Experiential Learning: A Case of Business Skills Development Education in Higher Education

Ken Wong

Abstract


In a predominantly Chinese society, the Hong Kong higher education system has been going through a transition from a process-oriented approach to an outcome-based approach to teaching and learning since 2004. The Hong Kong Polytechnic University took a leading position in such a move. We adopted an outcome-oriented model to curriculum design by incorporating clear articulation of intended learning outcomes, designing teaching and assessment methods which align with the intended outcomes. Effective university education does not only provide students with the opportunities to acquire subject knowledge, but business skills for lifelong development in the society. The need to foster students’ business skills has been stipulated at the institutional, faculty and department level. In tackling with such need, the Faculty of Business adopted two approaches in fostering students’ business skills. The first approach was by means of introducing specific and separate mandatory subjects into the curriculum, such as business skills development course. The other approach was to embed the development of business skills integrally into the subjects of the mainstream curriculum by introducing new curricular emphases, teaching methods and educational technologies. Students were exposed to a variety of cultural diversity, interactive learning environment in group and individual setting. Formative and summative assessment activities were organized. The experience of implementing the course learning outcomes through experiential learning is shared in this paper.

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