Performance Analysis (Defining and Delivering Successful Professional Practice Series)

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  4. Outcome Measures Are Driven by National Standards and Financial Incentives

One response to these changes was to try and make transparent the relationship between university education and core or transferable skills. Two major schools of thought have emerged which can be broadly divided into those approaches which emphasise higher education as a public good, versus those which also lay emphasis on the vocational utility of higher education. Tensions between vocational and public good approaches are to be found not only in Europe , but in the United States.

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The Tuning project does not seek to resolve this debate but, nevertheless, wishes to indicate its awareness of it. A description of the long and complex development of changes in university education across Europe , particularly on the issues that have influenced curricular change, is beyond the scope of this chapter.

Europe requires its people to be culturally and intellectually equipped in ways appropriate both for their present and for their future. Only thus will they be able to lead meaningful and satisfying lives, personally and collectively. Institutions of higher education have a key role in developing appropriate strategies. It is the responsibility of higher education institutions to prepare their students, in a life long learning perspective, for a productive career and for citizenship.

Universities and other higher education institutions increasingly have come to realise that theirs is a moving target, and that their leadership in the field of the elaboration and transmission of knowledge and understanding implies a new sensitivity towards developments in society. They increasingly look to consultation with their stakeholders on a regular basis.

Education inspires progress in society, but at the same time it must respond, with foresight, to society, preparing adequate strategies for future programmes of studies. The Tuning project's approach to setting up degree programmes and ensuring quality in their design and implementation combines both aspects. In phase I of the Tuning project the emphasis was on the process of consultation with 'actors' or 'stakeholders', the definition of academic and professional profiles and the translation of these into desired learning outcomes.


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Tuning identified indicative generic competences or transferable skills and described the then commonly used subject-specific competences in terms of knowledge, skills and understanding for nine subject areas. Tuning II has turned to the next step looking at how to implement competences, defined on the bases of identified requirements of society and foreseen social developments besides scientific developments in the subject area concerned, in terms of approaches to teaching, learning, and assessment.

The Tuning approach. In the Tuning project the decision was taken to make a distinction between generic competences transferable skills and subject-related ones, although it is accepted that key outcomes of university programmes will be subject related competences. Tuning I showed that an indicative sample of employers, graduates and academic staff were in broad agreement about which generic competences, from a range offered in a questionnaire survey, are the more relevant ones, although they differed slightly with respect to the order of importance of some of them.

The importance of these generic competences is now widely understood, but understanding of the concept alone is insufficient. The true importance lies in the implications a competence-based approach has for teaching and learning. In other words, which appropriate modes of teaching, which learning activities might best foster competences in terms of knowledge, understanding and skills; and how do we assess these competences. One of the problems the Tuning members encountered in discussing approaches to teaching, learning and assessment on a European-wide scale was that every country, and even institution, has its own peculiarities and features deeply grounded in its national and regional culture.

Each has its own written and unwritten rules about how to prepare students best for society. On commencement of a mapping exercise on the approaches currently in use or planned in different national systems or individual universities, it became clear that each has developed its own mix of techniques and kinds of learning environments, all of which are well founded, but which need to be mutually understood. It may be the case that the same name is given to different methods e. Tuning has seen it as one of its tasks to create more clarity with regard to the issue of definitions and their understanding in practice.

A comprehensive list of terms and their translations into to all European languages is being developed and this glossary will be published on the Tuning website at the end of A wide range of teaching techniques is used in universities. The set of teaching techniques strongly depends on the instructional form of education face to face education, education by correspondence or distance education.

Apart from the ubiquitous lecture, the consultation revealed the following list which is far from exhaustive. Such lists are indicative only, and are really a list of categories of teaching activity, since how each is undertaken may vary widely not only between academics but within the everyday practice of any one academic, depending on the focus of the teaching and the intended learning outcomes for the students.

The lecture itself can vary immensely in format and function. At another extreme, the students will have read the notes before the lecture on the intranet, and will participate in a presentation that fleshes out the notes supplemented by interesting examples provided by both lecturer and possibly also by students from their reading. The scope or function can also be quite different.

A lecture introducing a new topic may provide an overview so that students can quickly become aware of who are the key players in this aspect of a field, how it has developed, and where current concerns are focussed. But not all lectures deal with broad scopes: one might, for example, use a lecture to fully explicate some key but complex concept, engaging students in some small group or individual problems at different points. Thus it is with all of the teaching techniques.

The mere label is handy, but it does not tell exactly what the lecturer does. One way of gaining some insights into the teaching techniques used is to look at what learning activities students are also required to do in a programme or part of a programme of study. As with teaching, learning activities called by the same name can differ quite widely.

