Azam Ali is a Principal Lecturer at Regent’s University, London. He teaches a number of under- and postgraduate modules. He’s recently been accepted to undertake his own PhD at Middlesex University on the subject of “Heutagogy and assessments in Higher Education: Learning constructs in the way Millennials and Generation Z learn are assessed”.

How do you use Belbin?

I’ve been using Belbin for 17 years – we originally used it for the Undergraduate students in the first year of their degree. For over a decade, it’s has also been used within our post graduate programmes such as MA International Business, MA Global Management, MA Luxury Management and on the MBA.

Around 250 students a year complete their Belbin Self-Perception Inventory. Undergraduates use Belbin for their personal development as part a core module entitled People and Organisations module. We use the Belbin animation as part of their induction – it’s a great way to bring the Belbin theory to life. Once they have their resulting reports they are able to reflect on their own strengths and weaknesses as part of their ongoing contributions. The programme has been designed so that students are asked to refer to their profiles throughout their studies at Regents University.

How do students feel about Belbin?

I am a strong advocate for Belbin because it works at all levels - the feedback on Belbin has been so strong that we now also use it within the Foundation Programme.

Our masters level students, particularly those studying on the MA International Business and MA Global Management programme can also understand the strengths and benefits of using Belbin when compared to other psychometric tools used at the University. For our masters level students, as part of our CPD co-curricular activities, we designed and ran in 2019 an CPD accredited workshop Belbin entitled “Applying Belbin in Individual and Group Coaching”.

The feedback was extremely positive, as the students could experience for themselves the applicability of this tool in a real-life working environment.  Prior to the workshop, having fellow peers observe and complete a questionnaire on each participant was also an invaluable tool that students found useful with Belbin. That way, they could compare their own data to those provided from their peers and reflect and comment on the similarities or differences of the two profiles.

What's next for your use of Belbin?

Even though we’ve been using Belbin for so long, we know that there’s still more to do – the students keep coming back to Belbin and referring to it, so it makes sense that we do the same…

Finally, last but not least, a very special mention to the staff at Belbin. From day one they have been superb in handling queries, providing support and guidance where need be. It’s always a pleasure in dealing with colleagues at Belbin. I value the friendship of our relationship. Thank you.

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