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Promoting online engagement at HULT International Business School

Ananda Verheijen
July 29, 2020
Business & Management
Class Size
Instructor Workload
Learner Workload


The tool was used in four different MBA courses related to economics, business studies, and political science. The courses each run for 14 weeks, usually with an instructional session earlier in the week focused on transferring knowledge and then a participation-oriented session at the end of the week.

Interactive Presentation was used to stimulate more student engagement in the discussions during class. In these courses the students are international, non-native English speakers of mixed ages and (language) abilities. The tool was used to provide students with an equal opportunity to contribute during presentations and ask/answer questions about the course content.

Constructive alignment

Learning objectives

  • Students are able to demonstrate their comprehension of key theoretical concepts according to the particular course.
  • Students are also able to analyse, explain, and give arguments about topics covered throughout the courses.
  • A secondary objective is that students are able to practice and improve their writing and language skills with regards to formulating logical and coherent arguments and analyses.

Learning activities

Students are asked to answer a handful of multiple choice questions over the course of the presentation, testing their recall and understanding of basic theories and principles in the course material.

Open questions during the presentation require students to analyse and evaluate theories before answering up to around 10 questions per presentation, most of which were multiple choice. The open questions were also used as a starting point for class discussions.

These learning activities are based on Bloom’s Taxonomy at the following levels:

  • Understanding basic principles of economics, business and politics.
  • Analysing theories and ideas within these disciplines.
  • Evaluating perspectives and arguments in writing.

Assessment of learning outcomes

  • As the course is running for the first time with inclusion of Interactive Presentation, so far only formative checks have taken place to gauge whether the learning outcomes have been met.
  • Take-home quizzes and classroom observations have been used thus far to determine both student engagement and conceptual understanding of course materials.

Notable outcomes

  • Higher ability students were eager to show and tell their working and contributions to questions and at the same time middle-ability students were given the space to express their thoughts.
  • Sometimes, lower ability students were reported as doing “just enough to count”.
  • The instructor tended to use no more than 10 questions in a 120-minute lecture, noting that interest wanes after a long time spent on the same sort of task.
  • A large number of students’ responses to questions in the Interactive Presentation could be analysed for insight into how students were finding the material.
  • The instructor noted that after integrating the tools more time is spent on student activities and less time on covering material. In this sense there is balance to be struck between richness of content and interactivity.
"I found that we could now compel students to engage in a way that we hadn’t yet managed before using the tool." - Andrew Wright, Lecturer, HULT International Business School

The role of the instructor

  • Before class, the instructor prepares materials by choosing which content to address and by creating questions to compliment the powerpoint presentation.
  • During class the Interactive Presentation is given with the instructor prompting answers to multiple choice and open questions from the class.
  • Students’ answers can then be used as the basis for in-class discussions, with the instructor having an overview of students’ contributions available for oversight during the process.

Added value of technology

  • Everyone is compelled to participate in the discussions and overall, less effort is needed to get all students involved.
  • Lower and middle ability students who would not normally take a lead role were encouraged to have their voice heard in this open learning environment.

Possible variation

The instructor noted that a sizeable proportion of students had failed to study the course literature before class. The Interactive Document or Comprehension tools can be used to integrate mandatory questions or commenting in texts. This could compel students to engage with these materials at home and therefore be able to contribute more during class.

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