I have been experimenting with the development of live, topical case studies to bring immediacy and relevance to my strategic and policy analysis teaching (see recent example attached). Through the Teaching and Learning group I have now acquired the loan of a MacBook. The technical and software capabilities of the MacBook offer the potential to quickly gather, edit and process “live” case study material from a range of media.
Using the MacBook I am planning to create a portfolio of learning objects related to the Governments proposals to create a high speed rail system, HS2. Although work is not expected to begin on HS2 until 2017, a wide range of important learning material is already emerging of relevance to strategic planning, policy development and social and economic change. It is anticipated that these learning objects may be flexibilibly blended with other class room material to enable engaging and challenging case studies suitable for a wide range of abilities and topics.
For this reason, the outcomes of this project are likely to be immediately relevant to wide range of students both in class and on line.
Two objectives are impelling this project: pedagogic development and learning outcomes.
The pedagogic aspect arises from a desire to enhance understanding and practice of reflection and reflexivity in education. It is for this reason that case studies are already integrated in many learning schemes. However, experience suggests that the closer the case study is to real time the more likely it is to fully engage students. However, the technical challenge of quickly bringing together mixed media case study material is daunting for many busy academics. This project aims to demonstrate how with the aid of appropriate equipment and methodology, the production of live case material is both practicable and pedagogically legitimate.
Decision-making is increasing happening in a context of dynamic complexity and recognition of this is reflected in the anticipated learning outcomes. For this reason this project aims to integrate an authentic sense of real world dynamism and complexity into cases. To this end, a diverse range of media based data will be gathered. Examples will include interviews with decision makers and stakeholders as well as imported and downloaded media (video clips, podcasts as well as book extracts and other references). A contextual and instructional presentation will front-end or skin the portfolio. It follows that different front-ends or skins may be fitted to suit a range of topics and access to the learning objects may be controlled accordingly.
The development and evolution of the “skins” and utilization of other case content will be done in collaboration with students and class feedback.
Consultation with target user groups will form an integral part of the project methodology. A workshop to be organised by the Learning and Teaching Group in the new year will provide an opportunity to get feedback from academic colleagues in the early new year. The assistance of IATL in arranging further feedback and development workshops for this project would be welcomed.