Undergraduate group vivas – oxymoronic or a path towards criticality?

James Brucee Johnston, Jane Kerr, Alan Tait, Richard Lynch

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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    In recent years, some scholars have been critical of the learning experience of management undergraduates, especially the lack of an ability to think critically (see, for example, Antonacopoulou , 2010; Clegg, 200; Errington and Bubna-Litic, 2015;Mingers , 2000). Such papers have reviewed the content, expectations, assessment and limitations in the ‘typical’ educational experience of undergraduate Business and Management students and their associated learning materials. The criticisms include the lack of critical thinking, the stance of students who view textbooks as being definitive and the lack of informed reflection on what is being learned. Such scholarly judgements are important for the on-going improvement of the higher education learning experience in management studies. However, it can be argued that they are oxymorons in the sense that the underpinning assumption is that it is always possible to improve the student learning experience (Errington and Bubna-Litic, 2015).


    Rather than engage in further critical comment, the purpose of this paper is to present the first evidence of a new learning approacht o the enhancement of the critical thinking ability of higher education students in management studies. Specifically, the aim of this developmental paper is to outline and explore the impact of Group Interactive Vivas (GIVs) on both students and tutors as part of the learning experience of students on a Level 9, degree year Strategic Management module at the University of the West of Scotland (UWS). Our early evidence shows that the approach has proved both beneficial for students and tutors. The paper therefore presents a useful advance in the educational armoury of academics to overcome the criticisms highlighted above.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationBAM 2017 Conference Proceedings
    PublisherBritish Academy of Management
    ISBN (Print)978-0-9956413-0-3
    Publication statusPublished - 7 Sept 2017
    EventBritish Academy of Management Conference 2017 - Warwick Business School, Warwick
    Duration: 5 Sept 20177 Sept 2017


    ConferenceBritish Academy of Management Conference 2017


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