Please tell us a bit about your background. Also, what inspired you to work with Real Time Cases?
I have a varied background with about 15 years in Business and 12 years in Higher Education. My business background includes working as an Area Manager, Regional Manager, National Trainer, and Sales Representative (retail, outside sales). My Higher Ed background includes teaching face-to-face and online, which includes courses that last 4 weeks up to 15 weeks, as well as CBE and personalized learning. I’ve also been involved with curriculum development for most of the past 8 years as Program Director for a BA and MA program, and reached Full Professorship.
Personally, I am a genealogist in Irish and American genealogy and am a graduate of the National Institute of Genealogical Studies with a PLCGS (Professional Learning Certificate in Genealogical Studies).
Both professionally and on a personal level, I have been involved with research projects, presentations, and publications. I am also a published book author.
Real Time Cases was appealing to me because they work with video cases and real companies. I often say our cases are with real people, real companies, and real challenges. This is exactly what students are looking for today. They want to learn about what’s happening now, how they can apply their learning to today’s challenges. The company is wonderful to work for because of their culture and genuine care of its people.
How might you describe the variety of topics covered by Real Time Cases?
We have a wide variety of Business cases that are categorized as Undergraduate Lower Level, Undergraduate Upper Level, or Graduate (Masters) Level. These are categorized based on Bloom’s Taxonomy (the modern version) and the context of the case. All of our objectives are written with Bloom’s Taxonomy in mind, as well as the questions included with each case. Many of our companies have multiple cases and we usually offer a progression with each company. For instance, one company may have a case at each level associated with it. This offers the opportunity for students to follow a company throughout a program.
The topics we offer provide a wide spectrum. For instance, we currently have a number of disciplines, such as Finance, Entrepreneurship, Management, Operations, etc., with each category offering a multitude of topics. As an example, in Management, we currently offer topics in Human Resources, Org Behavior, Strategy, etc., with key focus areas associated with each topic. In looking at Human Resources, we currently offer Training, Motivation, Employee Development, Recruitment Strategy, Team Development, Work Life Balance, and a variety of other topics.
Each case presents the professor with three theories. For instance, with Team Development cases, professors would see Organizational Culture Theory, Leading Virtual Teams, Johari Window, Geert Hofstede, Generational Theory, or McClelland’s Acquired Needs Theory. We are constantly adding to our case library so our cases will be continually updated. If a professor has a need they aren’t seeing in our case library, we’d want them to please let us know! We are happy to work with our professors to ensure they receive the content they need.
As an educator yourself, and also as the lead author for the Case Study with Teaching Notes, how would you describe the unique benefit of that resource?
We excel at providing quick information. Students and professors have less time now than ever before to review materials. Students are looking for quick videos, concise readings, mobile friendly content, as well as real and interesting cases. We provide all of that. Our case videos are brief, often five minutes or less with our company background videos at about 10-minutes or less. The Case Prompt videos themselves are short and succinct; no fluff. We provide faculty with three (sometimes more) suggested theories to apply to each case, along with a Theory Application section. For an asynchronous situation, professors could easily copy the information for a theory, with questions provided, into a forum prompt in their LMS system. Those theory discussions could last three weeks in a course, depending on the needs of the class and professor.
Our assignments are also varied. For instance, we provide suggestions for individual assignments (business report, essay, presentation) and team assignments (business report or presentation). These can easily be flipped from a team assignment to an individual assignment; or, from a paper to a presentation.
The main thing to remember is that our cases provide suggestions with theories, discussions, and assignments. These are not set in stone. Our cases provide flexibility to the professor to rearrange as best fits their needs for their students and learning requirements.
Do you have cases that are good for one day? for one semester? We know that many instructors are curious to learn about time commitments.
Our cases can be used in a variety of ways; it’s all about the needs of the student and professor. While we provide a Four-Week Sample Plan with each case, professors can use parts of the case, such as questions for a discussion across one or multiple weeks, the theory section to introduce something new to students, and end the learning process with the case assignment. We offer enough material with each case that a professor could easily extend over eight weeks, or double each week for deeper learning and extend the case for 16 weeks. For instance, one theory could be introduced Week 1 and then applied during Week 2; that would allow a case last 16 weeks.
Many of our companies have more than one case. This provides a unique opportunity for professors to bundle company cases in a capstone course. Or, a professor may choose to bundle by topic, which provides a variety of companies for students and different perspectives. For instance, a business capstone course may include management, finance, human resources, or marketing, as we have cases that fit all of those categories. Another example is using multiple management cases from our case library for a management capstone course. This provides students with the variety of management perspectives of companies today applied to different types of case challenges. This offers a well-rounded capstone of management, versus one function or theory of management.
How accessible or ADA-compliant are these materials?
All of our videos are transcripted and we are in the process of adding closed captioning to all videos. The transcripts are available in PDF form. Since there is no interactivity as you would have with a simulation, our materials would be ADA-compliant. The materials can also be accessed via tablet or mobile phone.
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.