Using ‘real’ tasks and real organisations to improve student learning and motivation
Conference: 7th AEME Events Management Educators Forum: “Continuing Professional Development or Continuing to Develop the Professionals?”
Dates: 18-19 June 2009Abstract:
When planning their units, events management tutors face the challenge of fulfilling academic objectives while at the same time helping students develop practical skills. In addition, some students come to university with well developed academic skills, while others have a more ‘hands-on’ approach – they want ‘to do things’ that are practical in nature. Motivating the latter group to engage in intellectually demanding tasks, such as strategic thinking and creativity, is particularly difficult. This session will report on an experience at Bournemouth University that attempted to reconcile these two important, yet often contradicting, challenges.
The unit is called Leisure Product (Event Innovation from October) and a piece of coursework was designed to meet the objectives of the unit, which revolve around exploring innovation and new product development theory and apply this knowledge to a real organisation. The coursework involves developing a new event, for which students have to follow a step-by-step process, divided in two stages: a Consultancy report (which identifies the organisation’s current market situation and the gap in the market place) and a Group presentation (which follows a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style, where students present the business case for the event in front of ‘dragons’, with a view to obtain their support for its development and launch).
The coursework has now run for 4 years, and over this period many changes have been made following an analysis of student performance. For 08-09 a number of changes were implemented, which had a tremendous impact on student performance and engagement. Overall, it is felt that the right ‘formula’ was found. Yet, in order to establish whether the coursework was perceived as an appropriate method for the unit, notably after the implementation of the changes, an evaluation of the experience was made that involved: • Seminar discussions with each of the seminar groups (five in total) at the end of stage 1 (consultancy report) reflecting on the students’ experience • An online questionnaire at the end of the coursework, which focused on the assessment of the perceived extent of learning achieved by students and support given by tutors.
- A brief email interview with the managers of the organisations allocated to each of the five groups
This session will attempt to share the experience of this unit with a view to establish good practice in using creative assessment to promote students learning and motivation in the context of innovation and new product development in events. The results of the evaluation process will presented and discussed. The session will be centred on this experience, but tutors who teach similar units (or skills) will be invited to share their own experiences.
Preferred by: Miguel Moital