About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 5762
Publication year: 2011
ISBN: 978-84-615-0441-1
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2011
Location: Barcelona, Spain


E. Zinser, L. Zimmermann, G. Sprung

University of Applied Sciences FH Joanneum (AUSTRIA)
This poster describes the development of the constructivist-oriented course E-Business Applications that has been part of the curriculum of the degree program Information Management at the University of Applied Sciences FH JOANNEUM since 2003 and its influence on the learners.
It lines out the application of constructivism in the tertiary education sector taking the above mentioned course where a real business case is simulated as a genuine example. It furthermore focuses on the realization and time frame of this course and finally gives recommendations for teaching holistic courses in general based on the lessons learnt from using this approach for eight years.
The course E-Business Applications has the aim to create a complete E-Business platform starting from the business strategy to the functional implementation within an appropriate IT-environment with the contribution of all students of one class. In order to be able to accomplish the task, all the different skills the students learnt by then have to be applied. This is why this course is a great basis for the constructivist approach.
Constructivism is an alternative to conventional teaching approaches. It is a theory of learning where humans construct meaning individually from current knowledge structures. This philosophical framework is a set of assumptions about the nature of human learning that guide constructivist learning theories and teaching methods of education. According to this theory the instructors create an authentic learning situation with complex problems to solve. The students have to apply and enhance their knowledge as in this real-life scenario they find out that they need to acquire new and creative problem-solving skills.
The course E-Business Applications involves a whole class of students – in the past eight years in average 45, a main tutor and advisory tutors from the staff of the degree program. The students must collaborate to accomplish the goal of creating an E-Business platform with all the necessary tools. They only meet their main tutor twice in a lecture set-up: in their initial lesson where they learn about the goal to be reached and where the different teams are formed; and then at the end of the semester when they present their results. However, when they need help or have questions, they can contact any tutor for advice throughout the semester.
Students have the possibility to learn in a real-life company scenario without the risks they would face in a real company. As they have their own management and different teams, they have the challenge to realize the given tasks in the following areas: project management, process management, system management, digital media technologies, programming, software development, workflow management, database architecture, logistics, marketing, quality management, customer orientation.
The experience of eight years of teaching this constructivist course shows that the success of this course does not lie in the technologically perfect result but in the knowledge the students acquire in the area of soft skills and management.
author = {Zinser, E. and Zimmermann, L. and Sprung, G.},
series = {3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN11 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-615-0441-1},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {4-6 July, 2011},
year = {2011},
pages = {5762}}
AU - E. Zinser AU - L. Zimmermann AU - G. Sprung
SN - 978-84-615-0441-1/2340-1117
PY - 2011
Y1 - 4-6 July, 2011
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN11 Proceedings
SP - 5762
EP - 5762
ER -
E. Zinser, L. Zimmermann, G. Sprung (2011) ALMOST REAL: EFFECTIVE LEARNING THROUGH A BUSINESS SIMULATION, EDULEARN11 Proceedings, p. 5762.