David Andrew Poyton - Cadair Home

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David Andrew Poyton - Cadair Home
David Andrew Poyton
Adran Y Gyfraith a Throseddeg | Department of Law and Criminology
2004
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TYSTYSGRIF UWCHRADDEDIG ADDYSGU MEWN ADDYSG UWCH
POSTGRADUATE CERTIFICATE IN TEACHING IN HIGHER EDUCATION
Cylch Dysgu 3 | Teaching Cycle 3
Business School Teaching
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ddefnyddio gan ymgeiswyr y TUAAU yn y dyfodol a staff eraill ydyw, fel rhan o’u datblygu proffesiynol ym Mhrifysgol
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cysylltwch â’r awdur. Ceir y manylion cyswllt yn http://www.aber.ac.uk/cy/directory/
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cite this work then please contact the author. Contact details can be found at http://www.aber.ac.uk/en/directory/.
2004 - POYTON, DA. - TC3 - Business School Teaching
CYCLE 3 - BUSINESS SCHOOL TEACHING 2000 -2002
(MBMS010) LAW FOR MANAGERS & (MMMS010) THE
LAW OF E-COMMERCE
A summary of this cycle is provided below but full infonnation relating to this cycle can
be found in the article;
"Integrating C&IT into the Delivery of a Law Module: A Reflective Look at Two
Postgraduate modules Delivered in the 200012001 Academic Year." [2001J 3 Journal of
lnfmmation Law and Techno!u(;y.
Available
at
http://elj.warwick.ac.ukljilt/01-
3/poyton.html
An article providing some reflective comment upon the use of C & IT in the
delivery of two law modules.
SUMMARY
This cycle considers one of the firsts 'tasks' entrusted to me in my role as a full time
lecturer; the delivery of two postgraduate modules to a combination of MBA and MSc
students in the School of Management and Business at V.WA.
The task required;
1) Developing and updating the content of the Law for Managers (MBM5010)
module.
2) The designing, planning and delivery of a new module (MMM5010) in Electronic
Commerce and the law.
As a 'new' lecturer, this exercise was both challenging and daunting. In particular the
creation of a new module relating to a 'new' area of the law and one which was yet to be
fully considered in any particular text book or single work. Fortunately, the subject
matter was the focus of my PhD research and adapting the topics to suit the student
body (the majority were non-lawyers and international students) was enjoyable.
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2004 - POYTON, DA. - TC3 - Business School Teaching
addition to developing the course I was required to obtain faculty approval for the course
and complete the module approval forms (the help I received form colleagues, Diane
Rowland and Chris Harding in particular was invaluable).
As sole lecturer on the course the student numbers created difficulty in relation
to
my
chosen method of delivery (usually lectures supplemented by small group seminar work).
Time was a significant factor and I turned to C&IT as a tool to assist my teaching. The
approach adopted and results can be seen in the full article. Credit must go to the
Aberystwyth Learning and Teaching Online (ALTO) team and in particular Julie Smith
who introduced me to WebCT on the Universities pilot programme.
PERSONAL REFLECTION ON THE CYCLE AND IMPLICATIONS FOR
FUTURE PRACTICE
Unfortunately student numbers have reduced and one of the courses (MBMS010) has
been dropped by the 5MB. However, this 'cycle' and my experiences teaching these
courses have contributed greatly to my experience and learning as a lecturer.
The
University has moved from WebCT to Blackboard, a similar, but in my mind inferior
VLE, however, I now use Blackboard in a variety of ways on all of the courses I teach. I
have also participated in the development of and Co-ordinate the Law Departments
LLM Law Relating to Electronic Commerce course (LAM2820) and Blackboard place a
significant role in the provision and distribution of materials.
As can be seen from the article, perhaps the most significant implication for future
practice has been my recognition that C&IT can be an incredibly useful tool, but it is
nothing without student - student and student - lecturer interaction.
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Joumal of Information, Law and Technology
Integrating C&IT into the Delivery of a Law Module:
A Reflective Look at Two Postgraduate modules
Delivered in the 2000/2001 Academic Year.
David Poyton
Law Lecturer,
University of Wales, Aberystwyth
[email protected]
This is a work in progress published on: 7 November 2001
Citation: Poyton D, 'Integrating C&IT into the Delivery of a Law Module: A Reflective
Look at Two Postgraduate modules Delivered in the 2000/2001 Academic Year', 2001
(3) The]oumal a/Information, Law and Tedmob;sy (JILT). <http://elj.warwick.ac.uk/jilt/0131 poyton.htrnl>
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2004 - POYTON, DA. - TC3 - Business School Teaching
Abstract
The use of infonnation technology in the delivery of academic courses has undeniable
benefits. For some, it is seen as not only the way forward but also, the only way forward
With the funding constraints imposed upon Higher Education moving towards crisis
level for some institutions, making the best use of the communications and infonnation
technologies available may be prudent if not essential (see Paliwala, 2001). The use of
C&IT in course delivery has the added benefit of promoting familiarity with
communications technologies and the development of crucial IT skills demanded by
employers, whether in the legal or other professions.
The purpose of this article is to reflect upon and share experiences and observations of
the use of IT to different extents in the delivery of two postgraduate law modules,
included in the MBA and Masters in Management schemes at the University of Wales
Aberystwyth during the 2000 - 2001 academic year. TIlls paper is not intended to be a
conceptual paper on the pedagogical virtues of information technology in course delivery
in legal education. It is a contribution of practical experiences in the use of such
technology in the delivery of two law modules, considering the advantages and
disadvantages of such an approach!.
Keywords: C&IT in Legal education, CAL, CBL, Distance Learning, 'ELearning', Electronic Course Delivery, Virtual Learning Environments, WebCT.
1. Introduction
The use of infonnation technology in education, Web-based' teaching, or 'E-Learning'
has its champions and its sceptics2 , but the integration of communications and
information technology (C&IT) into the learning process would now seem to be one of
life's certainties. My own views fall into neither extreme, rather they are those of a
pragmatist looking on C&IT as a tool or resource to be exploited as any other. The
benefits obtained from the use of a particular tool very much depend upon the purpose
too which they are put - the wrong tool or poor use of a correct tool will deliver a poor
end result.
The 'purpose' or objectives associated with the integration of C&IT could be categorised
as follows;
•
to cope with increased student demand by utilising existing resources (both
human and material) in the most efficient manner;
•
to adapt to changes in society by recognising the impact of C&IT on
commerce and the individual and reflecting this in the educational
envrronment;
•
to enhance the student learning experience by providing a contextual and
stimulating environment to promote deep learning.
1 I would like to express my gratitude to Elizabeth Macdonald and Richard Ireland for their comments on
earlier drafts of this article.
2 For a sceptical view see, for example, (Dreyfus,H; 2001, p7 et sec), and for an enthusiastic view see
(Migdal 5 and CartWrightM (1997)).
