Back to Table of Contents for the On Course I Workshop

1. Strategy: Late Paper (Case Study), Popcorn Reading, and Language of Responsibility

Application: Second Year Financial Services class

Educator: Vicki Dyer, Faculty, School of Business, Nova Scotia Community College, CN

Implementation: The goal of this multi-step activity is to help students understand that they must take responsibility for their own success. First, using Popcorn Reading, have students read “The Late Paper” and have them rank each character for his/her responsibility for Kim’s failing grade in Psychology 101. Next have students form groups according to their first choice. Each group prepares an argument in support of its choice, writing main points on a flip chart page and posting the page on the wall. Each group then presents its argument to the class, with the option for anyone to switch groups at any time. Next, have entire class brainstorm Kim’s possible excuses, recording them on the white board. Create small groups and assign to each group one of the class-generated excuses. Distribute and explain the handout about the Creator/Victim Language; then assign each group to turn their assigned excuse into a Creator statement. Have each group present its translation and solicit feedback from the class. Finally, ask students to share excuses they have used or heard others use in school, at work, or elsewhere. For each excuse, invite the class to translate it into a Creator statement.

2. Strategy: Jigsaw

Application: Office Procedures class in preparation for Job Interviews or Career Planning

Educator: Melisa Johnson, Faculty, Business & Office Technology, Northeastern Technical College, SC

Implementation: In Step A, create groups of three students and have them choose to become their Home Group’s expert on 1) Writing Resumes–how to write different types of resumes, what should be included, format, etc. 2) Dressing for Success–how to dress for an interview as well as every day professional attire, or 3) Interviewing–how to answer commonly asked interview questions as well as important do’s and don’ts during an interview. In Step B, each group develops its expertise with the assignment by creating a presentation to the whole class. For example: Group 1 could present examples (both good and bad) of each type of resume; Group 2 might present a fashion show of what to wear and not wear to an interview or work place; Group 3 could role play an interview, showing both what to do and what not to do. In Step C, experts return to their Home Groups and lead a discussion about what their group members learned from the presentations.

3. Strategy: Self-Management Tools & Aha!

Application: Records Management Course

Educator: Fran Kutha, Faculty, Business, Bay College, MI

Implementation: Early in the semester (perhaps on the first day), lead a discussion about students method of self-management and what tool(s) they use to organize their course work. Make available copies of a Monthly Calendar, Next Actions List, and a Tracking Form, and 32-Day Commitment for students to use. For homework due in the next class period, have students explain the personal self-management method they will use to complete all of their course assignments with excellence. (Award points for this assignment.) After each quiz or test, have students write a reflection paper how their self-management approach contributed to (or detracted from) their results on the evaluation. Allow students to change/improve their self-management method any time they realize there is a better way for them to keep track of and complete tasks necessary to do well in the course. At mid-term, have students evaluate their self-management method with a goal of improving it. After reading these homework assignments, invite students who have had an “Aha!” about self-management to present their discoveries to the class.

4. Strategy: The Jigsaw

Application: Business Law 1 (B115)

Educator: Charles Liebert, Faculty (adjunct), Business, Davidson County Community College, NC

Implementation: The educational objective of this activity is knowledge of variability of state laws (marriage and inheritance issues), team/project development, research and presentation skills. Create home groups of 3 students and have each decide to become the group’s expert on 1) Common law marriage, 2) In traditional marriage what happens to the joint property when one spouse dies? and 3) Community property when they marry (does the property remain in their control or does it revert to joint ownership?). Each group of three is assigned a different state to research. Each expert researches the topic for his/her state and then compares findings with what other experts find for the other two states. Home groups come back together and develop a class presentation to report on their state’s rules by answering these three questions: 1) If I meet the requirements to be in a common law marriage in my state and I move to a new state, what is my status in my new state? 2) How are married couples’ assets divided in the group’s state when one of them dies without a will? 3) Do married people need a pre-nuptial agreement to protect their property for their children from a previous marriage?

5. Strategy: Wise Choice Process

Application: Business–Customer Service Management

Educator: Dale Vos, Adjunct Faculty, Business, Mid-State Technical College, WI

Implementation: Because the cost of obtaining new customers is six times the cost of retaining current customers, it is important for employees and management to make wise choices in dealing with customer service issues in business of all kinds. Use the Wise Choice Process to help students understand this concept and process. For ease of facilitating the process, have student groups create a case study depicting a problem with a customer (for example an upset customer vows to never return). Each group presents its scenario and explains how it used the Wise Choice Process to determine what might have been done differently to retain the customer and what can be done now to retain the customer. A second group then analyzes the presentation and discusses why the choice(s) suggested would or would not produce the desired outcome.

6. Eight Choices of Successful Students

Application: Business Technology or Any Course

Educators: Cathy VanEsperen, Sara Williamson, Faculty, Business, Fox Valley Technical College, WI

Implementation: Students in our self-directed lab courses receive a series of emails every 2-3 weeks. The content of the emails include information about the course AND a nugget of information or an idea to reinforce one of the eight choices of successful students. Some examples:

  • Self- management form with an offer to consult with the instructor about how to use the form effectively
  • Timeless wisdom quotes on Life-long Learning
  • Reminder of resources available (Interdependence)

7. Strategy: Jigsaw

Application: Business Law

Educator: Rebecca Hillyer, Director/Faculty, Chemeketa Community College, OR

Implementation: Use the Jigsaw when teaching the four elements of a valid contract. Have students count off into 4 groups (1, 2, 3, 4). Assign each group an element. Put together the Home Group to assign issues. Have the experts meet to discuss the topic AFTER they read the section in the textbook. After the experts finish their discussion, have the groups of 4 (home group) come back together. Each expert discusses his or her area in turn. Ask each member to take notes and
write a paragraph on each of the four elements and hand it in for a grade.

8. Strategy: Silent Socratic Dialogue (Variation)

Application: Business Administration

Educator: Berhane Elfu, Faculty, Finance, NAIT (CN)

Implementation: The objective is to have students explore various strategic options to address the challenges faced by corporations. Have students pair up and provide two sets of challenges faced by corporations. Each student silently reads the challenges and writes two different strategies to deal with the situation. Students exchange papers, and after reading, write two questions for the other person to answer. Students keep exchanging books for a few rounds so that by the end, each has a well thought through option that optimally addresses at least one of the challenges faced by the corporations.

9. Strategy: Learner Centered Toolbox (adaptation)

Application: Leadership and Management or Any Course

Educator: Karen Hitchings, Business Administration Faculty, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, CN

Implementation: At the beginning of the first week, bring in an actual tool box labeled with the course focus; e.g., Principles of Management Tool Box. Explain that everyone has a toolbox they can access in the workplace. The purpose of this course is to add tools to their toolbox. Provide them a handout titled “My Principles of Management Toolbox.” During the last class each week, provide students the opportunity to reflect on what they have added to their toolbox that week, including an explanation of the tool and its meaning for them for the workplace. This reflection is submitted to the instructor for feedback, and the tool is added to the toolbox list provided.

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