1-Some new articles talk about "nimble leadership" (HBR, summer 2019) and leadership needed for an exponentially changing world (SMR, Fall 2019) speak to the need for new models as organizations shift from bureaucracies to more nimble organizational forms. There are also some blog posts on the difficulties of making this change. These articles can be used to start a dialog about our current situation and what leaders can do individually, as well as collectively, to create a system to cope. Students can meet in virtual teams to discuss.
2-we have often taught the 4-CAPS+ model of leadership capabilities written up in the HBR paper called "In Praise of the Incomplete Leader" (attached). This model goes very well with Herminia Ibarra's case on Satya Nadella. We have developed the x360, a 360 leadership development survey which may be run completely virtually, allowing students to participate, include colleagues, and receive reports all online. We have used this with MBA, EMBA, and executive audiences with great success. There are also tools to help with debriefing the data, facilitating conversations, and we have coaches who can work individually or with groups of students in a remote and virtual fashion. Note-the x360 survey is an online product available for purchase and coaches are paid for their work. I am happy to share slides, videos, etc. to support.
3-we have taught the x-team model of team effectiveness (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S009026160900031X?via%3Dihub) to get students to think about not only internal team dynamics, but also the need to reach outside of team boundaries. This is particularly important in this crisis where networks and teams of teams will be needed to coordinate a response and come up with innovative modes of operating. We (Henrik Bresman and myself) have created xCHANGE, a simulation that shows how to use x-teams for change in organizations. This tool can be done in actual teams, BUT also can be run by individuals in a virtual online setting. Again, happy to send slides or talk things through. Henrik is also a resource and you can get in touch with Jason Tepper at xLEAD if you want to learn more.
I have taught leadership online and designed the class for one university where it was routinely taught online. Without controversial/different viewpoint topics the discussions tend to fall flat. Short videos work better than longer ones. Ted talks, although longer, tend to offer interesting information and more students watch the entire thing.Depending on how married you have to be to the syllabus and how they earn their points here are some alternative activities that you might find useful (or rather ways to have discussions).1) If your class is big enough (I did this with an undergrad intro to mgt class with 90+) dividing the class into smaller groups (7-10), pick a topic where there is a lot of info on both sides of the "viewpoint". I then posted a 3ish page document (at the time my ability to do it video format was limited) outlining key issues with a couple of articles for them to read in the reputable magazines that represent both sides. I then assigned half the group to argue one viewpoint, the other half the other viewpoint (which should be in conflict in key areas). I had a 2 week cycle (traditional length semester). Have them post an abstract of an article (I gave a list of acceptable magazines and journals) that supports their viewpoint within the first 3 days. They then discuss their assigned viewpoint trying to convince the other side they are the "better" side. part of the grade is based on persuasiveness backed up with theories and articles (to which I give them a one page handout about the difference between opinion and opinion that is an example of a theory or concept, etc.) Have them , as a group, put together a summary of the arguments (I'd rotate who did this) that then is posted to the group and they collectively edit. All of this is in a 2 week cycle.They then write (week 3) a position paper presenting their own personal opinion backed up by articles others posted, the book, and least 2 other resources. due the end of week 3. The discussions overlap. Because they are required to effectively argue the assigned viewpoint (and assign them to prevent complaints that they didn't get what they wanted if choosing), there is a lot of discussion as they address points. Yes, at times, you have people go MIA. In my class of 90 I had a "fake" group where I put those not participating. The only message in that group (you can create sub groups in most platforms) was to contact me if they were reading this message so I could put them in an active group. About 10% of my classes have the MIA folks when teaching online. I'd then add them to a group with an assigned viewpoint. They would be penalized if they didn't show up in time to get an article up, etc. This also means you need to check the platform's (and your own) email several times a day so it isn't your fault that you missed their message for 2 days. Had far better discussions than in the "answer the discussion question, and reply to 2 others" that seems to be the "usual" format these days.I skim what they are doing in each group, usually post a few questions or make a few comments along the way specific to each group, to help guide them, whatever (no different than dealing with in class discussions really). That also helps them know that you are involved and tends to keep their motivation up.
2) If you have synchronous meetings (for example via zoom) You can have have discussions of a different kind. Another thing you can do is mini cases (seriously short like 1-2 pages max - focuses just on one or two topics from the chapter - I had to write them myself as most cases are too long and complicated) that they read before class and discuss them in the zoom meeting and try to come to a consensus. Another way to address that is give a mini case, a choice of outcomes, have them choose the outcome and hold up a piece of paper with their vote in the zoom meeting (and keep it visible so you know who to call on if you need someone from a different point of view to be called on) and then have the class try to come to a consensus for which choice would be the most viable - backed up with concepts from the theories, etc. While you can do this with that are asynchronous discussions the reality is that most students do not read most messages each week (most platforms track how many each student reads). As a result many will miss out and some post early on and then never come back (even if you require one post by Wed and one by Sunday) except to do their 2 posts, reading only enough to make their posts. With #1 the groups are smaller so slacking is more noticeable and fewer post the minimum. An alternative way is to have them post their choice, then divide them into smaller groups with different viewpoints and go from there.What is harder is that I have found it takes far more time to teach online and do a good job than it takes face to face. And it takes more time than you think to do a good job setting up an online class.On a side note: if you are then uploading tests for them to do online - be aware that test banks are out there and cheating on exams is much harder to monitor. Googling each question and pulling up the question takes almost no time. Searching an e-book is quick. Allowing them to take the exam whenever they want (or even at the same time since you can't control who is texting, talking with whom) without multiple versions means that they can screenshot each question and pass it on to friends. Essay questions where you have different versions of the same question makes it somewhat harder to cheat. But then copy/paste from an ebook or from googling an an answer is easier (turnitin and safe assignment help with that - one or the other is a part of many online platforms provided that your school paid for that).Another side note: Also have a plan to deal with missed deadlines. The dog ate their internet is common when students pull that stunt. Also some platforms do crash/slow down near one common deadline for online classes - eg midnight Sunday. I give out one procrastination card, no questions asked that buys them 2 days on one thing. I tell them to save it for when they really need it or are having internet issues. You can find out, from the platform of you use, if they did have issues. They can also file a case with tech support, give you the case number for you to check if you decide to set up consequences for missed deadlines. I found gving the procrastination card cuts to nearly zero having to deal with the dog at the internet issue.Good luck everyone with coming up with decent solutions with so little notice. Especially if you haven't done this before.Carolyn Birmingham
We have a recently developed micro-credential program through edX on leadership, consisting of 4 MOOC courses (with formative peer assessment) and a capstone course (summative assessment). The courses have "marketing-friendly" names, but are essentially on (1) leadership theory, (2) leadership practice, (3) leading teams, and (4) socially responsible leadership. As MOOCs, you should be able to access most of the course content without payment. Since it is open access, the readings are not ideal (i.e., only copyright free materials). It's also creative commons, so you are welcome to reuse any content for non-commercial purposes – let me know if there is something specific you are keen to access and I can help.