“Use It Or Lose It” Budgeting Approach Sample Essay

Introduction

The company budget is based on the ‘Use It or Lose It’ budgeting approach. As such, various departments have the propensity to utilize idle financial resources toward the end of every financial year. It is generally observed that this spending tendency is ostensibly based on the notion that the remaining financial resources will be refunded to the company accounts, which will lead to imminent budget reductions for the affected departments. Several anecdotes and scientific evidence are available to demonstrate increments in year-end spending, specifically in organizations, including public, not-for-profit, and private ones, using the ‘Use It or Lose It’ budgeting method (Liebman & Mahoney, 2013; Angelov, 2014; Fichtner & Greene, 2014).

In the company, available evidence suggests that significant fractions of spending take place near the end of every financial year. It is also observed that most departments are unable to spend their allocations uniformly throughout the fiscal year. In the last few months, however, many departments usually spend about 30% to 40% of their yearly financial resource allocation. It is also imperative to recognize that not all departments exhibit increased spending tendencies toward the end of fiscal years.

Main body

For instance, the Sales and Marketing department has been consistently spending less than 11% of their allocation toward the end of financial periods. Nevertheless, many departments notably spend more money during such periods.

The increasing trend of year-end spending is noted in the financial reports for the fiscal years assessed across various departments, and this trend is not unique to the past five fiscal years. Rather, fiscal statements dating back more than 15 years show that increment in the year-end spending has become the practice, irrespective of the management team.

The ‘Use It or Lose It’ budgeting approach offers an incentive for most departments to spend all funds available in their budgets, irrespective of whether such spending drive values, are cost-effective, or help in curbing wastage. It is therefore observed that these spending patterns are not optimal, and they are associated with rampant wastage of financial resources, which in turn leads to higher costs of operation. The company should therefore discard the ‘Use It or Lose It’ budgeting approach.

In this regard, alternative approaches are available to curb wasteful spending across many departments (McIntire, 2006). The company should allow departments to do a restricted rollover or carryover of the remaining funds not utilized within the financial year to the next fiscal period. Further, the company should conduct a preliminary exercise with one of the affected departments to determine the feasibility of this approach. A department will only be allowed to carry over a given percentage of the left funds.

The carryover method will lead to savings by reducing notable waste. To enhance positive outcomes, only departments that demonstrate actual cost-effectiveness efforts will be allowed to carry over their funds to the next fiscal period. The finance department will supervise, audit, and assess the exercise and then provide its report.

Conclusion

The company must acknowledge that these financial reforms will result in some unwanted administrative burdens and alter the current budget, spending, and practices. However, these are short-term challenges. Hence, the company should focus on long-term benefits, such as eliminating the pressure to spend all financial resources and reducing wasteful spending. Moreover, even if these year-end spending increments were not necessarily wasteful, departments will enhance efficiency in spending without strict deadlines.

The company should abandon the ‘Use It or Lose It’ approach method in its budgeting. Instead, it should adopt carryover to enhance cost-effectiveness, reduce wasteful habits, and increase efficiency in budgeting.

References

Angelov, B. (2014). Expiring Budgets and Spending Sprees: The Cost of Use-it-or-Lose-it Budgeting. Chicago Policy Review. Web.

Fichtner, J. J., & Greene, R. (2014). Curbing the Surge in Year-End Federal Government Spending: Reforming “Use It or Lose It” Rules. Arlington: Mercatus Center.

Liebman, J. B., & Mahoney, N. (2013). Do Expiring Budgets Lead to Wasteful Year-End Spending? Evidence from Federal Procurement. Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research.

McIntire, T. (2006). Break the Use It or Lose It Cycle: Six Strategies for Curbing Undisciplined Technology Spending. Technology & Learning, 26(12), 28.

Teachers’ Collaboration With Libraries For Testing

Assignment One

It should be noted that, at present, standardized testing has become one of the ways to control the knowledge and skills exhibited by students at various stages of the learning process. The results of education also depend on the way tests are organized and conducted. Current educational standards impose certain requirements for the verification of learning outcomes and the application of various forms of control that will allow establishing the level of knowledge formation and the possibility of further advancement in education. Testing is a form of control that allows educators to check quickly and effectively the results of learning, however, the application of it presupposes the existence of a formed knowledge base and a high level of professional training from the side of teachers about the possession of test technology. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the potential of teachers’ collaboration with libraries and librarians in improving the results of standardized testing.

