Course development yields better grades and better students

The Department of Business Administration has successfully developed the method subjects for the MSc in Business Administration. The courses now comprise more supervision sessions, less classroom teaching and an oral exam. This new course structure has given way to more skilled students, a lower failure rate and more students who pass their exams in the first attempt.

2014.04.29 | Julia Rolsted Stacey

Over the course of the winter 2013, the Department of Business Administration found that it was time to further develop the method subjects for the benefit of their MSc students. The new course structure contains modules and the courses are offered to all students on the MSc programme, which is divided into various lines of specialisation:

  • Business Intelligence
  • Marketing
  • Strategy, Organization & Leadership
  • Innovation Management
  • International Business

All students follow the same course throughout the majority of the programme, but the course structure is tailored to each MSc specialisation.

Following the course development work, the number of lessons has been reduced and instead the students are offered individual supervision sessions with a supervisor within the given field of study. Moreover, the students do a great deal of group work, and their exam results have greatly improved.

“The average mark has increased from 5.8 to 7.9,” explains programme director Morten Rask.

“The failure rate has also dropped significantly, and far more students pass their exams in the first attempt.”

According to Morten Rask, the courses now focus much more on both qualitative and quantitative methods. The students have learned when to choose one method over another and when to combine different methodologies.

Students are pleased with the new course structure

Twice a year Morten Rask, the coordinator and the secretary on the MSc lines of specialisation meet with the students in a student panel. And here the students have voiced their satisfaction with the courses following the course development work, and the panel have received comments such as these:

“I never thought I would get so good at statistics” and “I’m no longer afraid of statistics.”

“This is a very positive development,” says Morten Rask.

“It really is a pat on the back for the lecturers on the programme, Joachim Scholderer, Hans Jørn Juhl, Steffen Korsgaard, Mogens Dilling-Hansen and the affiliated supervisors Polymeros Chrysochou, Anders Ryom and Mai Skjøtt Linneberg.  Without them, the course development wouldn’t have been as successful. And we can only conclude that it has made our students more skilled and more satisfied,” explains Morten Rask.

The vice-dean for education Peder Østergaard also welcomes the development of new courses and teaching approaches on the MSc in Economics and Business Administration.

“There’s no doubt that through extensive supervision we enable double feedback: through the personal meeting with their supervisors, the students learn more about what the course entails from a learning perspective, and throughout the course the lecturers are made aware of where the students lag behind in terms of the academic work,” concludes Peder Østergaard.

Group work facilitates the learning process

On the new courses the students are asked to work together in groups. Experience indicates that everyone learns more from group processes, explains Morten Rask and proceeds to emphasise that in groups the students help each other in the best way possible, they influence and are inspired by each other. 

The best students in each group elevate those who have a harder time following the course, and the weaker students also tend to make an extra effort at the lectures, because they do not want to fall behind and be unable to contribute to the group work. According to Morten Rask, the upshot is that students on all levels expand their competences.

“The group work is therefore a wholly positive thing. In each group the students push each other to become better, and we see the results clearly at the exams,” says Morten Rask.

The oral exam

The courses are concluded with an oral exam, and the students are asked to demonstrate the methodologies they have acquired and show that they know the material.

“At an oral exam, it’s very easy to determine whether the student has understood the material and the methodologies. And oral exams have the added effect that the student has to stand face to face with the course lecturer as well as an internal co-examiner who the student will encounter later on the programme,” concludes Morten Rask.

Further information

Degree programme director Morten Rask
Department of Business Administration
mra@asb.dk
+45 8716 5161

Read further documentation here

Knowledge exchange