If I wrote here about the value of reflection, I’m sure I would be preaching to the converted. So, I’ll go straight to the activity that has often been used with us on the course in one form or another: think of one thing that the course has confirmed, one thing that was new for you, and one thing that you’re still unsure of.
Simple, but effective. In fact, I liked it so much that I decided to turn the tables and ask our tutors the same questions.
What has this course confirmed for you?
Two years ago the course had a repositioning about what the key issues are for academic managers who come on these courses. The idea was that it was about managing people, in particular managing groups of people and the challenges this brings rather than marketing strategies, financial areas etc etc. So what’s been confirmed to me is that this is the focus of most people, and that’s actually been exemplified in the case studies which came out.
What was new?
The focus on the case studies is a new activity, and having this in our group-directed session was really interesting. Using course participant-generated case studies made the focus very personal for the group. But the other new thing that’s helped was that combining it with a review, with the basic idea of the course – to turn habits into choices, to make your management decisions one of principled, criteria-based selections rather than ‘what I’ve always done on instinct’ – combining that half way through the second week was the perfect timing.
What are you still unsure of?
How that would apply to a lot of the courses I run which are in closed groups for an institution. Would that work to the same extent because in their case studies everybody would know each other? It might not be so generative if participant-generated. I’m not sure of how that activity would translate if I were to develop the case studies, how the people would respond. I’ve got to try it out in the next course.