How do we manage the transition?
Grading papers this morning, I received some encouraging feedback from students in their reflection sections. Here is one example relating to a simulation we use in our Strategic Management course:
"The Business Strategy course has been one of my favorite courses taken throughout my undergraduate career due to its exposure and application of its content to the real world. The Business Simulation Game has given me the opportunity to see and put into practice the material learned in other classes and see how decision really affects a company."
The image with this article was from one of my Marketing courses where the students worked in teams to help develop marketing plans for the local non-profit wellness organization OM Sanctuary - https://omsanctuary.org/. The image was from a class visit to OM Sanctuary to participate in one of their programs so that they had first-hand experience in their client's work. This semester, we are working with OM Sanctuary again, but there will not be any class visits. Instead, we have had to move the project to completely online, working remotely with the client to develop a promotional campaign that itself will be online. So far, both the students and the client's managers are satisfied with the outcome.
My capstone Strategic Management students were lucky, in the sense that although we had seated classes until the spring break, all of their course materials already were online. And they were luck because our Project-Based Learning activity was in the form of a semester-long Internet-based business strategy simulation. They were already working online in their teams to conduct weekly data analysis and make decisions for their simulation companies. The simulation is called the Business Strategy Game (BSG) and is offered through McGraw-Hill as a companion to several of its textbooks.
I ask students to reflect at the end of the semester in a final paper. Here is the second of the encouraging Strategic Management student reflections.
"This course has helped me understand business strategy through the use of BSG primarily. BSG is a really good way to teach students how to make decisions and understand the consequences of each decision. Hands-on learning is the best way for anyone to learn, because it gives you practice in a field and also allows you to fail. Failing occurs in real life as well, but it is better to learn through a simulation, so you know what to do and what not to do in the real world. It gives you a sense of experiential learning before launching into a real business."
Let's see what happens when the fall semester arrives. Will we be in classrooms? Will we be online? Or will we have a combination of these?
#experientiallearning #onlinelearning #projectbasedlearning #uncasheville #highereducation