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Mary Kate Naatus, Saint Peter's University; Katia Passerini, St. John's University; Kevin Pon, ESDES Lyon Business School

Enhancing Differentiation in Business Education using the Studio Model

Purpose: This paper focuses on the efficiency of the Studio Model in education, which is commonly found in arts and architecture pedagogy and curriculum. When applied to students of business and management, this model can enhance creativity and improvisation in the classroom, and thus reduce the formulaic commoditized curricula which is so often found in schools of management around the world. Indeed, calls for changes in management education have emerged due to the questioning of the relevance and value of business school curricula in today’s rapidly evolving economy. If business schools are to survive in the 21st century, they must go through disruptions and produce new models of management education in an increasingly globalized and digital world. The paper examines the impending disruption of management education and provides an overview of various models of management education by answering the question how should students acquire knowledge and develop skills and abilities with particular attention to the studio model and the results and positive learning outcomes and real world applications that can be obtained. Methodology: Groups of students from Europe and the United States participated in a business orientated module using this method over a period of one semester. The students were provided with a project to bring to the first class and were asked to produce three pieces of work. · A report and reflection on the Project · A formal Presentation using powerpoint or other visual support tools · A written exam to evaluate the intended knowledge and competencies In addition to this, all students were required to fill out a questionnaire on what they did throughout the class over the semester and reflect on the experience. The rationale for the questionnaire was to collect data on how and what the students themselves perceived how and what they learned. This data would then compared to the written work of students to see if the students’ perception of what they learned was aligned with their objective assessment results. Initial Results: Initial collection of data has led to the following observations. Students perceive that they do not spend more time on working within the framework of a studio model than if they had been in a more traditional classroom environment. Students perceived that they had acquired skills that they would not have acquired had they been in a more traditional classroom context with traditional or more scripted assessments. The students’ approach to the class was more fluid in the sense that they were able to consider other information and include data from other disciplines. Indeed within the International Marketing class, students drew upon subjects from financial disciplines, ethics and sustainability. Practical Implications: Initial results indicate that the studio model applied to business and management education has had an initial success both in the perception and reality of what is actually learned by the student, as well as a high level of satisfaction and engagement. There will therefore be implications on how schools of management teach in the future and have an impact on resources such as human resources on how teachers teach and physical resources on the actual validity of the traditional room where subjects are taught.