Apart from attending lectures participating in lectures or reading books and journals, the following inevitably partial list of commonly used learning activities gives some idea of the richness that is possible in aligned teaching and learning. To complete the cycle of learning one must also look at how students' achievement of learning outcomes is assessed. Assessment is not just the rounding off of the teaching and learning period but to a large extent a central steering element in those processes, and directly linked to learning outcomes.

At one time, in some countries the oral examination was the most used method of assessment, while in others it was the essay. In a number of countries even today the essay remains a commonly used mode s of assessment. There is nothing wrong with essays as such, as long as the task set is appropriate to the unit of study and to its intended learning outcomes, and the lecturer has the time to mark them promptly and provide written feedback which is constructive and focussed. Nevertheless, the long written paper is only one of the options that the busy lecturer has at his or her disposal, and the main competence assessed is the ability to research and write such papers in the appropriate genre: useful academic skills, but not the only ones students need to develop and demonstrate the ability to perform.

Most programmes described in Tuning use a range of modes of assessment at different points in the programme. Coursework assignments, which may be formally assessed and graded - or not - assess student performance as the programme or part of it progresses. These may include the following, but again this is not an exhaustive list, merely that which arose from the Tuning work. Central to all of these ways of assessing student work during a programme is feedback.

The assessment is said to be formative , because the students learn by doing the work and then having the lecturer comment on how well they have achieved it, where they have done less well, how to improve, and what steps might be taken to do this. To further enable students to achieve the task successfully it is increasingly the case that students are given the criteria for success at the outset: a specification of what they have to do in order to complete the task satisfactorily.

Of course, in any programme of study, or parts of it, there is a need for summative assessment. Sometimes the coursework discussed above performs both a formative and a summative function. The grade given is the summation of the student's achievement in that element, and the feedback from lecturer — and sometimes peers as well — is the formative part.

Traditionally, however, and still commonly used for a variety of reasons, there are some forms of assessment which are usually only summative: they assess achievement at the end of a programme or part of it, and students may receive only their mark or grade which does have its formative aspect! If the examination has a follow-up seminar or tutorial to discuss the results it then contains a greater amount of the formative function. Some form of invigilated examination is the usual format for summative assessment; this may be written or oral.

Written examinations have the virtue of cheapness and security: a large cohort can be examined at the same time, while oral examinations can probe a student's learning in ways that a written format normally does not allow. Written examinations can take a wide range of formats, including the following short list of common ones. Oral examinations can also have a wide range of formats, within the following two categories.

It goes without saying that almost any form of assessment can have a diagnostic function for both student and lecturer. By seeing what has not been achieved, what has been achieved with little effort, what is excellent, and so on, both the teacher and the learner know where more work is needed or where effort can be diverted.


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So far, the project based dissertation or thesis has not been mentioned. This is an example of a complex mode of assessment, widely used across Europe in every subject area, and in all degree cycles in varying levels of complexity, and with different purposes at each level. The thesis is a summative assessment of a programme or substantial part of a programme, demanding the demonstration of a range of competences and understanding.

It is also strongly formative in that it is normally prepared under the supervision of a lecturer, who advises the student on the work, and certainly provides feedback at different stages of its development. The summative examination may be oral or written i.

Pdf Performance Analysis Defining And Delivering Successful Professional Practice Series

At doctoral level the final examination of the thesis is always by an oral examination the defence of the thesis , although the format of this may vary quite widely from country to country, but in the lower two cycles assessment of projects and dissertations may be based on the student's written document alone. In many institutions guidelines and requirements have been developed for the assessment of learning at different programme levels, as well as for preparing final theses.

In particular, it is becoming the norm to publish the criteria for success in assignments, something which should be universal. Many Tuning members reported that their departments were instituting procedures for fair assessment. European wide guidelines 1 are now emerging, which say, for example,. Finally, when discussing assessment issues across different cultures, it is important to probe the different ideas about what should be taken into account in assessment vary.

For example some systems prize hard work, others high achievement, others high potential. The Tuning II consultation. Each academic involved in the project was asked to reflect on a given number of subject-specific and generic competences and to identify ideas and best practices to develop these competences in a degree programme in terms of learning activities, teaching, and assessment. They were asked to find answers to the following five questions:. Tuning members followed different strategies to find reliable answers, including consultation with colleagues in their home institutions.

Most subject groups identified possible strategies either based on ideas or real experience. While some reported actual practices, others described how current good practices could be linked to new concepts of competences, and so reported on future possibilities rather than on present practice. Across Europe , it is clear that there are two main ways of teaching or enhancing generic competences. In this respect one could think of, for example, academic writing and oral skills and ICT-competences.

