Experiential learning is a powerful teaching tool. While classroom lectures primarily address the cognitive domain, experiential learning involves the whole student: their cognitive, affective and physical domains (Oxendine, Robinson and Willson, 2004). The result is that students can relate to the subject matter in a way that is meaningful for their future professional career. The Technische Hochschule Nuremberg (Germany) uses company consultancy projects as regular experienced based learning modules for its students at the School of Business. These modules are a key element in the overall curriculum and have quite flexible titles regarding the applied content such as “project work” (bachelor level) or “market development” (master level). Companies have the chance to define projects, which are relevant for their future business development, in coordination with the supervising professor. Students work on these real business tasks throughout one semester and develop proposals for solutions, equivalent to a junior consultant agency. The typical structure of such an applied project within one semester is: Introduction to the company and the project (week 1) – presentation of theoretical concepts and tools related to the project (weeks 2-4) – market research and analysis phase (weeks 5-7) – conceptual development phase (weeks 8-10) – internal review (week 11) – presentation to the company (week 12) – and reflection about experiences and learnings (week 13). The win-win-win situation for companies, students and the University are obvious: Companies have the chance to reflect on business development ideas without spending huge budgets for real consultants. Students get familiar with practical tasks and presentations in front of decision makers. The University gets closer connected with stakeholders in the surroundings and opens career entries for their graduates. This presentation from Prof. Riedmueller at the USC 2015 Learning and Teaching Week will concentrate on success factors for conceptualising and running experienced based learning modules with the help of company consultancy projects. It is key to optimise the interaction of practical question, theoretical background, involved parties and required infrastructure. The presentation will also give insights about consultancy under his supervision from previous semesters with the Nuremberg Christmas market board, a local German beer company and a local football club. These three entities are also landmarks from the City of Nuremberg and provide a cultural profile of your partner University Technische Hochschule Nuremberg in Germany.
2015 Learning & Teaching Week: Teaching Visions: Seeing Teaching in New Ways, Sunshine Coast, Australia 14-18 September 2015
2015 Learning & Teaching Week Program Book / pp.12-13