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Monday, November 24, 2008

Business 101: Sustainability and Subsistence Markets

Madhu Viswanathan is a Faculty Fellow at the Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership, so I have gotten to know him and his work through that connection. I admire his research and the not-for-profit that he founded. Furthermore, his work is the basis for the new Business 101 course.

This morning I received an e-mail about the Business 101 Poster Session. I will attend. I wish that my students next semester in "Spanish & Entrepreneurship" would have the opportunity to attend. Not only is it important to see the content of the Business 101 students' posters, but I'm more and more convinced that poster sessions can be a more valuable learning tool for our students than the typical research paper. Why?
  • Students need to utilize all four skills--listening, speaking, reading and writing--to produce the posters and participate in the poster session.
  • Effective communication of your ideas in a poster more closely mimics the kinds of communication our students already do and will certainly do on the job after they graduate.
  • A poster requires the same research skills as a paper.
  • They must be able to distill their message for the poster and expand upon it in a convincing way during the poster session itself.
  • Someone will actually read the poster! Usually, only the professor reads a paper.

My colleauge at UNC, Darcy Lear, has done a lot of work to effectively utilize poster sessions in conjunction with service learning, business Spanish & Spanish & Entrepreneurship courses.

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