Publication Date

Fall 12-13-2016

Degree Name

MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management

First Advisor

Prof. Ryland White

Abstract

Experiential learning theories, such as David Kolb’s Experiential Learning Cycle (2015) contribute to more than just learning environments. In this Training Course Linked Capstone I facilitated a six-week strategic planning workshop for the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group (DIAG) of AFS-USA, an intercultural youth exchange organization. Kolb’s cycle acted as framework for the workshop. The DIAG operates as a virtual team, with members across the United States, therefore I designed the workshop for implementation via the internet and telephone conversation. I consulted research on virtual team structure and participatory practices in strategic planning in order to design a program which solicited participant input while respecting participants’ availability.

Some challenges, particularly participant engagement, proved difficult to overcome. And on occasion activities had to be modified or combined in order to better suit the team’s needs. As I became more flexible with the design, participant engagement increased. At the same time, the nature of the workshop environment, predominantly the internet, provided opportunities to incorporate “net-native” concepts that allowed participants to access and engage with the workshop in their own ways and at their own pace, when possible. In the end the DIAG was able to strengthen connections with fellow team members and develop several concepts for future projects and mission statement language. We are now considering expanding the advisory group in order to be able to implement many of the projects developed through this workshop.

Disciplines

Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Business and Corporate Communications | Communication Technology and New Media | International and Intercultural Communication | Interpersonal and Small Group Communication | Organizational Communication | Training and Development