About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 716-719
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-697-3777-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2017.0116

Conference name: 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2017
Location: Barcelona, Spain

EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING, A COLLABORATIVE WAY TO EDUCATE UNDERGRADUATES IN THE REAL WORLD

T. Olson

University of Minnesota (UNITED STATES)
Overview:
“We would have never thought about the business issue in this manner. This is fantastic; can we do it again next year?” This is the unscripted response we have received every time our undergraduate Management Information System (MIS) students have presented a solution for a technology issue to our corporate partners. A highly respected MIS department at a leading university in the United States wanted to engage undergraduate seniors with local corporate partners to create experiential learning opportunities. The department’s motivation was to facilitate real world MIS / IT opportunities that had yet to analyzed by the corporation. What we expected was that the student teams would bring insight and suggestions from a completely different perspective. We have done this type of experiential learning projects now over a dozen times and the response has been the same every time from the corporate sponsors and participants, can we do it again?

Motivation:
• Experiential learning is based on students being directly involved with learning rather than their being receivers of preformatted content (lectures, case studies, videos, etc.). Experiential learning is the kind of learning that Benjamin Franklin had in mind in the eighteenth century when he wrote, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember, involve me and I will learn.” Our MIS department in conjunction with local corporate partners has developed an undergraduate capstone course where our business partners provide real life MIS challenges and opportunities that our students, research, analyze, postulate, and then present recommendations.
• These experiential opportunities have all been real business scenarios, that the business has not had the time or resources to address.
• All the companies would admit they suffer from group think. Providing fresh ideas from a student perspective to the issues has proven to be wildly successful.

Problem Statement:
• MIS departments are constantly being asked by their functional counterparts to investigate potential technical projects. Quite often these projects involve new technology which the organization may or may not have experience with or they do not have enough staff to study the project in a timely manner.
• Project sponsors write a brief description of the business scenario.
• Students need to find clarity through ambiguity and postulate a clear and concise recommendation.
• Students demonstrate project management skills by preparing scope documents, project plan, quality reviews and communications matrix.

Results:
Our department has conducted sixteen of these capstone experiential learning projects during the past five years. The overwhelming feedback:
• We would have never looked at or come up with the suggestions the students have recommended. They have a completely different way of looking at business problems.
• A surprising small number of recommendations are similar. The variety of suggestions is one of the most interesting outcomes for the corporate partners.
• Students stated, “Best class they have ever taken, completely different than classroom lectures, cases, writing papers and exams.”
• The business school is now using the MIS department’s Capstone as a model for all other departments’ experiential learning initiatives.
@InProceedings{OLSON2017EXP,
author = {Olson, T.},
title = {EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING, A COLLABORATIVE WAY TO EDUCATE UNDERGRADUATES IN THE REAL WORLD},
series = {9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN17 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-3777-4},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2017.0116},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2017.0116},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {3-5 July, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {716-719}}
TY - CONF
AU - T. Olson
TI - EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING, A COLLABORATIVE WAY TO EDUCATE UNDERGRADUATES IN THE REAL WORLD
SN - 978-84-697-3777-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2017.0116
PY - 2017
Y1 - 3-5 July, 2017
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN17 Proceedings
SP - 716
EP - 719
ER -
T. Olson (2017) EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING, A COLLABORATIVE WAY TO EDUCATE UNDERGRADUATES IN THE REAL WORLD, EDULEARN17 Proceedings, pp. 716-719.
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