The second way is for generic competences to be developed as part of or integrated into subject programmes and modules. Through the consultation process it became clear that it is possible to foster generic competences while teaching normal subject area material if there is awareness of the need to do so and if teaching strategies are designed taking generic competences into account.

In general, since different approaches to learning, teaching and assessment tend to form or enhance different generic competences, Tuning members underlined the requirement that each student experience a variety of methods. The consultation process on generic competences. Further aims are to see how they are perceived by or, possibly, what their importance is for students and to investigate whether there are teaching learning methods used in some disciplinary areas, or in some countries or in some institutions which can usefully be proposed as models of good practice or which can be of interest more generally in developing new insights into competence-based curriculum design and delivery.

It is striking to see how differently some generic competences have been understood in the context of the various subject area groups. Sometimes strong differences can be noted between different national traditions within a single subject area; however it is more common to observe strong differences in perception and methods between different subject areas. It seems clear from an examination of the answers gathered that generic competences are always interpreted in the light of the disciplinary area. Even in cases in which the graduates or a relevant number of them will almost certainly be expected to work in areas not directly related to the subject in which they will receive a degree, the academics' perception of the generic competences remains quite tightly tied to the subject area disciplines themselves.

The first consequence of this observation is that in practice the generic competences do not appear to be rigidly separate from the subject specific competences. Rather they appear as further variations to be considered within the range of the subject specific competences. An additional consequence is that for each generic competence a distinction must be made between disciplinary areas in which the competence is considered important or even fundamental, a priority for the discipline, and those in which its connection with the subject area is less clear.

The consultation focussed on a selection of the thirty generic competences identified by the Tuning project. From these eight were selected for discussion in this paper:. No clear-cut definition of the capacity emerged from the consultation but it was evident that the Subject Area Groups SAGs defined analysis and synthesis in a very wide sense. The Business Studies SAG listed among others the elements of identifying the right research question or problem, the ability to describe as well as to conclude and formulate recommendations as indicators.

The Education SAG also took into account the reflective ability of a student and the ways in which this demonstrates the capacity for description, analysis and synthesis. If not, students should find out what they could use from past experience and start there to develop new approaches to solving the problem. Other SAGs defined analysis in a way which seems to comprise all these indicators as activities, i. It demands logical thinking, using the key assumptions of the relevant subject area and even the development of this area further by research.

In no SAG was the acquisition of this skill taught in a separate element or module, i. This view was also supported by the perceptions of students. Data collected from students showed that they attached great importance to this competence as it enabled them to relate theory and practice, evaluate findings logically and use instruments to find out alternative ways; they perceived it as being highly pertinent to their future professional career.

The resultant report on this independent work can comprise a significant component of the final exam and is considered extremely important by employers. Continuous assessment of progress is based on seminars, exercises of increasing complexity, laboratory work, short oral presentations, teaching practice, assignments, regular meetings with the teacher for evaluation and feedback on the project. For some courses, only a part of the marks are given for coursework, in other cases coursework completely replaces the traditional examination.

This may be particularly true in the second cycle. This competence can be assessed through the essay format provided that the task set is clear and well constructed. A three part model for a task might include a requirement to outline the theoretical bases of the issue; a requirement to outline relevant issues to do with implementation in practice; and illustrations of how this is done, or would be done, in the working context of the candidate. It would not examine content knowledge very efficiently, since the topic would be too large to deal with, and there might even be a danger of plagiarism, or at least over reliance on the source materials.

Generally students understand whether or to what degree they have achieved this competence from the feedback they get from the teachers, either on progress made during the course or on their final products and exams.

This general competence is the one most obviously linked to the single subject areas. Hence in the abstract one might expect that the ways of forming this competence would be different for each area, tightly linked to the specificities of the subject. In practice this is not entirely the case. Basic general knowledge is perceived as having three aspects: the first, the basic facts ; and second the basic attitude considered specific to the subject area. The third aspect is constituted by related or necessary general knowledge which is not strictly subject specific: e.

Little space is given in the reports to considering whether the basic general knowledge of the subject at first cycle level might in some cases and to some degree be acquired in school or previous to the higher education experience, and hence be assessed at entry and integrated or completed during the higher education experience in a selective way. Normally for first cycle study universities are very familiar with the school curriculum and have a good idea of what is covered, particularly in the pre-university period.

However, in Physics, the subject area group states that the maths knowledge and capabilities obtained in upper school are evaluated at entry in higher education. Another exception is Education, where mature students wishing to enter a teacher education programme may present a portfolio of evidence to show that their qualifications both formal and non-formal are appropriate for entry. Basic general knowledge for most subject areas is learned through lectures, reading, discussions, library and Internet searches and assessment through written or oral examination.

