Moving Students to Deeper Learning in Leadership

The world is a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) environment (Carvan, 2015) that calls for leaders who can effectively navigate the complexity of leadership today. Students of leadership studies must not only learn leadership information content, but also be able to effectively implement the content and process, requiring deep approaches to their learning (Petrie, 2014). This quantitative research study used the ASSIST Inventory to measure approaches to learning (surface, deep, or strategic) for students enrolled in an Organizational Leadership undergraduate program. Students showed a preference for deeper approaches, though, many continue to use surface approaches, which may lead to shallow understandings and the inability to put content into practice. Specific strategies are provided for instructors to help students move toward deeper approaches.