Problem-Centered Curriculume.MBA Module 8 - An Example James C. Hall, Professor, Management; Associate Dean for Planning and Assessment Faculty Institute – May 25, 2004
Agenda • Introduce problem-centered approach to curriculum • Provide an example – Module 8, Cycle 3, e.MBA program • Suggest applications elsewhere in curriculum • Discuss
Traditional Approach • Identify discipline: management, accounting, finance, etc. • Provide overview, then focus on parts • Central issue: theory in one discipline • Small applications • Cognitive gains • Preparation for application (in business)
Central Challenge – e.MBA • Create a theory-based, application-oriented curriculum for experienced business managers and professionals • Optimize delivery using the rich resources of the internet • NOT just take courses to internet – one by one
Earlier Models • Discover learning • Dewey • Post sputnik science • New math • Connect classroom & critical thinking • Problem-centered professional education • Tie cognitive gains to practice • Reflective practice – build up from mess vs down from theory
Problem-centered Curriculum • Most MBA curricula = series of courses – management, finance, marketing, etc. • e.MBA@PACE has an Orientation and 9 modules focused on complex business problems • e.MBA modules interdisciplinary, like real business problems • Students work online in teams to solve problems with faculty guidance
e.MBA Design • Identify MBA learning objectives • Choose problem-centered approach • Plot objectives against 8 Modules • Goals: • Create cross-disciplinary Modules • Cover all MBA objectives, but in different way
Content Matrix Module SubjectMatter
2 years Program Flow Orientation residency 8 Modules with embedded Learning Exercisesand Discussion Boards Independent project &Management Simulation
Modules 1-8: Main Focus • Business Analysis • Marketing • Business Strategy • Managerial Accounting • Corporate Finance • Operations Management • Global Diversification Strategy • Organizational Behavior and Change Note: All Modules Interdisciplinary
Parts – Module 8 • Project • 3 Learning Exercises (LEs) • Selection and development of employees • Leadership and change • Organizational learning/knowledge management • Discussion boards – 1 per LE • Presentation and briefing book
Learning Outcomes – Mod 8 Students will have - • Identified and critically examined theories and models of leadership • Identified and critically examined theories and models related to change in individuals and organizations
Learning Outcomes • Developed or adapted a framework for describing the effects of environmental turbulence on a large, complex business. • Identified characteristics of industry leaders (successful organizations) that make them vulnerable to uncertainly and change.
Learning Outcomes • Investigated and rehearsed approaches to staffing, staff development, and reward systems to support rapid organizational actions related to turbulence and the need for change. • Increased understanding of organizational learning and knowledge management as strategic and operational tools.
Module 8 – An Example Look at Blackboard site
Other Applications • Core curriculum for full-time MBA • Integrate pairs of courses • Create common case – continuum throughout Core • Parts of courses • Undergraduate learning communities • UG/Grad disciplinary courses • Other ? ?
Strengths • Integrated, problem-centered approach transfers easily to work setting • Intensive residencies and continuous communication = strong bonds and motivation for students and faculty • Problem-centered, team approach developed new faculty skills: curriculum design, learning facilitation, team work, technology • Diffusion of learning to traditional curriculum and other online offerings
Challenges • Demanding for students and faculty: risk of burnout • Scarce faculty resources: not everyone can do problem-centered teachingwell • Low student/faculty ratio: relatively expensive