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Brendan Bannister 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. Brendan’s 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.

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