Midsemester evaluation Question 2

What aspects of the instructional approach (student presentations, instructor comments, exercises, teamwork, blog, expeditions, etc.) are helping you learn?

Comments

The blog is definitely a great way to help me stay engaged throughout the week. I think Bridget made some mention last week about how this was the first class she has taken where blogging has actually been an asset. I agree, I really enjoy reading what others have picked up on during the readings. I also really like the student-lead discussion format in class. A great way for me to become familiar with people's leadership styles.

I think the blog is especially useful as a way to participate and learn in the class. I think the course is well balanced between all other exercises, teamwork, presentations, etc.

I am enjoying the variety of instructional approaches used in the class. The readings, done at home on our own time, are giving us the academic foundation to apply to the practical problems and solutions we discuss in class. It isn't just theory, but theory applied to real-life situations. I'm greatly appreciating the diversity of the class and our myriad of backgrounds. (A big "Thank You" to everybody in the class that is bringing your own experience to the table.) I also think the blog is fantastic because it allows us to read and respond at our own pace, and gives those the opportunity that might not feel comfortable voicing their thoughts in front of the class another platform to have a voice.

I agree with the other comments regarding the blog. The way that it is set up is a very effective way to use it. I also like the variety of readings and the different perspectives they bring to the study of leadership.

I think that I enjoy the small group discussions and the exercises the best. I am a hands on type of learner so I get more out of activities that require me to be involved. Also in the small group discissions, since there are fewer people, we all get more opportunities to talk and be heard.

What I find most impressive about this course, in addition to the value of the key learnings, is the variety of mediums and methods being applied. This course is refreshing!

Standouts for me so far have been:
- classroom student presentations and discussions.
- using the blog to learn more from one another - this really expands the limitations of class time.
- Classroom exercises have been very valuable.
- Instruction and powerpoints have been critical to summarizing the primary weekly takeaways.
- Meeting with Jane Hunt of LCM for our groups action research project.
- Hearing from Susan Neis of Cornerstone, also in a new and appropriate setting.
- Watching and discussing Whale Rider was fun and applicable to the course.
- Looking forward to Mixed Blood!

There are three approaches that have been especially useful to my learning: blogs, readings, and the small group teamwork. It is great to learn from others and hear about other diverse experiences through the blog questions and getting together with others in class to do small group work. Other perspectives are important because they help me to accomplish something in ways that I don’t typically see. I do admit that the blogs get too long therefor it is hard to read everyone’s posts each week. The readings have brought the information to me on the table with the ability to practice and think about my impact. These approaches have been especially important to me.

I love the blog for this course. I know that "love" is a strong word to use, but seriously, I love this blog. I think it is the most useful online resource I have ever been a part of, in both my school and work life. I really enjoy reading everyone's comments, and it offers such a large perspective on each topic. The blog also is a forum to start discussions which can be continued in class. It keeps us (well, me at least) engaged in the class all week long, even though we only meet once a week. It also lets us get to know each other, and to hear each person's voice, even when we don't have time in class.

In addition to the blog, I think the in-class discussions and reading leaders are fantastic. It is very refreshing to have such a discussion-oriented class, and to be able to apply the material in useful ways to everyday life or leadership situations.

I also really like "Wale Rider." It was applicable to class material and also, it was just a really good movie!

I caught my mistake... I meant "Whale Rider!"

I find the learning environment of this course to be quite rich. I particularly appreciate the constant learner-to-learner exchange of knowledge. In my experience, this is an often overlooked (and/or under-appreciated) instructional method, and I am very happy to find it playing such a big part in this class.

The Kouzes & Posner text speaks to me! I really get into reading it and enjoy what I get out of it, especially the specific examples given include real-life scenarios. The authors chose a positive, optimistic approach that is refreshing and easy to follow. I enjoy the variety of other perspectives presented to us each week with the articles we read as well; there seems to be something for every student to identify with based on the assortment of texts included in the coursework.

I like the blog and value its function for further class participation. At times, I find it difficult to read all of the information posted and there have been some weeks that I have not been able to respond. Yet, it’s great to have it available to us for further interaction and continued discussion. I like hearing the perspectives of all class members and the blog helps to ensure that happens.