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2004 - POYTON, DA. - TC3 - Business School Teaching
Measuring the success of an approach in relation to the first two objectives can be done
relatively easily using a year on year approach as a point of reference. The first can be
measured by recording the demand on resources and observing how 'stretched' those
resources become. The second can be measured by observing the level of integration of
C&IT and its use. The third objective is, from an educational perspective, the most
important and the most difficult to measure. Whilst an in-depth discussion of the
pedagogical merits of a particular approach is beyond the scope of this papeJ? two
distinct, although not mutually exclusive, approaches to achieving this objective can be
identified. The first is to create a virtual learning environment, within which the student
is encouraged to apply their knowledge by participating in exercises set in a practical
context4• The second is to use C&IT as a vehicle for the delivery of materials to allow the
use of contact time for more student-centred sessions, such as seminars and other small
group activities.' In the two courses discussed in this paper the second approach was
taken.
The first course was a Business Law module, delivered in semester one, integrating the
use of information technology at a relatively low level, (principally bye-mail and some
on-line provision of resources). The second course was a module on the Law Relating to
Electronic Commerce, delivered in the second semester, making significant use of a webbased course management system ry.;ebC1).
This article will introduce the modules concerned and the role information technology
played in their delivery. It will then proceed to examine some of the perceived advantages
and disadvantages of the use of information technology in the context of the two
modules. Before each course is considered, a brief outline of the student body profile is
required.
1.1 Student Body Profue
The student body profile played a significant role in my approach. Some of the
observations outlined below are particularly pertinent to this student profile. The student
body numbered sixty-four and the student background was varied. All students were at
postgraduate level and with a minimum requirement of a lower second (or equivalent) in
the student's first degree. Few students had any prior experience of legal study. The
majority had a business studies, accounting, or economics background. Approximately
fifty percent of the students had English as a second language and, although all had met
the minimum language standard for enrolment, there was a discernible difference in the
levels of linguistic competence.
2. Module 1 - Introduction to Business Law. Semester 1. 2000/2001
2.1 Outline
This was a first semester module allocated one two-hour session, per week for 11 weeks.
It was part of the accredited MBA course as well as being an element of the MSc in
Management scheme and its content was prescribed. The module had to cover: Being the subject of future work following further research over several teaching cycles and the analysis
of student response data.
4 See the discussion of LMSS in Aikenhead et al, 2000.
S See the 'New Durham Experiment' in Widdison and Schulte; 1998.
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•
Introduction to the Legal System;
•
Principles of Contract Law;
•
Elements of Employment Law;
•
The Law relating to Business Organisation
The full complement of sixty-four students enrolled on this module.
2.2 Approach
Drawing upon experience and the course structure common to many taught Masters
schemes, my preferred approach would have been to use the contact sessions to promote
student-centred discussion of the relevant legal issues in the business context. It seemed
that the ideal would have been to have sessions comprising a brief introduction to a topic
in the form of a lecture and a subsequent student led seminar the following week
structured around problem style questions. However, the relatively high student number,
whilst clearly a positive benefit for the University, was not conducive to this preferred
approach. To run the sessions in that way would have required splitting the students into
more manageable sized groups for seminar work (e.g. 20 students or fewer), this would
have added considerable contact time, which was not available in the timetable or in
terms of resources. One way to deal with that time constraint would have been to reduce
the course content, allowing for seminars within the allocated time. However, the class
size would have still required the scheduling of multiple seminar periods and changing
the course content was not possible. In summary, with little or no space in the timetable
for additional or split classes, and with restricted resources, another approach had to be
sought to provide an appropriate level of interaction between myself, the students, and
the material, whilst ensuring delivery of all of the prescribed module content.
The alternative approach, which seemed worth investigation, was the use of electronic
forms of communication to enhance the delivery of the module. Drawing on some of the
research previously undertaken6 I decided upon the use of E-mail to facilitate discussion
and interaction. Within the constraints of predetermined course content requirements, I
used the weekly sessions to 'deliver'the course materials in a traditional lecture,
providing the students with a relatively 'passive' learning experience. However, it was at
this point that the technology was used to stimulate a more 'active' learning experience.
The students were given 'seminar style' questions at the end of the lecture. Such
questions would be briefly addressed at the start of the next session but, significantly, in
the meantime, students were encouraged to raise the issues encountered through the use
of e-mail, providing some opportunity for interactive learning. The students had the
opportunity to expand upon the delivered material and apply their acquired knowledge.
Student queries, or suggestions, would be responded to fairly rapidly (usually within
twenty-four hours).
In particular much of the work reviewed and discussed by Widdison and Schulte 1998,
fn. vi and the observations of Palliwala; 2001.
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2004 - POYTON, DA. - TC3 - Business School Teaching
3. Observations
For the majority of the observations my point of reference or comparison is with the
experiences associated with a 'traditional' seminar session.
3.1 Flexibility
In this context, the flexibility obtained from the use of C&IT provided the opportunity
to add a more interactive approach in a situation where traditional seminar sessions were
not practical, or where the use of more tutor and student time was not possible. The
elements of flexibility usually associated with the introduction of IT relate to freedom
from 'tern{XTfal andgecrgraphical constraints' (Widdison, 1998) and these elements were
clearly in evidence here. The use of C&IT can also provide flexibility in relation to how
the course is delivered. In this case, the students were able to consider the set problem
and communicate suggestions and questions via e-mail as and when they desired, from
any location with e-mail access. They could work at times convenient to themselves, and
many could even work from home or in their halls of residence. This facility was
particularly appreciated by students who lived further afield or had family commitments.
It also had an added benefit for those who had English as a second language if they
required a linle extra time to understand the materials. In short, students could work at
their own pace, taking time to understand and digest the material, asking questions
interminently over the space of a few days.
3.2 Interaction
The value of tutor-student and student-student interaction is difficult to precisely assess
and varies between individual tutors and students. It is nevertheless recognised as one of
the most important elements of a learning experience (Laurillard, 1993). The interaction
can be provided in different ways and to differing extents. At the one extreme we have
the individual one-to-one tutorial and at the other the mass lecture. A great deal has been
wrinen about the pedagogical merits of various approaches. (For example see Gibbs,
1995, Paliwala, 2001 and Laurillard, 1993). In this course, e-mail was used to add a level
of interaction. The question is; to what extent did the use of e-mail add to the students
learning experience?
3.2.1 Tutor - Student Interaction
By using e-mail I was more accessible to the students and available for what was
essentially one-to-one interaction, albeit of a 'virtual' kind With the students using e-mail
to raise questions between sessions they were able to interact on an ongoing basis rather
than being restricted to a one-off session. I could respond to the students and be aware
of any problems or misunderstandings as they arose or at the very latest, the next day. In
addition, the discussions provided me some insight into the student's progress with the
material, although that was limited by the unstructured nature of the communications.
