School of Business and Law

Inspiring journeys to work

MS teams meeting screenshot

Adapting final year modules for online study

Final year students on our Business Management BSc(Hons) courses are expected to design and manage Development Centres as part of their module: Managing and Developing People. This acitvity usually takes place face to face in our Cockcroft Hall on our Moulsecoomb campus but this year, due to the pandemic and the need to move all learning online, students and staff have had to develop the centres to take place on MS Teams.

MS teams meeting screenshot

Screenshot from one of our development centre sessions

The aim of this module is to help students develop their skills in managing themselves and others and by designing and running a development centre or similar activity. Students are expected to use the concepts they have learnt throughout their course culminating in providing non-judgemental feedback to help fellow students improve their employability.

All of our 293 final year Business students (including our  International Business Management students) designed and facilitated the development centres using MS Teams; including 4 activities, an icebreaker, individual task, group discussion and a group problem solving activity.

They used a behavioural anchored rating scale to observe their participants and will write a Feedback and Developmental Goal Summary Report for each of their participants. The students facilitated a development centres in groups and also attended a development centres as an individual participant, running 50 development centres over a three-week period, from 25 November finishing on 9 December.

The feedback we have had has been positive and students have begun to record their learnings in their journals – well done to everyone who took part:

“As a participant – working with people who I do not know, improving my collaboration and team working skills, communication to work with the other participants”

“As an evaluator – know what skills employers are looking for in future assessment centres, good observation skills to watch and assess the participant and communication skills to explain the tasks in a clear way and make sure everyone understands”

“Being a participant at the development centre enhanced my listening skill and as an observer it made me to pay close attention to details. Participating in the DC as a participant and evaluator both increased my confident level as I had to communicate with new people. It also enhanced my teamworking skill because everyone had to partake in all tasks which promoted wider sense of ownership.”

“The development centre improved my communication and team work skills both as a evaluator and a participant. My team work and communication skills were enhanced as my group and I had to work together efficiently to design the DC in a timely manner and to a excellent standard and also as a participant I had to actively work with other participants to complete the various tasks. successfully.”

“Participating in the development center as an assessor and a participant aided my development skills in many ways. Contributing to this development center helped me develop new skills and pointed out strengths and weaknesses. It facilitated what skills are needed and expected from a business student and outlined areas for further improvement, this experience advanced my time management and organization skills, as well as learning that communication between team members is vital.”

“I can easily describe my experience of running the development center as unforgettable. At the beginning of the course, I thought that being a participant would be much easier than being the one running the activities, however, after the development centers, I realized that it was exactly the opposite. This may be due to the fact that my group and I managed to make our development center a more enjoyable experience compared to the one I was participating in.”

“Being the one to observe the participant helped me identify the mistakes I was making too. I was usually the one that was afraid to talk too much but I realized that I was missing all the fun throughout my group assessments.”

“Participating in and creating a development centre helped me understand what most employers look for in candidates, and how they go about testing your strengths and weaknesses. It made me think carefully about how I come across in a professional setting, and what attitude.”

“Participating in a development centre as an evaluator was useful to my own personal development, as i learn best through teaching others. I Developed my ability to manage others through doing this too.”

“When participating as an attendant, I learnt a fair amount from the group evaluating, as they utilised good activities for helping us to develop our problem solving skills among others. I felt more confident in tackling business-related issues after attending.”

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Clare Prust • January 15, 2021

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