Project 4 – Web-based Tools
Use web-based tools to design a learning activity. Review your strategy map to locate an appropriate activity. Remember that students benefit more from active learning experiences (something they do or create) than from passive activities (something they view or listen to). Be creative in designing your learning activity! Write clear instructions to support students in completing the activity. Will the activity be graded? If so, include grading criteria.
I started by brainstorming with Wordle to create a word cloud focused on transactional leadership.
Word cloud based on text from:
Word cloud based on text from:
I copied and pasted the text from the website into a Word document. I then used the “replace all” and exact word function to strip out articles, prepositions, and passive verbs. I did this to focus on active verbs, and subjects and objects. I think based on both of the word clouds I could do some additional editing of text to further focus and refine the impact on key concepts in a final version.
This led me to start defining an assignment around leadership styles. Depending on one’s approach, the number of styles defined can range from three to a dozen. However, the work of definition is done (at least, at the lower division undergraduate level) a few keyword searches and the literature on the topic unfolds. Therefore, the more interesting work is making the connections between the styles and exercising a personal interpretation of appropriate use of the styles – tools in a toolbox – as it were.
- Starting with these several, resources (but not limited to) research, define and explain leadership styles for yourself.
Write a short forum post that lists the styles you think are most distinctive and important (some styles might be subcomponents of others, for one example) and define the styles in your own words additionally comment on two posts by co-workers.
- Interpret the relationships between styles. Here we want to explore how styles might be in opposition or how they might be related to or complementary to other styles. With this kind of work, we run the risk of glossing over the difference and focusing on shared attributes. Hence it is important to refer back precisely to the literature of the style as we do this work of comparison and contrast. Rather than an historical description, we need to focus on a functional comparison/contrast of the styles.
Mind map example:
You may use one of these tools to help you construct your mind map:
Alternatively, you may use an old school approach graphing paper, colored pens, cut out construction paper. Then scan or take a picture of the map and share it to the forums. Those of you using one of the online mappers should download an image or share a link on the forums. Describe your process and summarize your thinking about the connections between the styles you defined.
- Finally, we want to consider the value of styles in specific situations. For example, it is an easy gloss to say that transformational leadership is better than transactional leadership and is always to be preferred. However, is that true in an emergency, or a combat situation, for example? Again, the point of this exercise is applying styles to situations. Alas, this is necessarily interpretive work and as such, one needs experience in order to get experience, accordingly we are as interested in our reasons, our process, as we are in our answers.
- Active Shooter (anticipate, survive an attack and rebuild after)
- Daily operation(re-shelving books in book stacks (think about policy and procedure))
- Project management(new software (you have been charged with identifying a new program to train use of library of Congress call numbers)
- Company reorganization/turnaround (imagine that we will be adding personal computing support to the service we offer at the service desk)
Pick one of the cases and think about the lifetime of the scenario, express your perspectives, relate to, and reflect on leadership styles switching appropriately between them across the lifetime of the scenario. Create a Prezi to tell the story of your switching between the styles as you navigate the leadership scenario. Again, participants may use the forums as resource to storyboard and develop their Prezi.
These “assignments” reflect the “what” and “why” of our assignment but we need to explore the “how,” now. All of this work is situated in our LMS presentation. It also represents a departure from the work I have already done. In what I have worked up so far, I have been very pragmatic and not overly theoretical. I need to think through where this work might fit in the sequence of the training. I also want this theory-based knowledge to be actively engaged with. While this three step assignment has the potential to be worked into something interesting I think it might be too much for my on the job, LMS training. Rather something like it might have value in a traditional class.
While the work in my training will not be graded in a traditional classroom sense, none-the-less it seemed fruitful to search a bit for rubrics related to student leader training. Texas A&M, Harvard, and Florida A&M linked below offer some very interesting rubrics for assessing both leadership and learning about leadership. The Texas A&M site is a real treasure trove. Again, because I am uncertain that I will actually incorporate this series of assignments into my training, yet because it does seem like a fruitful set of ideas, I want to chase this matter a bit further.
One insight that is… dawning on me as I continue to do the work in this online instruction venue is working its way into my thinking about coaching supervisors. I have observed for a long time that we often engage in the faulty analysis, poor performance needs retraining. Accordingly, we put huge energy into training, imagining that by doing so we will not have to spend time on retraining. The insight comes from shifting our attention exclusively to performance, to perfect performance, to excellence in customer experience, rather than training. Alternatively, in the language of instructional design, we are looking for measurable outcomes, clear rubrics, and performance evaluation. This forces us to get training into perspective, training gives knowledge but that is only a third of the work of the supervisor, skills require practice, and perfection requires feedback and coaching. Excellent supervision also has to recognize when we are rewarding poor or mediocre performance or equally detrimental, punishing excellence and then reconfigure the workplace to correct these dysfunctions. These elements taken together along with a healthy dose of self-reflection and supervisors are more likely to get his/her direct reports to achieve excellence.
So, rather than continue to play the “ungraded” card, and because my last attempt at a rubric was limited. I, for the exercise, made an attempt to rough out a rubric for this assignment. Feedback is welcomed.
|Definition||Forum posting shows extensive and thorough familiarity with leadership styles. Learners’ cite linked resources and may cite sourced beyond those linked.||Forum posting shows understanding of most styles. Learner’s uses several of the linked sources in their explanation.||Forum posting is incomplete or shows errors in understanding. Learners’ do not refer to linked sources.|
|Interpretation||Mind maps are rich, thoughtful and well laid out. Inclusion of concepts and connections are clear and well demonstrated. Reference to source material is included.||Mind maps are complete and connections are clear. Linked sources obviously inform the work.||Mind maps are incomplete and connections are poorly chosen or illustrated. Reference to source material is lacking.|
|Application||Prezi presentation flows well; shifting between leadership theories is fluid and logical. Details both in theories and in use of scenarios are present. Switching between styles is present and facile.||Prezi is complete both in terms of content and slide show effectiveness. The learner shifts between theory and application in the scenario. Also, shifts between several styles. Linked sources are evident in the work.||Prezi slide show is used poorly (inadequate number of slides, or poor transitions, for example) or not at all. Errors in understanding or misapplication of styles to the scenario are present. Source material is not used or cited.|