The majority of students appreciated the 'personal' contact and increased accessibility
provided by the use of e-mail. In the course evaluation, responses relating to staff
accessibility were favourable 7 • However, the benefits obtained from giving the students
To the statement; 'Lectures and tutors were accessible for feedback and discussion of the course
material', on the module evaluation questionnaire (filled in at the end of the module), 95 per cent of
students either agreed or strongly agreed.
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2004 - POYTON, DA. - TC3 - Business School Teaching
greater access and individual attention placed unanticipated demands on my time. My
initial perception was that the contact via e-mail absorbed little of my time. The error in
this initial perception became apparent in the final analysis. By the end of the course, I
had received a little over 400 e-mails. By posting answers to more general inquiries to the
whole group, the reply e-mails only ran to half of that number. Nevertheless, the amount
of time involved was not insignificant. In addition, whilst appreciating the e-mail system,
some 70 per cent of students would have still preferred small group teaching. This leads
to the inevitable conclusion that the time might have been better-spent conducting
seminars, but the point has already been made that this more obvious use of time for
interactive teaching was regarded as outside of the module 'budget'.
3.2.2 Student-Student Interaction and the Loss of a Physical
Presence
By using e-mail to discuss the problem questions, there is the risk that the loss of
interaction with other students will be detrimental to the learning experience, removing
the potential benefits students gain from listening to each other's questions and the
responses they elicit ('vicarious learning') 8 • The use of e-mail may have removed the
immediacy and physical presence one would usually expect in a traditional 'seminar'
environment and hence the exposure to the learning experience of peers. However, the
point can be made that, with this particular degree scheme the students had a lot of other
face-to-face interaction with each other, including group-work projects. That does not, of
course, completely meet the point of its relative absence from the particular module but
the issue may have a more significant impact on schemes where the students do not have
the opportunity to study in the physical presence of their peers at all, such as a course
delivered entirely through distance learning techniques.
3.2.3 Loss of the Physical Presence and the Tutor
Whist the removal of the physical presence of peers may have a detrimental effect on
potential 'vicarious learning' for the student, for the tutor not being in the physical
presence of the students may have two further effects. First, facial expressions and body
language provide important indicators of the effect a session is having for a student,
which may allow the tutor to adapt to a particular situation. This is lost when
communicating bye-mail. On this course this effect manifested itself in the occasional
need to further clarify responses with additional e-mails where the first response had not
successfully resolved the query. This may not have been necessary in a face-to-face
situation where comments can be adjusted in response to the student's reaction.
There may be a second potential disadvantage of this removal of physical presence for
the tutor, particularly if the tutor is new or inexperienced, or when delivering a new
course for the first time, or delivering a course to a different level of student. Part of the
tutor's learning process includes developing the ability to observe the class or group to
'pick up' the reactions to the delivery of materials in the lecture environment, or to gauge
the progress of a discussion in a seminar environment. The use of e-mail and the
corresponding loss of a simultaneous physical presence could result in the loss of an
important learning and development experience for the tutor. While a more experienced
lecturer may be able to pick up the 'tone' from the e-mail discourse, many of the
important messages gleaned from facial expression and body language remain lost. If this
8
See
<http://www.lx:rr:.edaotk/gal/vimrI>
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2004 - POYTON, DA. - TC3 - Business School Teaching
is the case, then perhaps the only approach to reduce this effect would be a video link or
similar, with it's associated technological difficulties - and the negating of the 'temporal'
freedom produced bye-mail.
3.2.4 Delay in Response
The lack of a need for a simultaneous presence, even a virtual one, has its advantages, but
it also has its disadvantages. Although e-mail can appear to be an 'instantaneous' fonn of
communication, there are inevitable delays, whether due to the technology or to the fact
that student and tutor are not on-line simultaneously. This is one of the disadvantages of
the flexibility mentioned above. A delay in response could lead to a disruption in the
students work at that point. To this extent the approach taken could be viewed as
insufficiently interactive. The disruption of a student's thought process could result in
frustration and loss of interest. However, even if the student was preparing for a one-toone seminar such 'disruption' would occur. Short of an ever-present tutor, to answer
queries immediately, that 'disruption' is an inevitable part of the student's work and may
be viewed as having the benefit of promoting independent thought and analysis of the
material.
3.2.5 Time Implications for the Student
The time implications for the tutor are discussed above. For the student, the additional
time implications of using e-mail were minimal. In general the course e-mails became
integrated into their daily ritual of accessing their individual e-mail accounts. This added
some time to the whole process but this was generally seen as part of their independent
work time between sessions.
3.2.6 Duplication of Questions
One foreseeable problem was the inevitable duplication of a particular question by
several students working at different times. This was to some extent alleviated by copying
responses to the rest of the group.
4. Communication Skills
With the use of e-mail, what would usually be verbal communication became written,
albeit electronically. Once again, this factor introduces a mix of benefit and detriment.
4.1 Practice of Written Skills
The benefit of using a written, rather than oral means of communication should be the
opportunity to practice writing skills. However the infonnal approach adopted in emailing did not encourage a discourse notable for its written excellence. The students'
questions and propositions tended to be in note-form with little attention to grammar,
with the language used being of a relaxed, infonnal style. This was not necessarily a
completely negative consequence because it may have resulted in a more readily
accessible and less intimidating experience for the student. However, it did mean that the
written method of communication failed to provide any significant opportunity for the
enhancement of the written skills of many of the students.
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2004 - POYTON, DA. - TC3 - Business School Teaching
4.2 Oral Skills
The use of e-mail, in comparison to a physical seminar session, did not encourage
spontaneous articulation of opinions in response to questions and the comments of
others. E-mail fails to further the development of the oral communications skills, which
may be fostered in a traditional seminar environment. This could be improved, to some
extent, with the use of 'real-time' communications or video conferencing, but the point
has been made that such devices lose the 'temporal freedom' provided bye-mail.
4.3 Removal of Barriers to Communication
It is accepted that a proportion of students' are inhibited when it comes to asking
questions in a seminar or other public environment. Some students also find it difficult
to approach a tutor to ask questions on a one to one basis. This situation may be
compounded where the student is communicating through a second language. The use of
e-mail can considerably reduce these inhibitions. When questioned informally, students
with English as a second language, and even those for whom it is the native tongue, felt
that the ability to take time to compose a question or suggested solution, available with
the e-mail system, increased their confidence. It reduced the pressure otherwise created
by the need to express themselves in the presence of their tutor or peers. However, the
point can be made that oral communication skills are very important for a student
seeking a place in the legal profession. It must be a questioned whether, as providers of
legal education we should be consistently encouraging the development of oral
communication skills rather than providing the means to avoid their use?
