3(d) Marketing Management
Chapter 4 Learning and Teaching
4.3 Approaches and Strategies
Since student learning is dynamic and complex, there is no single approach that is best for all learning and teaching. A variety of learning and teaching approaches, strategies and activities should be adopted to cater for students’ different learning styles.
4.3.1 Engaging in the decision-making process
In the world of business, enterprises demand employees who can think logically and critically to solve business problems. In order to enhance students’ problem-solving ability, it is essential to develop their decision-making skills when analysing business issues. Activities should be designed to encourage students to go through the process of decision-making which can develop the ability to make reasoned business decisions. This is illustrated in Figure 4.2.
The roles of teachers in engaging students in the decision-making process are as follows:
• Introduce the benefits of developing decision-making skills.
• Develop students’ critical thinking skills and ability to analyse issues and justify their viewpoints with evidence.
• Nurture creativity.
• Encourage freedom of expression of ideas in discussion.
• Enhance students’ exposure to the business world by accessing a variety of sources of information.
• Provide classroom opportunities for practising business decision-making.
Sometimes, the same business problem may be used several times during the course of study for in-depth investigation of the same issue. By going through the decision-making model, students are asked to revisit the same problem or situation and recall the suggestions made before. They then apply the newly acquired knowledge to produce a more comprehensive analysis of the same problem. Through this process of synthesising new with prior knowledge, students are helped to reframe and restructure their business concepts.
Figure 4.2 The decision-making process in analysing business issues
4.3.2 Selection of learning and teaching approaches
The following table gives examples of learning and teaching approaches that teachers may adopt for developing students’ decision-making and higher-order thinking skills.
Examples of learning and teaching approaches Theme-based learning
The learning elements in BAFS are inter-related, not discrete. A theme-based approach is used to organise and integrate the learning elements of different business areas around a theme that connects to real-world issues. Selecting the topics related to students’ life experiences and interests can make learning more meaningful. The learning elements should be delivered flexibly and build on each other around a theme by integrating the relationships among the elements of knowledge. This approach equips students with the necessary knowledge and skills to bring together the relevant perspectives in making business decisions (please refer to Example C in Appendix for more details).
Working on tasks or integrated projects that simulate a business environment enables students to learn how to solve real-life problems. For example, through working on an investment project, students not only have the opportunity to reaffirm or reconstruct the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes they have acquired but also to develop their research, team-building, interpersonal and high-order thinking skills (please refer to Example D in Appendix for more details).
This approach engages students actively in learning rather than just receiving knowledge passively. Students act like professionals in confronting real business scenarios. They need to identify the problems embedded in the scenarios, develop hypotheses, collect relevant information, evaluate different alternatives and recommend the desirable solution.
This is an example of learning how to learn. Students participate actively in contextualising information, and the teachers provide guidance and feedback, and nurture an environment that supports active student learning.
Collaborative learning involves students working together on a learning task to share their knowledge and skills. In collaborative learning, students learn how to resolve group conflict and develop their interpersonal skills in a social learning environment that mirrors the real business world in which building a harmonious relationship with team members is a key factor in success.
Activity-based learning gets students actively involved in learning by doing It is concerned with a teaching strategy that provides students with opportunities to perform tasks in collaboration with peers. Students are expected to integrate and apply the knowledge and skills acquired in lessons to perform the tasks which can be in a wide range of forms, including role-play, debates, competition, etc. It is an effective way of learning as students’
understanding of concepts will be deepened through application.
In game-based learning, the games are well planned with curriculum content embedded.
They are also designed at the right level of difficulty to make it challenging while still easy enough to keep the students engaged and have the incentive to win. It creates an authentic scenario/learning environment that requires students to work toward a goal, taking proper actions and experiencing the consequences of those actions. The teaching of knowledge and skills of the curriculum through game-based learning is fun and engaging. Students’ active learning throughout the process will help achieve the goal of learning and teaching more effectively.
