For the classes I teach at Paris School of Business, I try to come up with projects that are designed to teach students skills they will use in their first jobs and throughout their careers. While the project topics themselves might be simulations, the processes through which the students must move in order to successfully complete the assignments are the same they will use once they graduate. From reinventing the loyalty card in my CRM class to addressing how to use social media in B2B marketing, I try to choose topics that are current, relevant and fun. For example, in my Fall 2010 Public Relations class, I teamed our class up with a PR class at Georgia Southern University in the United States of America. Teams were formed with students from both schools, and they had to work together to design and present a 45-minute corporate training session about the (fictive) company's new social media policy. They were required to produce the policy, a presentation, group work exercises and a video. The work was accomplished over a six-hour time difference via the Internet and Skype! They learned how to manage time zones, communicate via variety of channels (phone, internet), work with people from different cultures and produce an effective session. Overall, I think the project was very successful, and students told me they had a lot of fun with it.
My usual eBusiness class project is a bit different. For this class, the students, working in small groups, have to come up with a new eBusiness and present the idea and the business plan to the class at the end of the semester. They have to consider what the product or service will be, who it will be targeted to, what benefits it will bring and how it will make money. They also have to present how they intend to market the company in the short and medium-term. Each year I hear a lot of promising ideas, and one, Book Berserk, has been launched! You can now rent your textbooks here: http://bookberserk.com. I am very proud of Peter, Bojan and Benjamin for taking a chance and putting in so much hard work to launch their own company while going to school!
During the spring 2011 semester, I am again teaching PR, and this time I am creating a “serious game/simulation” for the class to work on all semester. I can't share all the details yet, but the focus will be on learning how to persuade people to take action – a skill I think we can all agree on is important in business!
Paris School of Business is a great environment for learning, especially with its outstanding international student body. With its emphasis on “learning by doing,” I think students will leave the business school with the skills they need to be successful in today's rapidly changing business environment.
More information on Elizabeth Albrycht faculty member at Paris School of Business