Student Involvement & improved decision quality
There has been a strong trend amongst teaching circles in recent years involving enhancing the role of students in the decision making process and quality assurance of their education. Within Australia, there has been recognition of the importance of adequate preparation of students and their facilitation of this process (Ainley, Batten, Collins & Withers, 1998). As these students have a vested interest in obtaining a both an improved and enhanced learning experience, involvement often begins with classroom decisions. This participation can manifest itself through active feedback, and a contribution to the learning and teaching of their subject area. A representation of student views can also be involved in the decision making process via a student union or other representative body. This essay will explain the decision making process and its influence on both the individual and the group. Potential challenges will also be outlined regarding the effectiveness of involving individuals in the decision making process.
Decision making itself is based upon the cognitive process of reaching a decision. This involves a position, opinion or judgment being reached after consideration. A choice between alternative courses of actions is developed using cognitive processes such as memory, thinking, evaluation, etc. This process maps the likely consequences of the decision, working out the importance of individual factors, and choosing the best course of action to take. Although reaching a consensus is the favoured model in many decision making processes, it is not the only mode of decision making possible. In order to best understand this practice, this essay will provide clarification of the decision making process and how the nature of the task, as well as the size and composition of the group, influence decision making. This leads to an enhancement of consensus through...