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The Impact of Assessments

This page is dedicated to detailing the benefits and impacts written assessments have on students enrolled in the Master of Science in Leadership (MSL) program.

“Brookings Executive Education curriculum focuses on the immediate application of class content,” says Associate Dean and Executive Director Mary Ellen Joyce. “Written assessments require our graduate students to internalize new ways of thinking and implement models and methods that tackle wicked, 21st problems.”

The following student comments confirm that the application and documentation of Brookings Executive Education content saves the government money, streamlines agency operations, enhances performance and delivers positive results.

“MSL written assessments helped me internalize course material and grow as a leader in several ways. By reflecting on class content over an extended time period, key lessons were able to fully take root. Consequently, the paper-writing process was quintessential experiential learning.”

“Confucius supposedly said: ‘I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.’ The quote captures the concept behind the assessments. I’m a pragmatic learner focused on real-world professional challenges and opportunities. As a result, applying class teachings in my daily work life energized me and supercharged my learning experience.

“I approached the assessment-development and writing process like a real-world leadership laboratory. The process allowed me to experiment with multiple concepts, approaches and tools in the most-practical setting imaginable: my own agency. By experimenting, observing what happened, contemplating why things happened and thinking about how altering variables might transform future outcomes, I was able to absorb course material in deeper and more-meaningful way. Equally important, by envisioning myself, my team and my agency through the leadership laboratory lens, I discovered what course concepts and tools worked best.”

“What I gleaned from my Brookings Executive Education experience brought my work to a much higher level. My greatest area for growth was in writing the papers for each course. To be honest, I found writing the assessments challenging. But doing so made all the difference. It deepened learning for me and led to some epiphanies in my understanding of my organization, my work and myself. I’m creating a portfolio of my professional successes that will expand my career horizons.”

“My paper writing in the MSL program has deepened my learning about key leadership concepts, helped me apply lessons learned to current leadership challenges, and focused my attention on my own leadership and management behaviors in positive and beneficial ways. By capturing my leadership experiences in written assessments, I’ve become more mindful and deliberate in what I do. As a result, my personal growth has been accelerated.”

“My MSL assessments were often the analyses that I used to help improve my team and organization. I have turned the insights from the written assessments into briefings, memoranda and discussion points for my senior leadership. By thoughtfully applying principles learned in the MSL program, I’m accepted as a trusted adviser by both my senior leadership and my team.”

“The assessments are an important part of my personal reflection process. They give me the chance to revisit the course content through the lens of my organization. The writing process helps me link key learning objectives with the changes I’d like to make in my agency.”

“The assessments have become an effective way to transfer knowledge in my organization — especially, as we tackle large problems. The summaries help explain to other staff members why certain changes are being made. It’s useful to have the ‘why’ and ‘how’ already articulated!”

“Knowing I have to write a paper for each MSL course, I review course material and assessment requirements after every class ends. The papers enable me to analyze what I learned and how well I internalized and applied class content. Now, I’m able to achieve greater results.”

“The papers encourage me to be a more-thoughtful, intelligent and better leader. It’s one thing to write about content application and another thing to do it!”

“The paper-writing process crystalized the frameworks and methodologies I learned in class. Strategizing on how I would write each paper compelled me to be deliberate and thoughtful on the implementation of models and methods. It also gave me time to reflect on what I would do differently, so it was easier to incorporate these lessons into my daily activities.”

“Developing leadership skills and abilities is like learning a new language, which means practice is required. The paper-writing process is the practice I need to continually learn and improve. It’s my chance to take what I’ve learned in class and ‘speak it’ for the first time. Once I apply the course concepts to a work situation, the methodologies start to fold into my regular thought process. Every time I practice, my leadership evolves and improves.”

“In addition to my agency getting a better version of me, I’ve added value by leading changes that improved processes and increased efficiencies in our services and operations. The assessments were the spark for changes that resulted in long-lasting effects. In one instance, I identified a not-so-obvious problem that wouldn’t have been found through the same old way of doing things. My team developed and implemented a solution that has been widely adopted and is still thriving today.”

“The paper-writing process encourages an individual to take time to reflect back on a task or event. The paper becomes the written analysis of the behaviors and skills that were selected and implemented, what went well, and what went poorly. Class assessments also enhance the applicability, value and relevance of the STAR decision-making model.”

“Brookings Executive Education writing assignments allow me to test new management concepts within my directorate.  Instructors present cutting-edge management methodologies backed up by extensive research and tested in the business world. Once I develop a plan of action derived from the course material and test the concepts presented in class, the assessments allow me to delve into positive and negative experiences and to reflect on what I did right and areas that need improvement.”

“The Brookings Executive Education experience has directly affected at least 15 different subgroups I deal with on a daily basis. I now ensure that key managerial concepts are implemented. The No. 1 impact for the agency is improved morale in my directorate.”



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