The Application of the Learning Sciences to the Design of Business Education Cases

The Application of the Learning Sciences to the Design of Business Education Cases

Michael D. Hamlin (Touro University Worldwide, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3153-1.ch031


Business education is education for practice and thus, requires a systematic and integrative approach that will guide students toward becoming reflective practitioners. Case-based education is an important tool that can provide the educational experiences that produce effective practitioners but only if its use is guided by a sound theoretical and research based framework. Research and theory from the learning sciences can guide case-based instructional practices. This chapter will provide a framework for the design of case-based instruction that incorporates teaching and learning affordances derived from the theory of situated learning and cognition. If the educational goal is to produce business practitioners with the skills and knowledge necessary to operate successfully in today's global business environment, business education needs to be prepared to incorporate theoretical perspectives derived from learning sciences research into case-based education.
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Over the years there have been a number of studies of management education (Pfeffer &. Fong, 2002; Bennis & O’Toole, 2005; Mintzberg, 2005) resulting in a number of recommendations focused on improving learning outcomes. Datar, Garvin and Cullen (2010) for instance, in a study of MBA programs in Europe and the United States identified unmet needs of management education. Some that are relevant to the discussion in this chapter include:

  • Leadership development, improved emotional intelligence, and the ability to motivate, delegate, and lead ethically.

  • The need to integrate concepts through a multidisciplinary approach that permits students to solve problems.

  • The need to pursue creative and innovative thinking.

  • The need to balance practice, theory, and experience.

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