“Critical Thinking in Business” Team Launches Pilot and Presents at International Conference

October 10, 2017

Susan Christie-Bell and Dr. Valia Spiliotopoulos have launched the Beedie School of Business’s first pilot of “Critical Thinking in Business” this fall.  The pilot marks the next step in an ongoing innovative, interdisciplinary design collaboration between Stephen Spector, Susan Christie-Bell (Beedie School of Business), Valia Spiliotopoulos (CELLTR), and David Rubeli (Teaching and Learning Centre) within Beedie’s multilingual and multicultural student body.

“Critical Thinking in Business” (BUS 217W) is a required course for BBA students entering Beedie starting Fall 2017. The course teaches business-specific approaches to critical thinking and introductory professional communication. The course aims to support students to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills in the context of business and to create opportunities for them to demonstrate their skills by writing typical business documents like email messages and case study reports.

For the pilot, Christie-Bell and Spiliotopoulos are co-teaching the course based on 'content and language integrated' instruction principles. Together they are leading an instructional team that includes teaching assistants specialized in second language learning and business.  In class, the instructor and students unpack critical thinking principles and analyze a range of business case studies and examples, practitioner articles and reports. Students develop arguments and analyses through participating in active learning activities, reflection, and writing.

In addition to designing the course and launching the pilot, the design team has had a proposal about its collaboration accepted for the Integrating Content and Language in Higher Education Conference 2017 in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Spiliotopoulos presented on behalf of the group on October 6.

The design team is looking forward to learning from Christie-Bell and Spiliotopoulos’s experiences in the classroom this semester and the results of a CELLTR-led impact assement. The design team’s next challenges will be to scale the pilot to meet the demand of running multiple sections and also to maximize the disciplinary relevance and critical thinking developmental support for all BBA students.


Beedie School of Business, Centre for English Language Learning Teaching and Research, Teaching and Learning Centre, SFU, Valia Spiliotopoulos, Stephen Spector, David Rubeli, critical thinking, content and language integrated instruction, ICLHE 2017

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