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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Organizational Behavior

 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

4.5 stars
Content Quality: 4.75 stars
Effectiveness: 4.75 stars
Ease of Use: 3.75 stars
Reviewed: Dec 03, 2013 by Business Editorial Board
Overview: This course is designed to teach students those factors that have the greatest impact on organizational behavior. The course defines organizational behavior and discusses managing individuals, understanding group dynamics, conflict management, and initiating change. Discusses that organizational behavior is being able to understand how people interact with one another within an organization. Includes text books in pdf form as well as discusses the time commitment that should be expected for successful completion of this online course.
Learning Goals: Students will learn to define OB and through various web links and multimedia define, describe, and discuss OB, diversity, organizational change and structure, managing conflict and negotiation strategies, group dynamics, motivation and performance, cross cultural challenges, groups vs. teams, and job design.
Target Student Population: Target population includes college/university level students with a primary interest in organizational behavior, organizational management/leadership.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: The syllabus does reference prerequisite courses; these include BUS103 and BUS105 before taking this particular course/module. Students of these courses would need to be enrolled into Saylor.org as students before completing any prerequisite courses.
Type of Material: Online Course
Recommended Uses: • Individual. • This online module could be used in conjunction with other course offerings from other colleges/universities.
Technical Requirements: • Internet Explorer (IE) version 8, Firefox (version 11). These were both used to access the material (the material website supports these browsers as well as Google Chrome). • Adobe Reader/Flash

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: • The course design is simple and easy to maneuver from one lesson to the next. • The format is simple to use. • The “legend” offered to the left of the content page is helpful in directing the learner to quick references, however, please consider adding the links to the Readings and the Web Media from this location as well. • The developer and content contributor have done a great job at contributing content that progressively builds from one lesson to the next in a clear and concise process. • The use of the Flat World Knowledge (free book/content) is commendable as it does provide very relevant content and relationships to the course objectives and outcomes.
Concerns: • The 2nd and 4th paragraphs are identical as are the 3rd and 5th paragraphs located at the top of the Content Page: Purpose of Course. (Please remove the duplicate paragraphs. • Links to the video content found at NJIT: Open course take quite a bit of time to download (and I am using high speed internet access). Some students may be using a lessor internet and may have trouble downloading these components (not to mention these videos are rather lengthy). • 1.3.1 Anthropology - the link to the reading: “Defining ‘culture’ and ‘Organizational Culture’: From Anthropology to the Office – this link is broken. • 2.1.4 – Relationships – the reading material and link for Daniel R. Ames,” In Search of the Right Touch: Interpersonal Assertiveness in Organizational Life” opens up a page that contains all his works, would it not be easier to provide a direct link to the reading indicated in the lesson? This page requires the user/student to scroll through all of the works to locate this specific title. • Itunes links require the user to select a program for which to view the video, you may want to provide some additional instruction to the user for quicker viewing as a lessor computer savvy person would just skip this video content. • 4.1 Power – “Power Failure in Management Circuits” requires the user to download “Download Manager” before they can view/read the content/PDF. With so many computer spams and spoofs within the internet these days, more and more people are skeptical of downloading additional rarely used software, maybe consider embedding this content for the student/user versus requiring the student/user to download additional software (same with 4.3.2 – Social Networks, “Collaborative Knowledge Management, Social Networking, and Organizational Learning.” • 4.2 Power Bases and Influence, the second reading; “Two Approaches to Organizational Analysis” opens a link to a page with a number of articles, this requires the user to search/scroll through these before locating the right one, is there a way to provide a direct link to this material?

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: • For an asynchronous learner the links to the readings/literature is excellent and relevant, I like that the course is not instructing me to find the answers randomly via use of the internet. • I like the use of the video content (multimedia) to augment the reading and intended learning outcomes. These too are relevant.
Concerns: • I notice the final exam link for this course, however, what I don’t see is any study guide or relative outline format to follow those preparing students/users on specific highlighted content that is pertinent to the successful completion of the course. What is important to one student may not be to another. While I understand with self-directed learning learners should absorb all available information provided to expand their individual knowledge base, but even an adult learner, such as me, appreciates a little help now and again to prepare me for the final exam. Having said that, I also did not locate any learner reinforcement areas to allow students the opportunity to test their own knowledge and understanding of the course material as it has been presented. This may be something to consider for future users, typically, students of distant learning/asynchronous learning, like to be able to test what they have learned or material covered, it is their way of identifying their own strengths or weaknesses of the content.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 3.75 stars
Strengths: • Overall, the usability of the module is simple; it is easy to use and easy to navigate. • The instructions are clear and concise, and the format is straight forward. • The final exam is 50 multiple choice questions, making is simple enough for students to use and at the same time provides the student with immediate feedback on the score.
Concerns: • Lacks graphics – to much white space • The design and quality is basic (and that is okay, some students do not like a lot of complex features), however, consider a traveling button that allows students to return to the top of the page, or bookmark their last spot (if possible). • There is no type of interaction – maybe consider a blog spot where students of these courses can share ideas, suggestions, and experiences.

Other Issues and Comments: • I really appreciate the work that the developer and subject matter expert have put forth creating this module. From the user perspective, please consider providing some additional instruction within the content advising the use of ITunes accounts and necessity for this due to audio/video content delivery. Also, please reconsider any content that requires users to download additional software like Download Manager, I did not download this software therefore, I was not able to review the (2) PDF’s that required this. I agree that Adobe Flash is required; however, I also believe that most users are familiar enough with Adobe products to feel comfortable enough to download. If possible, consider embedding some of the content straight within the course site, it makes it easier for the user and eliminates other issues as with the aforementioned download issues. • Please review my notes under the Quality and Content of module ratings to obtain issues that were observed with some of the links provided.