Business organisations and their environments (B201)

Open University course

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Rebecca Galley
20 January 2010

B201

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B201- 'Business organisations and their Environments' -  was awarded an Open University Teaching Award in 2009 for innovation in supporting students new to business studies and distance learning through online collborative activities, and blended text and multimedia and assessments.

The course team wanted to make full use of the OU VLE and deliver a complete online learning experience by integrating the use of tutor group forums, wikis/blogs and various media resources into the learning and teaching process. For example, students are given three overarching course themes ('diversity and complexity', theory and practice' and 'ways of thinking') and prompted to explore their understanding  of these themes via blogs as they progress into the course. 

There is a formal assessment that attempts to bring all of their blogging activities together towards the end of the course, and they are again asked to reflect on their experiences in the final exams.

Students are also linked or given accessed to up to date 'real-life' examples that relate to what they are learning. In Block 1, for example, we have designed a specific activity that explores the impact and relationships of stakeholders with respect to an organisation called 'Out of this World'. A basic framework showing the interrelationships are portrayed and as students hover through the diagrams with their cursor the different relationships are highlighted which on clicking leads to different multimedia points and interactions which explain the stakeholder relationships.

Through the nine months duration of the course similar efforts are made to liven the experiences of the students with the use of online and multimedia resources, something which has only been possible through the VLE.

Graham Healing
13:03 on 16 February 2010 (Edited 13:07 on 16 February 2010)

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