School Community

The community of the school includes such crucial stakeholders as students and their families, the staff, the teachers and school administration, community organizations, and the faculty in general. At present, the school has diverse students with varied religious, national, cultural, and social backgrounds. Importantly, the institution’s faculty is diverse as well to ensure that the educators and all the parties engaged in contacts with students can address the learners’ needs in the best way. Besides, this approach has allowed establishing and encouraging a culture of inclusion within the school context.

School’s Performance

During the past several years, the school has exhibited rather good results in terms of standardized testing. To be more precise, last year 33% of students were at or above proficient in Mathematics in the 8th grade and 25% in the 12th grade. In other subjects, the results were quite similar because teachers have placed great emphasis on the preparation of students for standardized tests. Nonetheless, a certain percentage of students have shown the results below expected, which has influenced significantly their further educational path. It should be noted that students with learning peculiarities such as attention deficit disorder and other peculiar features did not benefit from the existing approach towards student test preparation. Therefore, a new approach and teacher instruction are essential to address the needs of diverse students in an effective way.

Objectives

To concentrate on the efficient and feasible test score improvement during the upcoming school year, it has been decided to engage school libraries and librarians in educating learners, which implies the collaboration and support of teachers in planning and instruction. Five particular objectives have been outlined to ensure the provision of this aim. The first objective encompasses the cooperation between the institution’s librarians and the classroom educators in furnishing instructions. The second objective is the procuring of the development capabilities to educators by the librarians. Another goal is to encourage library media specialists to comprehend and employ the practices of efficient teaching to boost learning. Apart from that, the fourth objective suggests that library staff should perform as instructional partners of teachers. The fifth objective implies establishing a dynamic and positive learning environment through the use of technology.

Methods and Activities

To ensure the input on the need, the collaboration with accomplished library media specialists will be helpful as stated by Standards IV and V of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards for Library Media. The specialists will assist in developing strategic plans that encompass the school’s goals related to standardized testing. It will include the joint effort from the side of students, teachers, and library media specialists that will concentrate on the students’ exposure to the diversified materials and teacher instruction. Specialists will perform as teacher’s partners and address the diverse student needs. Apart from that, the media center advisory group will assist in instructing students on the essential parts of testing to ensure each student is knowledgeable of the crucial aspects and knows where he or she can obtain the requested information.

To achieve the five objectives, it is necessary to determine the current setting and evaluate the needs of students that can be addressed effectively using the existing library tools and the assistance from the side of the library staff. Further, it is necessary to prioritize the learner-oriented aims and outline the actions by the worthwhile goals related to mastering the skills necessary for the successful completion of standardized tests. At this point, the librarians might perform as mediators between students and teachers while the educator will be able to diversify the instruction and the library worker will assist students in developing their knowledge and skills and support those students that require particular attention. After implementing the instruction, the collaborators will evaluate students’ learning and define the gaps in their skills that have to be refined.

Resources

It should be noted that the existing resources would be utilized to accomplish the set objectives. Therefore, the school will not need to allocate any extra resources to implement the proposed initiative. In particular, the school’s information technologies and digital content available from the library will be utilized, which will ensure equal access for all the students. Besides, media specialists will incorporate the latest instructional technologies that are at the institution’s disposal to emphasize content areas effectively. Notably, these resources (both online and internal) can be shared with other schools to promote a cross-institutional learning environment that will be beneficial for all the stakeholders.

Measuring Progress and Communicating Results

The progress will be tracked and measured by both the teacher and the media specialist. To be more precise, the specialist will furnish focused explanations and demonstrations. Together with the teacher, he or she will assess student performance. The teacher will evaluate the use of digital resources in terms of the content area. At the same time, the specialist will track the procedure and the use of technology. Thus, both sides of the progress will be appraised. The principal will be informed every month in the form of two-way feedback, which will include the educators’ perspectives and students’ perceptions. Notably, to summarize and communicate the results of the initiative to the school community, the outcome measures will review three basic categories. They will include changes in the educational program that have been implemented, the goals that were set, and the results of the change in practices reflected in the percentage of students that have received greater scores in the format of standardized testing.

Conclusion

Thus, it can be concluded that the potential of libraries and the staff in achieving better learning outcomes should not be underestimated. The collaboration of educators with librarians will provide a new perspective in establishing a dynamic and positive learning environment that is inclusive of all students and supports their needs more functionally and comprehensively. The use of libraries to improve test scores will allow enhancing student motivation and support students with difficulties through the use of technology.

