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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Big Dog's Leadership Page

by Donald Clark
 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

5 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Nov 05, 2002 by Business Editorial Board
Overview: This module contains 17 lessons on various aspects of leadership and leadership
theory including such topics as character, motivation, teams, change, diversity
and many others. Each lesson contains readings and is accompanied by exercises
to demonstrate the relevant concept. The site provides a lesson plan outlining
preparation work, in-class assignments, and recommended additional readings.
The content draws from a wide variety of academic research on leadership.
Learning Goals: The main purpose of the site is to provide a primer on the topic of leadership.
It provides a logical progression from theory to practice, allowing the user to
assess his or her own leadership styles and competencies and to understand how
effectively or ineffectively leadership styles are currently being used in his
or her own organization. The site provides a valuable resource for applying
various leadership theories to real world situations.
Target Student Population: This material is appropriate for various populations. It could be used as a
stand-alone course in a corporate leadership-training program. It could also be
an effective supplement to an undergraduate or graduate course in leadership
theory or any other management or human resource management course discussing
leadership.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: A basic understanding of general management would be beneficial to the student.
However, no prior knowledge of leadership theory is necessary. Courses such as
Introduction to Principles of Management would provide a good context for the
site.
Type of Material: This material cannot be categorized easily. It contains reference material,
simulations, drill and practice, and lesson plans. There are a variety of
materials, and one of the needs of this site is to link each lesson with
learning objectives
Recommended Uses: This material can be utilized as the basis for an entire course of leadership or
as a supplement to another management/leadership course. Many of the exercises
are team based and could be used in class or as homework assignments.
Technical Requirements: Standard internet browser

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: This site provides an excellent collection of information on leadership. Each
lesson provides an effective, self-contained learning unit with scholarly
readings and exercises to demonstrate the concept. The material is well-written
and easily understood and the exercises are effective, interesting, and fun.
The material flows together very effectively and each concept builds on previous
ideas. Each lesson provides readings, role-play, cases, exercises, or
activities. The modules can easily be used as supplements in other management
courses and the exercises could very effectively be incorporated into other
courses as well. Rather then simply existing as a ?way to pass time,?these
exercises are relevant to the topic area and are often designed to help students
recognize their leadership strengths and weaknesses, which is always an
interesting task. Some of the
activities/exercises/references/readings would be very valuable if incorporated
into other courses as well: Chapter 11-Diversity, Chapters 5, 14, &
16-Professional Speaking, Chapters 9 & 10-Work Teams. There are also good
exercises on employee performance evaluations. The materials are well organized
and comprehensive for use in industry training.

Concerns: There are some minor spelling errors in the leadership guides and some of the
links (particularly on the case study links page) are broken. Some activities
are less useful (e.g., First Impressions, on the Leadership Link Page--the link
to the website does not work). There is a need to provide learning
objectives for each lesson as well as assessment instruments.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The module is logically organized to introduce the leadership concept and then
build on its importance in an effective organization. The readings provide
excellent reinforcement for other lecture material or for an introduction to
each subject area. The exercises are extensive and provide an excellent venue
for student learning. The majority of the exercises are team based which is
useful in a classroom setting to stimulate discussion and interaction among
students

Concerns: Given the amount of material provided it would be nice to have a quick
evaluation tool at the end of each reading module so students could do a
self-assessment on their level of comprehension.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The module is easy to use, clearly labeled and easy to navigate. There is easy
access to lessons, exercises, etc. The instructions for the exercises were clear
and easy to understand. One excellent asset was that it was easy to find and
return to sites previously visited. One never got caught up in loops. Almost
all links to outside resources worked, with a few exceptions (see below).

Concerns: While the majority of links to other pages were working, I did run into some
problems on Big Dog?s Case Study Page. Numerous links to what sounded like
interesting cases were broken. The module could use improved instructions at
beginning of module. (Who should use this module, why, when, how?) This was not
readily available and was only apparent after interaction with the entire
module.


Other Issues and Comments: I found some exercises useful for my diversity class.