Current Initiatives at the JKU Business School.

The JKU Business School currently supports the following initiatives:

Pedagogical Excellence in the Digital Age

Project Leaders: Matthias Fink & Johann Höller

Project Collaborators: Robert Breitenecker, Sophie Parragh & Elke Schüßler

Abstract

The project aims to equip two classrooms with interactive educational equipment to facilitate cutting-edge teaching approaches and foster a rich variety of educational methods in programs offered by the JKU Business School. The project will support internationalization for both students and faculty by providing state-of-the-art video conferencing and communication tools. We will select the configuration for the equipment to be tested based on information collected by both sides of the classroom in regard to communication, i.e. students and faculty. Measured among students and faculty,. the test will result in a conscientious evaluation of just how technical classroom equipment impacts perceived teaching quality.

By comparing perceived educational quality before and after updating the equipment, university management and the JKU Business School dean team will be better informed in regard to more effective choices when it comes to future investment in technical educational equipment that will better aid in making in-class teaching more interactive.

The teaching program's enhanced quality will not only boost the number of incoming students at the JKU Business Schools, but will also serve to verify and uphold our claim of excellence in teaching and education. Our faculty members’ and students’ recognition that they are a part of an outstanding teaching programs is, in turn, the basis to build a strong reputation in the Austrian educational market and beyond.


Problem Based/Oriented Learning / Experienced Based Learning

Project Leader: Arne Keller

Project Collaborator: Katharina Musil

Abstract

The project aims to facilitate case-based teaching and learning at the JKU Business School, meaning bringing a representation of ‘real-world situations’ to the classroom as case-studies have proven to be a very efficient educational method. In contrast to just a conventional lecture, students need to assess and solve real-life business problems as well as engage in experience-based learning. The case method as such is particularly well suited to not only to prepare students for a professional career, but also allow them to understand that assessing and solving managerial problems often requires multi-disciplinary expertise from different fields. This project specifically involves creating several instructive ‘JKU Case Studies’ at Austrian companies focusing on a variety of (their) selective business problems, such as Leadership, Change Management, and Strategy. In addition, the project will amass comprehensive expertise about teaching and learning based on case-studies. The information will then be shared on a broad basis within the faculty. Overall, the project aims to improve the quality of classroom teaching and move the JKU Business School forward.


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

Abstract

In an effort to accommodate large numbers of students, it is often difficult to offer interactive, personalized learning experiences tailored to students' needs. 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, taking the individual student’s progress into consideration. In addition to offering more personalized assignments that help students achieve the learning goals, the eTutor++ system allows educators to assign work with the intent to grade the students' work.

The eTutor++ system aims to 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.