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Best Practices: Stakeholders Exercise

“Stakeholders” is a learning activity that helps students understand why they need to take on the new learning roles and responsibilities a learner-centered approach requires. It was developed by my colleague Cecil Queen, who uses it each time he introduces a new topic. Its purpose is to help students discover reasons why, beyond a grade, it is important to deeply learn their course material. In this activity students are asked to identify people or organizations that are stakeholders in their being successful learners of the new material. All stakeholders, major and minor, are then mapped on the board. The map represents everyone who is depending on Cecil’s criminal justice students to become fully competent of the new material. A list of the stakeholders identified when the topic of domestic violence was introduced is below.

You, your supervisor, your partner, the court, police department, victim(s), victims’ children, victims’ relatives, suspect, suspect’s relatives, neighbors, your family, your wife and kids, the public, medical staff, the victim’s lawyer, the suspect’s lawyer.

“Stakeholders” Exercise enhances students’ awareness that their learning success is not just about them. Cecil also notes that the exercise has two additional benefits: (1) students see that the instructor has the same stakeholders holding him responsible for effectively guiding their learning, and (2) they come to realize he would never select a teaching approach, like learner-centered teaching, if he did not believe it was the best way to help them learn.

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