The Office of Transformational Learning (OTL) at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business values experiential learning very highly and constantly seeks out new opportunities to incorporate more immersive and engaging activities into the classroom environment. So far, OTL has innovated over nine Smith undergraduate core courses based on Assurance of Learning feedback to improve student engagement and learning outcomes. One of the main supports faculty indicated they needed to increase their experiential learning opportunities was project sourcing, so we have established a strategic relationship with corporate partner CapSource. OTL has expanded the scope of experiential learning activities to consulting-oriented courses, such as the Innovo Scholars, but perhaps the most wide reaching experiential learning initiative that OTL has explored to date are the Case programs.
Smith Live Cases are an experiential learning initiative through which strategic companies are invited to create and deliver a case for a Smith School core course. The cases are completed in a single class period and are designed to build students’ content knowledge and critical thinking. All companies, identified in collaboration with the school’s Office of Career Services and the Office of Alumni Relations, and are invited to contribute financially. These Live Cases support OTL’s goal of expanding experiential learning opportunities across all programs and developing creative ways to better achieve learning outcomes.
Introduced in spring 2016 with a case featuring Target, Smith Live Cases have the potential to be an ongoing feature of core courses in the undergraduate and graduate programs. Unilever, SC&H, Deloitte Consulting, New Day USA, SalesForce, Mattel, and BDO have worked with us for Smith Live Cases. During the 2017-18 academic year, OTL plans to add PepsiCo, KPMG, Enterprise, GEICO, Jeffries, MAGA Designs, and MIMO to this ever expanding list of strategic partners.
Smith Executive Cases are video cases based on interviews with Smith alumni and they present an opportunity to engage alumni while providing experiential learning for students. These cases are created to require minimal time from alumni and are simple to use, adapt and reuse in order to provide the best possible return on investment. These Executive Cases help to develop creative ways to better achieve learning outcomes, expand experiential opportunities across all programs, create infrastructure and incentives for learning transformation and strengthen the culture of collaboration for maximum impact. To achieve this project, OTL interfaces with similar groups of stakeholders as the Live Cases, and the Office of Marketing Communications.
This project is still in its development phase, as we are currently building the infrastructure needed to create a case and hope to complete the first pilot for fall 2018. We have worked closely with the Office of Marketing and Communications to secure a vendor for video production, and we are in contact with the Office of Alumni Relations to secure initial alumni for our pilot case.