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Max Example is a student in the master programme Business Information Systems. Today he attends the lecture Business Knowledge Engineering. Max and his two colleagues, Edgar Busy and Bill Efficient are expected to write 2 assignments. First, they need to summarize the most central aspects of the lecture and send it to Dr Precious. They start with the assignment already during the lecture: Max accesses with his laptop the web-based collaboration tool of FHNW named “Seamless”. He opens a new, password-protected group and invites Edgar Busy and Bill Efficient to the group. Sitting on different places in the lecture hall, they write down important aspects of the lecture: they describe a complex process of financial accounting in a small and medium enterprise. Edgar Busy jots the most important process steps. His writing is visible in real time. While Edgar is adding further process steps, Max completes the textual description of one process step.
Back at home Max starts to work out the second assignment: a case study that requires the group to analyse and graphically design a similar process in a different company, and to present it in class next time. After logging in with his VPN he re-accesses the group space without entering the password. He sees that Bill Efficient is currently online (by a green bar beyond Bill’s avatar) working on the assignment, too. For the presentation of next week, Bill has created a new PowerPoint presentation: On the first slide he has graphically depicted the whole process and on the subsequent slides he describes each process step in more detail.
However, he feels that Bill has chosen mistakenly the wrong process sequence. While he re-arranges the individual process steps at the first slide, he writes in the chat-section a short notice: “sequence appears to be wrong – will correct“. However, Bill, who is editing slide 3, does not understand and answers: “??? is the same sequence like today in lecture“?? In order to solve their disagreement, he clicks on Bill’s avatar icon and selects “audio conference”. While he is typing and changing the text he plugs in his headset and opens the discussion “Hi Bill, how is it going? Thought to get in touch with you this way. There must be misunderstanding with respect to this section, please take a look, do you see my curser? While Max is speaking, he turns on the highlight curser/mouse function […]” //Alternative, he points with his finger on the touchscreen, and this is visualised immediately by on Bills screen. Finally Max copies the presentation slide in the public course folder which is available to the whole class.
Anneliese Mayr studies part time in the second semester Business Administration. Today’s lesson is hold in the form of a webinar (on SWITCHinteract). The students attend the virtual classroom from any place with internet access. Anneliese has booked a small meeting room at her office so that she won’t be distracted from calls. Lecturer Green begins the online-lessons with a short introduction based on video-conferencing. He presents goals and gives instructions how to handle a case: students are required to elaborate in teams a marketing- and roll-out plan for a new product of “CulturalProductions”, an Event-Company in Basle. Then the students are divided into teams (this time the groups are predefined by Green) and work individually in so called break-out- rooms on SWITCHinteract where each group individually brainstorms, take notes and jointly prepares their powerpoint presentation, using video-conferencing, whiteboard and screen-sharing. Anneliese works in a team with four colleagues. After half an hour of brainstorming and structuring, Green joins the break-out-room. He reads and discusses the points they have written down, and he also answers questions from Anneliese. After he has left the virtual room, the students finish their presentation and upload it to SWITCHinteract. Green calls the students back to the main room of SWITCHinteract where Anneliese presents the plan of her team, again using videoconferencing.
The lecture “project management” requires teams of students to work on a business case. Carla, Jean and Beat create a joint folder on the FHNW-Learning Management System (LMS) “Modul” in the online course “project management 2013”. The team folder “Modul” is automatically replicated in the local file-systems on the laptops of Carla, Jean and Beat.
In a next step, Carla works on her laptop in the University’s library. In the local file system “My Documents” => “Module” => “program management 2013” she creates a word-document for the qualitative evaluation and an excel-file for the financial calculation of the return on investment. On her way home in train she is already performing the first calculations in Excel. As soon as she is home and online, the data is synchronized; the documents appear in the local file-systems of Jean and Beat. The next morning Jean is continuing with the work of Carla, revising some of the returns. The files are also visible for all the participants of “project management” on “Module”; but they do not have editing rights.
