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November 2013 Update: Marketing, Finance & Accounting and Public Relations

November 2013

-Lynn Vos (Brand image from Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay)

I have been doing some work on simulation games in Business Education as part of one of our key themes this year – active and experiential learning and recently had a great visit with Mike Ashwell – Senior Lecturer in Accounting - and colleagues from Teesside University. Mike and his team run the simulation Simventure for first year students on all Business programmes. The simulation requires students to run a small business that produces and sells computers to different market segments, requiring that decisions be made in all functional areas: sales & marketing, finance, operations, and organisation. The challenge is to generate enquiries and orders and they receive feedback after each decision round through a variety of metrics including sales results and financial statements. By the end of the game, students have a good understanding of budgeting, finance issues, how to tailor products to meet the needs of different segments, and the challenges and pressures of running a small business.

Mike Ashwell

I have used simulation games for most of my teaching career and like Mike find that students are really enthusiastic about them. I plan to run a workshop next May called ‘Getting started with simulations in business education’, and have already confirmed the participation of the publishers of Simventure and Markstrat -- two of the most popular simulation games used in Marketing. Iwill keep you posted on location and venue.

Do get in touch with me however, if you are interested in using simulations – there are so many good ones on the market.

Carolina Valiente – Reader in Accounting and Finance at London South Bank University - is organising two more bank related events for colleagues and students, following her very successful event last March – ‘Fixing our Banks’. The new events will take place early next year and be on the themes of how banks can improve their customer focus and corporate governance. Speakers from the banks will participate and I will let you know the dates for these events when they are available. For further information, feel free to contact Carolina at

On October 11, I had the pleasure to attend a meeting of the BAFA/CDAF (British Accounting and Finance Association Committee for Departments of Accounting and Finance) at CPA Australia in Central London. The CDAF group includes many heads of A&F departments across the UK and is also well attended by A&F professional associations so it is a great opportunity to discuss issues in teaching and learning. Gillian Holmes from University of Newcastle has taken over as the Chair of CDAF from Professor John Cullen who did a wonderful job of steering the committee over the past few years.

In attending events such as these and in visiting colleagues in Marketing, F&A and PR, I am able to identify issues and challenges that are similar to many. A key challenge is the weakness in students’ numeracy and statistics skills and this was recently given centre stage in the media with the reporting of an OECD study that placed English 16-24 year olds in 21st place out of 24 countries in terms of their numeracy skills. Within the social sciences cluster, we have been working on projects related to teaching research methods at our Conference in May we had a wonderful presentation from members of the UK Data Service who have recently made many of their statistical data bases available for use in schools and universities. For those of you who teach research-related courses, using these databases offers significant advantages over having students collect their own data for analysis.

In September, I also attended an event hosted by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries and the Royal Statistical Society to launch a new report by Roger Porkness entitled: A world full of data: Statistics opportunities across A-Level subjects. Richard Atfield, our Discipline Lead for Business and Management, contributed to the chapter on Business Studies. This report is well worth a look for its insights, among other things, into what employers are looking for in business graduates and on the types of statistical skills students need.

Our colleague Kathy Wright – Discipline Lead for Education has created some pilot numeracy resources for you and for your students, including some short slide share presentations on some basic numerical tasks such as converting fractions to decimals and converting percentages to decimals.

Funding and workshops

Please consider applying for one of our funding or recognition calls: Collaborative grant (up to £60,000 + match funding from your institution); International Scholarship scheme (up to £20,000) and/or the National Teaching Fellowship Award (Up to 55 awards of £10,000 made to recognise individual excellence).

As you may know this year our themes in the Social Sciences are: active and experiential learning, employability and global citizenship and teaching research methods. A number of workshops hosted by UK institutions are coming up in the next few months. While they may not always be specific to your discipline, you may find that the ideas and approaches can easily be adapted. Please let your colleagues know – you can find more information by clicking on the links.

