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.
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
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.
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Evaluation and Observation
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.
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
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
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
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).
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.