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has been a faculty member in the Human Resources Group of the College
of Business Administration since 1983. He has served in several administrative
roles, including HRM Group Coordinator (1991-1996) and Associate Dean
for Undergraduate Business Programs (1996-1999). Brendan has taught and
lectured in many European and South American countries. In recent years,
after returning to the classroom in 1999, he has primarily focused on
process changes in course delivery, focusing on multistage learning models
to build personal connections to course content and stronger, more enduring
changes in the behavioral repertoire of students. Brendans research
has been in the areas of performance assessment and management, individual
and organizational feedback and communication, employee absenteeism and
turnover, and test validation. His work has appeared in such journals
as Journal of Applied Psychology, Academy of Management Review, Journal
of Management, and Educational and Psychological Measurement.
Capturing the Practice Field: Linking Coursework to Real World Practice
And Skill Development
To extend an academic course beyond the boundaries of the standard 11-12
week quarter. To enable students to take learning principles from an academic
course, and with planned activities, practice and intervention to develop
knowledge and skill in a real world context.
I am currently teaching the required middler level Organizational Behavior
course (HRM 1433 - 8 hour intensive course) in the CBA and did so in the
previous winter (2002) quarter. In this course, I ask students to grapple
with, and understand their own knowledge, strengths and weaknesses in
a number of critical management and leadership areas (e.g., motivating
others, managing stress and conflict, empowering, delegation and building
effective teams). For each (winter and spring) group the course will end,
similar to any typical course, with final grades. However, from these
2 groups, a group (class) will be comprised for a newly created, separate
summer course (HRM 1522). Students will be on coop during this period
of time. Going into coop they will be provided with menus of intervention
and practice activities to improve their competencies in one or two
skill areas from the academic course. The focus will be doing
that is practicing for improvement, generating information and error-correction.
Students will be supported by self-managing teams (all students), working
in the same skill areas, and linked by technology. In addition, all students
and teams will be linked with me utilizing technology. They will complete
their intervention and practice during the summer and will be required
to write progress reports and a final report. Teams will give final presentations
upon return to campus.
I have had the opportunity to pilot this approach with several other populations
(both NU and non-NU). The results have been wonderful with positive outcomes
such as: (a) active and increased investment and ownership by the students,
(b) greater cognitive insight into the materials they "learn"
in the course, and most importantly (c) greater and more enduring changes
in the actual use (behavior) of the material.