It is becoming increasingly apparent that the traditional business curriculum is failing to provide many of skills that potential employers seek: higher-order thinking skills, applied problem solving techniques, and the ability to work in dynamic cross-functional environments. As much of the change in the business environment can be attributed to developments in Information Technology, it is possible that this same technology might provide a possible solution. This paper introduces a computer-based approach to enhancing the venerable case-based teaching method. Specifically, the analysis and discussion that are used in the case-based method are examined and a multi-level model of case discussions is presented. These levels extend the traditional case notion to include integrated cross-functional cases and virtual reality simulations. The goal of these higher order case discussions would be to more closely simulate the actual conditions of the topic company and to compress the time required to gain significant business experience. In an effort to integrate computer technology with richer case discussions, an applied coordination and communication system has been developed. This system seeks to overcome some of the existing barriers to more traditional classroom activities by allowing for on-going discussions that emphasize the company's operations as a whole rather than just a single functional area. In these exercises, students may move between discussion threads in a seamless fashion and seek to identify how decisions made in one area of the firm will likely impact related functions. The contribution of this work is the development of a theoretical foundation for the development of educational and vocational training systems. Specifically, a framework for multi-participant interaction in a simulated environment is presented.
Rathnam, Sukumar; Kalakota, Ravi; Whinston, Andrew B.; Hashim, Safaa; and Butterfield, Jeff, "DEVELOPING INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY FOR AUGMENTING CASE DISCUSSIONS: CURRENT STATUS AND FUTURE DIRECTIONS" (1992). ICIS 1992 Proceedings. 49.