Energizing the Classroom: How Real Time Cases and Business Professors are Engaging Students with Experiential Learning

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Virginia Tech students make an impact in the world—and Real Time Cases helps to bring real business knowledge into the Hokie classroom to do just exactly that.

Real Time Cases exposes students to challenges companies are looking to solve today. Together, Pamplin College of Business and Real Time Cases prepares tomorrow’s leaders with today’s challenges, bridging the gap between higher education and the professional work environment.

Professors at Virginia Tech know experiential learning sits at the core of student learning. They’ve recognized the disadvantages of using outdated traditional business cases, both in the classroom as well as in preparing students for the real world. As the skill gap widens, it’s become increasingly important to replicate workforce experiences in college curricula. So far, the Business Department at Virginia Tech has been seeing great results from the partnership.

Here’s what the faculty have to say after using Real Time Cases:

1. Increased student engagement

Not only are students paying more attention to the business cases, they are also becoming more involved with their learning. Because students see that their feedback has value and that they can make a difference in solving the company’s current issue, they are more motivated to actively participate.

“It’s really fun to watch the students be energized by this type of discussion. Frankly, we’ve had other classroom discussions where we talked about textbook material, and those went well, but the bottom line is that when you have a case like this and we’re asking them to think, then they’re wide open and very enthused about their ideas, and you can see that they’re proud.”

  • Barry O’Donnell, Assistant Professor of Practice, Department of Management

2. More relevant classroom material

Professors constantly face the challenge of providing relevant materials for their students. With the ever-changing business landscape, companies that are included in traditional cases are often nonexistent or even obsolete by the time students begin working on it. With Real Time Cases, companies that are confronting real issues right now are brought into the classroom with narrations from business leaders in a video format, providing a live and current experience for the students.

“I’ll either use Real Time Cases or articles from two weeks ago on Wall Street Journal or Forbes. I’m not going to wait for paper cases, because by the time it gets out, it’s too old.”

  • David Lohr, Adjunct Professor, Department of Management

3. Better preparation for real-world jobs

The video-based activities from Real Time Cases are based on the most pressing challenges business leaders and their companies are facing in the 21st century. By studying and working on these industry challenges, students are better equipped to solve similar problems that they’ll encounter when they graduate. Professors have also noticed that because these are real and current problems, students often experience more accountability and motivation to take these seriously, because they can have a significant impact on the outcome.

This is experiential learning at its finest. Students are not reading history, but actually end up helping write history for these companies in the cases.

Original transcript from this video

To learn more about how Real Time Cases can help you engage your students, book a 10-minute demo with one of our helpful representatives today.

Author Byline:

Yunzhe Zhou helps people bridge the skills gap through experiential learning – by creating 30 day implementation projects. You can check out her writings on accelerated learning and experiments on life + work here.