Discussion of papers, exam results or discussion during the oral examination is thought to make students aware of whether their basic general subject knowledge is adequate. Great effort does not seem to be put into thought and reflection about this aspect of learning; it is accepted by all concerned as necessary, largely a matter of factual and conceptual knowledge. Naturally the pan-European context of Tuning shows that in some subject areas the content of this basic general subject knowledge varies quite radically from country to country, although in others there seems to be relatively little difference.

However, in most subject areas there is general agreement about the core subject knowledge of first cycle degrees. It is more complicated to develop or foster the other component of basic general knowledge, the mindset of the discipline, its values, and its methodological or even ethical base. However here a number of strategies were mentioned by the SAGs. Some aspects rigour of analysis, ethical values and intellectual standards are discussed in lecture courses, and presumably are criteria for success in assignments.

The objective in this case is to tell students what the standards and the values of the subject area are. Students also acquire the mindset of the subject area through their reading, where they constantly see models of how their subject community thinks; they will also gradually see how the different schools within the subject community think and what their attitudes are. In the subject areas that have discussed this general competence, we find that the mindset or attitude, intellectual and ethical values considered fundamental to the subject are also thought to be encouraged by hands-on learning experiences, such as laboratory work in physics or experience in analysis of historical documents in history, preparation of oral presentations, reports and posters in education.

Information management skills ability to retrieve and analyse information from different sources. This competence is fairly uniformly understood to mean knowing how to find information in the literature, how to distinguish between primary and secondary sources or literature, how to use the library — in a traditional way or electronically — how to find information on the Internet. One subject area, history, devotes much specific attention to the various kinds of sources of information and techniques for accessing them and interpreting them indicating archival documents, papyrus, archaeological materials, secondary sources, oral history and so forth as well as to the more usual kinds of information listed by the other subject areas.

In this particular subject area a variety of activities, lectures, workshops, site visits, group and individual work including final research dissertations are seen as connected to this general competence. In all subject areas there are specific teaching-learning activities devoted to learning library skills. Some of these activities may organised in conjunction with the library staff and have the form of visits to the library or library workshops.

Retrieval of information from the Internet and its critical evaluation may be demonstrated in a lecture context with multi-medial support, followed by assignments of student tasks and evaluation of the results. Information retrieval skills are seen as progressive: in one report it is mentioned that in the beginning of the higher education experience students are encouraged to use reference books to supplement the information they receive from lectures, whereas by the time students complete their studies, they should have brought their library and other information retrieval skills up to research level.

In history, the student is required to read and analyse documents of various kinds and to contextualise them using the bibliography and published sources. Such exercises will be more or less elaborate and more or less original according to level of study. In earth science students are asked to organise presentations, written or oral, of the material collected and to show that they have interpreted it properly using the relevant literature.

Feedback on students' efforts is perceived as particularly important for this competence, and is in the form of written or oral comments on student work. On the basis of the reports it seems that the subject areas have a clear perception of the importance of this competence and that it is developed and assessed — to varying degrees of complexity and characteristics that are determined by the subject area — in all disciplinary studies. This competence is seen as central to three subject areas, Education, Nursing and Business Studies, all of which in one way or another provide specific activities to develop what is perceived as an important competence for the subject area as well as an important general competence.

For the other subject areas, this competence is perceived as useful or necessary for survival, citizenship and employment, but not subject related — and according to some reports not even very important. In Business Studies the means mentioned for developing these skills are group work, presentations, specific lectures, training-coaching course. A specific kind of activity is a computer-based Business Studies game in which groups of students must act out realistic business scenarios, working in groups and dealing with issues of group dynamics, time management, decision making and so forth.

Nonetheless, it is stated that except for the actual performance in such activities, there is little knowledge of how to evaluate and assess interpersonal skills and that this competence needs further work. In Education and Nursing, the interpersonal skills cluster of competences is at the centre of reflection. In fact, in a very meaningful sense, for many graduates of Education and Nursing their work is an entirely interpersonal activity.

In Nursing particular communication aspects are key skills, such as presencing, observation, listening, asking questions, non-verbal communication, ability to have conversations with different groups of interlocutors, leading and participating in meetings. These skills are often contextualized in written practices, including, for example, preparing written health promotion materials for different audiences.

In Education, there also is a great awareness of the different aspects that this competence has. Interpersonal skills are defined as including not only the ability to work in a group, to present one's projects effectively and possibly to develop leadership skills — here emphasis is placed on the dialogic nature of interpersonal skills and of the teaching-learning process.

SAGs noted that students should be and will inevitably be in possession of many interpersonal skills when they start higher education; however the considerations of the Education and Nursing groups underline that the higher education experience must add substantially to those competences, and must indeed give a whole new cast to them.

