A Video-Tape/Computer Learning Experience

Morton Cotlar, Ralph H. Sprague, Jr.

Abstract


"A new method of case presentation has been developed which overcomes common inadequacies of the written case by adding video-tape, computer programs, and computer data files. These other forms of media are used instead of hoping that print alone will excite the student into depth analysis. Students form their own opinions based on tapes of interviews with executives instead of depending on the case-writer to describe behavioral aspects of the situation. The case allows the students to gain the experience of extracting information from computer files instead of using digested data of the real situation from a neatly summarized table. The credibility of executives’ declarations is exposed for students by face-to-face confrontation, instead of losing this key information. Students using this method in a pilot case (Paradise Products Company) get a more realistic experience in situation analysis, symptom identification, problem finding, alternative development, and trial implementation. The students get their first exposure to the case from written introductory material. They “sit-in†on interviews with key people in the case to gain deeper understanding of the situation. They process computerized data to examine the scope of the problems they define. They try-out solutions by translating their recommendations into simulation programs. Finally, the students get a demonstration of the role technology can play in business problem analysis."

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