Caroline studies in the 4th semester in the Bachelor of Business Administration. In the context of a five-month project she is working in a team together with Ernst Fröhlich and Hilde Knecht on a task for the Shoe store Befast. They need to elaborate a feasibility study for a new shop in Basel and then present it to the client and a jury.
Ernst is very busy with other assignments and forgets his task. One day before the meeting, he receives an automatic reminder in the form of an email and a pop-up in his mail/calendar client. Upon having logged in, he sees that Caroline and Hilde have already finished their tasks. He performs an immediate search on the Internet and writes the results in the common document, below the sources of Caroline and Hilde. Then he clicks in the space on “task completed”. Caroline, who has subscribed to notifications on all document changes receives an automatic e-mail.
In the meeting they work with the documents directly on “Seamless”. The findings of their searches are consolidated, converted as a pdf. The final pdf is then moved to a new folder “final documents” to be accessible also for the teacher and to a representative of Befast. Both receive a notification of the new document.
Mark is going to start Business Administration Study at FHNW in a few months’ time. One day he finds a letter of FHNW with the login to his future student-account as well as an invitation for a preparatory online accounting course; a subject where many of the students have little prior knowledge and are, accordingly, facing problems at the beginning of their study. He logs onto the platform “Modul”, and subscribes to the “Business Administration Preparatory Course – Accounting”. Once done, he shortly watches the video-welcome message of the Dean and then he starts reading the lecture slides for self-study. After each slide set he responds to tests with quiz questions and gets an automatic feedback. However, he struggles to understand the “standards of valuation”. He navigates to the course collaboration space that includes chat and forum; a space where tutors, students of the second and fourth semesters, can be asked for help. Mark sees that Andreas, the student tutor, who is currently logged in. He begins to chat:
“Hi Andreas, I’m Mark. I will start business administration this autumn. I have a question concerning accounting. I do not understand the concept of “standard of valuation”. Can you explain it to me? Thank you!
Andreas responds immediately:
“Hi Mark, welcome to the Club. This concept is in fact quite complex. The standards of valuation are connected to commercial law and must be applied on single assets and debts according to the principle of single valuation. […] For questions like these I strongly recommend you visit the online-version of “Gabler’s Wirtschaftslexikon”. If you have further, concrete questions, just let me know. I normally respond within one day. ”
Mark consults the recommended website and looks up further concepts. While this helps him to get a better overview, he is still confused. Accordingly, he agrees with Andreas to set up a Webinar, using SWITCHinteract, with Andreas the next week. They engage in a video-conference, where Andreas answers the questions of Mark.
Epilogue: As Andreas notices that this question is asked again and again he decides to create a new FAQ (Frequently Asked Question.
Stefanie Studer starts her bachelor study at FHNW in Business Administration. In the first week she visits an introductory course for the FHNW learning management system (LMS) ‘Modul’. She receives an instruction of how to set up an e-portfolio, called “My E-Portfolio), where certificates and other outputs from her studies can be documented to be re-used at a later point in time in her career, after having left FHNW. In the fifth semester Stefanie prepares in a team of three a social-media-concept for the clothes-label ‘Soie’. The concept needs to be presented in the context of a project forum, a public FHNW event for FHNW employees and business partners. As she knows that she’d like to work in Social-Media-Management in future, she transfers both the presentation-slides and the case study from Modul to her “E-Portfolio” by clicking the button “Add to my E-Portfolio”. She limits the access by choosing the document status “private”.
Stefanie Studer is sitting for a job interview in the office of Annabelle Décleor, editor-in-chief of the magazine “Live natural”. Mrs Decléor wants to know more about the social-media-concept that Stefanie has prepared for “Soie”. Stefanie offers to show the presentation. Using her laptop she logs on the e-portfolio site “myportfolio.fhnw.ch”. She opens the project presentation and briefly explains the main points. After the interview she provides Annabelle Décleor temporarily restricted online-access (for 2 weeks) not only to the social media concept of Soie but also to two other marketing case studies. […]. A few days later Stefanie is offered the position as a social-media-manager at “Live natural”.
