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Learner Reviews & Feedback for The Factors that Influence the Effectiveness of Boards and the Governance Process by University at Buffalo

49 ratings

About the Course

The third course in this Specialization introduces you to the factors that influence how effective boards of directors will be in carrying out their roles and responsibilities and hence the impact they have in shaping the success of the organization they govern. While this course has been developed with North American culture in mind, we do appreciate that, in other parts of the world, the nature of the factors that influence the effectiveness of nonprofit boards of directors may vary. Nevertheless,it is our hope that much of the course content will still be of value to those in other parts of the world. To learn more about this course, please watch the overview video by copying and pasting the following link into your web browser: Keywords: Nonprofit; Nonprofit Sector; Voluntary Sector; Nonprofit Organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations, Volunteer Organizations, Leadership, Management, Governance, Board, Board of Directors, Performance, Effectiveness Course 3 Overview: Week 1: This week's questions: What factors influence the effectiveness of board meetings? What are the formal procedures and structures within the board that impact its performance? What can a board do to intentionally improve the way it structures itself and runs its decision making meetings? Week 2: This week's questions: What do we mean by board composition and development and why is it important? Why is it difficult to change the composition of the board? How do you design the ideal mix of board members? How do you locate, recruit and develop board members? Week 3: This week's questions: What do we mean by the "culture" of the board and why is it important? How do boards develop and pass along culture? Can board cultures be intentionally changed? What is the role of leadership in shaping board culture? What do effective nonprofit leaders involved in governance do? How can leadership be managed for higher performance? Week 4: At this stage, you are asked to review the course content, submit a written assignment (known lightheartedly as a BEAR (Board Effectiveness Readiness Assessment), and take two multiple choice Readiness Assurance Tests (known similarly as RATs). One RAT will assess knowledge and reading comprehension and the other will test application of knowledge within a practical case. Week 5: We will encourage you to discuss the RATs in the discussion forums and take them again should you wish to change any of your answers based on the information exchanged....

Top reviews


Jan 28, 2021

Perfect course and content preparing for my first board position, which was confirmed the day before completing the course.


Mar 11, 2022

Superb Governance Training Course (Corporate Governance and Strategic Leadership)

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1 - 11 of 11 Reviews for The Factors that Influence the Effectiveness of Boards and the Governance Process

By Venkataraj

Feb 6, 2021

Amazing course for someone who seeks to improve Leadership and Governance in any non-profit organization in any country!

Don't miss out on the reading list and recommended books and TED videos ... I almost purchased all the books for my society!

By Barbara R

Jan 29, 2021

Perfect course and content preparing for my first board position, which was confirmed the day before completing the course.


Jan 18, 2018

Very interesting! powerfull tools to improve governance in Nonprofit organizations

By Dr T S

Jun 16, 2021

One of the Best Courses that I have Completed in Coursera

By Gustavo P

Apr 2, 2019

Very helpful course.

By Abdul H

Aug 13, 2018


By Pedro M

Feb 26, 2018

It would be good to have all the required readings available for free.

By Kgotso G

Mar 12, 2022

Superb Governance Training Course (Corporate Governance and Strategic Leadership)


Nov 7, 2022

thank you

By Michail D D

Jan 9, 2016

My overall experience with this Specialization, in general, and this 1st Course, in particular, is very positive.

On the positive side, I really like the fact that the Courses are practice-oriented and provide not only theoretical frameworks, but also insights from experts, practical guidance, and evidence-based best practices.

Also, the idea of applying Team-Based Learning (TBL), in the forms of Readiness Assurance Tests (RATs) and scenario-based RAT Application Exercises, for assessing participants' learning, is excellent!

However, there are a couple of downsides, that's why I'm not giving a 5 star positive feedback.

The first problem is that not all of the required readings are freely available via the Coursera platform, or elsewhere online. I appreciate the excellent quality of the chosen materials, but, if it becomes compulsory to spend more than US $100 for buying books, then the total cost of this Specialization elevates quite a lot, given that I had to pay €162 for it. On my opinion, there should be at least a note in the description of both the Specialization and the Courses about these requirements, in order to make an informed decision before enrolling.

The second downside has to do with Course 1 and Course 2 overlapping materials. I'm referring to guest interview videos. That's mainly a problem of the 2nd Course, as there are almost no guest interviews in this Course, and the one interview provided is already available in Course 1. I understand that the topics discussed apply to the topics of both Courses, but, still, I find it an unnecessary repetition.

The last problem is about the dates that the Courses are run. Course 1 runs during a given period, Course 2 is on demand, but it makes sense to attend it before Course 3, that also runs during a given period, which overlaps with the period of the 1st Course. Sorry, this makes it very difficult to attend everything and to seriously focus, as it's always about running for deadlines, especially when one has to produce three (3) Board Effectiveness Assessment Reflection (BEAR) papers :( .


Apr 9, 2023

I firmly believe that leaving the peer-to-peer review methodology open is a factor that harms the final objective of the course. Giving you a large percentage of the grade in a multicultural environment is not convenient, because of the different perspectives about NGOs. Waiting for someone to grade your course in order to get the certificate makes you lose interest in reaching the fourth course.