5. Technological Implications
5.1 Cost and Resource Implications
With any innovation, one of the first considerations has to be the resource implications
of the exercise. As indicated above, there was a far more significant cost in terms of the
tutor's time than was initially anticipated and that is a cost to the institution as well as the
individual. Less obviously, there are also other costs involved. As with many institutions
e-mail costs are absorbed in the total cost of IT provision for the institution. As far as
the student is concerned the workstation rooms are available free of charge with twentyfour hour access and many rooms in student halls have Internet access if the student has
their own Pc. One unexpected cost of the use of e-mail is the cost of paper and printing.
Several students felt the need to print out the electronic correspondence to put a paper
record in their notes. This additional cost was raised as an issue by the students, as was
that of the printing out of lecture handouts and the assessed essay question, which were
delivered as e-mail attachments. (The 'inconvenience' of having to print out the handout
before the lecture was also raised as a negative issue by a proportion of the students).
The supply of handouts and questions bye-mail produced a saving in printing and
photocopying costs for the department, however, the students did not appreciate the
transfer of costs.
5.2 Development of IT skills (Added value) and'Techno-levels'
IT skills are an unavoidable necessity in today's society, particularly in the field of
commerce. Integrating the use of IT into the educational program helps develop these
skills, 'adding value' to a course. In this particular module the skills practised related to
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2004 - POYTON, DA. - TC3 - Business School Teaching
the e-mail package in use (Either Eudora or Microsoft Outlook). On the whole, e-mail is
regularly used by students and it is safe to say that at a basic level the students were
making use of a skill they already possessed, albeit a little more often. However, the use
of more 'complex' e-mail skills was also encouraged-e.g. group mailing, using
attachments, using different formats, such as html and using hypertext linking.
The reference to 'techno-levels' refers to any technological barriers for the student, tutor,
or institution to overcome. With e-mail, there appeared to be few. All students had a
comfortable base level, which was tested with an initial e-mail requiring only a brief
confirmation of their e-mail address in reply. For the students the only real disparity
between them related to the regularity of use and the extent to which they could utilise
additional facilities available. There were no difficulties for me in the level of
technological knowledge required for my role as a tutor using these methods. As an
institution the University and department have been utilising e-mail formanyyears.so
few problems were encountered here. If faced with a group of students unfamiliar with
e-mail, then a supplementary session would be required to bring the students to the
required level.
6. Other Factors
6.1 Motivation
Motivation is a key component for a satisfying and successfulleaming experience. If the
use of C&IT can increase student motivation to engage with the subject matter then this
will benefit the student, tutor and ultimately the institution. The e-mail facility in this
module was provided to encourage student involvement in a discussion of the issues
raised in the course, motivating them to consider the legal principles at a more contextual
level. For the majority of the students the e-mail discussions provided the desired
motivation. However, a significant proportion of the students (15 per cent) did not use
the facility at all. Their opinion was that as the e-mail discussion was an 'optional'
addition to the course, and the set questions were discussed in the following weeks'
lecture, participation was not necessary because theywere capable of working through
the material independently.
6.2 Creation of a 'Permanent' Record
The e-mail system (barring any accidental erasure) produced a 'permanent' record of the
communications, allowing analysis of student participation and progress. However, this
analysis was hindered by the sporadic nature of the e-mail discussions. Incoming
messages did not arrive in a structured manner resulting in difficulty reconstructing the
thread of a discussion. The permanence of the record also promoted an increased
awareness of my own comments in the knowledge that such comments may be the
subject of future scrutiny. This gave the discussion a formality that would not normally
exist in a spoken conversation.
7. Summary Conclusions
By combining the e-mail discussions with the lecture sessions I was able to cover the
required material and introduce a greater level of student interaction. Although far from a
perfect solution the use of e-mail had definite benefits. A large proportion of the
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2004 - POYTON, DA. - TC3 - Business School Teaching
students took advantage of the e-mail facility and indicated approval of the ability to
'discuss' the issues between sessions. Many students would still have preferred 'face-toface' seminar sessions, but nevertheless felt that the problem questions and e-mail
approach enhanced the experience and aided their understanding of the legal principles
by placing them in context.
On the negative side, the e-mail approach did consume a considerable amount of my
time, which, on reflection, could have been reduced by the use of a more structured and
prescriptive approach. In its defence, the email system was very flexible and although,
once considered as a whole, the time demands appear substantial most of the e-mails
were read and replied to at opportune moments throughout the day without requiring a
prolonged halt in other activities at any particular time.
It is conceivable that the system encouraged students to ask a question and wait for a
response, rather than making further enquiries themselves. This is perhaps a case of tutor
'over-accessibility' and the students making the most of the resources available to them
rather than student lethargy. Once again a stricter structure to the e-mail discussions may
have reduced this problem.
Finally, the e-mail system sometimes led to a 'chain of e-mails', with each answer leading
to further questions. Often these questions simply required a re-wording of the original
answer to clarify a point. In addition to being time consuming, this highlighted one of the
main disadvantages of electronic communications - the inability to react to the facial
expressions and body language of the other person, which can often help inform the
tutor of the reception of their answer.
8. Module 2 - 'The Law relating to E-Commerce'. Semester 2
2000/2001
8.1 Outline
This new module was required to complement related modules on the 'Masters in
Management' program for students following the 'E-Commerce stream' of that program,
and as an elective course for MBA students. This module was also allocated eleven twohour sessions. Forty-five students enrolled on it.
8.2 Approach
The preferred approach for this module was the same as that discussed above. The
student number was lower but this did not have a significant impact on the practical
constraints (little or no space in the timetable for additional classes and restricted
resources). Once again, alternative approaches to course delivery had to be considered to
provide an appropriate level of interaction between myself, the students and the course
material.
Towards the end of Semester One I had been introduced, by the Aberystwyth Learning
and Teaching Online (ALTO) team, to a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called
WebCT and had volunteered to take part in the University's evaluation of this and other
VLE's. This platform would provide the opportunity to organise the contact sessions in a
manner more conducive to student-centred learning.
12
2004 - POYTON, DA. - TC3 - Business School Teaching
8.2.1 Weber (A Brief Overview)
Many will have already encountered the WebCT virtual learning environment, but to
summarise, the package provides the user with a platform and various tools to aid course
delivery. In the words of one of its creators, WebCT is designed to provide,
'a flexible, integrated environment where he [the tutor] could use the latest
technology to foster inquiry, encourage discourse and inspire collaboration'
(y/ebCT.com).
As for the final product it is also suggested that:
'Both the Standard and Campus Editions ofWebCT are user-friendly, give
faculty members the pedagogical flexibility to teach their own way, provide tools
to enhance interaction between students and faculty... '(y/ebCT.com).
The platform utilises a range of tools to achieve this goal. The standard format consists
of 'course cornJXYr1m1S' and 'course tools'. The course components comprise of the course
homepage (Figure 1). From here access can be gained to the course contents and
bibliography, the syllabus, a glossary and a search facility. The course tools include
communication, evaluation, and study tools. On this course the canmunicatWn tools used
were the discussion forum and e-mail facility. In the study tools section student
presentations were uploaded. The evaIuatWn tools have interactive quiz elements but on
this course only the assessed work and a sample examination paper were placed in this
section.
