More than 10 years ago, Drs. Derrick D’Souza and Grant Miles, faculty in the College of Business, began the joint effort to transform the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) core capstone course into one that provides students with hands-on, integrative, real-world learning experience. The transformation was built around a case competition.
With the case competition as its anchor, the course underwent a series of revisions. Since all sections of the course were involved in the competition, greater coordination across sections was instituted so that students received a relatively common experience. Hands-on practice cases and assignments were developed to enhance the student’s ability to apply material and prepare them for the final project, and in-class instruction focused more on discussion than lecture. Students were encouraged to bring unique knowledge from their majors (e.g., marketing, finance, human resources, etc.) to ensure that the team examined the situation using cross-functional perspectives. Course content was altered to focus more on implementation and cross-disciplinary integration issues.
Spring 2008 to Date
In Spring 2008, it was decided to move to large sections of the course. We now offer one very large (140-180 students) and one large (75-90 students) section each long semester (plus additional summer sections). The challenge, however, was to find a way to offer the course in larger sections while maintaining the “small section” learning environment that we had worked hard to promote. It became evident that advances in technology could provide assistance in the efforts to maintain student involvement even though the class size had increased. First, UNT’s online learning platform (Blackboard) was tapped to provide lesson supplements and to test students on theoretical foundations. But, Blackboard has its limitations. We recognized that soliciting student involvement in the classroom would require a different approach. Thus, two additional efforts, both utilizing technology, were instituted. The first effort involved the use of wikis. The second, more recent efforts, involves the use of classroom response (clicker) technology.