4.3.3 Choosing an appropriate instructional strategy
After deciding on the appropriate approach for learning and teaching, teachers may adopt different instructional strategies to engage students in the learning process. It is recommended that BAFS teachers adopt a wide range of strategies to motivate students to achieve the curriculum aims. Through carefully selected strategies such as group discussion, debate, role-play and project work, students learn how to learn and accept learning as their own responsibility.
The following strategies are suggested for teachers’ reference.
Table 4.1 Possible instructional strategies
Types Purposes Examples
discussion • allows students to share and compare ideas, views and knowledge with peers
• encourages students to think from wider perspectives to generate business solutions
Compulsory Part – Basics of Personal Financial Management Discuss the potential problems with the misuse of credit cards.
Case study • allows students to relate subject knowledge to real-life situations
• helps students to apply business knowledge to understand how people solve business problems and make decisions
Elective Part – Cost Accounting How do changes in the cost of production affect businesses?
Compulsory Part – Basics of Accounting
Analyse and apply the relevant accounting concepts in case problems.
Debate • provokes critical thinking
• involves discussing issues from opposing angles, evaluating the ideas generated, and defending positions against counter- proposals
• requires students to synthesise their knowledge
• provides opportunities for students to demonstrate their communication skills
Compulsory Part – Business Environment
Debate whether globalization has had a positive impact on the business environment and business relationships.
Debate the view that the prime objective of running a business is to maximise profit.
Types Purposes Examples Role-play • allows students to put
themselves in the position of participants in real-life situations
• encourages reflective thinking
• involves applying knowledge and skills in business scenarios
Compulsory Part – Basics of Management
Act as members of a board of directors meeting to discuss collaboration among different departments in given scenarios.
Simulation game / Board game
• provides opportunities for students to practise business skills and apply business knowledge
• motivates students to enjoy learning by involving them in competing/cooperating according to prescribed rules
Compulsory Part – Basics of Personal Financial Management
Use board game to better illustrate how major factors affect share prices.
Elective Part – Business Management Module
Carry out a simulated management game to make business decisions, e.g. business expansion or developing a new product line.
Field visit • enables students to explore the business world
• enriches students’ exposure to the realities of business
Compulsory Part - Basics of Management
Arrange visits to a business firm to learn about its operations and understand its business activities, e.g. the workflow, staff
management and marketing strategies.
Questioning • encourages logical and in-depth analysis for thought-provoking
• challenges students to justify their viewpoints with evidence
Any issue that requires the
exploration of reasons and factors Compulsory Part – Business Environment
Open-ended questions such as
“Why do we need business?
Reading newspapers /business journals/
• enhances students’ awareness of the richness of information available
• helps students to learn how to collect, analyse, and acquire
Compulsory Part – Basics of Management
Elective Part – Business Management Module
Types Purposes Examples independently
• enables students to keep abreast of the latest issues and
developments in the business world as a whole, both locally and globally
• encourages students to share information and views on business issues with peers and teachers
topics and summarise the content with the aid of diagrams:
Investigate the business opportunities arising from economic development in the Greater Bay Area.
Explain why a country’s entrepreneurial activities are so important for its economic growth.
Information technology (IT) applications
• allows students to experience interactive learning
• reinforces students’
understanding and helps them to progress at their own pace
• encourages students to access world-wide information without the constraints of time and location for self-directed learning
IT applications can help students in conducting research, surveys and numeracy work.
Compulsory Part – Basics of Personal Financial Management Use software e.g. spreadsheets to prepare personal budgets and investment projects.
4.3.4 Meaningful assignments
To promote effective learning, it is very important for teachers to involve students in tasks which are meaningful. In doing so, teachers are expected to follow the guidelines below and exercise their professional judgment.
Balancing theory and practice
When designing assignments, BAFS teachers should incorporate tasks which help students to develop both theoretical knowledge and practical applications in different business areas.
Example D in Appendix illustrates the use of a task in which students have to search for and analyse authentic information which involves them in thinking about both business theories and practices.
Using authentic business contexts
Using tasks which involve authentic business contexts can develop an understanding of the integrated nature of various business areas. It can also motivate students as they see the relevance of what they are learning to the real world. Example B in Appendix illustrates how to assign tasks that require students to apply their business knowledge in supporting school clubs and societies.