About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 3842 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2014
ISBN: 978-84-617-2484-0
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 17-19 November, 2014
Location: Seville, Spain

ORGANIZING A THEMATIC STUDENTS CASE COMPETITION IN CANADA: IMPROVING THE LEARNING EXPERIENCE

F. Braga

University of Guelph, College of Management and Economics (CANADA)
This paper discusses the experiment organized by the author at the university of (withheld) running an international Sustainability in Agribusiness Students Case Competition. This event has the explicit purpose of promoting the adoption of teaching cases in the broad, fast evolving and at times confusing field of Agribusiness Sustainability, where science, emotions, economic and social aspects, and media interests converge and sometimes collide.

Through reflection on the case problem, and the discussion of their proposed solution in a safe, yet vibrant, pre-competitive environment, students of different backgrounds and chosen field of specialization, can gain a lot of experience and appreciation for what are broad interdisciplinary problems. Achieving this objective, the development of professional maturity and practical experience, through adoption of valid teaching cases, is also key to attract, entice, and convert to teaching case adoption (at least some of the) colleagues who work at (University withheld in abstract), a University with leading Ag and Vet schools… developing top natural science knowledge for sure and using very little teaching cases.

Issues that will be addressed by the paper:
a- Rationale for and objectives for the event.
b- Marketing and financing the event; the need for serendipity and entrepreneurialism.
c- Essential logistics and its evolution over time.
d- Issues in team formation and how to maximize the learning experience of the students
e- The fine balancing act of inviting sensible judges, how to train them, and how to be a resource during deliberations.
f- Using this event to select students to progress to an international agribusiness competition.
g- Key challenges observed, their proactive management, and results.

Key results / take away points
These key lessons from the first three years will be illustrated and discussed.
1. Budget constraints are real, as is therefore the need to be creative and work with students organizations to address them and to leverage a joint strategy (competition organizer and student organizations).
2. Travel support is key, but extremely expensive: the franchising / internationalization of the conference (with a proposed offering at a key location in Latin America and another in Europe), and the possible use of online communication technology to expand the reach and save the budget.
3. The value of the learning experience and how to maximize it with simple steps, with some practical and simple steps such as, for example, the formation of multidisciplinary teams, the importance of active networking, the importance to the students of the internationalization of their learning experience, whether or not one wins the competition.
4. Building a “Competition” brand and fostering its recognition: the management of both in academia is somewhat different from what would happen in industry, and is much closer to a pre-competitive optimization.
5. Students are smart and have a lot of inventiveness, let them be themselves, and they will surprise you! In other words: Yes presentation skills, speaking skills, smooth teamwork are important, but coaches should not “push” an over structured scheme (analysis / presentation / Q&A).

@InProceedings{BRAGA2014ORG,
author = {Braga, F.},
title = {ORGANIZING A THEMATIC STUDENTS CASE COMPETITION IN CANADA: IMPROVING THE LEARNING EXPERIENCE},
series = {7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2014 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-2484-0},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {17-19 November, 2014},
year = {2014},
pages = {3842}}
TY - CONF
AU - F. Braga
TI - ORGANIZING A THEMATIC STUDENTS CASE COMPETITION IN CANADA: IMPROVING THE LEARNING EXPERIENCE
SN - 978-84-617-2484-0/2340-1095
PY - 2014
Y1 - 17-19 November, 2014
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2014 Proceedings
SP - 3842
EP - 3842
ER -
F. Braga (2014) ORGANIZING A THEMATIC STUDENTS CASE COMPETITION IN CANADA: IMPROVING THE LEARNING EXPERIENCE, ICERI2014 Proceedings, p. 3842.
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