Approved by Faculty Senate.



Oral Communication Flagged Course

Fall 2001

Instructor: Don Wistrcill

Phone: 457-5203

Office: ME 119

I. Course Description

A study of leadership principles, leadership techniques and leadership theories. Required recreation leader competencies and group dynamic issues also will be addressed. Knowledge, experience and evaluation of oral communication in the recreational field will be required to enable students to become highly competent communicators.

II. Statement of Major Focus and Objectives

(Note: Numbers behind some of the following objectives indicate NRPA curriculum standards.)

1. To be able to identify, articulate and demonstrate effective leadership methods and

techniques that can be used for providing quality-of-life leisure experiences.

  1. Understanding of and ability to use diverse community, institutional, natural and

human service resources to promote and enhance the leisure experience. (8.1 1)

3. To be able to discuss the significance of play, recreation, and leisure throughout the

life cycle relative to the individual's attitudes, values, behaviors and use of resources


4. Knowledge of people in their group relationships, including awareness of interests,

attitudes, personal goals and values as they affect human interaction. (7.08)

  1. To be able to identify, articulate the use of and demonstrate various leadership
  2. techniques and strategies to enhance the individual's leisure experiences for all

    populations, including those with special needs. (8.18)

  3. To develop nonverbal communication skills necessary to become an effective small group member and leader.

7. To identify and utilize one's personal leadership assets and strengths.

8. To develop and demonstrate an attitude of safety consciousness in all leadership


  1. Ability to organize and conduct leisure programs and services in a variety of
  2. settings. (8.16)

  3. Understanding of and ability to facilitate the concept of leisure lifestyle for continued
  4. individual development and expression throughout the human life span. (8.17)

  5. Understanding of the concept and use of leisure resources to facilitate participant

involvement. (8.19)

12. Understanding of and ability to analyze programs, services, and resources in

relationship to participation requirements. (8.20)

13. Understanding of and ability to describe procedures and techniques for assessment

of leisure needs. (8.2 1)

  1. Ability to formulate, plan for implementation, and evaluate the extent to which goals
  2. and objectives for leisure service and for groups and individuals within the service

    have been met. (8.27)

  3. Understanding of principles and procedures for designing leisure services
  4. resources, areas and facilities. (8.23)

  5. To develop one’s oral communication skills for leadership situations.

Oral communication flag courses will demonstrate that they will allow for clear guidance, criteria and feedback for the speaking assignments; that the course requires a significant amount of speaking; that speaking assignments comprise a significant portion of the final course grade; and that students will have opportunities to obtain student and faculty critiques of their speaking. The following oral learning opportunities will be incorporated into this course:

  1. Deliver a self-prepared speech with a reasonable level of competency.
  2. Demonstrate the basic principles for organizing ideas appropriately for accomplishing informative and persuasive communication objectives.
  3. Understand and be able to apply the communication behaviors appropriate for the constructive management of interpersonal and intra-group conflict.
  4. Understand the skills, roles and methods of proceeding in task groups in order to achieve high levels of motivation, productivity and member satisfaction and to obtain high-quality decisions.
  5. Understand the components of the communication process and how they enhance and/or hinder the effective exchange of information and ideas.

