Finance with a virtual expert
An online Corporate Finance
course: a case study
Open University Business School
workshop
9 ...
Teaching and learning online
• Role of the
teacher?
• Role of
media?
2
Teaching and learning online
“And I think we’re in
danger of confusing here
really the transmission of
knowledge – which I...
In the classroom…
4
Online…
5
Teaching online…
• Online: ‘portable’ MBA
• Accessible via
internet : tablet,
smartphone, pc
• Accessible:
compulsory modu...
7
Online design principles
• Online: active, designed to maintain pace
and capture interest; emphasis on
student activity ...
8
Cognitive apprenticeship model and
virtual teacher
• Cognitive apprenticeship (Collins
2006; Collins et al. 1991)
• Teac...
9
Cognitive apprenticeship
framework
CF Content Method Sequencing Sociology
 Domain
knowledge
Modeling Increasing
complex...
10
Corporate Finance activity
wheelDomain
Knowledge
Exploratio
n
Reflectio
n
Reflection
ArticulateCoachin
g
Modeling
Scaff...
11
VLE activities
12
VLE activities: modelling
13
VLE activities: coaching
14
VLE activities: scaffolding
15
Other student support
• 8 hours face-to-face and 7 hours online
(synchronous) teaching with tutor
• Tutor group forum (...
16
Online finance
Did it work?
Can cognitive apprenticeship online
provide satisfactory study experiences
for postgraduate...
17
Sources of data for case study
End of course satisfaction questionnaire
• 5-point Likert scale
• 3 presentations of cou...
18
Sources of data for case study
Semi-structured interviews, looking at student
online activity
• 9 volunteer students in...
‘Overall, I am satisfied
with…’
Category Managemen
t
Old finance/
strateg
y
Quality of this module Higher – 7% Lower –
14%...
‘Overall, I am satisfied
with…’Category Management
Clear information about what to
study
Higher – 2%
Easy to navigate webs...
21
‘Blended learning’: themes related to
satisfaction/ successful outcomes
• Interaction – social cues and teaching
presen...
22
Interview themes: interaction
with teacher
• “at the beginning I was quite
conscious that I didn’t know the
financial t...
23
Interview themes: participation
• “the WACC, there was a video and I went
over and over and over it and I could
underst...
24
Interview themes: feedback
• “The activities where you need to look
at an article and read it and then check
the feedba...
25
Interview themes: variation
theory
• “First off , I thought it would be boring
because you know I thought corporate
fin...
26
Interview themes: outcomes
• “For me, particularly the WACC
calculation – I got a great deal of
satisfaction in eventua...
27
Interview themes: outcomes
• “My dad is quite a hard-core
entrepreneur, makes decisions
without putting pen to paper. S...
28
Did it work?
By the end of the
course you should
have no difficulty
with financial jargon
and you will be more
than abl...
However…
• Sources of dissatisfaction
• Sampling bias
• Role of multimedia in ‘education’
• Variation theory
29
References
• Collins, A. (2006) ‘Cognitive apprenticeship’ in: Sawyer R.K. (Ed.) The
Cambridge Handbook of the Learning Sc...
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Finance with a virtual expert: an online corporate finance course - Jane Hughes

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Presentation at the HEA-funded workshop 'Using technology-based media to engage and support students in the disciplines of Finance, Accounting and Economics'

The workshop presented a variety of innovative approaches, which use technology, to engage and support learning in business disciplines that students find particularly challenging. Delegates had the opportunity to share and evaluate good practice in implementing and developing online teaching resources and to reflect on how to develop their own teaching practice, using technologies available in most institutions.

This presentation is part of a related blog post that provides an overview of the event: http://bit.ly/1o1WfHU

For further details of the HEA's work on active and experiential learning in the Social Sciences, please see: http://bit.ly/17NwgKX

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Finance with a virtual expert: an online corporate finance course - Jane Hughes

