Monday, March 26, 2012

The Implications of Asking For Input


There are times when asking for input and opinions helps a teacher or administrator gather a necessary perspective on a pending matter.  There is a difference between asking for input and being aware of how others feel.

Knowing how others feel or may react depends on how much time and energy you have invested in getting to know and understand those whose reactions with which you need to be concerned.  Taking this into consideration does not require the other person to be actively involved.

Asking for input potentially provides the same information, but carries with it a much different set of implications.  When you ask for input...
  • there is an expectation from the people providing it that the decisions made as a result will clearly demonstrate that the input mattered.
  • that there will be a follow up made directly to those who gave input about the results of gathering the information.
  • that you will give credit to those for whom credit is due.
  • that the decisions made based on the input will have a direct impact on the work of those being asked to provide the input.
When you ask a student or teacher for input, you may not know it, but you are inviting them to be an active part of the decision process.

If you are not willing to change your class after asking for student input about how well it is going, then don't ask them.

If you have already made up your mind and are not interested in following up on the suggestions made by the faculty, don't ask them what they want.

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