The Hamepage comprised of a welcome/introduction to the course (Figure 2), outlining
the course syllabus, aims and objectives and explanation of the WebCT approach, layout
and a link to the course content. The 'Welame' and 'Course Content pages included a brief
section on the objectives or outcomes relating to each topic. Other links included - a link
to resources and bibliographic lists both online and off, a link to the communication
tools, to study tools and to the evaluation tools.
13
2004 - POYTON, DA. - TC3 - Business School Teaching
~iew
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The primary objective was to use the platform as a focal point for the course with the key
elements of each topic and course materials delivered via the WebCT platform (Figure 2)
reducing the time required for formal lectures.
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Regulating Electronic
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Jurisdiction Goveming Law
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Electronic Commerce
and Consumer
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.
Figure 2: Welameand 0Jurse Content Page
The weekly contact sessions were given some flexibility. This allowed the timetable to be
re-structured (Table 1) introducing sessions in different formats and requiring student
participation at different levels, creating a varied learning environment. This structure
had the additional advantage of breaking the sessions down into smaller blocks,
enhancing concentration.
14
2004 - POYTON, DA. - TC3 - Business School Teaching
Session 1
Session 2
Session 3
Session 4
Session 5
Session 6
Session 7
Session 8
Session 9
Session 10
Session 11
Lecture
Task 1
Student group presentations on Task 1
Lecture
Lecture
Lecture
Task 2
Lecture
Task 2 Seminar sessions
Lecture
Task 3
Task 3 Seminar sessions
Lecture
Lecture
Task 4
Task 4 Presentations.
Feedback/Revision Session
Table 1: TimetdJle
The 'Tasks' would either require students to produce a group presentation for delivery
the following week or prepare material for a seminar session. These sessions were
designed to promote student discussion and develop the students' awareness of the
significance of the key legal principles associated with electronic commerce in a business
context.
9. Observations
9.1 Flexibility
In this module the introduction of C&IT was intended to produce flexibility in the
method of course delivery and it achieved this goal. The system provided an effective
means of delivering topic outlines, notes and materials, which released valuable contact
time for more student-centred sessions. The use of WebCT also released students from
temporal and geographical constraints to a greater extent than the e-mail system in use in
module one. With a variety of resources and materials accessible from a central portal the
students could readily navigate their way around the structured handouts and linked
resources, and unlike books or journals there were few limits on the number of students
able to use a resource at anyone time. In short, in addition to having an element of
discretion in when and where they considered and discussed the subject matter, they also
had flexibility in when and where they undertook their own research utilising the
resources integrated into the system. The WebCT platform provided a more 'complete'
platform for course delivery and student learning.
9.2 Interaction
In this module the introduction of C&IT replaced a portion of the passive delivery of
material by lecture and the time was used for sessions rich in student-tutor and studentstudent interaction. Issues relating to the lack of a physical presence associated with
electronic communications were reduced because the most interactive elements of the
course occurred during the contact sessions. The ability to e-mail the tutor and fellow
15
2004 - POYTON, DA. - TC3 - Business School Teaching
students remained but the frequency of use was considerably reduced with only 45 emails relating to the module being received. This had a notable impact on the demand
placed on tutor time. To an extent this can be anributed to the fact that WebCf can be
used in a quasi-interactive way. A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section and an
electronic Glossary allowed students to receive answers to queries automatically. The
students could access these elements either via links integrated into the notes or through
the 'stand alone' sections provided. On the course feedback questionnaire 90 per cent of
the students responded positively when questioned on the merit of the FAQ and
Glossary. The introduction of greater student participation in seminar and presentation
sessions was met with almost unanimous approval.
9.2.1 Discussion Forums and Chat Rooms
In the early stages of the course themes in the discussion forum and chat rooms were
introduced and some of the students participated. However, as the course progressed,
the use of these communication tools became negligible. It would appear that if the
students were going to discuss an issue, they would much rather discuss it face-to-face
with their peers over a coffee. In situations where this luxury may not be available, such
as distance learning, this tool may have greater value. The discussion tool of the WebCT
platform did, however, prove to be of some value to the students in an unforeseen way.
Several 'practical' difficulties were posted on the discussion forum and as a group the
students developed solutions. One particular problem, the uploading of student
presentations, led to an extensive discussion. The WebCT platform requires a rather
complex process of zipping and uploading the materials and then unzipping and
organising them on the server. In the postings the students with the superior computer
know-how explained the process to those having difficulty, indicating the development
of IT skills, whilst overcoming a technical problem.
9.3 Communication Skills
The development of wrinen and oral communication skills can be seen as an indirect
consequence of the use of WebCT rather than being attributed directly to the platform.
The flexibility introduced by the system, allowing for more student-centred sessions,
rather than the integral parts of WebCT, provided the opportunity for the development
of communication skills.
The student presentation sessions produced the most significant opportunity for the
development of wrinen communication skills. By requiring the posting of student
presentations onto the WebCT platform an element of formality was introduced into the
process. The majority of the notes were well wrinen in the knowledge that they would be
scrutinised by peers as well as the tutor. The seminars provided the opportunity for
students to practice and develop their oral communication skills and the delivery of
presentations also encouraged the development of visual communication skills.
Another advantage of the WebCT environment was the accessibility of resources and
materials during chat-room or forum discussions. Students could easily refer to notes or
materials without breaking off from the discussion for any significant time.
9 The system does have a fully interactive element in the quiz and self test facilities but these were not used
on this course.
16
2004 - POYTON, DA. - TC3 - Business School Teaching
9.3.1 Removal of Barriers to Communication
The increased confidence and lessening of inhibitions observed in the use of e-mail in
the first module were also evident on this module. In addition, the discussion forums and
chat rooms may have helped remove communication barriers that exist between
students. These barriers may be more readily associated with undergraduates but
nevertheless exist at postgraduate level. Where the students were having difficulties,
technical or academic, they appeared to be more comfortable posting a question on the
forum rather than approaching their peers directly.
9.3.2 <Cut and Paste' Mentality
With the rapid development of electronic resources the issue of plagiarism and the 'lesser
evil' of bad academic practice is of increasing concern. The potential exists for the
development of a 'cut and paste' mentality, stifling creativity and originality (Widdison,
2001). With the substantial reliance on electronic material in this module it was prudent
to introduce a system for identifying incidents of this practice. To this end electronic
copies of assignments and presentations were requested from the students. In this way
the submitted work could be compared with the electronic resources to highlight suspect
passages. There is specific software in development for this purpose lO , but in relation to
this course the only systems available were Internet search engines (Google or Yahoo,
for example) or the 'compare documents' tool in programs such as Microsoft Word.
