Dispositional Characteristics: An Important Dimension to Consider in the Development of an Inclusive Educational Organization.

Thursday 2:45pm Ritchie Hall: 368


Dave Gosselin, University of Nebraska at Lincoln
Ron Bonnstetter, TTI Success Insights
An ongoing challenge for higher education is preparing all students to effectively contribute to solutions for the many "wicked problems" and "grand challenges" that society faces. As educational organizations we need to foster an inclusive learning culture where the uniqueness of beliefs, backgrounds, talents, and capabilities of our students are welcomed and leveraged to create high quality learning experiences for them. A key factor in addressing this challenge is knowing and adapting to the differences in the dispositional characteristics of students. A person's disposition involves their beliefs, feelings and values (motivational drivers) that determine a person's characteristic actions and reactions (i.e. behaviors) to act in certain ways. These characteristics have the potential to influence the effectiveness of a variety of teaching and learning strategies. The Environmental Studies program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has partnered with TTI Success Insights® to employ an assessment instrument that provides information about the dispositional diversity of its students.

We consider all students in the class room a member of the team. We use the concept of dispositional distance© to describe the inherent differences in dispositional characteristics between all students on the team and the differences that exist between professors and students in the classroom. The analysis of dispositional assessment data have informed us about the diversity in the behavioral styles and motivational drivers of students that influence their individual success in the classroom. Output from the assessment instruments provides verbal and visual models that reveals significant diversity about the how, why, and what of individual student performance. Analysis of these data have identified certain behavioral styles and motivational drivers that may be problematic to an individual student's academic success.