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STAFF FEST TSL Showcase Blending Teaching, Learning and Assessment. Level 6 Business Strategy and Beyond at the Business School: ( Not Just Business as Usual) Peter J Considine. Blended Learning with Business, Law and Education .

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Staff fest tsl showcase blending teaching learning and assessment

STAFF FEST TSL ShowcaseBlending Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Level 6 Business Strategy and Beyond at the Business School:

(Not Just Business as Usual)

Peter J Considine

Blended learning with business law and education
Blended Learning with Business, Law and Education

  • “Blended learning is a half-way house between face-to-face and distance learning, typically used when students are able to attend a college or university for short, relatively intense sessions but cannot attend on a regular basis.

  • As our relations with various organisations deepens, and as we interact with more diverse student groups in a number of situations, we will need to develop a more common understanding of the frameworks to be used when we talk of blended learning as a strategy”

    (Faculty of Business, Education and Law“Blended Learning Frameworks” 2014)

Approaches to blending
Approaches to Blending

Rossett, Douglis, and Frazee (2003) Learning Circuits

Model 1 typical delivery pattern for a 15 credit module
Model 1 –“Typical” delivery pattern for a 15 credit module

Model 2 Blended– Reduced class contact and increased Guided Learning

Model 3 Blended – Further reduction in contact, greater guidance


Model 4 – Full Distance Learning

Model 4 – Full Distance Learning (DL programmes often start with a one to many face to face launch)

A look at blending tla a case study on l6 strategic and international strategic management timeline
A Look at Blending TLA – A case study on L6 Strategic and International Strategic Management: Timeline

  • 2005/6. A blended approach using Blackboard with learning out of class supported by embedded links to Macro Media Contribute

  • 2006/7 Blended Assessment with the introduction of a split assessment including mini-learning portfolios – used until the mandate to have only one assessment point per 15 credits

  • 2008 Computer based Business Simulations (Double Learning and Teaching Fellowship) Project saw the successful introduction of Business Simulations – to 2010 with roll out initially on small group teaching and on large group teaching since 2010

  • Simulation based learning Student recognition achieved also in the UBC National simulation – four teams through to the Semi finals on the University Business Challenge

  • Above leading to significant improvements in student attainment and satisfaction with learning

  • 2010 on – e-assessment introduced using Turnitin and Grademark

  • 2014 revisiting blended learning as a more immersive blackboard experience

  • 2014 Re-introducing a blended learning and assessment model on a new 30 credit module

  • Business School developing a Blended MBA for corporate clients

Traditional On –Campus USE of VLE’s

  • Blackboard as a (quick and dirty) repository

  • How does this lead to deeper more engaging off campus “blended “learning?

  • Does the “tutor” think as the “learner” with this drop up one slides approach?

Developing BB VLE as a More Immersive Environment (beyond the repository) 1.

Blended Learning Through

Guided Study Blocks

Embedded and E-book supported Learning tasks the repository) 2.

“Blending” Formative with Summative

Students select a portfolio of formative related assessments for e-submission

Core Texts Available as E-Books ( the repository) 2. Dawsonera)

ICONIC Blended Learning Activities the repository) 2.

Readings – included supported e-books

Tasks – Individual and Group (Learning Cell) and both Formative and Summative

Tasks Completed !

Assessment design with learning portfolios and strategy simulations
Assessment Design with Learning Portfolios and the repository) 2. Strategy Simulations

Strategic Management Delivery at Level 3

  • Choice of “mini” learning portfolio topics based upon first five weeks of modules programme

  • Competitive Group Work Project on the Simulation (social constructionist perspectives on learning)

  • Two further learning portfolio’s with one a being a reflective journal on simulation based learning

    A Teaching Learning & Assessment model without the traditional (Harvard Business School 1920’s Final case method exam/assignment)

The Traditional the repository) 2. Case Based Method (HBS in the 1920’s) In Teaching Strategy and “Case Study Fatigue” in Students –

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

Week 9

Week 10

Week 11

Week 12

Week 13

Week 14

Week 15

Week 1

Week 2

Final Summative

Case Study

Text Based Case Studies (Long & Short)

Case Study Fatigue?`

Gamification in pedagogy on business strategy some justifications 1
Gamification the repository) 2. in Pedagogy on Business Strategy : Some Justifications 1

Some years ago Mintzberg & Quinn (1991) contended that:

The text based case (TCM) method can be counter productive, by giving misleading, if not even dangerous, over-simplifications of the realities of strategic processes

That assessment and output tends to converge upon the lecturer’s own analysis and recommendations.

However Faria& Wellington (2004) found from their surveys of former users and users that simulations:

  • interest and motivate students,

  • integrate functional areas within a firm and

  • importantly provide a measure of student comprehension and subject matter understanding.

    We Introduced Simulations on Strategic Management in 2007 and rolled out on large groups teaching (240 plus students) in 2010.

