Meeting and Conference Planning

January 25, 2001


Winter, 1998
OFFICE HOURS: T: 12-2 p.m.; W: 12:30-2
:30 p.m.

REQUIRED TEXTS:
Doyle, M., & Straus, D. (1976). How to Make Meetings Work. NY: Jove.
Robert, H. (1981). The Scott. Foresman Robert's Rules of Order. Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman and Company.
Rutherford, D. (1990). Introduction to the Conventions. Expositions, and Meetings Industry. NY: Van Nostrand Reinhold. (Required pages are on reserve at Duplication Station.)
Cathcart, R., & Samovar, L. (1992). Small Group Communication: A Reader (Sixth Edition). Dubuque, IA: William C. Brown.
(Required pages are on reserve at Duplication Station.)

GOALS FOR STUDENTS IN THE COURSE:
1. To learn more about ways of coordinating and facilitating effective meetings.
2. To learn more about the value of small group communication theories and concepts for coordinating and facilitating meetings.
3. To learn more about the usefulness of parlimentary procedure in organizing and facilitating contributions to meetings.
4. To learn more about the value of small group communication theories and concepts for facilitating learning and work processes.
5. To learn more about the ways of coordinating and facilitating effective conferences, including logistical, public/client relations, and organizational concerns.
6. To learn more about how course content could be a valuable resource for others in the community.
7. To develop interpersonal, small group, and intergroup communication skills, including personal effectiveness as a respectful and competent communicator.

EXPECTED FOUNDATION:
1. Students should already possess a basic knowledge of small group communication theories and concepts.

Suggested Resource: Barker, L., Wahlers, K., & Watson, K. (1995). Groups in Process: An Introduction to Small Group Communication (Fifth Edition). Boston: Allyn and Bacon. (NOTE: This book is on reserve at the library for this class.)

2. Students should already possess an ability to construct effective written documents (i.e., in terms of appropriate grammar, spelling, organization, and general presentation).

Suggested Resource: Dodds, J. (1997). The Ready Reference Handbook. Boston: Allyn and
Bacon.

Students should possess a desire to learn about meeting and conference planning and, in so doing, actively solicit feedback from instructor, peers, and client/community partners.

COURSE PHILOSOPHY:
All class sessions will be treated as meetings. Therefore, we should enact the principles of effective meeting participation and adhere to meeting norms as we respond to each other, verbally and nonverbally, throughout each meeting of the class.

MEETING NORMS*:
1. Yield to the meeting participant who has the floor by not talking or engaging in any other
activity other than orienting to the speaker.
2. Challenge ideas, not individuals.
3. Respect (while not necessarily agreeing with) each meeting participant's perspective.
4. Contribute actively to the discussion and meeting activities. *Other norms may be added, as
necessary, during the quarter.

LEARNING ACTIVITIES:
Students will learn about meeting and conference planning by doing the assigned readings, by interacting with the instructor and peers during in-class discussions of those readings and other enrichment materials. These materials will be provided throughout the quarter, and by participating in a comprehensive quarter long project in which students will learn while providing a valuable service to elementary school students in the greater Athens area. Students will be challenged to analyze and synthesize course material through a combination of tests and written and oral assignments, and those exercises will also serve as the means of assessment for the course. Although the quarter long project will be a primary source of learning and reflection (as well as assessment of learning and reflection), the project will consist of a number of smaller activities which will be graded, rather than a single grade for the entire project. In so doing, students will be challenged to reflect upon process, rather than viewing the project as one single 'product.'

Course Project: Students in the class will develop and conduct a workshop on small group communication for fifth and sixth grade students in the Athens and Alexander school districts. The topic for the workshop was chosen for two key reasons. First, work on this project should provide another means of enabling students to reflect upon the usefulness of small group communication theories and concepts for the planning and facilitation of meetings. Second, this topic is particularly salient to students and teachers. Although students are being assigned to do more and more group work, I have learned that they have not necessarily learned effective ways of participating in groups because there is a lack of time and place for inclusion of such material in the elementary school curriculum. As the students in this class work to develop this workshop, they will hopefully learn more about the needs of the community and the value of sharing communication information with other community members, in addition to learning about meeting and conference planning.

Each student will participate as small group facilitators at the workshop as well as serve on one of the following teams throughout the quarter. Each team will be responsible for three meetings during class time for which each must prepare an agenda, share information, solicit input, and, in some cases, provide training for other class members. Each team will also have the following responsibilities:

The staff development team is responsible for obtaining speakers and for training the small group facilitators. This team has a large responsibility for the content of the workshop, and it must compile a resource packet for the small group facilitators and speakers which is based on research from the research team as well as on research on small group communication theories, concepts, and activities.

The logistics team is responsible for handling all space, food, audio-visual, and materials requirements for the workshop and for trouble-shooting before and during the workshop (including registration, parking, and all logistical concerns). This team must compile a resource packet for the rest of the class which details all of the room assignments, workshop itinerary, AV info, and all other logistical information.

