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The Function of Content

With LCT, content is used in the learning process, not covered in the context of the TL. This does not infer that the content, base knowledge, is not covered. It simply means that students do not first memorize the base knowledge for later recall. Instead, students constructively examine, explore, review, and assess content. It is extremely interesting to see students strongly arguing for the most important step in an ERM process even when there may not actually be a hierarchy. Creating and defending an argument for the most important step, what risk stands out, or what is the most challenging step requires a cognitive reasoning process and a subtle incorporation of base knowledge and linkage to previously learned material – the LCT version of content coverage. With LCT, the content learning process "develops learning skills" and "promotes self-awareness of learning," and students "experience it firsthand" (Weimer 2002, p. 51-52).

The amount of content covered is a possible concern for those more inclined toward a TL. However, contrary to expectations, experience suggests that more content is covered, not less, as students explore and assess content versus memorization.

As shown in the Appendix, Example #10, Chapter 18: "Managing Financial Risk," is a good illustration of more coverage. The TL approach gives an example of the trade-offs, costs, and benefits of hedging with futures contracts, often starting with a simple natural hedge. Here, the student records the respective payoffs to long and short positions when prices change. Students memorize the transactions and expect to replicate the steps with different numbers, and maybe even a different futures contract for a challenging TL course. With LCT, students first view a short video about futures markets (cmegroup.com/), and then review the listing of available futures contracts, selected quotes, and specifications. LCT scenarios in which futures contracts could be applied quite often begin with weather futures, as students' curiosity is awakened when they imagine rain, snow, and tornadoes, not the TL farmer and cereal producer with corn futures. With LCT, students first suggest, appraise, and associate scenarios with futures contracts, and then calculate payoffs given the contract specifications. As noted previously, the LCT teacher needs to be prepared to assist with any futures calculation.

A second example in the Appendix of expanded content is Example #13, Chapter 23: "Academic Research on Enterprise Risk Management." In a TL course, students would memorize the articles and the findings of each, with the goal of restating the findings on an exam. With LCT, critiquing, appraising, and theorizing often lead to discussions of hypotheses. For example, why is there an expected relationship between ERM and "organizational slack" or "asset opacity" (Fraser and Simkins 2010, p. 426)? This level of hypothetical discussion is considerably beyond "Who found what?"

 
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