Teaching Practice And Professional Activities

Reflection Reflection on professional activities and their impact on teaching practice

During the lecturers’ meeting, I have discovered particularities about the new University course (BUSS 1000) introduction. Questions about the course implementation and possible improvements were discussed. To introduce a new course, it is important to pay attention to learners’ level, experience, and motivation. Also, the curriculum should reflect up-to-date data and aspects of the course. Therefore, teachers need to perform qualified research (McKernan, 2013, p. 11). During the meeting, the structure of the course was developed and discussed. This structure included theoretical lectures and students’ practical work, according to the theory of experiential learning (Taylor & Hamdy, 2013, p. e1562). During this activity, I have learned how such meetings are organized. In my opinion, too many people were present. Therefore, there was no opportunity for them to express their propositions regarding the possible course improvements. However, lecturers know better their students and could share their practical experience related to teaching similar courses (Ganieva et al. 2015, p. 33).

During the meetings with Sydney University program coordinators, several important questions about the students’ enrolment were discussed. A question about the number of course participants was considered because too many students were enrolled, including International students. It was stated that it might be useful to organize learners in small groups for practical work. It is known that work in small groups enhances the involvement of students in the educational process and improves understanding. It is especially important for International students (Arkoudis, 2006, p. 11). Thus, it was decided that this approach might be helpful in the current situation when a lot of students wanted to attend the course. In my opinion, this decision is better than several participants’ limitations. It could be supposed that for the future, the courses’ coordinators might introduce two similar courses with different schedules to provide an opportunity for all students to attend lectures without affecting the quality of education.

The University of Sydney regularly provides staff development programs. One of these programs was dedicated to the particularities of teacher’s feedback for written papers. According to Chickering and Gamson (1987, p. 4), appropriate feedback is essential for the students’ learning process. Teacher’s feedback focuses student’s attention on needed improvements as well as underlines strengths of his or her work and, therefore, encourages further achievements. This approach corresponds with reflective models of teaching (Taylor & Hamdy 2013, p e1563). To be useful, any feedback should be specific, timely, and understandable (Fisher & Frey 2013, p. 115). I have discovered several practical approaches that are important for written feedback. As examples, the importance of proportional positive comments and remarks, and personal pronouns use, and problem-solution orientation of feedback could be cited. In general, the purpose of written feedback is to focus on problematic spots of the student’s work and to propose possible solutions.

Finally, I have attended two Turnitin webinars. The first was dedicated to the improvement of the learning process through rubrics use. It is known that structured information is much easier for understanding and learning than non-structured. Rubrics implication might be a useful approach for students’ better understanding of reading materials (Fisher & Frey 2013, p. 63). The second webinar was dedicated to the interpretation of reports. Questions about reports’ significance as a possible source of the information were considered. On webinars, I obtained new knowledge and developed some practical skills connected to the teaching materials structuring and reports reading and writing. In my opinion, webinars are a useful approach to problem discussion, looking for solutions, and experience sharing because not many people attended the webinar. Persons who conducted a webinar introduced the topic and their ideas. After that, all-important issues of the problem were discussed among attendees, and general strategies for problem solving and quality of teaching enhancement were developed.

In conclusion, during these activities, I have learned more about the University education process. I discovered what is expected from University lecturers and how courses are introduced and changed. It is known that adults’ teaching is different from school children’s, teaching because adults have higher motivation and their own experience, which should be considered. For adults, the principle of andragogy is used in contradiction to the principle of pedagogy for children (Abraham & Komattil 2017, p. 295). It was crucial to confirm my theoretical knowledge with the experience. During the attended activities, lecturers introduced teaching and learning theories into the practice.

Reference List

Arkoudis, S 2006, Teaching international students: strategies to enhance learning, Centre for the Study of Higher Education, Melbourne.

Chickering, AW & Gamson, ZF 1987, ‘Seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education’, AAHE Bulletin, vol. 3, pp. 3-7.

Fisher, D & Frey, N 2013. Better learning through structured teaching: a framework for the gradual release of responsibility, 2nd edn, ASCD, Alexandria, VA.

Ganieva, YN, Sayfutdinova, GB, Yunusova, AB, Sadovaya, VV, Schepkina, NK, Scheka, NY, Gutman, EV and Salakhova, VB 2015, ‘Structure and content of higher professional school lecturer education competence’, Review of European Studies, vol. 7, no. 4, pp. 32-38.

McKernan, J., 2013. Curriculum action research: a handbook of methods and resources for the reflective practitioner, Routledge, Abingdon-on-Thames.

Taylor, DC & Hamdy, H 2013, ‘Adult learning theories: implications for learning and teaching in medical education: AMEE Guide No. 83’, Medical Teacher, vol. 35, no. 11, pp. e1561-e1572.

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