Interactive Case Study Sessions using Technologically Enhanced Learning and Teaching Environment: Use of Electronic Voting System, ULearn (WebCT Vista), and Tablet PCs
AbstractOver the last four years, it was observed by the author that in a traditional computer lab based environment (for financial spreadsheet analysis sessions) it is difficult to promote team work for interaction and deeper learning of financial concepts. Creativity gets restricted as participants concentrate on their spreadsheet analysis and focus too much on the technical part of the exercise. The exploratory part of the problem solving session with creativity gets sidelined. Learning and teaching environment that does not over emphasise computers despite of its necessity, promote team work, and increase interaction within and across the groups are necessary. With these requirements in mind, in spring 2007, couple of case study sessions were incorporated in real estate finance and investment (REFI) module in a classroom setting using tablet PCs as the technological mean to solve spreadsheet based finance problems. Subsequently participants were consulted using a questionnaire and anonymous voice recorded discussion for their valuable feedback. Few of the major findings of such study were that the participants found the sessions too long with too complicated cases, lack of prior training prohibited them from using the tablet capability of the supplied PCs, at times participants found themselves not having any clue about the potential case solution. This reflective learning and teaching exercise triggered the idea of more interactive, less complicated, short case studies with ample prior training, and room for interaction with other groups and the facilitator using ULearn and EVS. A technologically enhanced class room setup was arranged in spring 2008 using EVS, ULearn, and Tablet PCs to facilitate immersive and creative learning in real estate finance & investment topics. Participants were given prior training of the technology beside the core knowledge in real estate finance and investment. During the case study sessions, participants were expected to solve simulated cases using the technologies as a group, whereas the facilitator provided the bare minimum support mostly through ULearn discussion forum. The facilitators also guided the groups through questions delivered by the EVS to provoke brainstorming. The process was evaluated using open feedback on notes at the end of each session from the participants. Further evaluative comments were gathered through the module evaluation tool at the semester end. The findings are very encouraging to support evidence of better learning.
Case Studies In Real Estate; Educational Technology; Electronic Voting System; Tablet Pc