Gearing Up For Graduate Courses

Posted by Matt Grawitch

I am gearing up to teach my first graduate course at the School for Professional Studies. The course is Contemporary Organizational Leadership and it is offered as a fully online course with a blended option for students who want some face-to-face interaction.

The course is a core requirement of both our Leadership and Organizational Development Program and the Organizational Informatics Program. I have to say, I am extremely excited (and a little nervous) about teaching this new course.

Teaching (and being a student in) a graduate course is very different than an undergraduate course. The workload is more intense. The expectations are much higher. As an instructor, my job shifts from the role of subject matter expert to learning facilitator. Students are encouraged to explore their own perspectives on leadership, and it is my job to provide them with ample resources and opportunities to do that.

The online format is a terrific way to offer this seminar course. Podcasts, YouTube videos, online readings, and other electronic resources offer so many more options than a traditional face-to-face class. And, of course, there are asynchronous discussions and blogs, so my students can log in and share their thoughts anytime from anywhere. Add to that the weekly lunch and learn webinars (which can be archived), and students have many opportunities to maximize what they take away from the course.

So, as I gear up for this new teaching experience, I do so with nervous excitement! I want my students to succeed, and I want to be an effective learning facilitator. I want to be able to see how their perspectives grow and change during the course and throughout the program. But, most of all, I am looking forward to providing them with the foundation they will need to become better leaders and managers – and that foundation comes from encouraging self-reflection and self-awareness. And there is no better place to encourage self-reflection and self-awareness than a Jesuit University.

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