Gamification the repository) 2. in Pedagogy on Business Strategy : Some Justifications 2

The Attainment of Functioning and Professional Knowledge

  • To prepare our students for real life career development and to be on the pathway towards managerial expertise we need to expose them to as much “practice” as possible and which requires closer alignment to award level and module level Learning Outcomes

  • On Capstone or integrative modules such as Business Strategy, the Leaning outcomes related to functioning knowledge and in particular “Problem Solving” (decision making) & “Reflection” are difficult, (if not impossible), to properly realise using the Traditional Case Method alone.

Mid Nov Submission Dec for Interim Summative Feedback the repository) 2.

Mini E-Portfolio’s 1 to 3 from a given choice

Weeks 3/4 Two week trial practice - familiarisation of simulation environment

Introduction to StratSim Manager (Automotive context)

Initial Situation Briefing

For competing Teams

Weeks 5 to 11.Team Simulation Assignment

Part 1. Initial Assessment/Mission/Strategies/Tactics

Part 2. Decision Output Reports/Strategy Adjustment/Successes/ Issues/ (S) Jan Submission

Environmental changes

/Competitive Moves

Input Decisions

Period n=1

Internal Changes –

Financial data etc.

HR = “Team Dynamics”

Input Decisions

Period n=7

Portfolio 4 Simulation based

Portfolio 5 – Reflective Portfolio

against LO’s Jan Submission

Assessment Model Formative to Summative Business Simulations with E-Portfolios

End Game

Proposition: the repository) 2. Learning Business Strategy: The Role of Simulations in “Top Down” and in “Bottom Up” Learning

University “K”: Declarative, abstract and conceptual (labelling, differentiating, elaborating & justifying) *

Professional “K”: (Functioning, specific – deals with executing, applying & making priorities )*

ProblemBased Learning (PBL)/ or Problem Based Gaming (PBG): Kiili (2007)


Functioning Knowledge

Subsumes both procedural and higher level declarative knowledge

Conditional Knowledge

Declarative knowledge (dominant in Universities):

Propositional knowledge – taught/researched knowledge – what we “declare in lectures” e.g. Biggs(2003) SOLO after “extended abstract”

Procedural knowledge:Skill Based, functioning knowledge without a conceptual foundation

* McCarthy Young & Merryman (1995) in Biggs (2011)

Welcome to executive used in large group learning 240 plus students
Welcome to the repository) 2. Executive (used in large group learning (240 plus students)

A Real Time Simulation based on the

European Automotive Industry

The simulation in overview
The Simulation in Overview… the repository) 2.

PLANNING – Preparing a Strategic Plan, agreeing responsibilities

DECISION MAKING – Making five sets of business decisions as a team and to deadlines

REVIEWING AND REPORTING– Assessing progress during each year of the simulation and submitting an individual report at the end of the module

You will be working in a team environment to manage an automotive company trading in the European car market. The module will comprise the following elements :

April Executive Simulations. the repository) 2.

In total. Typically Some 60 Teams of students compete in Worlds (up to 8 teams per world) and competition for top places across the cohort (games and competition in blending learning)

Country manager used in smaller group situations on international strategy up to 54 students
Country the repository) 2. Manager (used in smaller group situations on International Strategy – up to 54 students)

The International Business Simulation

Welcome to country manager

Develop and implement strategies that are attractive to customers in each country and profitable for Allstar Brands

Welcome to Country Manager!

CountryManager is an International Marketing simulation focusing on market entry and expansion:

  • You play the role of Toothpaste Category Manager for a major consumer products company about to enter the Latin American market

  • For the next ten years, your team will build the “Allsmile” brand in one market and, ultimately, expand into other Latin American markets

A move to e assessment in 2010
A Move to E-Assessment in 2010 customers in each country and profitable for Allstar Brands

Allocation of scripts from the office to the marking team – significant time spent and now totally time saving with e-assessment

Marking on line – use of Rubrics and “quickmark” can save time and will improves consistency in marking on large cohort modules

In 2014 with 240 odd students marked completed and released ahead of deadlines.

Need to consider ergonomic /H&S issues with extensive PC/Screen work involved in mass on-line marking

External have remote access to sample for moderation

Marks submitted to students via Grademark and to the office for processing – further time saved and no double entry errors c.f. manual approaches

E assessment via turnitin 1
E-assessment via customers in each country and profitable for Allstar BrandsTurnitin (1)

Summary of results of comparative study strategy
Summary of Results of customers in each country and profitable for Allstar BrandsComparative StudyStrategy.

