Course Outline

COU176 Group Processes and Practice

Course Coordinator:Katrina Andrews ( School:School of Law and Society

2023Semester 2

UniSC Sunshine Coast

UniSC Moreton Bay

UniSC Caboolture

UniSC Fraser Coast

UniSC Gympie

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.


Online You can do this course without coming onto campus.

Please go to for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


​Group work in the human services industry is a powerful medium for personal empowerment, social change and collaborative teamwork. This course brings together theoretical underpinnings of group work with an emphasis on work within the human services, and the reality of working with complex group phenomena. It will provide you with a growth promoting experience of learning about facilitating, and participating in, groups through the use of interpersonal processes, experiential and reflective learning techniques, process-focused facilitation and self as instrument.  

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Learning materials – 13 x 1 hr online learning activities embedded in the student learning mangement system, that comply with UDL principles and encourage online student collaboration. 1hr Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – 13 x 2 hour on campus tutorials aimed to practice the knowledge and skills in an experiential and collaborative setting for deep learning. 2hrs Week 1 13 times
Learning materials – 13 x 1 hour online asynchronous learning materials including readings, videos, and discussion forums 1hr Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – 2 hour online synchronous tutorials during which skills practice in break out rooms will occur in order to practice skills 2hrs Week 1 13 times

Course Topics

  1. Beginning to learn about groups
  2. Types and purposes of groups /  planning
  3. Basic skills for leaders
  4. The beginning stage and phase of groups
  5. The middle stage and phase of groups
  6. Closing a session or group
  7. Group Exercises
  8. Further Group Exercises
  9. Focus/cutting off and drawing out / rounds & dyads
  10. Using counselling theories in groups
  11. Counselling and therapy in groups
  12. Dealing with problem situations
  13. Working with specific populations

What level is this course?

100 Level (Introductory)

Engaging with discipline knowledge and skills at foundational level, broad application of knowledge and skills in familiar contexts and with support. Limited or no prerequisites. Normally, associated with the first full-time study year of an undergraduate program.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming...
1 Understand and identify basic theoretical frameworks in the group work context. Knowledgeable
2 Introduce, Conduct, and Process a single group activity that aims to generate discussion and to focus the group Knowledgeable
3 Identify and Discuss the interpersonal processes adopted by group members and group leaders according to group work theory Knowledgeable
Creative and critical thinker
4 Demonstrate beginning academic writing skills in the reflective essay genre, using APA 7th ed. conventions Knowledgeable

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the UniSC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


Not applicable


Not applicable


SCS276 and COU276

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

Not applicable

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

Students will practice their group presentations in class from Week 3 onwards, with the direction, guidance and feedback from the tutor. This guidance and feedback will be provided from tutor during tutorials each week in readiness for their task 2 assessment, starting week 9.

