by Blagovesta Pirelli
Students need to acquire professional skills that will help them understand the complex environment of an enterprise (and the society) where they will most probably end up after their graduatiion. Our research group comes from the world of services; so we believe that services are useful. But the service literature is either too abstract and philosofical, or too techncical and considers only IT services. We, as teachers, need to understand how to teach services.
In our paper, we describe a re-usable teaching method that combines our insights.
After we did all this conceptualization of our work, we started thinking how to test our beautiful theory (remember, take an example). What we found: We did not invent the wheel but we turned a couple of stones on the road. At the end of the class, our students said they are comfortable with the thinking model we used in class. It was our intention all along to teach a mindset but we didn’t know if we were managing to do so. Validating that students recognize the thinking model and that they will re-use it is a win for our teaching team.
Our students liked the style of the class, with many guest lecturers, a team project, many modeling exercises but always on a different topic. From what they told us in the studies and in face-to-face discussions, we rest assured that we managed to convey a lot of service-oriented thinking into their heads.
Most didn’t seem to mind. A lot of them even cared.
Because everybody is looking for their place in the world and services are an outstanding way to think about our roles and responsibilities, maybe teaching how to find meaning was what we taught, and not how to think in terms of services.
Also, and very impotantly, both us and students had fun.
I would like to thank Prof. Wegmann for giving me the opportunity to work on it with him. He has taught classes for more than 20 years. I’ve learnt a lot from him during this collaboration and I continue learning how to teach and how to learn.
I made a rookie mistake in the first question of the first survey. It reads like this: “you came to the class because you wanted to do x or y”. This should have been two questions. I hope Professor Tucci, whose class on Survey Design I followed, is not reading this.
Even if not perfectly designed, our surveys help us during the course. After the first survey, we changed our approach because students wanted something different. We started giving them more time to work on their project. We worked primarily on the cases that guest lectures gave. We abandoned the impersonal style of case studies that students had no real-world experience with.
I worked with Laurence Duré for the survey design and analysis, and she was a tremendous help. She was also taking the class. So, we always had some insider information on what students think about the class. (wink-wink)
Of course, let me thank once again Solal Pirelli, my husband, who read the manuscript thoroughly many times and suggested many improvements.
PS: Most probably there are so many allusions to the road, because I’m on the road right now, flying to San Jose, CA for FiE 2018.tags: teaching, - service-oriented, - business - design