These methods are relatively successful but their major drawback was that they are
prohibitively time-consuming with a group of any size. Nevertheless, the knowledge that
these methods may be in use should provide an impetus for students to carefully consider
their use of the work of other authors.
10. Technological Implications
10.1 Cost and Resource Implications
10.1.1 The Institution
For the institution the cost of licensing the software, purchasing additional hardware (i.e.
servers) and updating of communications infrastructure to ensure access for all students
and lecturers is a major financial concern. When the cost of access to materials and
obtaining copyright permissions is added the expenditure begins to escalate. Another
important implication is the cost of support and training for both lecturers and students.
Without relevant training and awareness of the value of the system, WebCT or any other
platform will become an expensive, under-used resource. On the positive side, costs to
the institution in terms of paper resources should be considerably reduced. The system
can also be used to establish distance-learning schemes, an important area offering
opportunities for considerable growth, which are traditionally very 'paper-reliant' and
expensIve to set up.
10.1.2 The Lecturer
The implications for the lecturer could also be added to the section above, with lecturer
time being a direct cost to the institution. As in the 'real' world the initial preparation and
10
See <hnp:l/www.jisc.ac.uk/mlelplagiarism/strandtwo.html> for an example of such software.
17
2004 - POYTON, DA. - TC3 - Business School Teaching
production of materials for this virtual environment consumes the largest portion of
lecturer time. However, this initial preparation has positive effects, which may outweigh
the initial input. First, after the initial set up, the course can be maintained, updated and
amended with ease, minimising the amount of preparation time required at the beginning
of each session. Second, the flexibility introduced into the delivery of the course by the
use of a virtual learning environment allows contact time to be used in a manner
designed to stimulate student centered learning and enhance the students' understanding
of the material. This second factor is of increasing importance where resources,
particularly the human resources, are scarce and student numbers are increasing.
10.1.3 The Student
If the student wishes to print out materials, such as notes and assignments then they
incur the additional cost of printing. This may appear to be an unfair burden, placed on
already financially stretched student bank balances. However, a balance can be struck that
reduces waste and cost to the institution without over-burdening the student, whilst at
the same time creating a 'greener' more resource aware group of individuals. By
providing the student with a 'free print quota' at the beginning of the year to account for
courses being delivered electronically, the burden is not completely passed to the student
and all parties should benefit, as well as the environment.
11. Development of IT skills (Added value) and 'Techno-Ievels'
The WebCT package promoted the use of IT at a fairly involved level. A higher 'baselevel' of computer literacy was required at the outset. This led to the development and
practice of more complex skills than simple e-mail. Although this initial base level was
higher than in the previous course, for the student with some experience of Windows
and 'point and click' user interfaces, WebCT provided a familiar environment to work
within. For students with limited experience, following an initial introductory session, the
use of WebCT promoted the development of an understanding of a common form of
interface utilised by most businesses and professionals today. The use of WebCT also
provided the opportunity to develop file management techniques with the uploading of
group presentations to the server. This required the zipping, uploading and unzipping of
the files. For some students this step produced difficulties, however, these difficulties led
to a substantial discussion theme in the WebCT Forum (discussed above).
From the tutor perspective the introductory session provided by a WebCT representative
was essential. Whilst managing the environment and the files is not particularly difficult,
it takes some time to become accustomed to the system, particularly the uploading and
manipulating of files on the server and the file format demands of the package. It is
foreseeable that this may prove an obstacle to its use by less IT acquainted staff.
12. Other Factors
12.1 Convenient Record of Student Progress
The WebCT environment has an integrated system to track student use and the regularity
of that use. This facility is useful to establish whether students have used or collected
particular materials, how often they access the system, and what pages they access. This
18
2004 - POYTON, DA. - TC3 - Business School Teaching
can be useful to flag up any potential problems and time the release of material to the
students' progression.
12.2 Convenience and Motivation
The WebCT platform provides a very convenient focal point for a module. Although,
arguably, we are teaching to the 'Nintendo' generation (Aikenhead, et al2000), perhaps
more influential is the fact that we are now teaching to a 'convenience generation'. In this
generation expectations are high when it comes to access to information. By using a
platform like WebCT to provide centralised access to course materials, electronic
resources, and the tutor, these expectations can be satisfied. The student response
indicated that this had a positive effect on their motivation to engage with the course
materials. The benefit for the lecturer is the convenience of a central platform from
which the course can be managed and he can interact with students and monitor their
progression through the module.
13. Summary Conclusions
The re-allocation of time, made possible by the use of WebCT, allowed for more
student-centred sessions resulting in the students becoming more deeply involved with
the subject; applying the legal principles to practical scenarios and developing a
contextual understanding of the law.
Having a central portal for the course and relevant materials provided a genuine
opportunity for students to follow their own particular learning styles, working at their
own pace and at the times best suited to them. This element of convenience was rated
very highly by all of the students in the course assessment questionnaire.
On the negative side, a significant number of students expressed the opinion that there
was too much 'computer involvement' in the course. On further investigation, during
informal conversation, this opinion appeared to be based upon the perception that they
were getting a 'lower value product' with contact with a lecturer being replaced by time at
a computer, which in their opinion was not comparable.
On the platform itself, WebCT is ready-made and relatively simple to use with a degree
of flexibility allowing lecturers to manipulate the materials to fit their pedagogical needs.
However, this is not without qualification, since the uploading and management of
materials requires more than a simple copy and paste approach. The students found the
system relatively easy to use, although certain skills required some development.
14. Conclusion
The collection of data is still in progress and at this stage only brief conclusions can be
drawn in relation to the objectives discussed in the introduction to this paper.
In the first course the use of e-mail provided the student with greater access to a
particular resource - the lecturer. However, the demand placed on the lecturer's time did
not result in the most efficient use of that valuable resource. With the use of WebCT in
the second semester, following the initial input to prepare the course, the demands on
19
2004 - POYTON, DA. - TC3 - Business School Teaching
the lecturers time were significantly reduced. In this course the use of C&IT facilitated a
more efficient use of lecturer and student time.
For the majority of students the use of e-mail did not require the development of new IT
skills but rather, utilised a form of communication familiar to most. WebCT however,
did require the students to become familiar with navigating their way around a typical
'windows-style' environment. For the students less familiar with this type of interface the
course introduced skills, which will be useful in the modem business environment.
From the feedback thus far, the impact of C&IT on the students learning experience can
be summarised as follows. In the first module the use of e-mail was intended to
compensate for the lack of time available for seminar sessions. The resulting discussions
were beneficial but the student experience was not comparable to that of a traditional
seminar. In the second module WebCTwas used to replace a 'passive' element of the
course delivery releasing time for seminar and presentation sessions. On reflection this
was a far more effective use of C&IT in module delivery. It facilitated a student-centred
learning approach rather than attempting to replace it. This approach retained the unique
elements or qualities of human interaction (in the physical presence of others) that have a
profound effect on the learning experience.
