Impact Using new ways to deliver information outside of class changes the professor's role during class.
Wisconsin MBA students had a new opportunity to delve more deeply into the application of macroeconomic concepts to real-world business problems during class when the required five-week “Macroeconomics for Managers” course transitioned from a traditional lecture-style to a blended format.
Thanks to investments in new technology and partnerships across campus, associate professor and textbook author Morris Davis rethought how, where, and when to deliver the information in his curriculum, transitioning from “sage on stage” to a “coach in the midst” approach.
In spring 2013, he asked his students to watch professionally-produced videos outside of class via online courseware, and then replaced classroom lecture time with active learning where students connected concepts presented in the videos to current events and real-world business decisions.
This model enabled Professor Davis to better utilize his time and energy on preparing for and responding to in-class discussions and student analysis, and that overall classroom activity became more meaningful to the students.
Student response to this blended learning approach was overwhelmingly positive (see graph). Students felt the videos helped improve their understanding of key course concepts and found the video animations effective at helping them master the material. Many students provided additional comments on their experience with the course. One student said, “…being able to access the videos and learn them on your own combined with in class discussion is a much better way to learn. I hope this trend continues … and Wisconsin further adopts this method of learning.” Another found that “… the videos were an effective way to teach the core concepts of macroeconomics. Learning the concepts prior to class made it easier to do the homework and made class more interesting as we had time to discuss current issues that relate back to the video material.”
The Wisconsin School of Business looks forward to continuing this E.I. work with Professor Davis and others in the school.