Lesson14

Written Assignment

To develop your skill in agenda formation and to show your understanding of the four types of questions that decision-making groups address, for the written portion of this assignment you are to do the following:

My subject is
How to reduce child obesity in US.
Based on this subject, please complete follow two questions.

(1) Identify an example of a question of fact, a question of conjecture, a question of value, and a question of policy;

(2) For each, prepare a sample agenda that you think would be suitable for use in a decision-making discussion involving the question.

Identify a topic area and provide an example of EACH of the 4 types of questions. Then, create a meeting agenda for each of the questions. The agendas should not be identical based on the type of question. If you were going to use the topic of the lack of ESSAY/RESEARCH PAPER/custom written DISSERTATION towels in the Penn State dorm bathrooms, the policy question might be HOW DO WE GET ESSAY/RESEARCH PAPER/custom written DISSERTATION TOWELS BACK INTO DORMITORY BATHROOMS AT PENN STATE? The value question might be: WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF USING ESSAY/RESEARCH PAPER/custom written DISSERTATION TOWELS IN BATHROOMS? From there you would create a bullet point agenda for each question area.

Be as careful as possible in phrasing the questions, so as to be clear about their classifications, and as economical as possible in preparing the related agendas, so as to show that they have utility primarily for guiding discussion, not dictating it.

Problem solving always involves decisions, but not all decision making is restricted to problem solving. In the context of group discussion, decisions can be thought of as answers at which members arrive in response to four kinds of questions that need to be resolved: questions of fact, question of conjecture, questions of value, and questions of policy (see pp. 249-250 of Effective Group Discussion: Theory and Practice). Questions of fact relate to the determination of what is true, for example, “Are the employees in Company X satisfied with working conditions?” Questions of conjecture relate to matters removed from the here and now and, as a result, answers represent claims about what is likely or probable. Were a group to address the question, “Will increasing the minimum wage lead more people to come off welfare?,” the appropriate category would be a question of conjecture. Questions of value have to do with matters involving what is acceptable and unacceptable in a moral sense. “Should the United States have trade agreements with countries guilty of human rights violations and abuses?” illustrates this kind of question. The final type of question is called a question of policy. This type considers courses of action that can be taken—in short, it focuses on what should be done to change an existing condition or situation. “What, if anything, should be done to improve automobile safety?” is an example. The question you and your fellow group members discussed for Lesson 13 also would qualify as a question of policy. Whatever the category or type of question a group addresses, when the answer represents a choice among two or more alternatives, the term decision making is applicable.

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