This will not surprise given the importance of interpersonal abilities for those fields. The ways in which such competences can be developed start from making students aware of the fact that they have much to learn in this field, i. Another important aspect is for the student to find out whether what they believe they said was understood that way by others. An aim of these activities is to develop awareness and confidence in their interpersonal know-how in the students. All the competences developed are put into play in practice when the students actually enter the workplace in a training setting.

Students in this case will observe role models in action and analyse what they see and hear; students also keep a personal diary or log of their experiences and observations. Results can be assessed fairly effectively in the context of the activities mentioned. Some teachers consulted by the Education group were sceptical about whether these skills could really be taught and learned formally or accurately assessed. However, most teacher education programmes make use of competence-based assessment procedures to assess the classroom practice elements of courses.

These include formal assessment of the students' competence in interpersonal areas such as questioning, classroom management, teacher-pupil relations, and teamwork with colleagues and so on. The strategies outlined certainly have the merit of creating an environment in which interpersonal skills can be explicitly considered and their development targeted. It is stated that students are aware of whether they have been successful in acquiring the appropriate interpersonal skills when they feel confident in groups and in their practice teaching.

This feeling of confidence may be of varying value in different countries as an indication of successful achievement. The perception and feedback of others, particularly learners, would seem to be more significant. The importance and range of communication skills for Nurses is made explicit in programme outlines and assessment procedures.

Overall, on the basis of the reports available, it appears that interpersonal skills may not be taken sufficiently into consideration by higher education academics, with the exception of those in whose subject area those competences or skills are thought to be fundamental. This is not surprising, considering that interpersonal skills are perhaps exactly the kind of competence that traditional university education ignored and which nonetheless are of great importance in the educational process. This may be the case in wholly mono-cultural contexts, but how many of those are there in 21 st century Europe , or, indeed, 21st century anywhere?

It is not proposed here that all subject areas imitate the Education, Nursing and Business Studies SAGs in the emphasis given to this group of skills and competences, nor that the same teaching and learning strategies be used. However, students in all subject areas would benefit if programmes were to address more explicit, analytical and practical attention to this group of competences because there is no doubt that whatever employment a graduate will find, these skills will be of use to them. Hence a useful direction of endeavour to educate the educators could be to develop awareness, both in our capacity as teachers and as learners, of this group of skills.

The ability to work autonomously is prized in all subject areas. Naturally in real life - post graduation -- the ability to organise available time, choose priorities, work to deadlines and deliver what has been agreed on, is essential for personal and professional life and citizenship in general. At present, the main methods reported of developing this competence in students are, in the initial stages of higher education, to ask the students to use methods other than lectures e.

Some recommendations are made not to harass students with many small deadlines, or to give constant reminders of deadlines, letting the students learn to organise their time by having to do it. The final paper or dissertation is seen as a particularly useful means of ascertaining whether the student has learned to use time and organise complex tasks effectively. Experience shows that national traditions are very different in the attitudes and practices with regard to student autonomy. In some countries, particularly where students are more mature when they start their studies, they are considered to be adults from the very beginning, attendance is not mandatory and deadlines are quite flexible, going to the point of giving students the opportunity of staking all on a final exam — for a course, for a year, or even for an entire course of study.

The other extreme is based on a closely structured course organisation in which students are given specific study tasks which are checked during the semester writing papers, or reading and studying certain material on which the student is tested according to a strict time schedule, often coordinated with other time schedules in the department or Faculty to avoid overlap. In this case the basic strategy is to insist on the student having accomplished the task on time, in a context perhaps reminiscent of school organisation, but perhaps without the leeway permitted in school.

It is interesting to see, in fact, that for some the ability to work autonomously can be developed by a sink or swim strategy, whereas for others, it can be accomplished by enforcing and insisting on the respect of a framework of task organisation decided by the teacher. As part of formal programmes of study in most subject disciplines students are required to be appropriately skilful in aspects of computing and information technology. Within programmes of study in different subject disciplines this competence may be seen as one or more of. Under each of these the content, emphasis and weight within the curriculum will vary considerably with the subject discipline.

At one extreme, it may be assumed that students have the necessary competence on entry to the programme or that they will informally acquire necessary competences as they progress through their studies. This is likely to be the case where computer skills are seen only as a relatively elementary skill, both in terms of supporting study and enhancing future employability. Not all SAGs focussed on this competence in the consultation, even though their subject is one were computer applications are very widely used, e.

Those SAGs which did address this competence emphasised that the objective is that the student feel confident to approach and use a computer for any type of activity required by the subject curriculum. Detailed responses reported the need for students to be able to create and store information on any media, e-mail, search on the web, and specifically have experience in data logging of experimental apparatus to a computer and processing of the resulting data, use subject specific software Chemistry.

