So Much to Learn, So Many Students, So Little Time

The Challenge of Teaching a First-Year Introductory Business Curriculum in Today’s Academic Climate


  • Kathleen Shea Rodenburg University of Guelph


ethics and value-driven leadership, large class sizes, experimental learning theory, role play, simulations, flipped classrooms, interactive technologies, live case studies, ethical dilemmas, industry representation, practiced pedagogy


Teaching an Introduction to Business Management course to 800 first-year Commerce students in today’s academic environment is challenging. Add to this the challenge that many business schools have the view that the purpose of business education is not only to support the acquisition of useful skills and knowledge to perform well in the workplace, but to also develop ethical decision making and value-driven leadership skills. The teaching challenge is presented here through the lens of an economist in the form of an optimization problem. Select the optimal teaching approach that maximizes deep student learning resulting in the achievement of the learning outcomes subject to a set of exogenous and endogenous constraints. High-impact teaching practices are reviewed for integration consideration into an introductory business course curriculum. A current first-year introductory business course curriculum is proposed as a solution to the challenge, followed by key lessons learned from the proposed practiced pedagogy.






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