A Task Force Plan
Your team needs to create a Task Force Plan that will guide the establishment of a task force that functions efficiently, virtuously, and globally. The plan must be a professional and practical document framed as a proposed solution to the problem. The requirements for the plan include a standard structure, but the content of the plan is determined by your PBL team.
The faculty, administrators, and instructional designers in the Doctor of Business Administration program have provided several resources in this course and the residency experience as solutions to the problem of establishing PBL teams. In this course, you created a Team PBL Plan and have a PBL Team Contract that contains suggested content for solutions to working through the PBL steps as a team. Use this as a guide for the format of your Task Force Plan. You may reuse any of the solutions suggested in this course, but your plan must show evidence of your team’s exploration, research, and proposal of solutions based on the first two steps.
Instructions for Deliverable
- Review the rubric to make sure you understand the criteria for earning your grade. You can learn more about the specific skills being assessed by reviewing the links in Problem-Based Learning Resources(new tab).
- As a team, create a practical and professional document formatted as a proposal for establishing a task force in your organization to deal with critical issues. Be sure your proposal addresses the problem thoroughly.
- The Task Force Plan must follow this structure:
- Professional Cover Page
- List of Contributors
- Table of Contents
- Executive Summary (one-page that includes the background, current state, and summary of solution)
- Organized Sections of Proposed Solutions (for example, goals, objectives, action steps, protocols, resources, definition of terms, etc.)
- References in APA format (for scholarly or practitioner resources that are cited or used within the plan)
- Appendices (OPTIONAL – attached materials, tools, documents, samples, templates, etc. that are part of the solution)
The Problem-Based Learning Approach
This course is set up around a problem; a problem that you will most likely encounter in any organization. In some courses and in your own Applied Doctoral Project (ADP), you will need to identify a problem to solve. In this course, however, the problem is identified for you. The steps for solving the problem are clearly outlined, but the solution is yet to be determined. This approach to learning is not just based on a problem it is also centered on the learners. You, as a learner, get out of this experience what you put into it. You focus on the areas that are most relevant and applicable. You become an active participant rather than a passive receiver. In problem-based learning, the process of learning through problem-solving is as important as the content you learn.
The Team Approach
As stated in the PBL Team Expectations(new tab) page, in the Doctor of Business Administration program, teams are a vital part of the learning environment. Every organization requires leaders who know how to work in and lead teams. The kinds of skills learned through teamwork cannot be learned from reading books to writing papers. A team approach values the group over the individual, which can be a challenge for the highly independent person. As you engage with your team in this course, embrace the opportunities that come with the team approach and communicate your concerns with your instructor, who is best position to guide you through this learning journey.
Skills in Problem-Based Learning
- Strategic Analysis(new tab)
- Critical Thinking Skills(new tab)
- Synthesis: A Critical Leadership Skill(new tab)
- Problem Solving Ability(new tab)
Understanding Step One in PBL
When faced with a problem, people usually jump quickly to trying to find solutions to the problem. This is a natural reaction, but it is just that; a reaction. It is not a responsive, systematic approach to solving the problem. In problem-based learning, we purposely take one step at a time to solve the problem. Step One in PBL requires identification and investigation of the problem. Identifying the problem means clearly stating it in its simplest form. Investigating it means systematically examining it to better understand it. The goal of the team for Step One is to establish what is known about the problem.
Understanding Step Two in PBL
Step Two in our PBL process is where you determine your team’s knowledge deficiencies and work to fill in the gaps. In this step, you must use your understanding of the problem (from Step One) to determine what you need to learn in order to find a solution. You are not yet exploring or suggesting solutions – it is not time yet! By working on your team’s knowledge deficiencies, you are creating a foundation for those solutions, so do not get ahead of yourselves.
If you have ever been around a young child for very long, you will remember that there are a lot of questions being asked. Young children are eager to fill in their gaps and feel no shame in having knowledge deficiencies. They are active learners and seek out new information and experiences intently. Try to approach Step Two this way.
Understanding Step Three in PBL
What are the potential solutions to the problem? In this step, you will propose a solution based on your understanding of the problem and the knowledge you have acquired. There may be multiple solutions or variations of a solution that could potentially solve the problem. Explore the solutions and propose what your team decides together.
Understanding Step Four in PBL
In this step, you must test your solution. Step Four requires a research plan and a test of the solution. In this course, the research plan has been developed for you. The research plan describes how you will test the solution. In some of your future courses and in your Applied Doctoral Project (ADP), you will need to develop a research plan on your own and then test the solution. The goal of this step is to find out if your solution will work; to find areas of weakness and strength, opportunities for clarification or revision, and overall performance results.
Understanding Step Five in PBL
In Step Five, you begin with a solution that holds up to the test and now you are ready to implement it. Teams will rarely be able to implement a solution during a course, so this step requires consideration of what implementation would look like. Implementing solutions always involves change, so this step requires creating a Change Management Plan. How should the solution be implemented?
Understanding Step Six in PBL
The final step in the PBL process is assessment and reflection. A key component of learning is reflection; that is, taking time to think about what was learned, what went right, what went wrong, and how an experience has changed your understanding of the topic or content area. Problem solvers can easily get caught up in finding solutions and moving on. Effective problem solvers take time to assess and reflect.
Reflection as dialogue
Reflection: This term is defined as disciplined, systematic, and intentional consideration of the sequences of actions and consequences within an individual’s experience (Dewey, 1933).
Reflective dialogue: This term is defined as a back-and-forth conversation in which each participant recognizes the strengths of the other (Knight, Knight, & Carlson, 2015).
When learners use dialogue to examine their personal perceptions, knowledge, beliefs, feelings, and actions, new learning can happen. Dialogue, as opposed to monologue, allows for a collaborative, open examination of each other’s thinking. It requires open-mindedness and creativity, where listening well is as important as speaking clearly.
Dewey, J. (1933). How we think: A re-statement of the relation of reflective thinking to the education process. Boston, MA: DC Heath & Co.
Knight, J., Knight, J. R., & Carlson, C. (2015). The reflection guide to better conversations: Coaching ourselves and each other to be more credible, caring, and connected. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin
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