As Albert Zweistein wants to study accounting, he is looking for a school that offers as much practice-orientation as possible. Searching for an appropriate university, he types the terms “University”, “Lecturer Switzerland”, “Controlling”, “Accounting” and “practice-orientation” into Google. The first link leads to Lina Messerli at fhnw.ch Dean and lecturer for controlling at School of Business FHNW in Olten, Basel and Brugg. Albert studies her competence profile that contains projects and publications and a short bio, where he sees that she also works as a consultant. In addition, he studies the competences indicate; a list of skills, experiences, and areas of knowledge, which were confirmed by colleagues in the form of “endorsements”. She has been very much recommended for “controlling”, “accounting” and “practical experience”; and has received particular positive votes from former/alumni students. On this basis, Albert subscribes for an information event of the study programme three weeks later.
From her last job-related project Franziska Frank, a hospital manager, who is studying part time at FHNW, knows how challenging successful project management can be. As she’d like to broaden her project management skills she decides to write her bachelor thesis about the specifics of PM in clinical work. Now she is looking for a lecturer at the School of Business, a person with specific project management skills, who can supervise her work. She visits the website of the School of Business and searches for “project management”, “clinics” and “health”. The results lead to the competence profile of Prof Kessler who has been highly endorsed for “health management”, “project management” and “public organisations” (hospitals etc.). Franziska contacts Prof Kessler who agrees to supervise her work. […] After successfully finishing her thesis she also endorses Drechsler for his skills.
Two years ago Bernhard Gutenberg, MSc in Business Information Systems and alumni of the School of Business FHNW, and two of his colleagues (also FHNW alumni) started their company IT4You. In a recent conversation with his sister-in-law, Anke Zahn, who is oral surgeon in a group practice, he gets to know that a pre-clinical-smartphone-based diagnose and decision-support tool would be of great value for doctors. She asked him whether he would be able to realize the development of such a project. Gutenberg has a lot of expertise on the programming of apps, but little knowledge in the field of “pattern recognition”. He remembers, however, that at the School of Business there is a team dedicated to this specific area. He searches for “pattern recognition” at the FHNW-website and comes across the highly endorsed profile of Heike Staehelin…
“Hannah Halfdone has completed her Bachelor at FHNW. Before continuing with the program International Management she wants to gain some practice experiences. Accordingly she accesses the new, browser-based social network “Worldwide” that is provided for FHNW students and employees. Under the section => job vacancies she finds a number of recent offers that FHNW employees, alumni and current students have published there. Of particular interest is a 6 month internship of an American, Cambridge-based car manufacturer in the field of marketing that has been forwarded and posted by the Dean of International Management. She applies, inter alia, for this job.
A few weeks later, and after two phone-based recruiting conversations she has managed to get the internship. Now she wants to inform herself in detail not only about her new position but also about the characteristics of Business Management in MA and about the region. She logs again on “Worldwide” in order to see whether there are fellow students or alumni currently active in this region. She accesses the world map and zooms into the wider Cambridge area. Indeed, on the map she finds one person who appears to reside in MA. She clicks on the account and finds the profile of Karl Early, a former FHNW management student who is now occupied at HappyConsumer, a big retail company in the HR sector. Karl has his office directly in Cambridge. By clicking on his account => write message, she writes Karl a brief text, asking whether he would have time for a quick call on “Worldwide” to talk about his experiences of working in MA.
Karl is at home answering his emails by means of his notebook. Suddenly he sees the message of Hannah. Since he is very keen to stay in touch with his home country and his university he immediately accepts the invitation, and they connect using the integrated chat and talk functions of Worldwide. […]