Bloomberg Businessweek for Blackboard

Instructions for posting discussion questions & quizzes:
Access BBW Resource site,
Select Instructors Guide, discussion questions, SELECT All,
Convert to PDF and Save.
Blackboard: Select INFORMATION, select BUILD CONTENT and select FILE.
Select FILE (saved BBW IG), then ADD.

For Test & Quiz: (Faculty can set a time limit for completion using the TEST tab)
Access BBW Resource site, select Instructor Guide Quiz, SELECT ALL
Convert to PDF and Save.
Blackboard: Select INFORMATION, select CREATE ASSESSMENT, select TEST/QUIZ,
select FILE (saved BBW quiz), select ADD.

Instructions prepared by Jenni Willis-Opalenik, University of Houston- Clear Lake.

Use Bloomberg Businessweek to enhance discussions on 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 can 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 can be encouraged to respond to others’ posts, agree or disagree with them, and supply additional supporting facts to validate their position.

Example One: Finance

Dr. Del Hawley, School of Business
University of Mississippi

In FIN 531, which I teach this year in the Fall and Spring semesters, I incorporated Bloomberg Businessweek articles throughout the course to:

1.    help improve the students’ awareness of current events related to finance.
2.    give them an opportunity to practice persuasive writing.
3.    to help them develop skills in critiquing others’ opinions on these topics.

Each week in the Fall semester I posted 3-5 questions in the Blackboard discussion forums for the class concerning a finance-related article in the current issue of Bloomberg Businessweek.  Most of the questions required additional research beyond the content of the article, and most were open-ended and required the students to state an opinion and back it up with facts and citations.  Students were also encouraged to respond to others’ posts and agree or disagree with those opinions while supporting their positions with additional facts.

Students could receive up to 5 points per question, but most received 1 or 2 points unless their contribution was very comprehensive and well constructed.  A student could receive up to 50 points (out of 550) for their participation in these forums.  The actual distribution of points ranged from zero to 50 with the average being approximately 20.  Feedback from the students on these forums was generally positive.

I also discussed several articles in class that related to the topics we were covering at that time.

These activities will be continued in FIN 531 in the 2010 Spring semester

Example Two: Marketing

Principles of Marketing, Marketing Strategy & Policy, and Global Marketing
Dr. Rachel Smith, Department of Marketing, University of Mississippi

Learning Objectives

• To help students apply marketing principles to current business issues
• To motivate discussion of current marketing problems and opportunities
• To relate business models discussed in articles to other businesses
• To stimulate critical thinking and engender curiosity among our senior marketing majors
• To bridge the gap between the classroom and the real world

Teaching Tasks

Students frequently need context when discussing marketing problems and opportunities.  In other words, they don't know where to begin, how to prioritize, and what to communicate when analyzing marketing situations.  In my classes (MKTG 451:  marketing Strategy and Policy and MKTS 452:  Global Marketing), the students will analyze the articles employing the following frameworks:

1.    Marketing strategy - target market and the marketing mix
2.    Environments - competitive, geographic/climate, political/legal/regulatory, technological, cultural/societal, and economic
3.    The customer's need - what is the customer buying?

Classroom Logistics

• We will use the structure of the assigned teams in each class for our discussion and analysis of BBW articles.  
• Before Tuesday's class, I will pick and post one article on Blackboard from the previous week's edition (probably from the sections:  Companies and Policies, Features and Politics and Policy) for each course.
• The students will read the articles before class, working with the preceding framework (e.g. as they read the article they need to put it in the context of:  marketing strategy, the environments and the customer's need) and coming to class ready to discuss the article first with team members and then with the entire class.
• My Strategy courses will focus more on 1 and 3 of the preceding frameworks which is the foundation of marketing strategy and my Global courses will focus more on 2, the bedrock of global marketing.
• In class, I will also include other questions (perhaps from BBW's Resource Center) corresponding to the course topics and principles of marketing for the teams and class to discuss and answer.  
• The students will be graded on their participation in the classroom discussion and the answers that individual teams provide.  Students earn 10% of their grade through class participation.
• Finally, we will discuss ways in which the models, problems, and opportunities in this article could relate to the Marketing Plans and cases they are currently working on for the course.