Online Course

Leadership in Difficult Times











Required Work:

Required Work: 

Unit I:  Readings from texts and online
             1,200-word paper -- 20%

Unit II:  Readings from texts and online
              1,200-word paper -- 20%
               (or you may substitute an optional additional discussion board assignment -- see D2L for details)

Unit III:  Readings from texts and online
              1,200-word paper -- 20%

Unit IV:  Final Paper
                1,500 words -- 20%
                (or you may substitute an optional additional discussion board assignment -- see D2L for details)

Discussion Board Participation -- 20%
Please use D2L for access to the discussion board.  D2L:

Discussion Board Participation -- 20%

Papers:  Please respond the readings and the guiding questions in a thoughtful manner.  Feel free to explore the issues that interest you, and be sure to make connections between the course content and your perceptions of life, current events, and people you know or know about.  Please cite at least two outside sources, even if your style is informal.  Use APA.  Avoid citing wikipedia.  (here is a link to a podcast / mp3 file on why one should not cite wikipedia in academic papers.

Please submit your paper through the digital drop box via D2L.
This is extremely important:
In emergency situations, you may also e-mail me at 
An alternative e-mail is:

Be sure to put in the subject line: 

If at all possible, please avoid sending an attachment (I can't always open them!)

You will turn in a paper for Unit I , Unit II, and Unit III.  Each will contain 1,000 words
unless you opt for the additional discussion board options.

Final Project:   Please write a 1,500 word essay on an aspect of this course which you find important and/or provocative.  Ideally, this essay will give you an opportunity to express your views, and describe how your perspectives and views have been expanded.  It should tie together the things you have learned in the various units.  You should use at least two outside sources.  Use APA style.

Your essay can take many forms -- your professor will provide examples.

Discussion Board:
Please respond to the questions in the discussion board, and post a thoughtful response to each question.  The response should be between 75 and 125 words.  Then, respond to at least one or two responses by the students.  Engage in a thought-provoking and respectful exchange of ideas.  All postings must be made by the last day of class.  Required number of posts:  5 per unit (you may choose the threads).  If you substitute posts for a paper, you will do that in addition to the required posts.

What happens if I do not have access to the Internet on a regular basis or cannot access the Discussion Board? 

You may conduct your own Online or OU Virtual Library Research. The OU online library is accessible by going to the OU home page at and clicking on OU Libraries (on the bottom of the page). If you absolutely do not have discussion board access due to deployment or TDY, you may satisfy that requirement by finding 5 good online sites for each of the units and by writing a 1-paragraph description.


If you still have problems, please e-mail me and I will make arrangements for you.

K-9 Corps and Handler in Afghanistan


Burns, James MacGregor.
Transforming leadership:
New York: Atlantic Monthly Press. ISBN: 0-87113-866-2.

Avolio, Bruce and Bass, Bernard (eds.) (2002).
Developing potential across a full range of
leaderships: Cases on transactional and transformational leadership.
Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence
Erlbaum and Associates. ISBN 0805838945.

Journal Articles
Journal articles are accessible through D2L in the file entitled Content:

Select a minimum of three articles from each category (which correspond to each unit).  Please access and download as soon as possible, preferably when you have access to a high-speed connection.   You will use these readings and your textbook and online readings as the basis of your unit journals.

Websites and Web Resources
These are listed in the webpage for each unit.  Please select at least one web reading per unit, if you have convenient internet access.

Important notes about how Leadership in Difficult Times works:

* Think about what you want to get from this course, and start focusing your reading selections, discussion post responses, and paper topics.  Make this course matter to you by making it work for you.

Use the course website:

* Please focus on the course website as well as your syllabus.  I am updating the course website.  I think you'll like the new weblinks -- I'm making updates to make connections to issues that are hard-hitting and current.  Examples include the current economic crisis.

* Discussion posts: Please do five posts for each unit.  You may choose the threads. If you substitute posts for a paper, you'll do those in addition to the posts.

*  Please be sure to read the articles in "Content" and then search the OU Virtual Library's databases (EBSCO and JSTOR are great) for the additional papers that you choose to read.  Be sure to use the OU library at least once per unit.  Search using LORA and then select Databases.

*  Remember that this course uses as its core learning strategy the idea of experiential as well as situated learning -- which means you're encouraged to make connections between the course content and your life.  You have flexibility with respect to readings, content, discussion posts, paper topics.

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