Using Mini-Cases to Improve Student Learning Around Collaboration

Shauna Jones

Grant program: Teaching and Learning Development Grant (TLDG)

Grant recipient: Shauna Jones, Beedie School of Business

Project team: Maycko Macapugas, research assistant

Timeframe: January 2017 to January 2018

Funding: $6,000

Course addressed: BUS 202 – Foundations of Collaborative Work Environments

Final report: View Shauna Jones' final report (PDF)

Description: BUS 202 Foundations in Collaborative Work Environments teaches students how to collaborate in teams. We developed the course in response to employer feedback stating they required our graduates to work well with others. Students use their experience participating in a small functional team and a large cross-functional group to promote, conduct product research, sell a Beedie-branded product, and develop product recommendations for the SFU Bookstore.

Maycko Macapugas

To prepare and support students through this process, students participate in activities to 1) develop awareness of self and others; 2) learn to give and receive feedback; 3) learn to host productive conflict, and 4) learn from team processes. To date, students’ learning has been focused on their experience through this process. For some students, particularly at this level of personal development, they can find it challenging to reflect on something where they have had little or no experience. In this research project, I would like to discover how using mini cases to demonstrate and have students assess aspects of collaboration will help integrate their learning with class concepts around this topic.

Questions addressed:

  • Do students in the course with the mini-cases included better understand and make use of course concepts than those in a version of the course where the mini-cases are not included?
  • Have the students applied the learning from the mini cases to their experience in their teamwork?
  • What are the students’ opinions on the quality, usefulness, value, and integration into the course of the mini-cases?

Knowledge sharing: My plan is to disseminate my findings to local colleagues through the Beedie Teaching and Learning Luncheon or a Research Brown Bag. Additionally, I will submit a proposal to present at a Teaching and Learning conference in late 2016/early 2017such as the SFU Teaching Symposium and/or Society of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.

Keywords: Experiential learning; collaboration; team based learning; team work; group work; survey; mini-cases; video cases; case based learning; rubrics; case learning; media use; course design; scaffolding