Problem Based Learning is an integral part of the DIT MBA programme and this April, students were given a live company challenge in collaboration vStream, a global, award-winning, experiential technology agency. Andrew Jenkinson – Co Founder of vStream, DIT College of Business key academics and MBA students were happy to share with us their experience of the process.
Dr. Claire McBride, lecturer at DIT College of Business states that the ”MBA programmes navigate the space between application to practice and theoretical rigour on a near-constant basis. The opportunity to work with live case-studies enables our students to blend theory and practice in a way that deeply embeds learning. Underpinned by the curriculum, our MBAs apply their professional expertise and their domain knowledge to meeting challenges in different industries to their own. Live case studies present the opportunity to research problems in given context and to make, and defend, recommendations to a panel of company founders and senior executives. Problem-Based-Learning represents a win-win for our MBAs and for executives in our sponsor companies.”
“Tell me, and I will forget. Show me, and I may remember. Involve me, and I will understand”.
Laura Cuddihy, Lecturer explains ”This oft-used proverb is a simplified way of supporting the use of Problem-Based Learning (PBL) on the DIT MBA programme in two of the final semester modules, Innovation and Technology Management and Strategic Customer Management.
PBL has its roots in 1960s Canadian medical education where it was designed to help medical students develop their clinical reasoning skills, providing solutions to patients’ problems. It has now spread across the globe and across many disciplines where there is a shift from the teaching paradigm to the learning paradigm. In our case, the students are presented from the first day with a real problem that a company is currently facing. By their nature these problems are ill-structured, open-ended real-life engaging problems. Each module has very clearly defined learning outcomes In small groups the students work over a twelve week period, scaffolded by academic support through group facilitation by the lecturers, a virtual learning system, and guest speaker input, to produce solutions which are presented to the company at the end of the semester.”
Andrew Jenkinson – Co Founder, vStream brought us through his experience- ”Working with the DIT MBA Groups was an incredibly beneficial exercise for vStream. While all business owners are busy, and time is a currency in short supply, there was such a small input of the founders time for such a wealth of output, I would encourage any business owner/leader to engage with DIT on this initiative. The insights from these experienced and diverse students, all of whom have many years of industry experience, provided vStream with a number of different perspectives on how to address the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead. The standard of presentation was exceptional, and the data we left with invaluable. A wonderful experience, and highly recommended.”
Mark Kettles, 2nd Year Student on the DIT MBA Programme shared with us his insight- ”Using Problem Based Learning in Strategic Customer Management has brought to life the challenge of working with vStream in understanding their business, gaining insight and developing new business proposals. Working as a group, through key learning outcomes has been a different method of teaching, with the lecturer offering guidance and prompting but not directing our approach. Self-directed learning has been a valuable experience for the group and has focused us on the outcome of delivering strategic customer management proposals to vStream in our final presentation.
This was a very worthwhile experience, concentrating our research, then applying our learnings to the client organisation. Our group really enjoyed the significant task of theoretical learning and then developing meaningful propositions that vStream might use in developing their business. Working with a dynamic customer, in an exciting technical, digital space was really interesting and we all appreciated this opportunity. vStream were very open, helpful and provided good insight into the challenges of navigating their world, allowing us to peer in and learn from their experiences.”