It is the evaluation of the use of C&IT and its ability to contribute to enhancing the
student learning experience that will be the focus of the final research paper. The student
feedback data and to a lesser extent the analysis of assessment performance will be used
to evaluate the approaches taken and the extent to which they contributed to enhancing
the student learning experience.
C&IT can clearly be used to enhance module delivery but, in this writer's opinion at
present, it is most effective when used to provide time for appropriate face-to-face
human interaction.
References
Aikenhead M, Hunter D, Williams C (2000), 'Teaching Law to the Nintendo Generation'
BILETA Can[erena; 2000, University of Warwick, UK.
Dreyfus, H L (2001), 'Haw Far is Dist:arue Leamingfrwn Edumtion' in On the Internet.
Routledge at p.27.
Gibbs, G (1995), 'Assessing Student Centred Courses' Oxford Centre for Staff
Development.
Grantham D (2000), 'Cybertort (Towards an Integrated Electronic Learning
Environment for Distance Learning in Law)' BILE TA Conjf:rence 2000, University of
Warwick, UK.
Kelman A (1997), 'Distance Learning at the LSE with Virtual Tutorials',
ill The ]ozmud ofInformation, Law and Technofuty (jIL T).
IT Review, 1997
<http://elj.warwick.ac.uk/jilt/sw197 11sel>.
Laurillard, D (1993), Rethinking University Teaching: A Framework for the Effective
Use of Educational Technology, London, Routledge.
20
2004 - POYTON, DA. - TC3 - Business School Teaching
Migdal, S and Cartwright M (2000), 'Electronic Delivery in Law: What Difference Does it
Make to Results?' [2000J 4, web Journal ofCurrent Legal Issues.
<http://webjcli.ncl.ac.ukI2000/issue4/migdal4.html> .
PaliwalaA, (2001) 'Learning in Cyberspace' (1) TheJournaloflnfi;rmation, Lawand
Technology (JILT), 2001 (1),
<http://www.law.warwick.ac.uk/jilt/01-11paliwala.html> .
Widdison R et al (1998), 'Quarts into Pint Pots? Electronic Law tutorials Revisited', 1998
(1) The Journal ofinformaiim, Law and Technology (fIL T).
<http://elj.warwick.ac.ukljilt/cal/98 lwidd/>.
21
2004 - POYTON, DA. - TC3 - Business School Teaching
Teaching Observation Sheet
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2004 - POYTON, DA. - TC3 - Business School Teaching
Observer's Comments
1. Teaching Characteristics: Preparation, selection of aim/objectives, statement of aim
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2004 - POYTON, DA. - TC3 - Business School Teaching
4. Student Responses: General class atmosphere, level of participation, attention and
interest. Student attitude and ability to carry out c1asswork. Were learning problems
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2004 - POYTON, DA. - TC3 - Business School Teaching
Course Member's Notes and Observation
(Please complete after your post-session discussion with your observer.)
1. How helpful were the comments about the observation?
2. In the light of the comments made are you likely to make any changes?
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25
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2004 - POYTON, DA. - TC3 SpeedQuest
- Business School
Teaching
for Windows
::\SQW\DATA\SQSMBEC1.116
47 Records
MBA501 O-Law Management
No.
Valid
Mean
st. Dev.
1
46
2.02
0.58
Text: THE MODULE
I found the SUbject of this module interesting
Frequency counts:
Strongly agree
7
No.
2
Valid
45
Text:
Frequency counts:
Strongly agree
14
No.
3
Valid
46
Text:
Frequency counts:
Strongly agree
23
No.
4
Valid
46
Text:
Frequency counts:
Strongly agree
16
No.
5
Valid
46
Text:
Frequency counts:
Strongly agree
14
No.
6
Valid
46
Text:
Frequency counts:
Strongly agree
13
Agree
31
Undecided
8
Disagree
o
Strongly disagree
o
Void
1
Mean
St. Dev.
1.80
0.63
The outline given in the FESS module handbook fairly represented
the content of the module
Agree
26
Undecided
5
Disagree
Strongly disagree
o
o
Void
2
Disagree
0
Strongly disagree
0
Void
1
Disagree
0
Strongly disagree
0
Void
1
Mean
St. Dev.
1.52
0.55
I regularly attended lectures and tutorials
Agree
22
Undecided
1
St. Dev.
Mean
0.58
1.72
I worked hard on this module
Agree
27
Undecided
3
Mean
St. Dev.
1.85
0.70
I can see the relevance of the subject matter of this module
Agree
26
Undecided
5
Disagree
1
Strongly disagree
o
Void
1
Mean
St. Dev.
1.87
0.69
I feel I have learnt a lot from this module
Agree
27
Undecided
5
Disagree
1
DEAN'S OFFICE
Report prepared on 12/15/00 at 12:13:44 PM
26
Strongly disagree
o
Void
1
2004 - POYTON, DA. - TC3 - Business School Teaching
SpeedQuest for Windows
47 Records
C:\SQW\DATA\SQSMBEC1.116
No.
Valid
46
Text:
7
Frequency counts:
Strongly agree
3
No.
8
Valid
46
Text:
Frequency counts:
Strongly agree
8
No.
9
Valid
46
Text:
Frequency counts:
Strongly agree
2
No.
10
Valid
44
Text:
Frequency counts:
Strongly agree
19
No.
11
Valid
46
Text:
Frequency counts:
Strongly agree
16
No.
12
Valid
44
Text:
Frequency counts:
Strongly agree
12
Mean
st. Dev.
3.00
1.03
READING
The reading list was too long
Agree
12
Undecided
16
Disagree
12
Strongly disagree
3
Void
1
Strongly disagree
1
Void
1
Mean
St. Dev.
2.13
0.81
The recommended reading was helpful
Agree
27
Undecided
9
Disagree
1
Mean
St. Dev.
2.98
1.06
The recommended reading was easily available in the Library
Agree
16
Undecided
13
Disagree
11
Strongly disagree
4
Void
1
Disagree
0
Strongly disagree
0
Void
3
St. Dev.
Mean
0.58
1.61
THE LECTURES
The lectures were well delivered
Agree
23
Undecided
2
Mean
St. Dev.
1.72
0.58
The lectures helped me to understand the subject matter
Agree
27
Undecided
3
Disagree
0
Strongly disagree
0
Void
1
Strongly disagree
1
Void
3
St. Dev.
Mean
2.36
1.08
The lectures contained too much information
Agree
11
Undecided
15
Disagree
5
DEAN'S OFFICE
Report prepared on 12/15/00 at 12:13:46 PM
27
2004 - POYTON, DA. - TC3 - Business School Teaching
SpeedQuest for Windows
C:\SQW\DATA\SQSMBEC1.116
No.
13
Valid
45
Text:
Frequency counts:
Strongly agree
5
No.
14
Valid
45
Text:
Frequency counts:
Strongly agree
12
No.
