College of Business {College of Business}

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Course Focus: IBUS 330 Online

News + Events : Course Focus: IBUS 330 Online

04/16/2007

The International Business department (IBUS) develops online delivery of course IBUS 330, International Business and Multicultural Relations.

As a core course, it is the most concentrated exposure to International Business that business majors get as undergraduates at SF State.

In fall 2004, the department began with a hybrid course where the majority of content was delivered online, but the final exam was held in a traditional classroom. Now, with significant progress in what is offered and how it's delivered, the course is fully online.

This spring semester a writing component was introduced. The main objective is for students to become proficient in the format and usage of APA writing style. Another is to advance student skills in writing—not just in terms of style—but grammar and syntax as well. The department seeks to improve skills for native and non-native English speakers alike. Complementing the “revise and resubmit” editing process are “grammar pearls”—each week a major writing topic is identified with an explanation, examples, and resources for in-depth exploration. Examples of topics include direct/indirect object usage, difficult word pairs, possessives/contractions, and reference citations.

Another advancement is the array of access tools provided students. Lectures are videotaped and made available for student viewing on Blackboard. PowerPoint slides and audio MP3 files are also available to students.

Finally, the delivery of the content material is augmented with specific, different cultural foci in each videotape. One week, videotapes may deal with content on the political dynamics of FDI, but each video will focus on a different country, for example the United Arab Emirates, using music and pictures representative of the UAE culture. The lecture would begin with a dozen slides and music, followed by the content lecture, and ending with more pictures and music, along with running commentary on UAE culture. Whenever a particular major cultural holiday occurs, such as the Lunar New Year or Persian New Year (Norouz), pictures, commentary and music appropriate to that event are included in the lectures and on the website.

The online course has been extremely well received by students. Evaluations are consistent and good. Technical and didactic improvements are made every semester. The course is run economically, costing far less than running multiple sections taught by professors or lecturers. It is not, however, the sole mode of delivery; in addition to online enrollments of 725-800 students per semester, a few face-to-face sections are offered as well. Beginning fall 2007, one such section will be offered at the new SF State Downtown Campus at 835 Market Street.

Alumni and others interested in viewing the IBUS 330 course online can gain access as an external user at http://online.sfsu.edu/ using the external user ID of “Ima_Student” with a password of “student.”


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