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Hobbes W

Dealing with organizational hubris and humility - Jeffrey Braithwaite - 27 views

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    "Maybe this ego-driven reporting of one's capabilities only happens among American college professors? Hardly. You do not have to stretch your observational powers too far to see that most of those at the helm of big companies, political parties, prestigious legal practices, or accounting and consulting groups have large doses of self-belief. It's only a small step to hubris."
Michaella Thornton

University Business - May 2011 [36] - 0 views

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    Collaboration Station: Designing an effective group study space - whether it's out in the open or behind a closed door - takes a team. By Melissa Ezarik (great article on how design impacts study spaces in higher ed)
Javier E

The Default Major - Skating Through B-School - NYTimes.com - 41 views

  • Dr. Mason, who teaches economics at the University of North Florida, believes his students are just as intelligent as they’ve always been. But many of them don’t read their textbooks, or do much of anything else that their parents would have called studying. “We used to complain that K-12 schools didn’t hold students to high standards,” he says with a sigh. “And here we are doing the same thing ourselves.”
  • all evidence suggests that student disengagement is at its worst in Dr. Mason’s domain: undergraduate business education.
  • “Business education has come to be defined in the minds of students as a place for developing elite social networks and getting access to corporate recruiters,”
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  • It’s an attitude that Dr. Khurana first saw in M.B.A. programs but has migrated, he says, to the undergraduate level.
  • Second, in management and marketing, no strong consensus has emerged about what students ought to learn or how they ought to learn it.
  • Gains on the C.L.A. closely parallel the amount of time students reported spending on homework. Another explanation is the heavy prevalence of group assignments in business courses: the more time students spent studying in groups, the weaker their gains in the kinds of skills the C.L.A. measures.
  • The pedagogical theory is that managers need to function in groups, so a management education without such experiences would be like medical training without a residency. While some group projects are genuinely challenging, the consensus among students and professors is that they are one of the elements of business that make it easy to skate through college.
  • “We’ve got students who don’t read, and grow up not reading,” he says. “There are too many other things competing for their time. The frequency and quantity of drinking keeps getting higher. We have issues with depression. Getting students alert and motivated — even getting them to class, to be honest with you — it’s a challenge.”
  • “A lot of classes I’ve been exposed to, you just go to class and they do the PowerPoint from the book,” he says. “It just seems kind of pointless to go when (a) you’re probably not going to be paying much attention anyway and (b) it would probably be worth more of your time just to sit with your book and read it.”
  • “It seems like now, every take-home test you get, you can just go and Google. If the question is from a test bank, you can just type the text in, and somebody out there will have it and you can just use that.”
  • This is not senioritis, he says: this is the way all four years have been. In a typical day, “I just play sports, maybe go to the gym. Eat. Probably drink a little bit. Just kind of goof around all day.” He says his grade-point average is 3.3.
  • concrete business skills tend to expire in five years or so as technology and organizations change.
  • History and philosophy, on the other hand, provide the kind of contextual knowledge and reasoning skills that are indispensable for business students.
  • when they hand in papers, they’re marked up twice: once for content by a professor with specialized expertise, and once for writing quality by a business-communication professor.
  • a national survey of 259 business professors who had been teaching for at least 10 years. On average, respondents said they had reduced the math and analytic-thinking requirements in their courses. In exchange, they had increased the number of requirements related to computer skills and group presentations.
  • what about employers? What do they want? According to national surveys, they want to hire 22-year-olds who can write coherently, think creatively and analyze quantitative data, and they’re perfectly happy to hire English or biology majors. Most Ivy League universities and elite liberal arts colleges, in fact, don’t even offer undergraduate business majors.
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