11 Simple Ideas For Any Course at Any Level
  • Improve written and verbal communication
  • Increase student engagement, participation, and contribution
  • Expand business vocabulary and context
  • Encourage critical and strategic thinking
  • Enhance expectations

1.  Written Communication

Have your students write a brief, one paragraph, summary on a BBW article or articles that relates to the concepts covered in your course. Ask your students to do this each week or at intervals throughout the semester or on your tests.

  • Critical thinking to find pieces that relate course topic to real practice
  • Encourages good succinct writing skills

2.  Verbal Communication Skills

Tell your students that each week someone will be called upon to give a 2 min. talk about an article in BBW that relates to the concepts covered in the course. (That is, the famous, cocktail OR elevator presentation)

  • Organized thoughtContribution and participation to the groups learningEncourages good succinct speaking skills
  • Critical thinking to find pieces that relate course topic to real practicePractice that first impression

3.  Contribution & Participation

Hold an open ended class discussion on relevant topics for the week. Tell the students that each week you will hold a 10 min class discussion on relevant topics from that week’s BBW. (Variation), If you have a smaller class, you could tell them that you will be calling on an individual or individuals to facilitate the discussion on any given week:

  • Ability to connect real world events to classroom topicsLead and facilitate a meeting or discussion
  • Contribute and participate in a group’s thought and learning process

4.  Critical Thinking:  Impact of Events

Have your students pick an industry or company to track each week of the semester in BBW.

  • Have them write out a timeline of events, decisions, &/or innovations that impacted that industry or company either directly or indirectly and describe how these effected the business and what will likely be changed as a result.
  • You could go further and ask students to go beyond the article and provide a recommended course of action the company should take to adapt these changes.

5.  Cause & Effect

Have your students pick two competing companies OR two linked industries. Have them track both using BBW and other sources over the semester and write a timeline of events, decisions, government policy changes, innovations etc. that pertain to your subject (Marketing, Finance, Mgt. etc), that impacted one or the other or both.

  • Have them describe how these event impacted or likely will impact the companies and/or industries and if it created or will create a competitive advantage for one or the other.
  • With linked industries how will they both be impacted?
  • They could provide a suggested course of action that would mitigate an event or decision.

6.  Job Description

Have your students pick a company or industry they would like to work in. They can use BBW to research these companies and industries and write a job description for themselves.

  • Why would they like to work for this company?
  • What role would they play and why would the company/industry need someone in that role?
  • What skills would they need to gain to bring value to their chosen position?

7.  Write a Memo

Have your students write a one page memo that relates a course concept to 2-3 or a series of articles in BBW that they think are salient to the topic. The memo should have a proposed course of action or conclusion.

8.  Critical Thinking Discussion Using Blackboard

Each week post 2-5 questions on your Blackboard discussion forum concerning an article or topic that relates to the discipline that is covered in the current issue of BBW. Questions should be open-ended, you could use those provided with the Instructors’ Guide, and require additional research beyond the content in the article. Answers to the questions should require the student to state an opinion which should be backed up with facts. Students could be encouraged to respond to others’ posts and agree or disagree with them and supply additional supporting facts to validate their position.

9.  Business Vocabulary

By reviewing the Resource Center, the current issue of BBW, and your course material (textbook), pick 5-10 vocabulary words of the week that pertain to the course you are teaching. Ask the students to find the definition of the term or word and the article it is in and in what context it is used. You could direct them to the article/s or have them find it themselves. Have a discussion on the term, incorporate it into your lecture, and test them on the vocabulary and the context of the term.

10.  Vocabulary Scavenger Hunt

Use the Instructors’ Guide quiz questions, or develop your own, in a scavenger hunt. Give the students 5-10 questions each week that they can find the answers to in that week’s issue of BBW. If they do they will be prepared for the next test as these questions may well show up!

11.  Analysis

Reading about current topics in BBW often makes me wonder how similar topics were covered in the past and how they might be in the future. For example, how is the current recession being covered, what caused it, and how is it similar or different to previous recessions? What’s more, what might cause recessions in the future. Same with how certain products are marketed and distributed. How has advertising changed and what will it look like 5-10 years from now?

By reading BBW and using the online resources and archives, your students have a good start on picking a topic that is relevant to your course and well covered in the current business press. Have them write a 2-3 page essay on the current assessment of the topic along with a well researched history. Then have them provide an analysis that is based on this history and a forecast on the future.


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