III. Course Outline

A. Understanding Leadership

    1. Definitions

2. Leader competencies/skills

3. Impacts of sex, race and age

4. Leader traits and qualities

5. Classes of leadership

6. How leaders are identified

B. Leadership Theories and Styles

1. Early theories

2. Leadership styles

3. Later theories

4. Contemporary understandings of leadership

5. Leadership and culture

6. Choosing the appropriate leadership style

C. Leadership and Human Development

1. Theories of human development

2. Gender and development

3. Life stages and age groups

D. Group Dynamics: The Essence of Leadership

1. Definitions

2. Groups: the good and the bad

3. Why people join groups

4. Elements of groups or group structure

    1. Behavior styles
    2. 6. Group development

      7. Strong and effective groups

      8. Group roles

      9. Power

      10. Team building

      E. Communication Skills for Leaders

      1. Models and definitions

      2. Functions of communication

      3. Effective communication

      4. Verbal language

      5. Intercultural communication

      F. Nonverbal Communication: An Important Skill

      1. Functions of nonverbal communication

      2. Body language

      3. Paraverbal language

      4. Symbolic language

      5. Written language

      G. Managing Difficulties

      1. What is conflict resolution and difficulty management?

      2. The struggle spectrum

      3. Reasons and sources of conflict

      4. Factors that lead to difficulties

      5. Approaches to conflict

      6. Effective conflict management for leisure services leaders

      7. Models of conflict management

      8. Assertiveness in managing difficulties

      9. Emotions and managing difficulties

      10, Mediation and leadership responsibilities

      H. Managing and Motivating Participant Behaviors

      1. Definitions

      2. Approaches to behavior management

      3. Purposes of behavior management

      4. Why behavior management is needed

      5. Factors affecting behavior management

      6. Why people act out

      7. Behavior management techniques

      8. Selecting techniques

      9. Motivation

      10. Facilitating motivation

      I. Diversity and Leisure Services Leadership

      1. Understanding the basics

      2. Approaches to dealing with diversity

      3. Dimensions of diversity

      4. Diversity and privilege

      5. Knowing about differences

      6. Becoming a pluralistic leader

      J. Values and Ethics in Leisure Leadership

      1. The role of values and ethics in leisure leadership

      2. Promoting positive social values

      3. Ethical decision making

      4. Ethic of rights and justice or ethic of care?

      5. Personal integrity

      6. Professionalism and leadership

      K. Risk Management in Direct Leadership

      1. Tort law and criminal law

      2. Negligence

      3. Types of supervision

      4. Leaders as supervisors

      5. Conduct of the activity

      6. Facilities and environment

      7. Use of forms in risk management

      L. Direct Leadership Techniques

      1. Leadership preparation – Phase I

      2. Priming the group – Phase II

      3. Delivery – Phase III

      4. Conducting meetings

      5. After the meeting

    3. Hands on leadership experience

M. Selected Social and Professional Issues Affecting Leisure Service


1. Child abuse

2. Blood borne pathogens and universal precautions

3. Professional issues

4. Professional associations

  1. Basic Instructional Plan and Teaching Methods Utilized
  2. Lecture, discussion, project work in-class assignments, homework assignments, exam.

  3. Course Requirements

(Numbers behind requirements indicate the following oral communication flag standards.)

1. Earn significant course credit through extemporaneous oral presentations.

2. Understand the features and types of speaking in their disciplines.

3. Adapt their speaking to field-specific audiences.

4. Receive appropriate feedback from teachers and peers, including suggestions for


5. Make use of the technologies used for research and speaking in the fields.

6. Learn the conventions of evidence, format, usage and documentation in their fields.

  1. In-class Impromptu – Two three-minute oral presentations with subject decided by the instructor. Class members and instructor will individually evaluate the presentation using forms that will be given to presenter afterwards. (1,3,4)
  2. One on-campus observation and one off-campus observation of a formal meeting. Paper summary should include the time, place, and what each of the meetings were about. It should also include what you liked about the leader and what you would like to see happen differently if you were going to lead the next meeting. (2,6)
  3. Read and outline in depth Chapters 2,3,4,6,8,12,14,15 of Leadership in Recreation by Ruth Russell. (6)
  4. View two videos from a leadership list and write a reaction paper on each video. (2,5)
  5. Interview two individuals (family member and one other) who fill a leadership role – interview methods will be discussed in class. Brief oral report on each interview to class. (2,6)
  6. Develop a 10-15 minute video. The topic will be recreation-related. This video will be observed and commented on by another classmate and evaluated by instructor. (1,4,6)
  7. Group Presentation – Students will be expected to develop and implement detailed plans for one special-event activity. Each student will orally present their information to class. The paper will be submitted prior to the presentation. (1,3,4,5,6)
  8. Final exam.

VI Grading

* In-Class Impromptu 5 Pts.

Campus Observation 5 Pts.

Off-Campus Observation 5 Pts.

Chapters Outline 10 Pts.

View Videos/Papers 10 Pts.

Interview 10 Pts.

* Video 20 Pts.

Evaluate Video 10 Pts.

* Group Presentation 10 Pts.

Final 5 Pts.

90 Pts. TOTAL

* Oral Communication Assignments

A = 81 Pts.

B = 72 Pts.

C = 63 Pts.

D = 54 Pts.

  1. Course Standards
  1. Students are responsible for their own notes and attendance is the only way of acquiring this information. Material distributed in class will not be distributed at any other time unless a bona fide excuse is provided. Students should make their own arrangements to secure notes and information for classes they miss.
  2. Students should notify the instructor when personal situations occur. The end of the semester is too late. The instructor will attempt to alleviate academic problems caused by these situations. Situations within the control of the student will not be considered.
  3. Students are permitted one unexcused absence. This absence is intended for special situations such as minor illnesses, interviews, necessary trips, religious holidays, etc. Bona fide documentation must accompany any other absence. These absences include but are not limited to, officially sanctioned college activities (athletics and competing academic duties), court dates, family situations, major illnesses. (three points deducted for each unexcused absence)
  1. Required Text

Russell, Ruth V. (2001) Leadership in Recreation, Second Edition, New York,

NY: McGraw-Hill Companies.

IX. Additional Bibliography

Carpenter, G. & Howe, Z. (1985) Programming leisure experiences, a

Clinical approach. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall.

Corbin, D.H. (1987) Recreation programming and leadership.

Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall.

Edginton, C.R., & Ford P.M. (1985). Leadership in recreation and leisure service

organizations. N.Y.: Wiley.


Kraus, R. (1985) Recreation leadership today. Illinois: Scott Foreman

And company.


Russell, R.V. (1986). Leadership in recreation St. Louis: Times Mirror/Mosby College Pub.


Sessoms, D. (1981) Leadership and group dynamics in recreation services. Boston MA: Allyn and Bacon.


Shivers, J.S. (1986) Recreational leadership: Group dynamics and interpersonal behavior. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Book Co.