‘Going Live’ – delivering authentic live student projects, 13 November 2013, University College Birmingham

Using active and experiential learning to improve student employability in Business and Marketing, 14 November 2013, University of Wolverhampton

Learning to be interdependent – innovations in active and experiential learning within Sport and Leisure, 20 November 2013, Manchester Metropolitan University

Reflexive learning for the researching professional, 25 November 2013, University of Sunderland

Activity or action? Theory and evidence to support the use of active learning pedagogies in Business Management, 29 November 2013, University of Gloucestershire

Technology for authentic learning in Marketing Education, 4 December 2013, University of Central Lancashire

Effectual thinking in entrepreneurship education, 16 December 2013, University of Sheffield

Richard Atfield

Lynn Vos

Our first one-day Business Education New to Teaching Workshop will take place in Birmingham on the 8th of November (we also have one in Glasgow on March 28 and on in Reading on June 17, 2014). We have set up a discussion with supporting materials on the social media site Yammer for those who plan to attend the workshops and for those who are unable to attend. Please contact Richard or myself if you want to join the Yammer group. And do let your new colleagues know about these workshops if they are new to teaching in higher education.

We also have New to Teaching workshops for those who are new to using social media and open educational resources in their teaching.

Coming next year, are two Finance and Accounting workshops that you might like to put in your diary.

Using technology-based media to engage and support students in the disciplines of finance, accounting and economics, 9 April, 2014, Open University, Milton Keynes

Using an online, virtual reality audit simulation to enhance teaching and learning within Accounting and Finance, 14 April, 2014, University of the West of England

I am pleased to be back in the classroom again this year and am doing a few sessions at the University of Greenwich for postgraduate students in Marketing Communications. The modules looks at contemporary issues and one of the key themes is Marketing Ethics.

Ethics teaching and learning is also an area we have been doing some work on within the Social Sciences cluster. Both Richard Atfield and I have been able to provide some small funding grants for projects that will deliver outputs that can be used in the classroom. We are also hosting a one day Social Sciences summit next year in teaching ethics and I will keep you informed of the date and agenda. Also, Paul Jennings, Senior Lecturer in Accounting at University of Winchester is leading a community of practice in teaching ethics in Accounting. Please contact Paul if you would like to join or are looking for resources. Finally, Leeds University and their IDEA (Inter-Disciplinary Ethics Applied) will be hosting a two-day conference on Business Ethics next April 2-3. You can find out more information about this event on this link.

For those who would like to learn more about why students may engage in plagiarism and other unethical academic practices and what we can do about it, you may wish to attend the following one day workshop at Leicester:

Academic integrity and student development: exploring dimensions for improving practice, 21 November 2013, University of Leicester

I also recommend the following articles on teaching ethics in marketing and accounting:

Ferrel, O.C., & Keig, D. (2013). The Marketing Ethics Course: Current State and Future Directions. Journal of Marketing Education, 35(2): 119-128.

Frank, G., Ofobike, E., & Gradisher, S. (2009). Teaching business ethics: A quandary for Accounting Educators. Journal of Education for Business, 85(3): 132-138.

Tweedi, D., Cadiz-Dyball, M., Hazelton, J., Wright, S. (2013). Teaching Global Ethical Standards: A Case and Strategy for Broadening the Accounting Ethics Curriculum. 115(1): 1-15.

Other news:

Monica Gibson Sweet has stepped down as the Chair of the Academy of Marketing Marketing Education Subcommittee after 3+ years of hard work in developing the committee and its projects. I have taken over as Chair and am pleased to say that we have awarded three teaching development research grants for 2013-2014: Congratulations to Alex Hiller of Nottingham Business School, Christine Rivers at Surrey Business School, and Robin Bell at Worcester Business School! We have also recently announced the Teaching Excellence award and this year have one for both an individual teacher and a team – so do consider applying. Deadline for applications is noon on January 24. The Professor Malcolm McDonald student essay competition will go ahead again this year and details will be on the Academy of Marketing website by mid-November.

Finally, Ross Brennan (University of Hertfordshire) and I are editing a special issue of The Marketing Review for February 2014 with a focus on Marketing education. Articles on the potential weaknesses in experiential learning approaches, simulation games, the state of curriculum design and development in UK marketing education, teaching students the value of social media, among others are currently being reviewed for inclusion.

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