Introductory module appropriate for business students. Interactive and tutorial presentation of concepts about Giving Effective Praise from the work of Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson. Contains 9 slides that that challenge students in the field to understand the power of giving praise to motivate employees. Students are also given the opportunity to practice writing these praise statements.
Type of Material:
This exercise would be best applied as an individual homework assignment or for professional development purposes. It would also make an excellent link to maintain for an instructor's web page of web resources.
Standard internet browser. Also requires a Flash plug-in which can be accessed from the link.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
The major learning goal is to instruct students about the importance of providing effective praise in their perspective roles as managers of people in organizations. When applied correctly, praise can be a very effective motivational tool.
Target Student Population:
This exercise is aimed at students in introductory management classes such as Principles of Management, Organizational Behavior, or Human Resource Management courses. It would also be of value in supervisory training and workforce development.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
An introduction to the use of reward systems and specifically the application of
intrinsic versus extrinsic rewards (and internal vs. external locus of control) would make the exercise more meaningful. In addition, an introduction to motivation theories would be helpful.
Evaluation and Observation
This module outlines the importance of praise as a motivational tool in the workplace, and then provides students with an opportunity to apply what has been learned. The information provides a good introduction to the topic of motivation in general, and intrinsic motivators in particular. The site is well presented and provides an effective medium for both learning and applying the concepts. It brings to life the work of Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson in an intreactive and experiental platform.
The module could benefit from a more detailed presentation but works well as a supplement to a lecture. It would be interesting to see more integration of various motivation theories to support the importance of praise as an intrinsic motivator in the workplace.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The main strengths of this module are the application exercises that allow the students to practice applying the concepts that are introduced to them. There are 4 practice questions ? 2 of which can be emailed to the instructor upon completion for evaluation.
While this would be a great homework assignment, it is not a self-contained learning tool. Additional instruction about the appropriate use of praise by the manager in the workplace is necessary. Also, the two exercises that require the student to choose the "best praise statements" could benefit from more detailed feedback. If the student chooses an incorrect response, he or she is told to "try again". There is no information explaining why that response may not be the best choice. Similarly, if the student chooses the correct answer, no information appears explaining why that is the best choice.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The module is clear, easy to use, and allows for interaction with the instructor. It further provides a forum to apply the material presented.
Other Issues and Comments:
Simple yet effective resource to engage students in relationship of giving praise and effective motivation.
Comments from Author:
The author acknowledges the work of the Wisconsin Online Resource Center in preparing the module as a learning object.