We are about to begin our investigation into the theme of Principled Organizations: Faith, Ethics, and Work. Some of you may have questions about different features of the course. So I will try to anticipate your questions and provide some answers that should orient you.
In the Spring Term of 2014, there may be 20-25 students enrolled.
For some of you this is your first on-line course. Eventually our educational systems will catch up with the available technologies ---- I suppose this course is one of my efforts to contribute to this task. Since it is a first for many of you, I thought it might be helpful to give you a bit of a guided tour of my website.
1) To go to my general website, click on my Homepage.
2) You will find a yellow table on my Homepage and you will find the link to this course in the second row, middle column box on the table under "Spring, 2014." If you go directly to the course website, you will miss the picture of me by my pool in Palm Springs, CA --- reservations required.
3) When you click on "MBA 758 spring 2014" all of the linking webpages for this course come up.
4) You don't really need the "Course Description for Registration" webpage anymore, if you are already registered. So you can go straight to the "Syllabus" webpage.
5) Click on the "Syllabus" webpage and you will find all that you would expect to find on a Syllabus: what the course is about; requirements for the course; grading scale; etc.. Since this is an on-line course you will find the technology (computer) requirements for the course.
Please note that a general objective of the School of Business Administration is the development of team building. But it has particular significance for this course since this course relies on electronic technology to accomplish the goal of team-building.
6) The "Objectives" webpage is much to much. That said, we are going to try to accomplish a good many of those enumerated.
7) The "Course Outline and Schedule" page gives you a very slimed-down overview of the areas to be discussed in the course and the written and Web Conference assignments.
8) The "Reading Assignments" webpage will be a major focus of attention for your efforts. It designates your tasks in terms of weeks with the due dates for the writing assignments clearly designated. [It also itemizes where the Web Conferences and Threaded Discussions fit into the schedule.] Keeping up with your assignments is very important in an online course. It is easy to slide into a belief that, if you are not going to "class," you can set a more leisurely pace for yourself. This is not the case. As things unfold throughout the course, I may be adding some material from The Wall Street Journal to this webpage as new issues arise in the corporate world. [Always good to keep current with issues that have ethical import.] When I add something, I will send you an e-mail to inform you. I have a few things in the queue right now that I should add soon.
|A few words about the Reading Assignments. Some of the earlier readings, especially Aristotle, Kant, and Mill may be quite difficult because of the time period in which they wrote. For that reason I have written essays and provided slide shows to explain the theories. But do give the readings a shot.|
selected "parts" of the books and
documents that are directly relevant to the
theme of this course. I have tried to be
judicious in selecting those parts. If you have
trouble with them, let me know. Who knows? You
might find the ideas so interesting that you may
want to read more of the book than the
assignments I have given you.
I also know that, with your busy lives, you may not be able to read everything as assigned. So be it; but you will have to read enough to participate meaningfully in the discussions. Remember that, as graduate students you are particularly expected to be SELF-MOTIVATED.
Finally, each week begins with a link to a short one-page "Meditation" from Thomas Moore. These "Meditations" are intended for you to cultivate a reflective life as you turn to the assigned readings.
9) The next 3 webpages are the essay topics [Essay 1, Essay 2, Essay 3]. These questions can also serve as a reflective exercise For this reason I usually post the topics early in the essay period. When the topics are posted, I will send an e-mail to notify you. Please note that the essays are complex so be sure that you address each part. Note also that there is a length expectation for your essays. You have to learn to get to the point quickly and yet be thorough in your analyses and presentation. Balance - not excessive verbiage --- is everything here.
10) The next tab is for Collaborative Writing Projects. Click on this tab to get a sense of what the project is about and the team-building activity that it is designed to create. This project involves both a writing project and a Threaded Discussion. The difference between this Threaded Discussion and the other Threaded Discussions is described below.
DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN THE TWO TYPES OF THREADED DISCUSSIONS.
One of the goals of the MBA program and the School of Business in general is to build teamwork. The Threaded Discussions are one of the ways I try to accomplish this goal in MBA 758. The team/group analyzes a problem and it works together to generate a comprehensive analysis/solution.