Word processing or special software to present in words or graphics plotting or calculate, evaluate and access information wherever it is available Physics. Students are also increasingly asked to become familiar with learning spaces to make use of new forms of e-learning via facilities such as the use of communications networks and new educational technologies. Modern e-learning management systems usually use special facilities such as virtual learning environments e.

WebCT, Blackboard , newsrooms, direct web-links Education. The competence is also a requirement for writing papers such as theses, dissertations in an adequate format, fulfilling all academic standards in terms as footnotes, literature and source review History. Students receive both, formal lectures and the opportunity to apply their knowledge in computer laboratories to develop their computer competences. Some SAGs report the initial provision of free access sessions after which specifically subject oriented instruction is given.

Formal lessons are sometimes scheduled much later in the programme 2nd or 3rd year , when specific software is being introduced. However, most of the time, basic courses are provided at the beginning of programmes by the institutions, sometimes in the format of an intensive short programme. Web evaluation is also considered an important way of developing computing skills in a wider sense. Typically such teaching and learning sessions would start with a class-based task using an on-line site and generate student criteria for evaluation which are discussed and categorised.

Some lecturers then steer students towards finding other evaluation sites as part of web search skills, others give out lecturer-selected criteria. These evaluation criteria will be tested by referring to identified web-sites. According to the Education group 2 , forms of teaching and learning to develop the computer competences of students include:. Assessment of developing computer skills is based on requiring students to demonstrate evidence of the competence e. In Education all activities for early development of ICT skills focus on skills development rather than knowledge or awareness.

When doing strategic planning, the organization should emphasize team planning. By involving those affected by the plan, the manger builds an organization wide understanding and commitment to the strategic plan Flemming, The strength and resilience of the traditional rural and farm population and the trend towards a decentralized society with more and more urbanites moving to the country suggest that successful rural communities will depend on people's ability to change, to adapt, and to work toward a better future.

In the s, facilitating farmer participation is a major extension activity Chambers, Reorganization provides a framework for longer-term commitment to rural development. Organizations and sub units are being encouraged to put work teams in place to ensure that each sector integrates staff and services into a cohesive, focused business unit. Consultation and participation are believed to be essential for the successful development and implementation of organizational goals and objectives.

Each work team is asked to develop an effective process for discussion of major challenges and opportunities facing the organization, if possible, over the next decade. Updated strategic plans are then developed. These plans form the framework for focusing organizational resources on the most strategic areas by using a staged approach. Updated plans are then implemented by work teams at all levels of management. Work-team objectives include: 1.

Involving all levels of staff in consultation 2. Designing and implementing a process to develop-goals and objectives for the organization and unit; a strategic process for the next five to ten years 3. Defining and clarifying organizational structures and identifying functions, customers, and service delivery models 4. Identifying changes and staged approaches needed to move from the current situation to what will be required over the next three to five years 5.

Identifying and recommending priorities for policy and programme development 6. Incorporating goals for expenditure reduction, service quality improvement, workforce management, accountability, technology, and business process improvement 7. Stating the start date and first report date Figure 1. Managerial Planning If long-range planning can be linked to "macro," then managerial planning can be linked to "micro. Managerial planning focuses on the activity of a specific unit and involves what needs to be done, by whom, when, and at what cost.

The strategic planning process serves as an umbrella over the management planning process which deals with the following: 1. Establishing individual goals and objectives 2. Forecasting results and potential problems 3. Developing alternatives, selecting alternatives, and setting priorities 4. Developing associated budgets 5. Establishing personnel inputs 6. Establishing specific policies related to the unit 7.

Allocating physical resources 8. Appraising how the management unit has succeeded in meeting its goals and objectives Decision making Closely related to both strategic and managerial planning is the process of decision making. Decisions need to be made wisely under varying circumstances with different amounts of knowledge about alternatives and consequences. Decisions are concerned with the future and may be made under conditions of certainty, conditions of risk, or conditions of uncertainty.

Under conditions of certainty, managers have sufficient or complete information and know exactly what the outcome of their decision will be. Managers are usually faced with a less certain environment. They may, however, know the probabilities and possible outcomes of their decisions, even though they cannot guarantee which particular outcome will actually occur. In such cases, there is a risk associated with the decision and there is a possibility of an adverse outcome.

Most managerial decisions involve varying degrees of uncertainty. This is a key part of a manager's activities. They must decide what goals or opportunities will be pursued, what resources are available, and who will perform designated tasks. Decision making, in this context, is more than making up your mind.

