EDU-7150 Leadership for Improvement (3 credits)

Prerequisite course: ED-7100 Effective Communication

Course Description:

Leadership during times of change—even good change—can be a challenge. This course supports your development as a professional who can lead educational organizations during times of change. You will explore theories, techniques, and strategies for self-reflection, evaluating culture, integrating stakeholder feedback, and incorporating data as part of improvement processes. You will synthesize these skills in the design of a comprehensive improvement plan to address a specific problem within an educational organization. Number of Activities: 8 Learning Outcomes:1.Explore self-evaluation and personal reflection techniques supportive of leadership improvement within learning organizations.

2.Critique leadership theories for relevance to improvement processes within learning organizations.

3.Evaluate culture within learning organizations.

4.Integrate stakeholder feedback into improvement processes within learning organizations.

5.Incorporate data collection and analysis into improvement processes.

6.Design improvement plans for addressing problems within learning organizations.

Course Concepts:

1.Self-Evaluation and Reflection

2.Leadership Theories in Education

3.Organizational Culture in Education

4.Stakeholder Feedback

5.Improvement Processes

6.Improvement Planning

7.Using Data for Improvement

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Course Outline

Section 1: The Role of Leadership in Learning Organizations

Week 1: Leadership TheoriesWeek 1 Assignment: Critique Leadership Theories (10 Points)

Week 2: Organizational Culture and Leadership Styles

Week 2 Assignment: Evaluate Organizational Culture and Leadership Style Within a School or Organization (10 Points)Section 2: Organizational Development and Improvement

Week 3: Self-Reflection as a Development Tool for LeadersWeek 3 Assignment: Explore Self-Evaluation and Personal Reflection Techniques for Leaders (10 Points)

Week 4: Stakeholder Feedback for Organizational DevelopmentWeek 4 Assignment: Synthesize Research Related to Stakeholder Theory and Develop a Plan for Collecting and Incorporating Stakeholder Feedback into an Improvement Process (10 Points)Week 5: Data Collection and Analysis for Organizational Development Improvement

Week 5 Assignment: Analyze a Set of Data (10 Points)Section 3: Improvement Plans and Processes

Week 6: Organizational Improvement Plans: Synthesize Current ResearchWeek 6 Assignment: Synthesize Current Research Related to Continuous Improvement Plans for Schools and Learning Organizations (15 Points)

Week 7: Organizational Improvement Plans: EvaluationWeek 7 Assignment: Evaluate a School/Organizational Improvement Plan (15 Points)

Week 8 Signature Assignment: Organizational Improvement Plans: Development Assignment Title: Develop an Improvement Plan for Your School or Organization (20 points)

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Week 1 – Assignment: Critique Leadership Theories

As a current or future leader, it is important for you to understand how various leadership styles impact organizational culture, employees, and stakeholders. For your Week 1 assignment, you will create a PowerPoint presentation critiquing four leadership styles. Begin by familiarizing yourself with each of the eight theories listed below. Next, choose four theories from the following list to complete this week’s assignment.

Eight Current Leadership Theories

  • Transformational
  • Transactional
  • Servant
  • Autocratic
  • Democratic
  • Bureaucratic
  • Laissez-Faire
  • Situational

You will compose four slides for each of the four theories. Organize your discussion of each theory using the sequence below. Remember to repeat this sequence for each theory; your completed assignment will have 16 content slides, excluding the presentation’s title and reference slides.

  • Slide A:
  • Name of Theory
  • Name of Associated Theorist(s)
  • Slide B: Theory Description: 4-6 bullet points
  • Slide C:
  • Potential Benefits to Organizational Culture and Improvement: 2-3 bullet points
  • Potential Drawbacks to Organizational Culture and Improvement: 2-3  bullet points
  • Slide D: One famous leader (and their organization’s name) who exemplifies this type of leadership: 1 Slide (hint: do an Internet search for famous transformational leaders; famous servant leaders, etc.)

Length: 16 slides, not including cover slide or reference slide

References: Include a minimum of 4 scholarly resources (at least one for each theory), properly cited within the body of your presentation.

As you format your presentation, be sure to include effective slide design that incorporates the best practices in NCU’s PowerPoint Tutorial (to view the tutorial, go to the Course Resources module in the table of contents and click on Spotlight on Skills), such as using graphics and short phrases in bulleted lists while saving the full details for the speaker notes. Balance the text with relevant images and graphics that you create or that are copyright free, such as a Creative Commons license (you must still offer attribution even if the image is copyright free).

Your PowerPoint should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts that are presented in the course and provide new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect graduate-level writing and APA standards. Be sure to adhere to Northcentral University’s Academic Integrity Policy.