There are actually 2 kinds of Threaded Discussions in this course. Each one is described on its own webpage. They are designed to allow for new ideas to be introduced and for students to react to each other's comments. Directions for accessing the Threaded Discussions are found on each of the Threaded Discussion webpages.
1) The "Threaded Discussions" assignment stands alone and they are graded separately. You are expected to make 3 contributions (10 points for each contribution) to these for a total of 30 points for each TD. The contributions should be a "healthy paragraph" or two. to explain an idea.
You will also find, on this page, the folders for the contributions to Getting to Know You --- entry requested in the first couple of days of the term.
2) In the Collaborative Writing Project, there is a Threaded Discussion component that occurs before the actual drafting of the paper. In this TD you should be discussing the issues raised in the CWP topic. I expect about 5 contributions about the ETHICAL CONTENT of the case or issue to be made by each student. When I refer to the "ETHICAL CONTENT of the case or issue," I mean the ethical issues involved in the case or issue. In addition, I encourage you to use this TD to work on the manner in which your report will be generated. The package (TD and report) is graded as a whole. I expect the report to reflect the TD preceding that particular report.
[I see the CWP an an opportunity to develop the skill of producing a team report at a distance. Someday you may have to produce such a report with collaborators in London, Sidney, Toronto, Cairo, Chicago, and Baghdad. It's a complicated world out there.]
Threaded Discussions are programmed and posted one week prior to the due date for the TD. The assignments to the groups are made randomly and change with each assignment. The group assignments are to be found at the bottom of the webpage for the various assignments. I send around an e-mail to notify you when the TD has been posted, groups assigned, and that it is ready for your participation.
One last VERY IMPORTANT matter. Please make one or two early postings for each assignment so that the others in the group will have something to which to respond. And don't just sit in front of your computer and type in all of your comments at the same time. That does not constitute a "discussion." On-going contributions to a TD are particularly important in the CWP assignments.
A note about my participation in the Threaded Discussions. I do monitor the Threaded Discussions as you are working on them. However, I rarely enter into the discussion itself. My approach is that my students should battle over issues without my interloping. I frequently find that, if I were inclined to say something in the midst of a discussion, by exercising a bit of patience, one of the members of the group would say something similar. So I do not want students to wait for an "authoritative" statement on my part. The dialogue creates its own form of authority.
11) The "Web Conference" webpage tells you how to access Isidore Live Meeting (Collaborative Classroom), the tool for the Web Conferences, and how to use it. It gives expectations for the Web Conferences and participation in them. It also gives a schedule for the Web Conferences and their topics. Topics may change as we go through the course because of new issues that might arise. You are required to participate in only 5 of the 10 scheduled Web Conferences. I have staggered the days and times for the Web Conferences so that everyone should have some opportunity to engage in this activity. Please do not wait until the very end of the course to begin participating in Web Conferences. Technological problems could arise late in the course that might prevent you from fulfilling your obligations. I suggest a headset for the Web Conferences. I got one of mine --- a Plantronics ---- at Best Buy for about $35 and another --- an Altec Lansing --- at Target for $39. You can also get headsets and video cameras at Amazon.
12) The two webpages, "Readings" and "Other Helpful Links" are self-explanatory.
13) The "Q&A" webpage should also be self-explanatory.
Please be sure to check your e-mail regularly --- I suggest every day ---- to keep up with any messages I may send you about the procedures of the course and in response to any questions that might arise from different members of the group.
Be sure to monitor the contents of your mailboxes to be sure that you have space there to receive messages from me. If you want your e-mail to arrive at an address other than your Google Apps address, go to <address.udayton.edu> to forward your mail to your desired address.
Finally, if you see any discrepancies --- dates, assignments, etc. ---- on the course website, please notify me immediately so that I can clarify or correct the matter. I will not take offense at this. There is so much information on these webpages that I am bound to make some errors. You may be perfect, but I certainly am not.
Any questions about any of this? Let me know.