ERIC Number: EJ1026651
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Lights, Camera, "SAR"!
Communication Teacher, v28 n2 p102-108 2014
Working effectively in groups is essential for college graduates (Hart Research Associates, 2013). University and college administrators have responded to this need by increasing the number of group communication courses by 25% (Bertelsen & Goodboy, 2009). However, it is the quality of course instruction that determines how well prepared students are to function in groups. Exercises and activities that most clearly operationalize communication competence (Mino, 2013) and foster creativity (Richardson, 2010) best serve to improve students' understanding of oral communication both in theory and practice. Employing film is one way to illustrate communication course concepts by helping students synthesize, analyze, evaluate, and apply them (Thompson-Hays & Moore, 2012). Television provides another instructional option that is extremely beneficial for group analysis. For Select, Analyze, and Report ("SAR"), the instructor gives students free rein and further fosters their critical thinking skills and creativity by allowing them to select which medium--film or television--to employ and determine which group concepts they believe are most appropriate to analyze. Because the instructor does not fully control how each group approaches their analysis, these options present a greater challenge for both instructors and students. Thus, like other film-related activities designed for group courses, "SAR" offers a useful variation of the initial pedagogical notion of employing entertainment in ways that help students better understand and apply course concepts. Specifically, "SAR" assists students in: (1) gaining additional experience interacting as group members; (2) increasing their knowledge concerning "how groups work" by applying group theory to a film's or a television series' content; (3) acquiring further insights about group communication through the variety of group concepts analyzed and presented by other groups; (4) obtaining a better understanding of how to recognize and apply effective group communication and/or describe how applying theory can eliminate ineffective group interactions; (5) practicing presentational speaking skills; and (6) assessing their abilities as presentational speakers. A group communication course that employs "SAR" as the major group activity is described herein.
Descriptors: Communication (Thought Transfer), College Instruction, Group Activities, Class Activities, Theory Practice Relationship, Films, Television, Programming (Broadcast), Instructional Effectiveness
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
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