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Mini-Responsibility Centers A Strategy for Learning by Leading Dr. Sandria S. Stephenson, PhD, CPA Texas State University, San Marcos.

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Presentation on theme: "Mini-Responsibility Centers A Strategy for Learning by Leading Dr. Sandria S. Stephenson, PhD, CPA Texas State University, San Marcos."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mini-Responsibility Centers A Strategy for Learning by Leading Dr. Sandria S. Stephenson, PhD, CPA Texas State University, San Marcos

2 Introduction This session. It uses excerpts from students personal reflections to show positive and negative learning outcomes from a team leadership approach to teaching large accounting courses. This best practice approach is based on the following assumptions: Accounting and business education are complex ideologies. Students need to be able to evoke leadership and personal critical thinking skills and abilities and to combine them to facilitate their personal knowledge acquisition and take charge of their own learning Promote their personal knowledge acquisition. Evoke students awareness of and curiosity for their individual knowledge acquisition in accounting or business.

3 Theoretical Frame In general literary theory and semiotics, a "narrative" is a story or part of a story. It may be spoken, written or imagined, and it will have one or several points of view representing some or all of the participants or observers. Narrative discourse relays account of events. It utilizes verbs of speech, motion, and or action to describe a series of events that are contingent one on another, and that typically focuses on one or more performers or actions.

4 Theoretical Frame In this methodology, I perceive the students as actors on their own life-stage. Using narrative discourse, they have an opportunity to combine reflective analyses on the various learning tools to determine what they learned and what they can use in the future.

5 Rationale My rationale was based on the following: Learners themselves become important resources for learning and can serve as resources for others in a learning event To enrich the learning experience in the class, get the participants involved Create a bond among students Help them learn to work in groups Help silent or quite learners cope in a smaller learning community setting

6 Rationale My rationale was also based on the following: Felt it would be effective in teaching attitudes and interpersonal skills, enhance transfer of leaning to real world, especially for the leaders as they role play this team leadership skills To increase students interests as they learn from each other, each-one, teach-one concept Help to control the class Help as an organization tool

7 Methodology During the academic years and , I experimented with a combination of teaching/learning strategies one of which I coined the term: Mini-responsibility centers. For my large classes students I asked students to form them selves in teams of no less than n=8 (eight) members I then invited the teams to select a team leader (TL) and an assistant leader (AL)

8 Methodology Once the teams and their leaders were formed I gave both TLs and ALs their letter of invitation and their team report sheets (see exhibits 1, 2), which included the instructions of how I perceived the teams working I outlined their responsibilities: to take attendance, grade quizzes, lecture series, pre-post tests, and to oversee the teams case studies and projects, serve as a support/study group As an incentive, the leaders would be compensated: TLs would be awarded extra credit of 50 points, while the ALs would be awarded 35 points

9 Reflective Narratives At the end of the course all TLs and ALs were asked to reflect on the experience and the process; to critically review and analyze what they have learned, if anything from the experience They were also asked to put that reflection in a narrative format I also asked them to sign a sheet giving me the authority to quote anything said, should I decide to share this information in some format I analyzed the data using narrative analysis Their personal Reflections

10 Students Reflections (data) Include Overall Experience [OE] Group Dynamics [GD] Leadership Styles [LS] Implications/rationale [IMP-R] Improvement [IM] Recommend to continue or repeat [rec] Willingness to participate again See Exhibit 3a-3c selected expanded synopses overall data summary Data are based on (n=55) narrative reflections of the team leaders and assistant leaders. The self reflections were open-ended, not coached, the only thing I asked if for them to relate their experiences with the process. I analyzed the narratives using narrative analysis. The data revealed several (n=7) major themes the following evidentiary information are synopses or single lines quoted directly from the students reflection papers. Note that this is qualitative data; hence, certain pieces of the reflections could be captured under a different theme, depending on the user of the information.

11 Overall Themed Data Results The results show that a vast majority of students [89%] reflected on positive aspects of the experience A minor few n=11, [0.20%] related to some negative aspects as an overall experience N=47 [85%] of students said they would recommend this strategy to continue and used in other classes, while N=28 or [51%] said they would volunteer again A minor few, n=4 [0.07] felt it could be improved in some way.

12 Themed Data Results Of N= 22 [40%] students who focused on group dynamics, n=9 or [41%] focused on the cons or negative aspects; while n=13 or [59%] focused on positive the implications/rationale validated my original rationale N=22 or [40%] focused on leadership styles N=44, [80%] focused on other implications of the mini-responsibility centers of which n=16 or [36%] directly related their responses to the original rationale, this validated the overall rationale for this strategy.

13 Concluding Remarks: Mini- Responsibility Centers Students self-select their teams and their team leaders and assistant leaders There are several responsibilities that each team and its leader has Team leaders and assistant leaders are asked to write a reflection piece that describe the four Ws of narrative discourse: why, where, who, and what. These responsibility centers are used as an effective management tool for large classes They teach students some critical skills relative to leadership, group dynamics, and about themselves as learners. Most importantly they have fun and lean a lot!

14 References and Contact Info Fludernik, M. (2003). Natural Narratology and Cognitive Parameters. In: Herman, David (ed.): Narrative Theory and the Cognitive Sciences. Stanford, CA:243–267. Freeman M. (2004). The Matter of the Text. In: Narrative Inquiry 14, 2004: 29–43. Sandria S. Stephenson, PhD, CPA Assistant Professor Texas State University-San Marcos

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