ERIC Number: EJ879125
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Reference Count: 4
Learning the Hard Way (but Still Learning!): Using Team Teaching as a Vehicle for Pedagogical Change
Conn, Cynthia E.
Business Communication Quarterly, v73 n1 p87-91 2010
The author is the course director of MGT 3373 (Managerial Communication), a basic business communication course required for all business students attending a large university in the American Southwest. The course she inherited was functioning adequately, but it needed an infusion of energy and ideas to help it evolve into a more positive, relevant part of students' educational experience. She was hired to transform MGT 3373 and given the charge to modernize the course, which had not been significantly updated for several decades. The transformation process is still in progress, and it involves revising curriculum, updating policies, implementing technology, and promoting pedagogical innovation. She is committed to making the managerial communication course an exemplary course, recognized for pedagogical innovation and curricular excellence. MGT 3373 uses an integrated model of classroom instruction. This means that students attend one large lecture and two labs every week during the semester. The author teaches the large lecture, and seven instructors (including her) teach the 19 lab sections. In previous years, the lecture and labs functioned separately, with little coordination between what students learned in lecture and what they did in lab. Further, the instructors of these lab sections exercised "pedagogical autonomy"; instructional goals, classroom instruction, and assignments reflected individual preferences, styles, and habits. In the face of these challenges, team teaching, the author thought, could be an effective, meaningful way to usher in change. Team teaching, as used in this course, means that all the MGT 3373 instructors, with her as the leader/facilitator, have opportunities to contribute their ideas and insights about both the course's administration (policies, schedule) and its curriculum (assignments, grade percentages). A team-teaching approach to MGT 3373 instruction has been a way to begin addressing some of the issues plaguing the course and to promote increased coordination and standardization. Although it's still early in the team-teaching process, the author has learned some important lessons about leading a teaching team in the context of change, and some of these lessons may prove valuable to others who occupy or inherit a similar position. In this article, she shares some of these lessons.
Descriptors: Business Communication, Team Teaching, Educational Experience, Educational Change, Educational Improvement, Business Administration Education, Educational Innovation, Change Strategies, Instructional Development, Performance Factors, Teaching Methods, Teacher Collaboration
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A