The community relations team is responsible for publicizing the event (both to possible participants as well as to the greater Athens community before and after the workshop). It is also responsible for interacting with the schools and teachers to ensure that logistical details have been communicated and to answer all questions from the teachers. This team is responsible for developing a resource packet for the teachers to take back to their classes as an enrichment of the workshop. The packet should be based on research from the research team as well as from research on small group communication theories, concepts, and activities.

The research team is responsible for researching the needs of fifth and sixth grade students at the particular schools with regard to information about small group communication. This team is also responsible for all assessments/evaluations of the workshop by teachers, students, speakers, and small group facilitators. This team must compile a resource packet for the other teams which details research about student needs as well as one which summarizes the results of the assessment/evaluation process.

COURSE GRADES:
Place card
Meeting Participation Points (up to 3 per class)
Preliminary Timeline
Midterm
Final Exam
Description of 3 Possible Activities
Small Group Facilitation at Workshop
Class Meeting #1 (30 minutes)–Share group goals
and solicit input
Class Meeting #2 (60 minutes)–Give progress report
and conduct resource/training session 150
Class Meeting #3 (30 minutes)–Give final report
and solicit input 100

**Note: The goal of each of these meetings is to demonstrate
effective meeting planning and facilitation, including the
preparation of an agenda, definition of meeting norms, as well
as a means of giving information and soliciting input.

Peer Grades for Class Meetings (3@25 pts. each) 75
Written Progress Report #1 (Due at Class Meeting #1) 20
Written Progress Report #2 (Due at Class Meeting #2) 20

Final Project Report (Due at Class Meeting #3) 100
**Note: These reports are team reports.
Resource Packet
**Note: One packet per team.
Final Project Grade 50

**Note: Each team will receive a project grade which will be
a combination of instructor and community partner evaluation.
**Portfolio Grade 385
**Note: Each individual must submit a portfolio. (See
contents below.
Midterm Reflection Paper 20
**Note: Each individual must submit a reflection paper.

GRADING SCALE:

1420-1326: A
1325-1278: A-
1277-1250: B+
1249-1202: B
1201-1154: B-
1153-1106: C+
1105-1058: C
1057-1010: C-
1009-962: D+
961-914: D
913-866: D-

ASSIGNMENT DESCRIPTIONS:
Team Process:
Each team is expected to schedule a standing half -hour meeting time outside of class. (The time and place must be shared with the instructor by January 7.) Each individual on the team should prepare an agenda and take and distribute minutes for at least one of the meetings during the quarter. The meeting agendas and minutes must be included in the portfolio which is due at the end of the quarter. Further, team members are encouraged to interact via e-mail and to download e-mail interactions for their portfolios.

Place card: To facilitate the process of learning names, each meeting participant must create a place card which s/he must bring to each meeting of the class. To receive credit, meeting participants must bring their place cards to the second meeting of the class on January 7.

Meeting Participation Points: Each meeting participant has the opportunity to earn up to three points per class. One point can be earned by bring the place card to the meeting; one point can be earned by abiding by meeting norms, and one point can be earned by providing a valuable contribution to the meeting.

Preliminary Timeline: Each team must develop its goals and prepare a preliminary timeline which details how and when it plans to accomplish those goals as well as when it needs particular information and/or support from other teams. Teams will be posted by 2 p.m. on Monday, January 5, and each team should plan to interact over e-mail to construct a preliminary timeline by class on January 7. Each team should bring five copies of its preliminary timeline to the meeting of the class on the 7th.

Midterm: The midterm will be a standardized test which will cover all readings, lecture material, and handouts up to February 4.

Final Exam: The final exam will be a standardized test which will cover all readings, lecture material, and handouts from February 4 to March 4.

Description of Three Activities: Each meeting participant will provide the staff development and community relations teams with three possible small group activities which they may decide to include in the workshop or in the take-home packet for teachers. The activities should be typed on separate sheets of paper, and each should have a title at the top as well as the learning objective and the directions for the activity. These descriptions are due on February 2.

Class Meetings: Each team will take the lead on facilitating a meeting of the class. The specific requirements for each meeting are noted on the earlier page, and the assigned dates for each team's meetings are noted on the class meeting schedule which follows:

Peer Meeting Grades: Peers will complete evaluation forms for each of the team's meetings, and the grade will be calculated by determining the average peer score.

Written Progress Reports: Each team will submit a one-page, typed report which details accomplishments and goals at the beginning of each of its class meetings during which it takes the lead.

Resource Packet: Each team will prepare a resource packet for either peers or for teachers. Specific instructions will be distributed during the second week of the quarter.

Final Project Grade: Each team will receive an overall grade for its part in the workshop, based on a combination of instructor and community partner evaluations.

Midterm Reflection Paper: Each individual will submit a one-page, typed paper which provides initial reflections on the team process as well as on the experience of preparing to share information with a specific group of people in the community. The focus should be on detailing learning about self, process, groups, meetings, conference planning, and community. This paper must be submitted on February 4.

Portfolio: Each individual will prepare and submit a portfolio which includes all of the documents from the process of preparing for and implementing the workshop. The required documents for the portfolio include:

School: Ohio University
Professor: Dr. Christina S. Beck
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