In my 4th year Hons class Family Business: Theory & Practice I engage students in a variety of different ways, both traditional (lecture) and non-traditional (web 2.0). In the latter I have used online polling software that shows live voting by students who can register their vote for a particular answer by text message or by visiting a website with their computer/tablet/smartphone. I will set up a question on the online polling software website, pose it to the students at the start of the class and make a note of the composition of responses (it is typically a yes/no question for ease). I will then deliver the class session, and then ask the students to participate in the online poll again and tell them how the class responses have changed to show them the overall change in the class view in light of the teaching they have received.
This work was supported by Enhancement Theme funding from the Quality Assurance Agency Scotland
We developed video lectures for the teaching content using the pen-tablet so interactive learning can be facilitated.
We integrated the delivery of such videos with the wireless mode of the pen-tablet so these videos (if taught in class) can be played, paused and rewound while teacher is moving around freely in the class.
Client organisations come from a wide range of industries but they all share similar characteristics in that they are mainly SMEs facing growth or sustainability challenges. Very many of our clients are in the third sector, thus they have a focus on solving social issues as opposed to maximising returns.
In 2014-15, 104 students worked with 23 client organisations coming from the Greater Glasgow area.
The students involved in the project are in their 3rd year of a Business degree, thus they already possess substantial knowledge which can be applied to solve the issues faced by the client organisations. Moreover, Business Clinic students receive training on consultancy tools and business modelling in the form of workshops at the beginning of the project.
By the end of the project, each team of students produced a comprehensive report with a detailed strategy and recommendations for each of the 23 client organisations.
Much of the work also took on a practical element such as attending trade fairs on behalf of the businesses or redesigning websites to make these more effective in promoting the business.
Another example of this inter-relationship of theory and practice forms the subject of this particular ‘Sharing Effective Practice’ case study. In the last section of the class on ‘Trade Unions and Employee Representation’, change consisted first of a reconfiguration of the lecture programme, and second of innovation in respect of the related assignment. A formal lecture on ‘Trade Unions and Representation’ was followed by a session entitled ‘What Do Trade Union Reps Actually Do?’. At this session, six trade union officers and reps were invited to attend. The idea was that each of the reps/officers sit at a desk and students in turn, for a set time, sit opposite the rep and ask questions of them. Students then visit another table and so on. On the basis of the notes taken, students were obliged to complete a report which answered that general question. This report constituted the final assessed assignment of the class.