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SAMPLE TEAM WRITING SCAFFOLDING ACTIVITIES

Managerial Communications (CIS A280), Summer 2015


KEY WORDS
Give students five minutes to write a summary of the press release that accompanied the individual
presentation assignment on Alaska nonprofits. When they have finished, ask them to underline the key
words: those essential for the summarys meaning, which would need to be in the final version. Have
teams compare their key words to see if they overlap, then give students five minutes to write a new
summary that covers the same ideas in 25-50% fewer words.
Lead into sharing their nonprofits in teams and brainstorming the story for their presentations.

POWERPOINT EDITING
Review a presentation on PowerPoint Dos and Donts (developed by instructional team), asking students
to identify whats wrong with various slides and suggest improvements.
Have students download a 3-slide presentation. Give teams ten minutes to edit and submit their revised
versions. The time limit is enough for substantial changes, but tight enough to make teams prioritize. At
the deadline, teams upload their versions to the class website.
Ask teams to list their three most important changes and explain them. While they prepare, open all of
the uploaded presentations on the front screen. Review these versions as a class, asking a spokesperson
from each team to explain their top changes. Discuss formatting vs. content and the difference between
major (readability) and minor (spacing) errors.
Lead into the planning activities for the students individual presentations.
PowerPoint presentation to edit in teams: slide 1

PowerPoint presentation to edit in teams: slide 2

PowerPoint presentation to edit in teams: slide 3

CIS A280 Managerial Communication Writing Activities

Summer 2015

EMAIL EDITING
Ms. Trusts assistant has asked you to review a draft email to the client confirming the meeting details. To
give culturally grounded feedback, evaluate the email for cultural dimension markers (see Cardon, 95103), decide which cultural dimensions are important for your client, and recommend changes based on
your analysis.

Draft Email
Dear _____________,
I am writing to confirm our meeting on June 11 to discuss how to fulfill the new contract. I look forward to
working with you! Please let me know what time the meeting will begin and where I should meet you. Whats
the best contact number to use once Im there?
I will send you a draft agenda by 9:00 am (your time) on June 8, so that we both know what documentation to
bring and we can get straight to work. The topics should include the stages, timetable, implementation team,
and assessment mechanisms, but Im open to other suggestions.
Please tell me if theres anything you would like me to pick up from the States. I know some things are hard to
get there
Best regards,
Julie
Julie Trust
Senior Project Manager, International Projects
Alaska Industry Enterprises, Inc.
jtrust@alaskaiei.com | (907) 555-1234

1. Evaluate for Cultural Dimensions


Review the draft email as a team. Which of the eight cultural dimensions Cardon lists are most
prominent? Choose the three dimensions that you think are most important for understanding this
email. For each of those three dimensions, identify how it affects the email and give at least one specific
example.
Cultural dimensions: individualism-collectivism, egalitarianism-hierarchy, assertiveness, performance
orientation, future orientation, humane orientation, uncertainty avoidance, gender egalitarianism.
(Cardon, 95)
Teams will simultaneously report the three cultural dimensions they chose and explain their reasoning.

2. Recommend Edits
Consider the target audience for this email. Does the business culture have the same norms and values as
the one in which Julie is writing? Where does it land for the cultural dimensions you identified?
Develop three to five concrete recommendations to make this email more effective and culturally
sensitive. You do not need to rewrite the email, just give feedback to help that process. Explain the
cultural reason behind each recommendation.
Example (email to an American client): Address the email to Mr./Ms. LastName. Although
Americans use their first names a lot in business, its better to begin formally and take your cues
from their replies. Its almost always appropriate to invite an American to call you by your first
name.
Your team spokesperson will present some or all of your recommendations to the class.

CIS A280 Managerial Communication Writing Activities

Summer 2015

SMART RECOMMENDATIONS
Review the SMART criteria for goals or recommendations. Start by writing the letters on the board and
asking students to guess the words, giving leading hints as they get closer.

Specific
Measurable
Achievable
Relevant
Timely and time-bound

Discuss these criteria, then write the following plausible sample recommendations from their team
reports on social media strategies:

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Discuss why these recommendations are inadequate. Give teams ten minutes to develop SMART
recommendations for their company based on each of these recommendations. Review their
recommendations as a class.
Lead into the team writing assignment: an executive briefing outlining the social media strategy
recommendations that will go into the teams final report.

CIS A280 Managerial Communication Writing Activities

Summer 2015