It consists of several steps: Step 1: Identifying and defining the problem Step 2: Developing various alternatives Step 3: Evaluating alternatives Step 4: Selecting an alternative Step 5: Implementing the alternative Step 6: Evaluating both the actual decision and the decision-making process Managers have to vary their approach to decision making, depending on the particular situation and person or people involved. The above steps are not a fixed procedure, however; they are more a process, a system, or an approach.

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They force one to realize that there are usually alternatives and that one should not be pressured into making a quick decision without looking at the implications. This is especially true in the case of nonprogrammed decisions complex and novel decisions as contrasted to programmed decisions those that are repetitive and routine. One of the most difficult steps in the decision-making process is to develop the various alternatives.

For example, if one is involved in planning a workshop, one of the most crucial decisions is the time, format, and location of the workshop. In this case, one's experience as well as one's understanding of the clientele group greatly influence the selecting of alternatives. Often decision trees can help a manager make a series of decisions involving uncertain events. A decision tree is a device that displays graphically the various actions that a manager can take and shows how those actions will relate to the attainment of future events.

Each branch represents an alternative course of action. To make a decision tree it is necessary to: 1 identify the points of decision and alternatives available at each point, 2 identify the points of uncertainty and the type or range of alternative outcomes at each point, 3 estimate the probabilities of different events or results of action and the costs and gains associated with these actions, and 4 analyse the alternative values to choose the next course of action. In extension, the decision-making process is often a group process. Consequently, the manager must apply principles of democratic decision making since those involved in the decision-making process will feel an interest in the results of the process.

In such a case, the manager becomes more of a coach, knowing the mission, objectives, and the process, but involving those players who must help in actually achieving the goal. The effective manager thus perceives himself or herself as the controller of the decision-making process rather than as the maker of the organization's or agency's decision. As Drucker has pointed out, "The most common source of mistakes in management decision-making is the emphasis on finding the right answer rather than the right question.

It is not enough to find the right answer; more important and more difficult is to make effective the course of action decided upon. Management is not concerned with knowledge for its own sake; it is concerned with performance. Organizing is the process of establishing formal relationships among people and resources in order to reach specific goals and objectives.

The process, according to Marshall , is based on five organizing principles: unity of command, span of control, delegation of authority, homogeneous assignment, and flexibility. The organizing process involves five steps: determining the tasks to be accomplished, subdividing major tasks into individual activities, assigning specific activities to individuals, providing necessary resources, and designing the organizational relationships needed.

In any organizing effort, managers must choose an appropriate structure. Organizational structure is represented primarily by an organizational chart. It specifies who is to do what and how it will be accomplished. The organizing stage provides directions for achieving the planning results. There are several aspects to organizing - time, structures, chain of command, degree of centralization, and role specification.

Time Management Managers must decide what to do, when, where, how, and by or with whom. Time management is the process of monitoring, analysing, and revising your plan until it works. Effective planning is a skill that takes time to acquire. It is difficult to implement because you have no one but yourself to monitor how effectively you are using your time. Everyone has the same amount of time - hours per week. How that time is managed is up to the discretion of each person.

One extension agent joked that he was so busy taking time management courses, he had little time left to manage. Effective time management involves philosophy and common sense. Time is not a renewable resource - once it is gone, it is gone forever. To function effectively, managers have to be able to prioritize and replace less important tasks with more important ones.

Most of us work for pay for only 1, hours per year. Effective and efficient time management encourages us to achieve and be productive while developing good employee relations. Once the goals are known, it is important to think about how they can be achieved. Effective time managers facilitate planning by listing tasks that require their attention, estimating the amount of time each task will take to complete, and prioritizing them - deciding what tasks are most important to do first and numbering them in rank order.

It is essential to know what is crucial and what is not. Some activities have relatively low levels of importance in completing a given task. By planning ahead, managers can decide what to do and take the time to come up with ideas on how to do it. They can make their own list of steps to eliminate or reduce time wasters.

Maintaining a daily "To Do" list with priorities attached and maintaining a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly diary is helpful. Managers should analyse their daily activities to see which are directed toward results and which are simply activities.

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They could learn how to manage meetings more effectively since considerable management time seems to be wasted in nondirectional formal meetings. For example, 80 per cent of the complaining in your department is likely to be done by 20 per cent of your staff. Four suggestions for better time management are 1 never handle the same piece of paper twice; 2 learn how to say "no" without feeling guilty about requests that do not contribute to the achievement of your goals; 3 when a visitor drops in to your office, stand up while you have your discussion to ensure that only a brief period of time will be consumed by the visitor's interruption; and 4 avoid being a slave to the telephone.

By managing time well, managers are better able to solve problems quickly, make decisions, avoid frustration, keep from getting bogged down in day-to-day tasks, handle crises, work on their goals and priorities, and manage stress. Guidelines for scheduling time include: 1. Always put your schedule in writing.

