Setting the stage: For my unit I am going to put together a leadership training unit that I actually want to use with a student association executive board. I have tried, admittedly less successfully than I had hoped, to incorporate these themes into our F2F meetings. The time we have together is limited and the priority at meetings needs to remain on conducting business. To address this issue and still bring in more formal leadership unit, I have considered doing a weekend leadership retreat, but for a variety of carefully considered reasons, don’t think this is the best route for this particular group. An online asynchronous unit with the occasional check in and discussion during meetings, seems to be the best route to deliver the content.
Context and Learner Characteristics: This group is different every year but will always have approximately 5 students. Mid-year turnover happens, so we will usually have students at different points in the unit. This is a mixed group of traditional and non-traditional age commuter students. The current group ranges in age from 20-50, all work in addition to to their course loads and campus service. Time, is obviously an enormous challenge for us. Additionally, they will not receive a grade which is a huge challenge to keep them motivated, especially as the demands of the semester increase.
Expectations: Many participants will come with an idea of leadership is that is largely based on a business model. However, we will be working with an academic model of leadership that is based on social change.
Nature of the Subject: Each person in the group will approach this topic from different levels of experience and must discover their own definition and style of leadership. They will need to find personal ways to use very different personal talents and strengths to come together as a team.
Teacher Characteristics: There are three modules within this unit. The first two modules (know thyself and know thy team) I am very familiar with and feel adequately prepared to teach. The third module (creating social change) I have been working with for several years, but have not put in my own formal study of. I am less confident initially in teaching the third module, but pretty confident that I will gain confidence quickly. This will be my first attempt to teach this topic in a blended/online format.
Special Pedagogical Challenge: I see three significant pedagogical challenge with this course. One will be in sustaining motivation when outside demands on student time get overwhelming.
Second is the variety of ideas about what we are talking about when we discuss the term leadership. And third, the possible turn-over and trying to maintain a group process with a fluctuating group and folks continually at different points in the process.