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Letting go: Student structured in-class group work. Trish Elliott, DrPH Boston University Instructional Innovation Conference March 7, 2014. Overview. Innovation purpose How it works Application to other courses Questions. Innovation Purpose. Context.

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    1. Letting go: Student structured in-class group work Trish Elliott, DrPH Boston University Instructional Innovation Conference March 7, 2014

    2. Overview • Innovation purpose • How it works • Application to other courses • Questions

    3. Innovation Purpose

    4. Context • Course: Managing Maternal and Child Health Programs • Assignment: Work in teams to create an organizational profile of a MCH program or organization. • Need for innovation: Students lack professional management experience.

    5. Goals of the Group Assignment • Analyze organizational structure and function using management concepts • Communicate effectively through writing • Prepare for and lead an effective team meeting • Demonstrate team building, negotiation and leadership skills • Develop strategies to motivate others for collaborative problem solving, decision making, and evaluation • Demonstrate time management

    6. Challenges for Students • Little to no professional experience • No management experience • Underestimation of the complexities involved with applying management concepts • Group work is often either not managed or micromanaged by faculty

    7. Innovation: • Students need practice and support to build new skills • Multifaceted skills-building sessions • Readings- • concepts in management science • In-class lectures- • examples and clarification of concepts • In-class group meetings- • application of concepts


    9. Instructor Individual Students Groups of Students

    10. Instructor Responsibilities • Instructor’s Responsibilities: • Provide a complete description of the assignment on the first day • Define the skills needed for success • Select readings and in-class material to support knowledge base • Provide in-class time for group work • Get out of the way

    11. The Schedule

    12. Student Responsibilities

    13. Group Responsibilities • Set the schedule of work products • Establish and maintain accountability to each other • Organize and carry out project pieces: • Roles and responsibilities • Key informant interviews • Combining and editing

    14. Students Instructor • Struggled through the group process • Wanted intervention • Time management • Project management • Hard not to step in • Sacrificed in-class time • Identified issues through a draft of the assignment Challenges

    15. What the students said… “We work in groups in a lot of classes, I can say this is the first time I have ever enjoyed a group project.”

    16. What the students said… “I enjoyed the class participation portion of this course as it facilitated teamwork, problem-solving and the sharing of management ideas/experiences.” “The group assignment was an amazing experience …we got to exhibit management skills through our meetings and assignment” “Working with a single group on a specific organization over the course of the semester was a unique experience that facilitated learning.” “I feel like I gained a skills set that I can apply in the real world of public health.”

    17. Application to Other Courses

    18. Application of Innovation • Direct use in other courses • Any course related to management sciences • Expanded use for the format • This multi-faceted format for skills building can be applied across the curriculum to help student acquire a variety of new skills

    19. Summary

    20. Benefits • Improves students’ understanding of the nuances and complexities of managing teams, priorities, and projects • Engages and challenges students to apply management concepts in a group process that mimics real working relationships • Offers flexibility for a range of audiences and educational goals

    21. Trish Elliott, DrPH Clinical Assistant ProfessorCommunity Health Sciences BU School of Public Health pelliott@bu.edu 617-414-1389 Thank You