Blending with Simulations has led to a consistent improvement in summative attainment

Proposition: Blending TLA, customers in each country and profitable for Allstar BrandsSimulations, Experience and “Deliberate” Practice. Engaged Learners More Prepared for Professional Practice

Adapted from Ericsson (2007)

3. “Expert Performance”


Generative/Experiential Learning via Blending TLA with Business Games/Simulations. The workplace ready “Staffordshire Graduate”


2. The UG Intermediary?

1. The Novice

“Studies on students’ perceptions of learning in business simulations often suggest that students like simulations and view them more positively than both lectures and

case discussions” Palmunen et al (2013)

Experience (time)

Blending customers in each country and profitable for Allstar Brands

How do you blend? (adapted from

  • There’s no cookbook for blends. The topic calls out for empirical research, stymied to date by

  • murky definitions for blends and their ingredients, as well as the normal challenges associated

  • with workplace studies. In the meantime, here are some guidelines for thinking about and

  • constructing successful combinations. Derived from experience, observations of best practices,

  • and the instructional design literature, these approaches highlight real constraints.

  • Stability and urgency. Will this content last for one or two years? Will there be changes within

  • days or weeks? A good distinction to remember is that product information tends to be fickle,

  • while such concepts as a perspective on leadership or customer service possess more staying

  • power.

  • Another consideration is the amount of time developers have to create the belnd's ingredients.

  • Does the program need to be up and running within five days or will there be several months to

  • design and develop assets for the blend?

Rossett felicia douglis and frazee 2003
Rossett customers in each country and profitable for Allstar Brands, Felicia, Douglis, and Frazee (2003)

Going blended on tla costs and time
Going Blended on TLA Costs and Time customers in each country and profitable for Allstar Brands

Rossett, Felicia, Douglis, and Frazee (2003)

Some concluding thoughts 1
Some Concluding Thoughts (1) customers in each country and profitable for Allstar Brands

  • Blending is a mix of approaches to engaging our learners

  • To support out of classroom/off campus engagement we need to develop our VLE’s beyond being a repository into a more structured (hierarchal) and immersive learning environment, with clear specified and supported learning environments

  • This immersive design can be done with environments such as Blackboard (an ever evolving if clunky application) but such can support embedded and more suitable applications such as “Contribute”.

  • Blending Assessments. Going beyond the traditional final summative case based approach has been found to improve student attainment (the use of choice of e-portfolios and which however required more than one assessment point per 15 credits or a 30 credit module)

Some concluding thoughts 2
Some Concluding Thoughts (2) customers in each country and profitable for Allstar Brands

  • E-assessments complement the blend enabling students to submit remote from the campus

  • Blending with Simulations. Team/game based (social learning) pedagogies most certainly engages our students through competitive real world scenarios

  • Learning through Simulations aligns with students acquiring “real world” or “functioning knowledge”, beyond the novice and aligns with the Staffordshire Graduate.

  • In the case of introducing and then rolling out to large cohorts simulation based learning requires a certain amount of courage, but once up and running it is well worth it

Some concluding thoughts 3
Some Concluding Thoughts (3) customers in each country and profitable for Allstar Brands

  • However such developments put the tutor in the shoes of the learner and with simulations the tutor becomes a co-learner/consultant (relates well a virtual form of practice based learning).

  • Developing more immersive approaches to asynchronous learning will take time (and cost)

  • Other complementary techniques include “Flipping the Class Room” and by challenging delivery patterns – (blending teaching).

  • Piloting and encouraging innovations in blending learning approaches alongside having a School/Faculty wide set of guiding principles is important

Readings customers in each country and profitable for Allstar Brands

  • Biggs, J. (2011) Teaching for Quality Learning at University Open University Press

  • Bragge, PrechaThavikulwat and JuusoTöyli (2013) Profiling 40 Years of Research in Simulation & Gaming. Simulation and Gaming Vol 41(6) 848-868

  • Ericsson, Charness, Feltovich & Hoffman (2007). The Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance; Cambridge University Press

  • Faria & Wellington (2004). A survey of simulation game users, former users, and never users. Simulation & Gaming, Vol 35, 78-2007

  • Fortmuller, R. (2009) Learning through Business Games: Acquiring Competences Within Virtual Realities. Simulation & Gaming Vol. 40, No1,68-73

  • Jennings, D.R. (2001) Strategic management: An evaluation of the use of three learning methods. Journal of Management Development. Vol. 21. No9, 655-665

  • Kiili(2007). Foundation for problem-based gaming. British Journal of Educational Technology Vol 38, 394-404

  • Mitchell (2004). Combining cases and computer simulations in strategic management course. Journal of Education for Business, Vol. 79, 198-204

  • Mintzberg, Qunin & Ghosal (1991) Strategy Process, Context and Concepts.

  • Palmunen, Pelto, Paalumäki and Lainema. (2013) Formation of Novice Business Students’ Mental Models Through Simulation Gaming. Simulation and Gaming. Vol 44(6) 846–868

  • Rossett, Douglis, and Frazee (2003) Learning Circuits (on line subscritpion) (accessed 17th June 2014

  • Wittrock, M C. (1985). Teacher learner generative strategies for enhancing reading comprehension. Theory Into Practice, Vol. 24. no 2: 123-126

  • Wortley (2013) Immersive Technology Strategies. Simulation and Gamming Vol 44, 869-881

  • Towler (2007). An exploration of student perception of a business simulation game. The International Journal of Management Education 7, 69-79