Kai Peters raises the issue of research on education and how could we measure the impact of the learning process on students. Business schools are probably the segment of higher education where impact is more closely monitored. This is reflected, for example, in the sophisticated systems to evaluate teaching performance at our schools or the processes in place to implement feedback from recruiters that hire our graduates. As regards executive education, some schools, along with specialized consultants and human resource departments, have developed mechanisms to measure the impact of tailored programs in the actual performance of attendees and the company itself. There are systems, with some limitations however, that can evaluate the return on sales or the increase in productivity attributable to educational programs.
At the same time, some of the prevalent methodologies implemented at MBA programs have become paradigmatic. The case method, for example, has the virtue of linking theory and practice by the application of concepts and tools to particular business situations, while at the same time allowing for the development of valuable skills of participants. Teamwork has also been fostered at our schools, preparing students for the working environments they will encounter in real life.
Another example of the constant search for suitable learning methods at business schools is the ongoing debate about how to instill a social responsible attitude in our students. If you just search in Google the item “can ethics be taught” you will find over 3 million entries, many of them referring to management education. I hope that this particular debate is already producing fruitful results. We see, for instance, an increasing number of MBA graduates who engage in social entrepreneurship.
Talking about research on educational methodologies, a major challenge we now face is how to take advantage of the opportunities that technology is offering us to optimize the learning process. All ideas are welcome here.