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“Personal and Team Leadership” is the suggested title for the proposed course for development. In this e-learning form of teaching and learning, one aims at providing essential leadership knowledge and skills, focusing on such aspects as motivation, inspiration, talent management, and influence on individuals and teams. This course aims at explaining how to create a shared vision and lead people effectively. The paramount goal is to educate students to set clear goals and communicate them in a way that enables teammates to succeed. The second goal refers to clarifying how to ensure high levels of engagement and motivation based on goals and objectives as well as the working environment. The third goal is providing a specific place to allow students apply their acquired knowledge aligning theory and practice.
The target learners are students exploring business specializations and planning to work for small or large companies. It seems that a leadership course would be rather beneficial for them from the perspective of receiving a unique course aimed specifically at meeting their needs and expectations in the educational field. In particular, among their needs, one may note a lack of motivation in many organizations and the subsequent decreasing levels of their efficiency. Therefore, online learners need to have valuable tools to address the mentioned challenge. Understanding individuals’ and teams’ needs is another challenge encountered by learners. Even though it seems that the problem is merely in inappropriate leadership and management, the situation may turn out to be more complex and requiring a comprehensive approach, including the context, internal and external factors, some implicit issues, etc. Therefore, it is of great importance to help students to identify the causes of challenges and eliminate them.
At the same time, the course under development may be useful for learners of other specializations as a way to promote their leadership skills and apply them in practice. For example, teachers, User Experience managers, and others may be interested in the given course. It is also possible to suggest that the course may be a starting point in one’s career when a person attracted by the course content would decide to develop his or her skills further, as noted by Rodriguez (2012). In this regard, the third need is associated with the opportunity to meet the expectations of an average online learner.
By the end of the proposed course, students would be able to examine and resolve complex issues associated with leadership. One of the key outcomes of this course is the ability to set relevant goals and properly communicate them to teams or individuals so that each of the message recipients understands the core idea. The second learning outcome is the responsibility to create and communicate the visualization as a visionary leader. By determining the course of development, it is possible to achieve greater results and maintain the successful operation (Swan, Matthews, Bogle, Boles, & Day, 2012). As for the third outcome, students would acquire understanding of human needs and challenges that are critical to motivate others.
Furthermore, online students would learn how to align behavior and rewards, since the former not necessarily depends on the latter. The learners would be explained how to use feedback on performance and drive team experience, thus benefiting both employees and organizations. In addition, the course learning outcomes assume that the students would learn basic theories and motivation tools to select the most appropriate ones for a specific situation. Last but not least, students would learn to integrate their leadership knowledge and skills and apply them in practice, thus proving the value of the proposed course and facilitating their career opportunities.
Primary Learning Theories to be Used
The proposed course for development would build on behaviorism, cognitivism, and socio-constructivism. As stated by Holmes and Gardner (2006), the above theoretical underpinnings are rarely utilized in a discrete manner since they compose the integrity of e-learning. It seems essential to briefly identify each of the mentioned theories and provide a rational for their selection. Responsible for practice and tutorial, behaviorism in e-learning would be used for the instructional design based on its key assumption that knowledge is objective. Cognitivism as an approach focusing on the internal mind processes and their analysis would be used to teach problem-solving skills beginning from the simplest tasks and ending with the complex ones.
In turn, socio- constructivism theory suggests that learners consider their experience and then design their own specific comprehension of the world (Holmes & Gardner, 2006). Accordingly, the course would target the mental analysis and the subsequent accommodation of new experiences via the use of hyperlinks and hypermedia. The above theoretical underpinnings allow overlapping the proposed course and ensuring that online learners would achieve the stated outcomes. They pull together experiences along with cognitive and social factors to create and enhance skills and knowledge, attitudes and values. The application of these theories would help an educator to understand how students learn in the given conditions, including the structure of the course, teaching, and other educational processes (Rudestam & Schoenholtz-Read, 2010). Thus, the mentioned theories were selected to ensure effectiveness, a high-quality, and the adherence to the instructional design principles.
Potential Ways of Motivation
While several ways may be used to motivate students to stay in an online environment, it is essential to consider the most powerful of them. The facilitation of the intrinsic motivation of learners is the first strategy, the paramount idea of which is to show them that an educator understands their values and goals and is ready to assist (Giesbers, Rienties, Tempelaar, & Gijselaers, 2013). Acting as a coach rather than a manager and carefully listening to students, it is possible to increase their motivation and promote their own role in learning. The rational for selecting the above strategy lays in the fact that it helps an educator and learners to collaborate and maximize the internal motivation.
Another way to increase students’ motivation is to enable them to monitor their learning progress. Utilizing the portfolio method, an educator would allow students to compile all their assignments and truck the evidence of learning. More to the point, discussions and group projects would also be available online. In this way, students are likely to feel in control of their learning progress and become more responsible (Giesbers et al., 2013). The course assumes that students would participate in the curriculum creation by suggesting their ideas and themes. Integrating students’ ideas, an educator would preserve the structure yet adjust the content of the course. In this regard, the above way would help to achieve the common goal and learning outcomes stated earlier.
Giesbers, B., Rienties, B., Tempelaar, D., & Gijselaers, W. (2013). Investigating the relations between motivation, tool use, participation, and performance in an e-learning course using web-videoconferencing. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(1), 285-292.
Holmes, B., & Gardner, J. (2006). E-learning: Concepts and practice. London, UK: Sage Publications.
Rodriguez, C. O. (2012). MOOCs and the AI-Stanford like courses: Two successful and distinct course formats for massive open online courses. European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning, 15(2), 1-13.
Rudestam, K. E., & Schoenholtz-Read, J. (2010). Handbook of online learning (2nd ed). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Swan, K., Matthews, D., Bogle, L., Boles, E., & Day, S. (2012). Linking online course design and implementation to learning outcomes: A design experiment. The Internet and Higher Education, 15(2), 81-88.