  1. 1. Finance with a virtual expert An online Corporate Finance course: a case study Open University Business School workshop 9 April 2014 Dr Jane Hughes
  2. 2. Teaching and learning online • Role of the teacher? • Role of media? 2
  3. 3. Teaching and learning online “And I think we’re in danger of confusing here really the transmission of knowledge – which I suspect MOOCs are quite good at – and education. Education is about eyeball and interaction and it’s not really about having an assignment on Hamlet marked by multiple choice by computer.”
  4. 4. In the classroom… 4
  5. 5. Online… 5
  6. 6. Teaching online… • Online: ‘portable’ MBA • Accessible via internet : tablet, smartphone, pc • Accessible: compulsory module • Learning outcomes: finance in a business context • Enjoyable: screen fatigue 6
  7. 7. 7 Online design principles • Online: active, designed to maintain pace and capture interest; emphasis on student activity and feedback • Accessible – cater for differences - activities and resources and structure of virtual learning environment (VLE) • Learning outcomes – use web resources, a range of real world companies, provide help with mathematics • Enjoyable – visual, animated, ‘snapshot’, consider ‘readability’
  8. 8. 8 Cognitive apprenticeship model and virtual teacher • Cognitive apprenticeship (Collins 2006; Collins et al. 1991) • Teacher as expert, helping students to build expertise • Situated learning (realistic tasks) • In the classroom => ‘something teachers do’; online, the VLE => teacher
  9. 9. 9 Cognitive apprenticeship framework CF Content Method Sequencing Sociology  Domain knowledge Modeling Increasing complexity Situated learning  Coaching Increasing diversity  Scaffolding Global to local skills  Articulation  Reflection  Exploration ? Heuristic strategies Community of practice ? Control strategies Intrinsic motivation ? Learning strategies Cooperation
  10. 10. 10 Corporate Finance activity wheelDomain Knowledge Exploratio n Reflectio n Reflection ArticulateCoachin g Modeling Scaffolding Domain Knowledge (Optional)
  11. 11. 11 VLE activities
  12. 12. 12 VLE activities: modelling
  13. 13. 13 VLE activities: coaching
  14. 14. 14 VLE activities: scaffolding
  15. 15. 15 Other student support • 8 hours face-to-face and 7 hours online (synchronous) teaching with tutor • Tutor group forum (asynchronous electronic conference) for tutor and students • Student ‘café’ (electronic conference) • All provided opportunities for articulation, reflection, exploration • Assessment and tutor feedback emphasised ‘global to local’ skills
  16. 16. 16 Online finance Did it work? Can cognitive apprenticeship online provide satisfactory study experiences for postgraduate management students studying corporate finance?
  17. 17. 17 Sources of data for case study End of course satisfaction questionnaire • 5-point Likert scale • 3 presentations of course – 40%+ response rate (40%: 96 students of those surveyed) Corporate finance results compared to: ~ management course – compulsory, running concurrently (same students surveyed) ~ predecessor finance course – elective, mix of strategy and finance, text-based (different students surveyed)
  18. 18. 18 Sources of data for case study Semi-structured interviews, looking at student online activity • 9 volunteer students interviewed about online activity (guidance and feedback), enjoyment and satisfaction. Aim of both sources of data to prepare for a further quantitative survey.
  19. 19. ‘Overall, I am satisfied with…’ Category Managemen t Old finance/ strateg y Quality of this module Higher – 7% Lower – 14% My study experience Higher – 15% Lower – 14% Teaching materials provided Higher – 25% Lower – 14% Able to keep up with workload Higher – 10% Higher – 41% Learning outcomes were clearly stated Higher – 28% Lower – 8% Recommend to other students Higher – 25% Lower – 15% Met my expectations Higher – 10% Lower – 15% Enjoyed studying Higher – 6% Lower – 10%
  20. 20. ‘Overall, I am satisfied with…’Category Management Clear information about what to study Higher – 2% Easy to navigate website Higher – 5% Advice and guidance for studies Higher – 11% Work with different teaching materials at time I was required to Lower – 10% Teaching materials were well integrated and helped me learn Lower – 10% Method of delivery of teaching materials Higher – 26% Optional activities helped me to learn Higher – 5%
  21. 21. 21 ‘Blended learning’: themes related to satisfaction/ successful outcomes • Interaction – social cues and teaching presence • Participation and feedback • Variation theory • Outcomes are mixed (does using online help or hinder learning?)
  22. 22. 22 Interview themes: interaction with teacher • “at the beginning I was quite conscious that I didn’t know the financial terms etc. so I had to Google everything and I think if I had talked to the tutor more then it would have been easier” • “more face to face as it was more challenging, especially for those without a mathematical background”
  23. 23. 23 Interview themes: participation • “the WACC, there was a video and I went over and over and over it and I could understand where it all came from because I could pause it and go through the case study to see where I could get the information from so I found it really useful” • “I’m very much more of a visual person than an audio person – ‘cos I lose focus and wonder what is being said. Just listening to audio – I find it quite difficult to listen audio and take in the conversation – it’s quite dry”
  24. 24. 24 Interview themes: feedback • “The activities where you need to look at an article and read it and then check the feedback with the notes that you have made. I enjoy that” • “I especially liked the quizzes. That was a check for me to understand what has been asked” • “having to go around website, other websites, although it was surprisingly useful”
  25. 25. 25 Interview themes: variation theory • “First off , I thought it would be boring because you know I thought corporate finance would just be figures and I liked the variety of activities, it referred us to articles, case studies” • “There’s lots of different ways to study and you kind of find your own path” • “also a variety of different applications that they can draw on, I think it’s slightly more interesting, especially for the novice. And it’s definitely interesting for the person who works in finance, generally you tend to fall in to a rut, go one way”
  26. 26. 26 Interview themes: outcomes • “For me, particularly the WACC calculation – I got a great deal of satisfaction in eventually coming to terms with it. Because when I first saw it, it was like Greek. Going through all those calculations the very first time was daunting, and getting through them quicker and also understanding the value of the end result, the calculation at the end. To the extent that I even did a WACC calculation for the company that I work at”
  27. 27. 27 Interview themes: outcomes • “My dad is quite a hard-core entrepreneur, makes decisions without putting pen to paper. So corporate finance helped me I would say – I could actually use the language – talk the lingo – when I’m talking to bank managers, financiers, I reckon that you have to know what they are talking about – which I didn’t know before”
  28. 28. 28 Did it work? By the end of the course you should have no difficulty with financial jargon and you will be more than able to hold your own in the world of finance. Many managers are apprehensive at the thought of taking a finance course because they expect it to be dull and difficult. This course is neither. It includes case studies and examples that show how relevant finance is to all aspects of management. It also uses multimedia to get the concepts of financial theory across. From video, podcasts, spreadsheets, and related readings you will have substantial support in learning the key concepts of finance. Online discussion forums and a course website are also included.
  29. 29. However… • Sources of dissatisfaction • Sampling bias • Role of multimedia in ‘education’ • Variation theory 29
  30. 30. References • Collins, A. (2006) ‘Cognitive apprenticeship’ in: Sawyer R.K. (Ed.) The Cambridge Handbook of the Learning Sciences, New York, Cambridge University Press • Collins, A., Brown, J. S. and Holum, A. (1991) ‘Cognitive Apprenticeship: Making Thinking Visible’, American Educator, 6-11 and 38-46 30

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