Course Design & Planning
As an instructor in business school, I see my role as being a developmental coach to students. Most students have specific career aspirations and concrete learning objectives. At the basis of all course design and planning are thus the developmental needs of my students. I systematically elicit student input in my course design and planning. I take student feedback very seriously in order to continuously improve courses over time (see also classroom effectiveness page). I also strive to tailor classes as much as possible to the specific student cohort taking them, using expectation surveys at the beginning of a semester to guide these efforts. I typically include flexible sessions towards the end of the semester to allow for the inclusion of topics chosen by the class.
Most students, particularly in graduate programs, also have already learned how they learn best. I thus see my main task as facilitating their learning and equipping them with the actionable management knowledge they need. I strive to offer a wide variety of learning opportunities, making use of case discussions, in-class group work, mini-lectures, student presentations, as well as preparatory conceptual readings. Varying the mode of instruction frequently during class also helps retain the attention of students and reinforce lessons. Through diverse learning opportunities, I strive to effectively address the needs of every type of learner. I particularly believe in the benefit of encouraging students to explain concepts to one another. Having to think through concepts deeply enough to be able to explain them to others and address questions that arise helps students better retain and integrate the new knowledge. It also sharpens the crucial management skills of abstraction and ability to transfer conceptual knowledge across situations.
These principles of course design and planning are illustrated in the syllabus and an exemplary session plan, I designed for an introductory management class which I taught during my doctoral studies at Cornell University. "Managing and Leading in Organizations" is targeted at upper-class undergraduate and non-business graduate students. It provides an overview of important management concepts and frameworks and offers students the opportunity to hone important skills for a successful organizational career.