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Week 2 – Assignment: Evaluate Organizational Culture and Leadership Style Within a School or Organization

Understanding the culture of a school or organization and the impact various leadership styles may have on that culture is the first step to making positive change within an organization. This week’s assignment has two parts: a short paper and a survey. Please combine both parts into one document for submission.

  1. Write a 2- to 3-page paper that addresses the following points:
    1. Define organizational culture
    2. Explain three or four different types of organizational culture.
    3. What are the various ways leaders can gather data about their organization’s culture?
    4. What attributes should be considered when evaluating organizational culture? Consider things like leadership influence, work group effectiveness, worker accommodations/physical environment, communication, and job satisfaction.
  2.  Review several samples of organizational culture surveys. Start by looking over the resources, especially the websites, provided in the Educational Leadership LibGuide (a link is in Course Resources > Supplemental Resources). Some of these resources contain information on organizational culture surveys. Then, conduct a general Internet search for examples of organizational culture surveys. Do not copy any of the surveys you locate. Use them only as a guide to produce your own original survey for your school or learning organization. 
  3.  Using an online tool designed to deliver surveys, develop a 20-question survey that could be used to evaluate organizational culture and leadership impact in your own setting. Include the link to your survey in the paper.

Length: 2-3 page paper and a link to a 20-question survey

References: Include a minimum of 2-3 scholarly resources, properly cited within the body of your paper.

Your assignment should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts presented in the course and provide new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards. Be sure to adhere to Northcentral University’s Academic Integrity Policy.

Upload your document and click the Submit to Dropbox button

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Week 3 – Assignment: Explore Self-Evaluation and Personal Reflection Techniques for Leaders

This week’s assignment has two parts. Please combine both parts into one document for submission:

Part I:

Begin by conducting research for scholarly sources on the topics of self-evaluation and personal reflection techniques for leaders. If you need assistance in searching the NCU Library, be sure to check out Learning the Library using the link provided in Course Resources. In 1-2 pages, discuss best practices related to self-evaluation and reflection for organizational leaders. Why do it? What are the benefits and drawbacks?

Part II:

To complete this part of the assignment, you will first need to take the leadership self-assessment (Clark, 2015) listed in the Books and Resources. After completing the assessment, carefully consider your scores. Then, write a self-reflection paper summarizing your strengths and opportunities for growth as suggested by your assessment results. What type of leader are you? Were you surprised by the results? What is the one area you feel you need to improve upon most? What can you do to improve your skills in that area? What else did the assessment make you think about? Since this part of the assignment is a personal reflection, you may use first person language such as Imemineweus, and our.

Length: 4-5 page paper, excluding title and reference pages

References: Include a minimum of 3 scholarly resources properly cited within the body of your paper

Your paper should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts presented in the course and provide new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards. Be sure to adhere to Northcentral University’s Academic Integrity Policy.

Upload your document and click the Submit to Dropbox button.

Week 4 – Assignment: Synthesize Research Related to Stakeholder Theory and Develop a Plan for Collecting and Incorporating

This week’s assignment has two parts. Please combine both parts into one document for submission.

Part I:

Write 1-2 pages synthesizing scholarly research related to stakeholder theory. What is stakeholder theory? What theorist is credited with developing stakeholder theory? What was the original purpose of this theory? How does this theory apply to learn organizations?

Part II:

For Part II of this assignment, develop a plan for collecting and incorporating stakeholder feedback into your improvement process. This is one element you will include in the Week 8 Signature Assignment.

Begin by identifying an area in need of improvement, and then consider what input you will need from the various stakeholders in your learning organization. Identify 3-5 stakeholder groups, both internal and external to your organization. Discuss some ways you can collect feedback from your stakeholders to include in the improvement process. How will you integrate stakeholder feedback into your improvement plan? How often will you meet with stakeholders, if at all? How can you encourage continued support from them? Incorporate a feedback loop to keep all stakeholders up to date. What are some challenges you may face when trying to collect and integrate stakeholder feedback? If you are not working currently in a learning organization, chat with your professor about other organizations you could use to complete this assignment.

Length: 3-5 pages, excluding title and reference pages

References: 2-3 scholarly references

Your paper should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts presented in the course and provide new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards. Be sure to adhere to Northcentral University’s Academic Integrity Policy.

Upload your document and click the Submit to Dropbox button.

Week 5 – Assignment: Analyze a Set of Data

Data collection and analysis are important parts of the improvement process. Organizational leaders must be able to read and interpret the results of the data analysis to determine what areas to focus on when developing an improvement plan.

For this assignment, you have been provided with a set of survey data from a large learning organization. The purpose of this survey was to evaluate organizational culture. Begin by creating a visual representation of the data, such as a chart or graph. Study the results carefully and determine areas to address in the improvement process. Answer the following questions:

  1. Areas of strength. What data support this?
  2. Areas in need of improvement. What data support this?
  3. What additional data might you need to make an informed decision? How will you collect them?