15
Valid
43
Text:
Frequency counts :
Strongly agree
5
No.
16
Valid
40
Text:
Frequency counts:
Strongly agree
2
No.
17
Valid
42
Text:
Frequency counts:
Strongly agree
3
No.
18
Valid
43
Text:
Frequency counts:
Strongly agree
12
47 Records
Mean
St. Dev.
2.93
1.12
The lecture room environment (temperature, ventilation, lighting)
was conducive to learning
Agree
10
Undecided
17
Disagree
9
Strongly disagree
4
Void
2
Mean
St. Dev.
2.11
0.86
The lecture room facilities (ie OHP, board etc) were good
Agree
18
Undecided
13
o
Void
2
Disagree
5
Strongly disagree
0
Void
4
Disagree
3
Strongly disagree
1
Void
7
Disagree
6
Strongly disagree
0
Void
5
Disagree
2
Strongly disagree
Mean
St. Dev.
0.84
2.65
SUPPORT TEACHING
The amount of support teaching (tutorials, seminars) was
insufficient
Agree
10
Undecided
23
St. Dev.
Mean
0.81
2.60
I found the support teaching helpful
Agree
17
Undecided
17
St. Dev.
Mean
0.83
2.60
Student participation was encouraged
Agree
17
Undecided
16
Mean
St. Dev.
2.00
0.82
I felt help was available if I needed it (ie staff were approachable)
Agree
21
Undecided
8
Disagree
2
DEAN'S OFFICE
Report prepared on 12/15/00 at 12:13:48 PM
28
Strongly disagree
Void
o
4
2004 - POYTON, DA. - TC3 - Business School Teaching
SpeedQuest for Windows
47 Records
C:\SQW\DATA\SQSMBEC1.116
No.
19
Valid
45
Text:
Frequency counts:
Strongly agree
8
No.
20
Valid
46
Text:
Frequency counts :
Strongly agree
13
\1'E; ~c{Ln
Mean
st. Dev.
2.07
0.65
COURSEWORK
The amount of work (essays, worksheets, exercises etc) was
sufficient
Agree
26
Undecided
11
Disagree
Strongly disagree
o
o
Void
2
Mean
St. Dev.
1.87
0.65
I found that doing the work helped me to understand the subject
better
Agree
26
Undecided
Disagree
Strongly disagree
7
o
o
Void
1
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Report prepared on 12/15/00 at 12:13:49 PM
29
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2004 - POYTON, DA. - TC3 - Business School Teaching
LAW FOR MANAGEMENT (MBM5010)
COMMENT
NUMBER
+VE
l. Concise handouts (with necessary information)
4. Interesting material
2. Related to business (in context)
3. Well delivered lectures
6. Lecturer
8. Use of visual aids (power point and overheads)
7. Good layout of lectures
5. Good use of the computer
9. Good overview
·VE
12
8
7
6
6
6
4
3
1
2. Less information (too much content)
1. More small group teaching (too big for masters level)
6. Lecture room was too small
10. Case summaries
13. Need for tutorials
3. Different assessment (coursework only)
4. Availability of books in the library
8. No double lectures
5. Two separate sessions instead of one
7. Shorter reading list
9. Lectures were too fast (especially without notes)
11. Not enough help on coursework
12. Not enough practical relevance
14. Different topics of interest in MBA compared to MIM
15. Online discussion for students and staff
STRANGE COMMENTS
Better textbooks, both books were horrible.
Less difficult coursework.
Tea and biscuits.
Taking the boring stuff out e.g.1aw.
30
8
7
4
4
4
2
2
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
2004 - POYTON, DA. - TC3 - Business School Teaching
EXTERNAL EXAMINERS' COMMENTS
From: Pam
Please find below comments of the External Examiner for your information.
Re E-Commerce Law M:MM50l0: Thank goodne~a relatively straightfornrard batch of scripts. I con.finn
the marks awarded by the intemal ex.aminers. V
Re E~Comm.crce Law LAA12820: Again, no changes. ~
31
2004 - POYTON, DA. - TC3 - Business School Teaching
Module
Identifier
MBMS010
Module Title
LAW FOR MANAGEMENT
Academic Year 2003/2004
Co-ordinator
Mr David A Poyton
Semester
Semester 1
Other staff
Mr Matthew Garrett
Course
delivery
Lecture
Assessment
2 hours per week
Assessment Type
Assessment Lengthl Details
Semester Exam
2 Hours Two thirds of overall mark
Semester Assessment
One third of overall mark
Proportion
67%
33%
Module Outline (Lecture Themes)
The following areas of law are covered:
• introduction to the English Legal System (including an examination of the relationship between civil
and criminal law) and the interrelationship of domestic and European Union Law and the international
context
• concepts in Contract Law
• principles of Employment Law
• the Law of Business Organisations - sole traders, partnerships, companies
• duties and liabilities of company directors and partners
• aspects of the law relating to business finance
Brief description
This single module course assumes no preVious study of law. The course is aimed at meeting the needs of
students who wish to gain an understanding of some of the main legal issues which affect business
managers. The course is designed to stimulate a student's understanding of both the practical and theoretical
aspects of the subject and is fashioned to encourage the attainment of legal skills and knowledge. The forum
for debate and argument is very much alive within this subject and it is a fundamental aim of the course to
promote independent thought.
Notes
This module is at CQFW Level 7
32
2004 - POYTON, DA. - TC3 - Business School Teaching
Module
Identifier
MMM5010
THE LAW OF E-COMMERCE
Academic Year 2003/2004
Co-ordinator Mr David A Poyton
Semester
Semester 2
Course
Lecture
11 Hours
Module Title
delivery
Seminars /
Tutorials
Assessment
11 Hours
Assessment Type
Assessment Length/Details
Semester Exam
2 Hours
Semester Assessment
2000 word essay
Proportion
66%
33%
Learning outcomes
On completion of the module, students should be able to critically evaluate the legal issues raised by
electronic commerce in the context of the business environment. Students, with no previous legal experience
will be able to assess and coment informatively on the legal implications of electronic marketing, electronic
contracting, electronic sales to consumers as well as related data protection and intellectual property issues.
Aims
The main aims of the module are:
1) To introduce and develop an understanding of the key legal issues raised by electronic commerce, in
relation to business and management;
2) To develop the students knowledge of the legal implications of conducting business in the electronic
environment; and
3) To complement the knowledge as well as practical and technical skills obtained from the related business
and e-commerce modules on the MSc Econ (e-Commerce) programme with a fundamental awareness of the
law regulating to electronic commercial practice within the UK and Europe.
Reading Lists
Books
ran L1oyd. (2000) Legal Aspects ofthe Information Society. Butterworths
Chissick and Kelman. (2000) The Law ofE-Commerce. Sweet & Maxwell
E Macdonald and D Rowland. (2000) Information Technology Law. Cavendish
Notes
This module is at CQFW Level 7
33

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