Audio-Visual Case Methodology for Teaching Business in Virtual Campus: The Henry Brubaker Case

Audio-Visual Case Methodology for Teaching Business in Virtual Campus: The Henry Brubaker Case

Xavier M.Triadó Ivern (Universitat de Barcelona, Spain), Pilar Aparicio Chueca (Universitat de Barcelona, Spain), Natalia Jaría (Universitat de Barcelona, Spain) and Amal Elasri (Universitat de Barcelona, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-909-5.ch009

Abstract

Henry Brubaker is a visual case used in different subjects in the area of business organization to delve into the subject of design and implementation of organizational structures. The projection to the students has been conducted by using different methodologies. The authors have already proven that the audiovisual case methodology is substantially related to the increases of student motivation not only to attend the lesson, but also to study the subject. It is not significant, moreover, that there is also a strong evidence for a positive correlation between the audiovisual case methodology used and improvements in the learning process. Likewise, the observations that the authors have collected so far suggest that this way of teaching fosters a better understanding of the theoretical concepts explained in the classroom.
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Setting The Stage

Our students’ learning is a matter of constant concern for many teachers. It has been observed that, in various areas of knowledge, this learning is sometimes seriously hindered by the difficulty in associating the theoretical notions explained in the classroom to the real life of an organization. Students usually associate the conceptual definitions given in class with an abstract reality distant from their own. The lack of work experience –especially in the morning groups– aggravates the problem.

In view of this situation, the possibility of using more than the traditional pedagogic methods was valued. There exists the need to create a teaching methodology that not only helps in the learning process by bringing the theoretical classroom world closer to the practical world of real life, but that also increases student motivation and performance.

The era of global technology in which we are living is also defining university life. During the last years, the majority of the universities have adopted an open-source method called Moodle. It is a virtual campus1 where students and teachers can share a virtual space to work and which offers many possibilities to learn in useful and diverse ways.

The case methodology starts at the beginning of the last century, as a teaching tool for executive formation programs carried out in the Harvard Business School. Each case introduces situations and problems (cases), habitually obtained from real organizations. Each group of people have to investigate and find solutions, and discuses about its effectiveness. (Pujol i Fons, 1981, p.151). The intention of this activity is learn concepts, as they have to apply, in the real world.

The case methodology is very appropriate and important in the “teaching-learning” process in the courses, since not only does it make it possible to deal with fundamental learning aims, but it also helps to reduce the existing distance between the classroom and the real world. The realistic character of this methodology makes it a useful tool to bring the students closer to the actual problems of the companies, since it allows a better understanding not only of their complexity and multidimensionality, but also of the difficulty to analyze it.

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