Decision Skills: Power Tools to Build Your Life

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Course Date: 15 September 2014 to 09 November 2014 (7 weeks)

Price: free

Course Summary

This course demonstrates how a framework to help us make better decisions, decision quality, can help overcome common mistakes humans fall into, decision traps.


Estimated Workload: Expect to spend between 2-3 hours per week on the course over the six-week period.Course Design: This course is designed as a combination of short lectures and engaging team-based activities. While participants may work on their own, for a richer educational experience we recommend joining a team.Course Content:Week 1: Take Charge and Improve Your Outcomes with Decision SkillsWeek 2: Recognize and Avoid Decision TrapsWeek 3: Define a Helpful Frame and Clarify Your ValuesWeek 4: Explore Creative Alternatives and Generate Useful InformationWeek 5: Apply Sound ReasoningWeek 6: Commit and Follow Through

Course Instructors

Chris Spetzler

Chris Spetzler, Executive Director of the Decision Education Foundation, is passionate about bringing decision skills to young people. He has lead workshops with teachers and administrators through the Stanford Center for Professional Development and taught decision skills to youth across the United States and internationally. In addition to teaching and developing decision skills programs, Chris supports educators and organizations in realizing and evaluating the benefits of decision education. Chris completed a Masters at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and an MBA in International Management at Thunderbird. Prior to joining DEF, Chris was a consultant and project manager in the pharmaceutical industry, where he applied decision analytics at Pharsight and Johnson & Johnson.With guest lectures by:Ali E. Abbas, University of Illinois, Urbana-ChampaignRonald A. Howard, Stanford UniversityBarbara Mellers, University of PennsylvaniaCarl Spetzler, Strategic Decisions Group

Course Description

The Course Have you ever faced a decision you really struggled over, but just couldn’t find your way? Imagine you had been given a set of tools, so you were confident of making the best choice you could make. This course provides a path to developing those decision skills and improving your life. Good decision-making is an essential life skill most people acquire through trial and error. Few have had the benefit of formal training in decision making or are aware of decision science. This course demonstrates how a framework to help us make better decisions, decision quality, can help overcome common mistakes humans fall into, decision traps. The principles and practice of decision quality have been successfully applied in business, medicine, and engineering. Through our work with teachers, schools, and students, we have witnessed the tremendous value this material brings through helping individuals and groups resolve their toughest dilemmas. In this course you will: Learn the decision quality framework for improving your personal and life decisions Discover common decision traps and tools to combat them Apply the decision framework to a variety of situations to experience the value of making better decisions Participants in similar courses have experienced increased awareness of decision opportunities and greater confidence in making decisions. Furthermore, improving your motivation and commitment in following through increases your chances of a successful outcome for your decisions. This course is designed for adults who work with youth: educators, mentors, counselors and parents. Teenagers will also find the material accessible and relevant to their life and the choices they face. For this reason, parents and mentors can benefit from participating in the course along with a young person to gain a shared language for decision making. These advanced concepts have demonstrated value with individuals of all ages and we believe those who apply them will find they are of immediate value in improving their life. The Decision Education Foundation (DEF) is dedicated to making decision skills accessible to young people and to bringing decision education into the mainstream. Visit www.decisioneducation.org for more information. Check out fall 2014 highlights »

Course Workload

Expect to spend between 2-3 hours per week on the course over the six-week period.Course Design: This course is designed as a combination of short lectures and engaging team-based activities. While participants may work on their own, for a richer educational experience we recommend joining a team.Course Content:Week 1: Take Charge and Improve Your Outcomes with Decision SkillsWeek 2: Recognize and Avoid Decision TrapsWeek 3: Define a Helpful Frame and Clarify Your ValuesWeek 4: Explore Creative Alternatives and Generate Useful InformationWeek 5: Apply Sound ReasoningWeek 6: Commit and Follow Through

Course Prerequisites

You will need a computer that allows you to watch the video lectures and upload a variety of assignments including videos, slides, and text.

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