Overall, I did have a challenging time in this course. I think there are other level 3 management courses that would be easier to deal with but the subject matter here is important for anyone looking to go into any kind of management role in the future or get into HR or Organisational Behaviour. The seminar format was done for the first time in my semester so there is a chance it will go back to the original format or continue this way. The lecturer is passionate and has done a lot of research but there are so many problems with the basic running of the course that take away from that. I did learn a lot and I can see some of the concepts being useful in a day to day context but I would recommend that anyone interested in this course should take a second to consider how willing they are to potentially deal with the problems I will detail here on top of their work, social life and other courses. Most students doing this course are approaching the end of their degree so I would have expected a streamlined, professional and forward thinking course, which I don't believe I got.
CLASSES: we had one class available to us. 2-5pm on a Wednesday afternoon. Remi was not prepared to consider recording the class so on at least one occasion I missed out completely because I was sick. That means I missed out on submitting my assessment for that week so my cumulative grade was automatically impacted. Class tended to start a bit late and go for the full 3 hours or run over time, very occasionally getting out at 4:50 or a little earlier. This is something to consider if you are planning on doing classes after the seminar or have specific travel needs. Most weeks there was no break, sometimes we got allocated 2-3 minutes where she'd get us to stretch in the room. It was difficult to give yourself some time out because the lecturer found people leaving the room was distracting so she would tend to ask people not to go. I always brought food to this class and there was never a problem with that and because it can be mentally tiring I think it would help to do this. Remi is really keen on class participation and tends to target people for answers too, so letting yourself zone out for a mini break can be dangerous!
ASSESSMENT: 30% 30% 40% split.
We had weekly assessment which was done in the last 15 or so minutes of class and handed in to one of 2 "facilitators" who sat in on the seminar as helpers. The idea was that 30% of your grade would come from these assessments (your 5 best at 5% each and a 5% reflection report combined). If you're really looking to do well, this can help and hinder you because if you're absent, you automatically forfeit using any grades for that week but if you're there every week and can focus after 3 hours of lecturing at the end of the day and do it well then it's an easy way to get those grades.
We also had a group report worth 30% on a conflict scenario in real life due near the end of semester. This was difficult in the sense that it took weeks of talking in the group and with Remi to get an idea approved and she wanted it to be current when there are only so many organisational conflicts in the press that are usable for this kind of analysis. Eventually she relaxed the time frame for it which did help. It was good in the sense that once you had an idea and core understanding of the theories it could come together relatively quickly.
Our final was worth 40% and despite all the past exam papers being close to identical, ours was new and this threw a lot of people. I was able to get a 6 using lecture slides and my own notes, I barely looked at the text. Because it was clear early on that this course was broad but unorganised, I really made a huge effort to take comprehensive notes which I think helped. Remi expands on the lecture slides quite a bit in places. Because you're seated in groups on round tables, everyone tends to talk about things they find confusing which can help with your notes. The exam itself was not unreasonable and drew on main concepts of the course and some references to readings but a big factor for me was that the general feeling in the cohort was pretty negative before we even got in there to do it.
My pet hate for the semester. The organisation just wasn't there. Each week students would need slides, a reading for the tutorial assessment, and perhaps extra readings if the text was not being followed. What we got was material often uploaded the day before or the day of. For level 3 students, that is unacceptable. It was common that my class mates would come unprepared NOT because they had poor time management or didn't care, but because there physically was not time between other classes and commitments within the previous 24 hours to find, download, read and develop an understanding of the material before the class. I was lucky to have a break before so this is when I'd do my class prep if it was available. The lecturer didn't accommodate for this and did expect you to have done your reading for the assessment before hand so many weeks I was speed reading articles in class time so I could complete the assessment with some confidence. The BB layout was confusing. Materials were tucked away in folders within folders when, really, we only have 1 contact session - we should only need 1 folder of all essential and extra material for the week! I found there was just extra stuff floating around that we never used so don't expect things to be categorised intuitively. There was no turnitin link for the reflection which was only flagged at a late stage and overall, it was messy. It all functioned well enough for the course to run, even if it was stressful, but these problems just shouldn't be happening.
TEACHING STAFF: this really puzzled me and I believe it made the course less effective.
Facilitators: Remi does all the teaching for this course and she had 2 facilitators who were present in every class that helped hand out spare paper or staple assessments before you submitted them but played no educational role. Each student was assigned to one of them and they were responsible for doing the marking. These guys deserve a medal because they effectively had to mark 50% of the class every week and come to the next class with your marked assessment ready to hand back. They have their own study to do so I feel this was absolutely unreasonable for them to be expected to to do... and it showed. We got our first couple of assessment grades published in about week 6 and then another bulk upload before the exam. Our finalised grades were taken down right before the exam because of a suspected marking error so this definitely rattled a lot of people who had been waiting a long time to know what position they were in for the final. I stopped collecting my hard copy after class because the feedback was generic and it took so long to hand them out because Remi didn't want anyone seeing anyone else's paper so we had to wait for our name to be called. It was 5pm peak hour when class wrapped up, I needed to go or I'd miss my connecting bus.
Lecturer: Remi has been involved with the UQ Business School since 2000 according to her online profile so I expected a seasoned lecturer and student who was comfortable with the UQ way of doing things and could anticipate student needs. She definitely loves her field and is very enthusiastic about conflict and organisational management but I found in my dealings with her that even though communication is such a central concept to this course, vital information was generally late, vague, incomplete, or just confusing. She will tend to direct you to the ECP for any enquiries you have which isn't terrible but really isn't the best either. In consulting with Remi, she is very happy to stay behind after class and hear your concerns. Be aware that everyone tends to grab this opportunity. If you have time to wait for your turn, this can be helpful. I noticed that trying to contact her any other way was complicated. You'd email a question and she'd give a general response or you'd bring up a concern and she'd ask you to call her at a specific time or come to her office at a specific time. It came across as though she thought you had the kind of spare time to just be available when she was and you couldn't really get a quick answer unless you had a pointed question for a face to face chat. I tended to only approach her with my group after class after we discussed what we needed to ask and we got through the semester well enough.
This course is challenging but not because of the material. It will bring in ideas about communication and interpersonal interaction that any management student will be comfortable with. If you are prepared to go to as many classes as possible and take notes, I can't see a reason you would do badly. Like with any other course, you get out what you put in but this one doesn't make it easy to be totally on top of it or work ahead.
Semester 1 - 2016
Business Management/ Arts
YES (no recordings and weekly assessment)
NO but helpful in places for clarification on some points
This course was pretty good, though I would advise that the final exam is deceptively hard. There are a lot of lists and theories to remembers so make sure to take plenty of notes throughout the lectures because you’ll need them later on to study for the final exam.
Lecture attendance is necessary – some semesters lecture recording are available and others are not so make sure you attend the lecture in physical form if lecture recording are not offered. Textbook chapters are highly aligned with each weeks lecture (i.e. week 1, chapter 1) so it’s easy to keep up with readings but they will take you a while to get through so don’t leave it until the end of the semester to start making your way through. Lectures fun, tutorials necessary but slightly boring at times and textbook purchase necessary as the lecturer only puts major points into lecture notes.
Basically this course is what a well-run course should be – lecture slides are major points of textbook, tutorials back up what was learnt in lectures and textbook readings are actually useful.
Semester 2 - 2014
Not really, but still go in case lecture recordings don\'t work