Managing and LeadingLocation: SFEBB 1180 (SFEBB 1180)
Managing and LeadingLocation: CRCC 210 (CRCC 210)
Please note: Student feedback is only available for courses prior to Spring 2021
- Academy of Management. 08/01/2006 - present. Position : Member.
“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”
My passion for teaching was ignited by a dynamic and unorthodox professor from my undergraduate program. Ironically, this professor taught my undergraduate organizational behavior course. I had never encountered a teacher such as her before: her class curriculum did not focus on textbook readings or multiple-choice exams. Rather, self-reflection, complex problem-solving and personal growth were emphasized. The course was life-altering for me and lays the foundation for my teaching philosophy. My experiences as a teaching assistant, later as an assistant professor, and currently as an associate professor continue to mold and shape how I approach teaching, curriculum design, student project development and student interactions. This is a process of continuous improvement. I believe my role as a teacher is to foster a learning environment that promotes individual growth and collaborative learning by upholding rigorous academic standards through providing students opportunities to apply course materials in real-world applications through experiential and project-based learning.
Rigorous Academic Standards
The obstacles a professor counters when teaching management topics are different from those encountered by professors of the hard sciences. Teaching about human behavior is a difficult task; the ‘answers’ are not always black and white. Therefore, students can have difficulty interpreting managerial and social theories and abstracting it to real-world situations. My responsibility to students is twofold. First, I must provide students with the materials necessary to be successful. In my courses, whether face-to-face or online, I provide student with multiple types of material such as specifically chosen trade articles, videos, case studies of real organizations or experiential exercises. Each ‘ingredient’ is specifically chosen for its purpose and quality and will impact the overall experience for the student. The mix of course materials are like ingredients for a masterpiece recipe. Too much or too little of any ‘ingredient’ will determine the success of the final dish. Second, it is paramount that I hold students to a high standard of achievement. In order to be successful using the concepts from my courses, students must use them correctly. I must hold students accountable for achieving their personal best. At the end of a course, students should feel that their abilities were challenged, they learned vital information and skills that will be useful when they enter the business world, and that my class enriched their understanding of business practices.
The true test of individual growth in higher education hinges on the learning process. Growth is difficult and can often be an emotional process. Course topics such as changing behaviors, understanding perceptions and motivation, and influencing others can be an eye-opening experience for students. Therefore, I focus on developing students by incorporating multiple perspectives and encouraging critical thinking skills to help them in their journey in both their career and in life. A good example of the framework I use for helping students grow their business mindset is case analysis. By requiring students to identify the major issues in a case, analyze identified problems using diagnostic tools, choose which problems need to be addressed first, and develop action plans for rectifying the problems has been a fruitful in aiding students’ development. This framework provides students a process for evaluating business scenarios and developing viable solutions. By approaching management curriculum as a growth process through providing students opportunities of personal reflection, writing, and listening skills helps students embark on a path of self-discovery.
Learning Environment (face-to-face and online)
I am a firm believer that the learning process should not equate to misery! Therefore, I incorporate humor and fun into my classroom daily. This opens the door for creating a learning environment that is inclusive and emotionally safe for sharing ideas, experiences, and exploring their curiosity about the subject matter. Students must feel comfortable enough within the learning environment to make mistakes. This is how we grow. One of my past professors told me that “we do not make mistakes; rather we have learning moments.” It is my personal belief that students are more likely to gain knowledge through ‘learning moments’ in an atmosphere where they are comfortable.
A safe learning environment creates a dynamic where students share and learn from each other. In a well-rounded learning experience, students should learn not only from the instructor but also from each other. I find that small group exercises and projects help facilitate collaborative learning. By utilizing small teams to tackle case analyses, in-class exercises and consulting teams, I have seen students manage group dynamics while working toward a goal. My role in the classroom becomes one of a facilitator watching students take charge of the learning process.
Experiential and Project-Based Learning
I firmly believe that students learn by doing. Unlike other disciplines where teachers can create experiments in laboratory conditions, management professors do not have that luxury. As such, it is up to me as the teacher to create experiential activities and projects that simulate real-world scenarios. This process is paramount to a student’s ability to truly learn managerial skills in a classroom setting. As much as possible, I incorporate the local businesses in my classroom. Student teams partner with organizations in the community in a consulting capacity to address real problems facing those businesses. This process provides students opportunities to hone networking and client relationship building skills while holding students accountable for developing viable solutions to present to client organizations. Students are often nervous about this process; however, many have been thankful for the experience. Over the years, numerous students have landed jobs with organizations they worked with during a class project.
How do I gauge my success as a teacher?
I do not view students as the end customer in the higher education process. Rather, I view the potential employers of my student graduates as the end customer. My favorite time of the course is when representatives from the business community visit my classroom for final team presentations. Students work harder on projects when they know they will be presenting to potential employers. For example, I recently had a top manager for an organization visit my classroom for a final presentation. At the conclusion, he remarked how impressed he was with the level of professionalism demonstrated by the students, the quality of the work they did, and the viability of the action plan they provided him to rectify the organizational issues at hand. The students were excited for the praise. One student even received a promotion as a result of working on the project. This is the true gauge of my success as a teacher.
- BCOR 3030 Business Fundamentals - Management (full role out of course). Project Lead: Lindsey Gibson. Collaborators: Ariel Blair, Amelia Stillwell, Kylie Rochford. 06/03/2020 - 12/14/2020.
- BCOR 3030 Business Fundamentals - Management Coordination Meetings. Project Lead: Lindsey Gibson. Collaborators: Ariel Blair, Amelia Stillwell, Kylie Rochford. 06/03/2020 - 12/14/2020.
- Wrote MGT portion of BCOR integrated case, developed case questions and grading rubric. Project Lead: Management Lead. 03/01/2020 - 03/30/2020.
- Developed BCOR 3030 Pilot Course. Project Lead: Lindsey Gibson. Collaborators: Ariel Blair, Jered Poole. 01/01/2020 - 05/11/2020.
- Part II: Learning how to influence others: a teaching module and experiential exercise. Project Lead: Lindsey A. Gibson. Collaborators: Ken Rossi. none 10/10/2019 - present.
- Developed new prep course "Leading through Emotional Intelligence". Project Lead: Lindsey Gibson. N/A 08/01/2019 - present.