The student presentations have been very useful in the course, as it is interesting to hear the perspectives of other students on readings, and to listen to the discussion that follows. Also, the instructor teaching later in each course is also helpful to clarify any other points of the reading that may have been missed in the student presentation, or to just comment more on those that have been discussed previously. I also enjoy reading the blog entries from other students, and discussing them more in class each week.

Definitely the mix-up approach -- student presentations, instructor comments, exercises, teamwork, blog, and expeditions are all helping me in my learning. Class interaction among students/instructor are quite very helpful too. I also like group discussions because they bring out different persceptives of an issue.

The blog is really helpful to me because this is my first "blogging" class at the humphrey Institute. I enjoy it very much. The assigned readings are carefully selected to be very relevant and to fit the course expectations.

The multi-medium approach to this class has been outstanding. I was leery about blogging in the beginning but find it is a great outlet for everyone to add to and benefit from. I agree with a comment from last week about the blogging and in-class time being a complimentary blend of learning from each other. I know I am not personally wired for online classes (excuse the pun). It is easier for me to build relationships face to face - but the blogging brings out very unique perspectives in a way class discussion does not always do.

The diversity of readings has also been enjoyable and Kouzes & Posner is very practical and a great read.

The blog is great. It has taken me a few weeks to get used to it, but I am feeling much better about it now than I did in the beginning of the semester.

I really enjoy the readings and I am able to keep up with them. I have been in courses where it was common to be assigned 200 pages a week every week. It was difficult trying to keep up, but not in this class. This is a great pace.

I particularly enjoy all our in-class dialogue and energy. From the moment Dr. Crosby comes in and puts on some good tunes to the minute we have to break from class! I believe it is because I am an in-the-moment person. The readings come alive for me with the slides, comments from classmates and of course Dr. Crosby brings it all back.

I am also looking forward to our Mixed Blood expedition. The other aspects mentioned, while not detrimental in themselves, do not really maximize my learning, it may be because they are combined with everything else and I hit an overload.

Like many others I enjoy the variety of learning methods and activities. In fact it is helpful to be able to take advantage of the various tools. Some weeks the blog is very engaging and enhances my learning, some weeks it is the reading, always I find the group work, presentations and discussions are valuable. Believe it or not I am a verbal and social learner.

I tend to be an active learner and so the interaction in the classroom and discussion centered on Barbara’s slides work well for me. Having said that, I also appreciate the background (and great future references) provided in the readings before class. I am slow to pick up the nuances of blogging, and cynically find the internet a black hole of my time for the most part, but have really enjoyed other’s perspectives.

I have found all elements of the intstructional approach to be quite useful. The constant change demands that one stays involved and focused on the material. It also encourages you to pay closer attention to the reading material before class so that you are prepared when it is time to discuss. One thing that could make the exercises more effective is forcing people to get out of their comfort zone and work in different groups more often. Sometimes it is too easy to turn around and work with your neighbor.

I was not very excited about the blog at first as I sit in front of a computer all day at work and was not looking forward to having to sit in front of a computer at home while reading and writing for the blog, but there has been a lot of interesting discussion and learning that has come from it.

I have enjoyed the readings and am glad that we have time to discuss them in class. The class discussions are very helpful for me as they help to reinforce what I took away from the readings and also add new perspectives or thoughts that I may have missed.

Barbara, I truly learn less about leadership from the readings and more from observing your style and delivery of the material and curriculum. I appreciate how you have a very deliberate purpose to the assignments, in a context that lends to learning. As an educator and grant manager, I have adapted my style throughout the past year because of this learning.

I really enjoy the small group discussions. I know that I take a certain perspective to each of the readings, so it is really helpful to hear how everyone else's unique interpretations.

Also, the blogging aspect of the course has helped me to engage with course concepts in a dynamic way. I have never blogged for a course before, and I was kind of intimidated at first. Now I am able to appreciate the experiences and viewpoints offered by classmates beyond the classroom setting, and it challenges me to bring something extra to the discussion as well.

Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs