Categorie archief: ic2

Teaching Project Management, Stephen M. Portz

This is a resume of the article.

Everything you do is a project.

The article goes into problems that arise in Team Project Based Learning(TPBL).

Motivation Levels

While heterogeneous grouping is best, good students can be doing more than their share and less motivated ones can hide away. A solution to this includes well designed and administered TPBL.
Features of TPBL include team rewards, individual accountability and equal opportunities for succes.
Teach students essentials of effective project management, e.g. using a Gannt chart.

Gantt chart, wikimedia

Time management

One of the students most essential needs is learning how to budget time. (Lucier, 2011)

A plan should start with identifying all the tasks needed to complete the project, with help from the teacher. Assigning a task number and amount of time.  The planning should take into account constraints between tasks, e.g.  a certain task  has to be performed before another can start.  So tasks should be sequenced. After this responsibility of tasks can be assigned to each student.

Monitoring on-task behavior

Evidence of each task completed should be provided.

Engagement in the work can be monitored by cross referencing the planning and the completion of the tasks. Progress can be graded.

Differentiated grading

Assign three different grades:

  • project grade (rubric)
  • project management grade (was the progress on time)
  • individual participation grade (peer evaluation)

Reference:

Portz, S.M. 2014, “project management”, Technology and Engineering Teacher, vol. 73, no. 7, pp. 19.

A conversation about connections with Peter Block

In this article Peter says connected communities can change the world, and libraries are at the forefront of that revolution.
Empowerment, stewardship, and accountability are at the heart of what makes libraries function.

He describes how people aren’t connecting anymore (in real life). Meetings like in a town hall or church are patriarchal and not designed to meet and communicate others.

Libraries are among the last places where people of different class meet.

It’s really coincidential that i came along this article: when IC2 began i went to the library for the first time in years and after getting some books on project management I sat down in the small reading room. I noticed that people said hello to each other when they entered. And after a while they began discussing current items in the news, reflecting on the quality of magazines, etc. It struck me that they were all very polite to each other and respected each others ideas. Having spent years on internet forums this is quite refreshing.

Good to read that Block encourages the community, something I am trying to stimulate in my project plan.

Brandes, J. (2013). A CONVERSATION ABOUT CONNECTIONS… PETER BLOCK. American Libraries, 44(1/2), 65.

Resume: Seven Principles for Change Management – Gordon Stanley

1. Plan for change from a solid base.

Supply relevant and convincing data
Be beware that how we make use of it matters. It is important to have a handle on the strengths and weaknesses of available data and how it can be marshaled in support of the change programme.

2. Identify discrepancies between formal and informal practice in the organization.

Understanding informal practice can contribute to the understanding why formal rules were not followed, e.g. unworkable, better alternatives, … and can lead to an adjustment of formal practice.

3. Control expectations about the proposed changes.

Working out what can be done is affected by the extent to which expectations about proposed changes can be handled and controlled.
While it is desirable to have high standards in education, they need to be achievable to avoid disappointment with the result. Reality checking is an important element in controlling expectations about change.
Change may also challenge people out of their comfort zone.

4. Select change agents carefully.

Inside or outside agents?
It is important to check on the track-record of any change agent!
Inside agents should have a track-record of leadership and have a clear focus on data-driven decision making.

5. Build support among like-minded people however they are recruited

For successful change to occur it is essential to build social consensus among those affected by the change. This means paying careful attention to getting those who are most agreeable to the direction of the change on side and then using this base to expand the numbers on side. There needs to be clear communication of the objectives of the change and agreement to resolve issues identified in the consensus building process.

6. Identify those opposed to change and try to neutralize them.

Those opposed to change should not be allowed to appropriate basic issues.
Listen to critics carefully: there may be some important truth in their criticism that may have been overlooked; if the criticism is not valid then in dealing with the critic one can rehearse the communication message that will need to be honed for successful agreement to the change.

7. Avoid future shock

Setting time frames for change is an important part of the planning process.
Many plans for change are unrealistically future-oriented.
Long-term time frames can have an aspirational value and move thinking beyond the immediate problems + a sense of direction allows individuals to see what the future holds.
If the horizon is too far into the future there are fewer objective criteria against which to measure alternative solutions. Moreover the longer time frame provides more opportunity for opponents to build support.
Continuing uncertainty about the future is very disabling to the efficient operation of an organization.

Conclusion

Leading change is a risky business and challenging. Not leading change is even riskier because change is a necessary factor in management of all contemporary organizations.
The assumptions driving change need to be constantly examined so that meaningful results can flow from the planned change.

 

Stanley, G. 2006. Seven Principles for Change Management. Sustainable Leadership in Education. University of Sydney.

http://sydney.edu.au/education_social_work/professional_learning/resources/papers/StanleyG_06_SustainableLeadership.pdf