific questions or concerns about the course can be directed to the COMS 2050 course director, Laura Black.  Thanks for all your hard work making this course a success!

COMS 2050 Standard Syllabus

COMS 2050 Resources

Use the Course Activities link below to upload files or links that are relevant to those teaching COMS 2050.  These are here to help you, and were created and posted by other TA instructors.  If something is not working (like a URL for a video), let me know!  If you have activities to share, please post them here.

In addition to the materials posted here on this extranet site, there are also instructional materials for the Keyton textbook available on the publisher's instructor resources page. You'll need a password to look at the instructor materials posted there (test bank, discussion questions, activities from Keyton, etc.). Both the username and password are "communicate3". The website includes PowerPoint slides for you to use in your lectures, but most COMS 2050 instructors who choose to use them alter the slides to make them less wordy.

Assignment Details

In-Class Activities

Exam Materials