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‘New BM’: Making Active Learning a Reality and Challenges Ahead for the Business School Jim Keane & Anna Jones.

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Presentation on theme: "‘New BM’: Making Active Learning a Reality and Challenges Ahead for the Business School Jim Keane & Anna Jones."— Presentation transcript:

1 ‘New BM’: Making Active Learning a Reality and Challenges Ahead for the Business School Jim Keane & Anna Jones

2 Agenda Jim - ‘New BM’ Dr Anna Jones – interim findings and discussion

3 Background Old BM large range of modules large number of staff involved cross departmental no line manager responsibility Conversion rate fallen from 26% to 16% in 6 years Total student numbers on BM SH and Joints, fallen from 459 to 276 in 6 years

4 ‘New BM’ Responding to opportunities within university, in particular the new academic year, CeAL expertise and resources, and (possibly) Institute of Sustainability. Draft consultation report issued January 2008, discussed at BM course board 25 th January, full team meetings were then held 30 th January and 10th March. Other meetings held with some tutors and HoDs on 9 th and 29 th April, 16 th June and 18 th September Time to start developing what has emerged from this process. Level 1 – what BM is basically about (+project); level 2 – decision making both operationally and functionally; level 3 – contemporary BM strategic issues AL; sustainability; authentic assessments; integration

5 ‘New BM` BMN101 Management Development BMN101 Management Development BMN102 Business Contexts BMN102 Business Contexts BMN103 Management Contexts BMN103 Management Contexts BMN104 Perspectives on Business Management BMN104 Perspectives on Business Management BMN201 Managing Business Operations BMN201 Managing Business Operations Placement (Optional) BMN301 Building & Sustaining Strategy BMN301 Building & Sustaining Strategy BMN202 Managing HR BMN202 Managing HR BMN203 Marketing for Decision Makers BMN204 Managing at the Inter- national Level BMN204 Managing at the Inter- national Level FM233 Accounting and Finance for Decision Makers FM233 Accounting and Finance for Decision Makers BMN205 The Reflective Manager BMN21 1 Inter- national Field Trip BM333 Dissertation OR BM333 Dissertation OR BM399 Investi- gative Study BM399 Investi- gative Study BMN305 Leader- ship & Change BMN st Century Global Operations Mgt FM306 Corporate Account- ability BMN304 Strategic Marketing Principles Level 2 Level 3 Level 1 Project

6 Issues Lost momentum, but this can quickly be regained More communication within the team Key is building a supportive team who are committed to an active learning pedagogy as much as is practically possible Virtually all of ‘New BM’ can be delivered by 12 staff BM colleagues who are not involved Level 1 project Not perfect by any means – this is a heuristic process and there are risks Validation!

7 Next Steps Meeting of full team early January 2009 to begin development of ‘New BM’ (Wednesday 14 th January?) Facilitator will be Angela Tomkins Hoping for CeAL support and involvement Already some examples of good AL practice being tested by tutors

8 Dr Anna Jones

9 Research Method Qualitative interviews (30-90 mins) 20 interviews (19 to date) Audio recorded, transcribed in full, de- identified Core team, people who teach into the BM, people who have been involved in various ways, management Analysis – emergent, themes identified, cross checked, refined

10 Analytical Framework Activity systems theory (Engström 1999,2001) does not assume a unified approach but takes into account varied perspectives, histories and multiple layers of practices, rules and conventions Takes into account the local Places human activity within the collaborative, historical and cultural Action taking place in and upon context

11 Takes into account conflict in social practice Examines the transitions within and between activity systems Considers multiple perspectives and networks of interacting systems Considers the tensions between interacting systems Role of contradiction or disturbance (Blackler et al 2000) as a source of change Incoherences, inconsistencies and paradoxes are integral elements of activity systems. The disturbance becomes apparent when people interpret situations in different ways and so the inherent dilemmas become clear (Blackler et al 2000)

12 Advantages of the Change ‘this is forcing us to think about how we can do a better job of educating students, think about how we can do a better, it is a great opportunity’ ‘we will challenge students to actually know where they stand’ ‘it much better replicates the messy situations that students will have to face once they get into the workforce’

13 Structural Concerns ‘It [the new BM] has to change the culture slightly because in the past everyone wanted to teach their own little bit and has been very defensive of that…[the attitude was] I’ve got to come in and do my bit of this because I have to defend my subject’. ‘The initial promise is that change will be easy and not too time consuming but there are continually changing goalposts, QA becomes an issue, there are an array of bureaucratic and strangling constraints and people are constrained to think within structures.’

