An exploratory study investigating postgraduate students studying for the Chartered Institute of Marketing diploma in marketing and their preferred modes of learning and study

Paul Ankers, M. Wilman

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


    The authors have been involved in teaching on the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) Postgraduate Diploma (now re-titled the Professional Postgraduate Diploma) Analysis and Decision paper (case study, now re-titled Strategic Marketing in Practice). The pressures faced by mature, professional students in maintaining a balance between work, home and study prompted the authors to undertake a study to ascertain whether the teaching methods employed on the case study are the most efficacious in terms of learning styles and work-life balance. The case study requires a great deal of student participation and group work and not all students enjoy, or benefit from, this approach. Those who do not engage in-group work tend to experience a higher risk of failure in the examination. Teamwork, interaction and peer knowledge transfer are all-important aspects of success. Those who benefit most are able to link theory with experience to provide comprehensive analysis and solutions to case problems. The potential value of the case study method of teaching has been demonstrated by leading practitioners such as the London Business School and Harvard Business School (Christensen & Hansen, 1987, cited in Kreber, 2001). Gross Davis (1993) summarises research into good case study practice as: - A good case study tells a story with a thought-provoking issue - Contains elements of conflict which promotes empathy with the main characters - Lacks an obvious straight-forward answer or solution - Requires students to develop a strategy and make a decision - Group work is important in case study analysis and development The output from classroom based case study work depends strictly upon student input and how active a role they are prepared to play. According to Leenders, Erskine and Leenders (1997, p7) to achieve positive outcomes students must: - Help by teaching others through plenary sessions - Actively participate - Take risks - Learn from instructors and classmates. Questionnaires were distributed to 60 current and ex-SBS students who had studied since October 2000. Twenty-eight (28) completed questionnaires were returned to support the research. Structured questions utilised the Likert scale technique enabled respondents to express degrees of relative preference (Easterby-Smith et al, 2002). Respondents were also asked to rank preferred learning modes across the range of CIM modules studied. The data highlights that evenings only, or afternoons and evenings, are an acceptable mode of study to the cohort. On line/distance learning is also shown to be an acceptable mode. However, the most preferred mode of study is evenings only. Students’ least preferred modes of learning were intensive courses, online or distance study and in-company courses.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - May 2007
    EventBusiness, Management, Accountancy and Finance Annual Conference 2007 - Birmingham, United Kingdom
    Duration: 2 May 20074 May 2007


    ConferenceBusiness, Management, Accountancy and Finance Annual Conference 2007
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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