Yesterday, GBSN hosted a webinar, Teaching the Virtually
Real Case Study, featuring Dr. Wade Halvorson, Professor of Marketing at S.P.
Jain School of Global Management and Sabine Emad, Professor of Marketing at University of Applied Science Western
Switzerland Business School. In coordination with our Case Method Month, this
webinar highlights a case co-authored by both professors, Teaching the
Virtually Real Case Study. Halvorson and Emad were the first winners of The
Case Centre’s Innovation in Case Teaching Competition (2013).
With a goal to
transform students from passive case readers to active participants, Halvorson
and Emad used a gaming storyboard to transform a written case study, Selling
Green Dots in Second Life, into a lively hunt for information. The hunt was
positioned in an on-line, immersive, 3D virtual representation of the case setting (virtual world). Students navigate through this world using an
avatar. They selected Second Life, a free-to-access, user friendly,
hosted solution. This activity offers students
the opportunity to work in cross-cultural groups because the platform is easy to access globally.
>> The video
below shows the student teams from both institutions in action.
This case teaching
method is unique because it embraces the large presence that technology has in
the lives of students in this generation. Today’s students are digital natives.
Halvorson and Emad use a virtual world environment to stimulate the intricacies
of gathering and analyzing background data. They use the "Second Life” to stimulate
students' interest in case information by scattering it throughout the virtual
world, turning data collection into a collaborative treasure hunt. Team, search
and learning-by-doing components all add to students' attentiveness and
immersion in the materials. Game playing is vital for any creature capable of
learning. Changing the presentation of cases in this way heightens the
Halvorson and Emad’s
method of transforming a case study to pique student engagement is broken down
into three phases:
Phase 1 – Creating the Virtual World
Deconstruct the marketing
case you choose to use (with permission) and transform it into digital objects
that can be rendered in Second Life. Each object containing an element of the
case information appears as a folder, notice board, newspaper, sign, desktop
computer etc., and is dispersed around a specific in-world location. Each
object is assigned to one of four functional groups and each student is
assigned to one of four corresponding roles, like marketing, finance,
operations or IT.
Phase 2– Entering the Virtual World
Students enter the
virtual world in groups of four and hunt for the information. Each student can
only collect the objects carrying the information assigned to their role. When
a group has collected a full set of objects they meet to share the information,
reconstruct the case and analyze it collaboratively making recommendations to
solve the case issues.
Engaged Case Discussion
in a spirited class discussion based on thorough preparation of the case study
and argue their proposed solution.
The results show
that the comprised method suits gamers, the upcoming generation of students,
which is one of the hypotheses in which the research was based. The method also
seems to suit those ‘never gamers,’ who, to some extent, find it appealing. Largely,
the students felt that video games should be used in class. The overall the
satisfaction of students was high. Halvorson and Emad found that 7-10 students
very or rather satisfied. The satisfaction levels were high on all aspects, but
specifically the teamwork aspect satisfaction level was high, which was an element in
which we wanted the method to add value. The students did not find this method
easy, yet students found this method to be motivating and
entertaining, interesting and more interactive. These are clearly the main
objectives the method wanted to achieve.
>> Download the presentation
If you have any
questions please contact
Dr. Wade Halvorson
Prof. Sabine Emad
Nicole Zefran is the Network Assistant at the Global Business School Network.