About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5430-5437
Publication year: 2014
ISBN: 978-84-616-8412-0
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 10-12 March, 2014
Location: Valencia, Spain

REDESIGNING MASS COURSES IN BUSINESS SCHOOLS – THE CHALLENGING NEW ROLE OF THE TEACHER

J. Lindström, M. Nordell

Åbo Akademi University (FINLAND)
Many teachers at universities and business schools today are facing new challenges as a consequence of an increased demand for efficiency and quality while student groups are growing and resources are diminishing. Research shows that a traditional behavioristic approach is not efficient in meeting these new demands and that we need to rethink our courses as well as the role of the teacher (e.g. Laurillard, 2002; Michaelsen, Sweet & Parmelee, 2008; Ackerman & Hu, 2011). Taking a socio constructivist approach, we propose moving the focal point from trying to transfer knowledge from teacher to student, to encouraging knowledge sharing through an active dialogue. By encouraging interactions and discussions around experiences, previous knowledge and readings we offer our students a good opportunity for deep learning, learning from each other and creating new knowledge together.

However, redesigning courses and moving from traditional lectures and exams to a more active dialogue, debates and problem solving changes both the role of the teacher and the students. The teacher needs to take on a new role as a coach or a facilitator rather than the role of a lecturer. The responsibility of learning lies on the students but they also have the freedom to choose when, where and how they tackle the issues at hand. The task for the teacher taking on this new role is to challenge the students to embrace the offered responsibility and support them in finding the balance between the expected learning outcomes and the given freedom. Coaching one on one and personal dialogues can be of great help in this learning process, but what about large student groups and mass courses (with more than 100 students) where this is not always an option?

Based on previous research within the fields of university pedagogics, coaching and activating learning methods (e.g. Lindblom-Ylänne & Nevgi, 2002) and our own experiences of redesigning mass courses and facilitating learning processes we aim at further exploring the proposed approach in the context of mass courses in business schools and the challenges that this brings along for the teacher.

For example, we have found that a variety of activating learning methods can used for facilitating learning processes at mass courses and that the issue of trust is crucial (e.g. Edwards & Kidd, 2003). Trusting your students is prerequisite for motivating and encouraging them, and activated, motivated and responsible students learn and remember better than passive and uninterested students (e.g. Ackerman & Hu 2011). However, trusting your students, giving up control and responsibility and daring to take on the new role as a coach or a facilitator is challenging. Still, by challenging yourself as well as your students you will all benefit and learn a lot in the process.
@InProceedings{LINDSTROM2014RED,
author = {Lindstr{\"{o}}m, J. and Nordell, M.},
title = {REDESIGNING MASS COURSES IN BUSINESS SCHOOLS – THE CHALLENGING NEW ROLE OF THE TEACHER},
series = {8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2014 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-8412-0},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {10-12 March, 2014},
year = {2014},
pages = {5430-5437}}
TY - CONF
AU - J. Lindström AU - M. Nordell
TI - REDESIGNING MASS COURSES IN BUSINESS SCHOOLS – THE CHALLENGING NEW ROLE OF THE TEACHER
SN - 978-84-616-8412-0/2340-1079
PY - 2014
Y1 - 10-12 March, 2014
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2014 Proceedings
SP - 5430
EP - 5437
ER -
J. Lindström, M. Nordell (2014) REDESIGNING MASS COURSES IN BUSINESS SCHOOLS – THE CHALLENGING NEW ROLE OF THE TEACHER, INTED2014 Proceedings, pp. 5430-5437.
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