Length: 2-3 pages, plus a visual representation (e.g., chart, graph)

References: No references required, though any resources used should be cited

Your paper should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts presented in the course and provide new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards. Be sure to adhere to Northcentral University’s Academic Integrity Policy.

Upload your document and click the Submit to Dropbox button.

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Week 6 – Assignment: Synthesize Current Research Related to Continuous Improvement Plans for Schools and Learning Organizations

As an organizational leader, you will be in charge of managing change and making improvements within your learning organization. The first step is to review current scholarly research related to your problem or topic; in this case, you will research continuous organizational improvement.

For this assignment, addressing the following questions:

  1. What is meant by continuous improvement? Briefly discuss the background of improvement planning.
  2. What leadership behaviors support continuous improvement?
  3. What role do data collection and analysis play in this process?
  4. What are some models and best practices for continuous improvement?
  5. What are some drawbacks or challenges associated with continuous improvement plans?

Length: 4-5 pages, excluding title and reference pages

References: Include a minimum of 5 scholarly resources, properly cited within the body of your paper.

Your paper should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts presented in the course and provide new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards. Be sure to adhere to Northcentral University’s Academic Integrity Policy.

Upload your document and click the Submit to Dropbox button.

Week 7 – Assignment: Evaluate Part of an Organizational Improvement Plan

Your assignment for Week 7 is to evaluate a sample improvement plan and then develop a presentation summarizing your findings for a particular group of stakeholders.

Begin by downloading the following two resources from the Books and Resources section:

  1. Sample Improvement Plan
  2. Improvement Plan Rubric

Read through the sample improvement plan carefully so you are familiar with its components. Next, read each criterion on the rubric and then re-read the sample improvement plan, this time focusing on each of the elements in the rubric. Score the rubric by highlighting the appropriate boxes within the rubric that align with your assessment.

Finally, summarize your findings in a PowerPoint presentation.

As you format your presentation, be sure to include effective slide design that incorporates the best practices in NCU’s PowerPoint Tutorial, such as using graphics and short phrases in bulleted lists while saving the full details for the speaker notes. Balance the text with relevant images and graphics that you create or that are copyright free, such as a Creative Commons license (you must still offer attribution even if the image is copyright free).

Length: Completed rubric and 6-8 slides, not including cover slide or reference slide

References: No references are required, though any sources used should be cited

Your presentation should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts presented in the course and provide new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards. Be sure to adhere to Northcentral University’s Academic Integrity Policy.

Upload your document and click the Submit to Dropbox button

Week 8 – Assignment: Signature Assignment – Develop an Improvement Plan for Your School or Organization

For your Signature Assignment, you will develop an improvement plan for use within your own learning organization. Although you will be developing the plan, you will not have to actually implement it for this class. Use the template provided in the Books and Resources for this week.

You will be writing this plan as a member of the leadership team of your learning organization. Begin by identifying an area of improvement you would like to address within your organization.

Your area of improvement should be related to one of the following general areas:

  • Leadership and Student/Learner Achievement
  • Leadership and Instructional/Training Practices
  • Leadership and Professional Development for Staff/Constituents
  • Leadership and Family/Community Engagement
  • Leadership and Organizational Culture

Your plan will:

  • Introduce the areas of improvement:
    • Identify the general area of improvement (for example, leadership and student/learner achievement).
    • Explain the specific area of improvement (for example, math test scores of 9th grade second-language learners are below average).
  • Supply documentation, including dataset(s) and analysis that supports the existence of a problem in the identified area of improvement. You may use a dataset from your organization, if available, or you may generate a fictional set of data. (See sample dataset.)
    • Include supporting research (what has been written about your area of improvement, as it relates to the role of leadership in addressing the problem).
  • Include an evaluation of the overall culture within your organization.
  • Produce a self-evaluation plan for the leadership team.
  • Provide a list of 3-5 other individuals (by title, not name) who can serve on an improvement committee with you. You should choose committee members based on their functional role and who have knowledge and expertise in the area you are focusing on in your improvement plan.
  • Generate a list of internal and external stakeholders and a plan for including stakeholder feedback into your improvement plan.
  • Develop an action plan including a timeline.
    • Goals and Objectives
    • Action Plan
    • Evaluation Plan

Length: Completed improvement plan template, including relevant dataset(s) as appendices, title, and reference pages

References: a minimum of 5 resources

Your paper should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts presented in the course and provide new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards. Be sure to adhere to Northcentral University’s Academic Integrity Policy.

Upload your document and click the Submit to Dropbox button.