The focus of this course is on organizational adaptation strategies and local self-reliance. To enhance our weekly discussions, I'm going to ask that you consider some questions (drawn from the following) on a weekly basis.
In your collaborations with community organizations and businesses, you will be developing a range of skills (for example, oral and written communication skills, problem solving skills, team work skills). These skills are important for this course and after you finish it. In order to effectively narrate your development of these skills, and how your own career development is impacted by the work you do in this course, we’ve developed a guide for you to reflect on your work and yourself.
James will draw from the following and prompt you for a response once a week. Thanks to Christine Kampen Robinson for providing these questions.
Choosing a project What project were you originally drawn to? Why? What did you already know about the context/issues involved in the project? What did you do to prepare for conversations with the mentors? What impact did communicating directly with the mentor have on your thinking about which project(s) you might want to work on?
Communicating with the mentor/community organization/business What problem/challenge presentation really drew you in? Why? What does this tell you about how you prefer to receive/learn information? What kinds of questions did you ask? What does this tell you about how you process information? What kinds of information did you need to begin to address the problem proposed by the mentor/organization? How did you adapt your communication in different contexts? How did you notice the mentor/organization adapt communication with you? What worked best? What worked less well?
Collaborating with your team How did your group organize your group work? What did you do first? What did you do next? Etc. How was this negotiated/decided? What was your role in this process? What does this tell you about how you work in a group? How does it compare to other times you’ve worked in a group? What are the similarities/differences? What is an example of a challenge your group had to work through in order to work together more effectively? What happened? What did you learn? How did that experience change how your group worked together? How did you navigate differences in opinion or approach in your group? Name one strength of each of your group members and explain how this person was able to contribute to the project.
Solving the problem/addressing the challenge How did your group approach solving the problem? Was this your initial starting point as well? What does this tell you about how you approach solving complex problems? How did you evaluate different ideas or approaches to solving the problem? What tools or methodologies did you use? Why? How did they work? What changes did you make in your approach? Why? What approaches/solutions received the most positive responses from your mentor/organization? Why?
Overall/Personal What was the most motivating aspect of this project work? Why? What do you learn about yourself from identifying that? What was the most demotivating/frustrating aspect of this project work? Why? What do you learn about yourself from identifying that? What does your contribution to the team tell you about what you need in a team and in a project to be able to do your best work? What did you learn about the context/issues that were most relevant for the mentor/organization you were working with?
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