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Quiz/zes Individual 20%
20 Questions / 30 minutes
Week 5 Online Test (Quiz)
All 2 Practical / Laboratory Skills Individual and Group 40%
20-30 min
Refer to Format In Class
All 3 Essay Individual 40%
2000 words
Week 13 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All - Assessment Task 1:Online test
Understand and identify basic theoretical frameworks in the group work context.
Product: Quiz/zes
The test will assess a variety of concepts and strategies from the theories, skills acquisition and research covered in this course up to, and including, week 5 material
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Demonstrate understanding of the kinds of groups
Understand different counselling theories as applied to groups
Demonstrate understanding of the stages of groups
Comprehend the different purposes of groups
Demonstrate understanding of how to plan for a group
All - Assessment Task 2:Group Activity Facilitation of, and participation in, group team building activity
To work as a group to create and present an appropriate strategy/activity for facilitating group discussion and to focus the group. You will demonstrate creativity, knowledge of group work, consideration of diversity and ethical behaviour in the selection and delivery of the activity. You will also be assessed on your individual participation in the activities presented by other groups.
Product: Practical / Laboratory Skills
Submit: Weeks 9-12. The activity will take approximately 20-30 minutes.  30% of the marks will be awarded to the group as a whole and 10% of the total will be individual, based on overall participation in activities
No. Learning Outcome assessed
clarity of guidelines, aims and goals
effectiveness of timing and delivery
ability to engage the class and promote participation and group cohesion
ability to successfully distribute roles and responsibilities in the presenting group
level of preparation and active participation of presenting group members
attention to diversity and ethical considerations
All - Assessment Task 3:Analysis of personal group work experience essay
Identify and analyse the interpersonal processes by group leaders and group members displayed in group activity, according to group work theory. Inclusion comprehension of group work practice with diversity populations.
Product: Essay
A 2000 word essay that evaluates your group work experiences with regard to group processes discussed throughout the semester. Demonstrate insight and awareness of how personal values and beliefs underlie choices, interpretations and actions of self and group members. Demonstrate comprehension and awareness of the unique additions to group work to consider members of diverse communities. Conforms to APA 7th ed. writing conventions for a reflective evaluation essay.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Demonstrate understanding of group interpersonal processes and how they contribute to group cohesion and/or focus
1 3
Demonstrate ability to be critically reflexive in your own group membership skills, including the group leadership skills
2 3
Ability to write a critical reflexive essay, using accepted critical reflexive essay skills, accepted APA 7th ed conventions, and acceptable academic expression.
Demonstrate understanding of how to work with members of a diverse population, within the group work context.

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

Please note that you need to have regular access to the resource(s) listed below. Resources may be required or recommended.

Required? Author Year Title Edition Publisher
Required Ed E. Jacobs,Christine J. Schimmel,Robert L. Masson,Riley L. Harvill 2016 Group Counseling: Strategies and Skills 8 Cengage
Recommended Jacobs, C., Schemmel, R., Masson, R., & Harvill, L 2016 MindTap Counselling Demo n/a Cengage

Specific requirements


How are risks managed in this course?

Health and safety risks for this course have been assessed as low. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


UniSC is committed to a culture of respect and providing a safe and supportive environment for all members of our community. For immediate assistance on campus contact SafeUniSC by phone: 07 5430 1168 or using the SafeZone app. For general enquires contact the SafeUniSC team by phone 07 5456 3864 or email

The SafeUniSC Specialist Service is a Student Wellbeing service that provides free and confidential support to students who may have experienced or observed behaviour that could cause fear, offence or trauma. To contact the service call 07 5430 1226 or email

Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or

Wellbeing Services

Student Wellbeing provide free and confidential counselling on a wide range of personal, academic, social and psychological matters, to foster positive mental health and wellbeing for your academic success.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 1226.

AccessAbility Services

Ability Advisers ensure equal access to all aspects of university life. If your studies are affected by a disability, learning disorder mental health issue, injury or illness, or you are a primary carer for someone with a disability or who is considered frail and aged, AccessAbility Services can provide access to appropriate reasonable adjustments and practical advice about the support and facilities available to you throughout the University.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 2890.

Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Conduct
  • Students with a Disability

For more information, visit

Student Charter

UniSC is committed to excellence in teaching, research and engagement in an environment that is inclusive, inspiring, safe and respectful. The Student Charter sets out what students can expect from the University, and what in turn is expected of students, to achieve these outcomes.

General Enquiries

  • In person:
    • UniSC Sunshine Coast - Student Central, Ground Floor, Building C, 90 Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs
    • UniSC Moreton Bay - Service Centre, Ground Floor, Foundation Building, Gympie Road, Petrie
    • UniSC SouthBank - Student Central, Building A4 (SW1), 52 Merivale Street, South Brisbane
    • UniSC Gympie - Student Central, 71 Cartwright Road, Gympie
    • UniSC Fraser Coast - Student Central, Student Central, Building A, 161 Old Maryborough Rd, Hervey Bay
    • UniSC Caboolture - Student Central, Level 1 Building J, Cnr Manley and Tallon Street, Caboolture
  • Tel:+61 7 5430 2890