Focus on the objectives you are trying to accomplish. Continually review objectives, priorities, and scheduled actions to keep on track. Schedule around key events and actions. Get a productive start by scheduling early-day actions. Group related items and actions whenever possible. Do not hesitate to take large time blocks for important tasks. Be sure to allow enough time for each task, but not too much time.

Build in flexibility for unexpected events. Include some thinking time for yourself. Consider how to make waiting and travel time useful or otherwise productive. Try to match your work cycles to your body cycles. Learn to control your unscheduled action impulses. Prepare tomorrow's schedule before you get to the office in the morning. Structures: Centralized versus Decentralized, Line versus Staff Working productively and developing feelings of cooperation and effectiveness are related to having the right people doing the right jobs. Structure, then, can be defined as a system of interrelated jobs, groups of jobs, and authority.

There is no standard organizational structure, but most organizations and agencies follow the "Christmas Tree" system with the star e. Some would claim that the lower branches support the upper branches, but as in the tree, the branches are supported by a single trunk, which can be thought of as the organizational mission and objectives. Each part of the tree has its specific function. When all parts work together, the system survives, functions productively, has balance, and is a pleasure to see!

There are four primary elements in designing an organizational structure: 1. Departmentalization - the grouping of jobs and responsibilities in common sectors with the objective of achieving coordination 3. Span of control - a definition of how many job roles should be in each unit and which roles require coordination by a unit manager 4. Delegation of authority - assigning the right to make decisions without having to obtain approval from a supervisor The resulting organizational structure will vary according to these four elements.

An organization with decentralized authority and very heterogeneous departments will appear very different from one with centralized authority and a very homogeneous product. Thus authority flows from presidents to vice-presidents to divisional managers, from ministers to deputies to directors, from principals to vice-principals to deans, etc. In complex organizations, there may be bridges from one level to another and there will be complex procedures for maintaining the chain of command.

Adult and extension educators, if working for an organization or agency, will be part of a structure and part of the chain of command. One cannot often make major changes in these two elements; it is wise, however, to be very aware of the organizational structure and chain of command if you wish to accomplish things efficiently. Centralized organizations are those in which the key authority and decision-making role is focused on one or a very few individuals.

Where authority is distributed among many managers, then one can see a decentralized structure. As the organization's various roles become more diverse in terms of programme, product, or geographical location, one can see a more decentralized organizational structure with authority being delegated to those who are closest to the action. Centralization refers to authority, whereas centrality refers to the proximity to the organization's stated mandate and objectives.

Outcome Measures Are Driven by National Standards and Financial Incentives

One could have a very decentralized organization with each unit being responsible for programmes, staffing, and budget, and yet be very close to the main mission and objectives of the organization. Another important point in terms of structure is the concept of line and staff functions.

Line functions are those involved in creating, developing, and delivering a programme. Staff functions are those that are of an advisory and consultative order. Line functions contribute directly to the attainment of the organization's objectives, and staff functions contribute indirectly. Staffing A key aspect of managing an adult and extension enterprise is to find the right people for the right jobs. Much of one's success as a manager is related to appropriate human resource planning, regardless of whether it is the hiring of a secretary or an instructor for a particular work-shop.

The staffing function consists of several elements: 1. Human resource planning - how many staff resources, with what backgrounds, and at what cost can be considered for objectives implementation? Recruitment - how does one proceed to find the person with the appropriate mix of education, experience, human relations skills, communications skills, and motivation? An important component of the recruitment process is writing the job description. The description must be exact and specific but sufficiently general to solicit interest among potential candidates. The nature of the job, scope, authority, and responsibilities form the core of the job description.

Indications of preferred educational background as well as salary range must also be included. In times of high unemployment, one can always expect several dozen applications for any one opportunity for employment. This leads to the next task of staff selection. Staff Selection The process of staff selection involves evaluating candidates through application forms, curriculum vitae, and interviews and choosing the best candidate for the specific job responsibility.

One can even have a list of criteria and a score sheet for each individual. Even then, successful hiring is often a very intuitive act and involves some degree of risk. As a means of giving some structure and design to the staffing process, the following guidelines are useful dark, Each job interview should be characterized by: 1.

A clear definition of the purpose of the interview 2. The presence of a structure or general plan 3. The use of the interaction as a learning experience in a pleasant and stimulating atmosphere 4. The creation and maintenance of rapport between the interviewer and interviewee 5. The establishment of mutual confidence 6. Respect for the interviewee's interest and individuality by the interviewer 7. An effort to put the interviewee at ease 8. The establishment and maintenance of good communication 9. The willingness to treat what is being said in proper perspective