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OUTCOMES OF AUTHENTIC CASE LEARNING AND MIXED METHODS OF ASSESSMENT

P. Hodgson1, P.M.H. Kwok2

1City University of Hong Kong (HONG KONG)
2Hong Kong Community College (HONG KONG)
An outcome-based approach to teaching, learning and assessment has been strongly advocated through the University Grants Committee (UGC) in Hong Kong in recent years. All courses need to have teaching and learning activities and assessment tasks clearly aligned so that students can demonstrate the intended learning outcomes. This paper examines two cohorts of business students studying ‘Service Marketing’ in an associate degree programme in a local community college in Hong Kong. The paper covers how students were expected to develop basic knowledge and concepts in service marketing, such as managing service encounters, customer complaints and service recovery, and developing an integrated service-marketing strategy, generic skills and a professional attitude in marketing various service industries in a rapidly changing business environment.
A number of pedagogical strategies were used to create a learning community that embraced intellectual sharing so that students would benefit as they contributed both in class and in the online environment on the course. To help their students to develop critical thinking, problem-solving skills and self-confidence during their studies, faculty members used real-life cases so that students could associate with and apply theories in practice. Extending theories learned in the class, students were expected to develop an acute sensitivity to ethical practices through case studies. Students were also encouraged to present their discussion summaries or suggested solutions in an e-learning platform on a voluntary basis to exchange ideas with classmates after tutorial sessions.
Because the ability to work effectively in groups is often practised in the workplace, students were required to conduct group projects about good and bad service-marketing practice based on the cases. Peer evaluation on a group basis was carried out during the group project presentations, which served to familiarize students with the assessment criteria and to develop in them the kind of evaluative skills looked for in professionals. Finally, students were required to show individual cognitive ability by demonstrating their declarative knowledge in a timed sit-in examination. The assessment experience of students was explored and evaluated to see how they performed in different types of assessment task. Recommendations are made on how to achieve further enhancements in preparing students for their future careers or further study.