14 Interpersonal Concerns ‘There are lots of people who don’t know what is going on’ ‘The problems will be that either the staff can’t cope, the students can’t cope or certain members of management can’t cope’ ‘People are not willing to tell staff to fit into the new shape of the degree, do something that is unfamiliar’

15 Pedagogical Concerns ‘If I was looking from the outside in I guess the things that would concern me would be … getting the co- ordination right, getting the assessment right, not confusing the students, getting them on board right from the start.’ ‘How is it going to be assessed? That will be interesting.’ ‘The BM is just a bit of everything but not enough to be an accountant or a finance person or even a manager.’ ‘People have to have a clear idea of what they are doing’ ‘The degree is the wrong way around’

16 Structural Roadblocks ‘BM doesn’t have a home in its own right. People fly in as experts in a particular area and they leave again and no one really has ownership. I might talk to my colleagues about what they are doing but I don’t really know.’ ‘There just doesn’t feel like there is the chance to step back and breathe and say, let’s think conceptually, what do we really want? What are we going to do?

17 Personal Roadblocks ‘getting buy-in from all or most staff’ ‘some people are generally resistant to change’ ‘Teaching with others may limit one’s creativity as you can’t do something if [a colleague] is moaning’ ‘the whole things will unravel, people will pull out, the changes won’t go far enough, it will be driven by a too limited pool’ ‘It’s like a factory … it runs a bit like a school, like a factory’

18 Pedagogical Roadblocks ‘we need to think about what the course as a whole needs rather than what the individual staff member needs’ ‘students might not feel as if they belong to someone’ ‘there may be resistance from students – from the good ones who have succeeded using other forms of learning and the weaker ones because it does not provide them with structure’ ‘getting coverage across a sufficient range’

19 Needs Managerial Communication Resources

20 Managerial Overt support Practical support On-going support

21 Communication Open-ness, clear lines of communication Structured, open ways of involving staff Team building Structured and regular meetings, clear forum for sharing information, teaching, planning Investigating student expectations Evaluating the program Information about what has been successful in other institutions

22 Resources Money – for time release, guest speakers, field trips, money that is not tied to external agendas Library resources Time Professional Development

23 ‘You’ve got to convince people otherwise you’ve lost them really. So staff training definitely and real academic staff training. Pitched at the right level and it needs to be decided on not by central departments, or even budget holders who’ve got an agenda to pursue but people within the department who say this is what we really need. It think definitely the active learning and PBL stuff is absolutely essential, its really fulfilling as well’

24 Moving Forward Away days with management input Team cohesion and empowerment (small things like lunches make a huge difference), commitment to each other Clarity regarding available resources Development for support staff Lines of communication between support staff, BM team, management Marketing

25 Some Recommendations Ongoing, regular, formalised, open, inclusive communication structure that goes across staff rather than through individuals Targetted professional development around curriculum design and assessment Developing notions of active learning as they apply in the BM Broadening the locus of control

26 Professional Development Targetted, local, contextual, provocative Arising out of BM rather than imposed from outside Pitched at an academic level Eg Curriculum design: aims, objectives, teaching assessment Active learning: practical, what is it in the BM context, teaching and assessment Teaching large classes Reflection Classroom management Project based or enquiry based learning

27 Some key questions for BM How is knowledge understood? What are the learning goals? How are they best taught? What will be the structure of the curriculum? What will the teaching activities be? How will they be assessed?

28 Concept mapping What (if any) is the prerequisite knowledge? Is there a hierarchy of knowledge? What are the key concepts? What are the skills or attributes? What are the relationships between concepts What are the relationships between content and attributes?

29 Development of objectives Attributes of a BM graduate Curriculum objectives Specific objectives Teaching Assessment Reflection and review

30 Academic Development Programme 1.Attributes of a BM graduate 2.Detailed concept mapping of the degree programme 3.Curriculum design 4.Enquiry based learning/teaching

31 Suggestions for first meeting 1.Overview of the program and responsibilities of staff members (Jim) 2.Questions and discussion (the group) 3.Initial formulation of the key objectives of BM (the group)


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