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Current Initiatives at the JKU Business School.

To further improve teaching and programs, the JKU Business School currently supports the following Initiatives:

Pedagogical Excellence in the Digital Age

The aim of this project is to equip two class rooms with interactive teaching equipment that facilitates cutting edge teaching approaches and that fosters a rich variety of pedagogical methods in the programs delivered by JKU Business School. It will advance internationalization of both students and teaching staff by providing state-of-the-art video conferencing and communication tools. We will choose the configuration of the tested equipment based on evidence collected from both sides of the class-room communication, i.e. students and faculty. The test leads to a rigorous evaluation of the impact of the technical class-room equipment on the perceived teaching quality measured among students and faculty.

The comparison of the perceived teaching quality before and after the update of the equipment will inform the university management and the JKU Business School dean team on the most effective choices for future investments in technical teaching equipment that help to make our in-class teaching more interactive.

The enhanced quality of the teaching programs will not only boost the student intake of JKU Business Schools, but also substantiates our claim of teaching excellence. Faculty members’ and students’ perception of being part of excellent teaching programs, in turn, are the basis for building a strong reputation in the Austrian education market and beyond.

Project Leaders: Matthias Fink & Johann Höller

 

Problem Based/Oriented Learning / Experienced Based Learning

The aim of this project is to facilitate case-based teaching and learning at the JKU Business School. Case studies, which represent ‘junks of reality’ brought to the classroom, represent a very efficient learning method. Here, in contrast to the classical lecture, students need to assess and solve real-life business problems, and thus engage in experience-based learning. As such, the case method is particularly suitable not only to prepare students for their professional life but also to allow them to understand that assessing and solving managerial problems often requires multi-disciplinary knowledge from different fields. Specifically, this project involves the creation of several ‘JKU Case Studies’ of instructive Austrian companies, around a variety of (their) selective business problems, such as Leadership, Change Management, and Strategy. In addition, the project will acquire comprehensive knowledge about case study teaching and learning, which will be shared on a broad basis within the faculty. Overall, the project hence aims to improve the quality of classroom teaching and to move the JKU Business School one step ahead.

Project Leader: Wolfgang Güttel

 

eTutor++: An adaptive e-learning system with personalized exercising tailored to students’ individual learning curves

The accommodation of large numbers of students is often at odds with offering interactive, personalized learning experiences tailored to the needs of students. The eTutor++ system aims to overcome the dichotomy between mass teaching and personalized learning by providing students with assignments that automatically adapt to the student’s current learning needs, considering the individual student’s progress. Besides offering personalized assignments that aid students achieve the learning goals, the eTutor++ system will also allow teachers to issue assignments for the purposes of student assessment (or grading).

The eTutor++ system will employ machine-readable representations of course learning goals and student knowledge in order to provide personalized assignments. For a particular course, the teacher formulates learning goals as well as a timeline for goal achievement, alternative learning paths, and dependencies between goals – a knowledge graph for learning goals. For each course, there also exists a pool of questions and tasks mapped to the learning goals. A student participating in a course explicates their preexisting knowledge, either through self-assessment or placement quizzes. The student’s preexisting knowledge is then considered during the automatic compilation of assignment sheets for exercising purposes. A student’s preexisting knowledge determines which exercises they receive, thus facilitating the integration of students with diverse study backgrounds in the same course. The eTutor++ system will also allow for the reuse of question pools across semesters and courses. Even courses from different programs will be able to draw from the shared pool of questions.

Project Leader: Christoph Schütz