COVID-19 information and resources
Douglas College wordmark
Facebook logo Twitter logo Instagram logo Snapchat logo YouTube logo Wordpress logo
back to search

Working with Groups

Course Code: CSSW 1222
Faculty: Child, Family & Community Studies
Department: Community Social Service Work
Credits: 3.0
Semester: Flexible delivery ranging over 2 to 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This course is designed to assist students to develop their understanding of group dynamics and to gain skills that will enable them to be more effective leaders and participants in groups. Students will have the opportunity to explore and apply the skills of group participation, design and facilitation. Models that promote empowerment, mutual aid, and self-awareness will be explored. Strategies for identifying and overcoming obstacles that commonly arise in groups will be examined. Evaluation of group outcomes will be discussed.

Course Content

The following global ideas guide the design and delivery of this course:

  • Self-awareness is an essential prerequisite for skilled leadership and participation in groups.
  • Group work is a powerful medium for growth, change, learning, and task accomplishment.
  • Understanding group dynamics allows practitioners greater choice, control and flexibility in their work.
  • Effective communication, counselling, consultation, and problem solving skills that are relevant to work with individuals are also relevant for work with groups.
  • Effective group leaders and members are versatile and able to use a wide range of skills depending on unique individual and situational variables.
  • Effective group leadership requires a balance of task and maintenance activity.
  • Successful groups will have successful leaders.
  • All participants in the group have an opportunity and a responsibility to positively impact group outcome.

Methods of Instruction

  • Lecture
  • Practice
  • Small group work

Means of Assessment

This course will conform to Douglas College policy regarding the number and weighting of evaluations. Typical means of evaluation would include a combination of:

  • Examination
  • Collaborative learning
  • Research paper
  • Participation
  • Attendance

This is a letter graded course

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, within the following content areas the student will be able to:

  1. Group Work in the Social Service Field
    • identify types of groups
    • describe the advantages, disadvantages and risks of groups
    • identify critical considerations for planning groups
    • identify variables associated with effective groups
  2. Group Dynamics
    • identify and describe group dynamics
    • identify the phases of group development
    • describe essential skills and tasks for each phase of development
  3. Application of Communication/Helping Skills in Social Service Settings
    • demonstrate a range of communication skills for use in groups
  4. Group Leadership in Social Service Settings
    • describe leadership styles
    • identify advantages and disadvantages of different styles
    • examine personal leadership style
    • demonstrate an ability to lead and evaluate groups
  5. Obstacles to Group Functioning
    • describe the characteristics of effective and ineffective groups
    • demonstrate strategies for handling group obstacles

course prerequisites

CSSW 1122

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.