Presentation on theme: "Engaging Business Students in Online Research and Critical Thinking through Customized Assignments Henri Mondschein Information Specialist Manager, Information."— Presentation transcript:
Engaging Business Students in Online Research and Critical Thinking through Customized Assignments Henri Mondschein Information Specialist Manager, Information Literacy California Lutheran University Academic Business Librarians Exchange Southern California October 24, 2003
About CLU Total enrollment: 2,949 Undergraduate: 1,891 Graduate: 1,058 Average class size: 15 students Student/faculty ratio: 15:1 California Lutheran University is a diverse, scholarly community dedicated to excellence in the liberal arts and professional studies.
Business Education at CLU MBA professional tracks: – Finance – Information Technology Management – Management & Organizational Behavior – Marketing MBA in Financial Planning & Financial Planning Certificate One Year International MBA Post MBA Certificate Series Program
The Challenges Create engaging & challenging learning environment Steer students from Google to subscription databases Develop critical thinking skills Encourage evaluation of information & sources Facilitate proper citing of sources
Courses & Goals CoursesGoals Strategic management Organization theory Assess company strategic capabilities Compare capabilities with industry rivals Benchmark firm strengths against industry averages (e.g ratios)
Our Approach: Instruction & Assignments to Reinforce Learning Management literature: - ABI Inform Company profiles, financials: - Lexis Industry & company reports: - Datamonitor & Business Insight Industry norms: - D&B Key Business Ratios Instruction focuses on advanced database search techniques
Class Exercises Review criteria for evaluating web information Introduce McWhortle.com exerciseMcWhortle.com Students work in pairs identifying flaws Volunteers share findings with class Students select company, analyze web site & compare findings Company Website Exercise
Assignment: Analyze a Company Objective: Enhance database searching skills Key products Key competitors Stock performance Executive bios Vision, mission or goals Industry trends Analyzing an Organization Exercise
Assignment: Analyze a Company Objective: Promote critical thinking skills Comprehension – Describe company’s vision, mission or goals Analysis - Summarize key initiatives Synthesis - Describe actions to increase market share or outperform competition Evaluation – Explain rationale for selecting specific information sources Adapted from Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives
Pre-instruction Observations Superficial research Obsolete written sources Reliance on company websites Lacking objectivity Minimal critical inquiry, analysis, assessment & reflection.
Post-Instruction Observations Embrace database research tools Improved assignments & papers reflecting use of databases, reputable Web sources Students like convenience of online resources. Improved analytical & synthesis skills Post- Instruction MBA Student PaperPost- Instruction MBA Student Paper
Linking Assignments to ACRL Standards Outcomes Standard 1: The information literate student determines the nature and extent of the information needed. Outcomes --Define information need --Determine most appropriate databases --Identify value & differences of sources
Linking Assignments to ACRL Standards Outcomes (cont.) Standard 2: The information literate student accesses needed information effectively and efficiently. Outcomes --Develop a research plan --Select appropriate keywords, descriptors --Construct search strategy
Linking Assignments to ACRL Standards Outcomes (cont.) Standard 3: The information literate student evaluates information and its sources critically and incorporates selected information into his or her knowledge base and value system. Outcomes -- Examines & compares information from various sources (Compare databases vs. WWW) --Draws conclusions based upon information gathered (Summarize key strategic initiatives) --Integrates new information with previous information or knowledge (Synthesize research)
Partnering with Business Faculty: Creating Opportunities Invite yourself to address classes Enlighten your business faculty about your online resources Review course goals, content & learning objectives Assess proposed syllabus & topics Review previous class assignments -- What can be improved? --Propose an assignment Align assignment outcomes to course goals & to ACRL standards
What’s Your Idea? Take the first step to engage business students in enhancing their business research and critical thinking skills. Partner with your business faculty and share your ideas. There’s a lot you can accomplish together!