Studies Go High-Tech
Professors Compile Multi-Media Business Cases
4, 1999 -- Southern consumers roared with approval
when McDonalds Corp. featured NASCAR drivers in a recent advertising
push for its Big Macs.
could stock car drivers sell hamburgers in Denver as well as Daytona?
the question facing students in Paul Farris' marketing class at
the University of Virginia's Darden
Graduate School of Business Administration. Unlike past classes
that pored over case studies in print, these students are logging
onto the Internet to hone their marketing skills online.
electronic McDonalds/NASCAR case study, "McDonalds: Marketing at
200 MPH," written by Farris, enables students to read newspaper
ads, listen to radio spots and watch video clips of television commercials,
bringing business problems alive with sound, light and action.
cases offer information you could never convey in a print case,"
said Christian J. Lehmbeck, director of multimedia and graphics
for Darden's instructional technology group. "At the same time,
you have to work with the medium," Lehmbeck said. "You can't just
put textbooks online. It has to be interactive."
cases enable professors to do things that just can't be done with
printed cases, agrees Farris, Darden's Landmark Communications Inc.
Professor of Business Administration. "For international students,
who may never have seen a NASCAR race, we can show an excerpt, complete
with crash-replay. For all our students, we can show consumer focus
groups, store visits and shopping encounters with sales people.
Things students just read about in the traditional cases come to
life. While we don't want to replace paper cases, we do want them
to have more impact."
innovative case study has turned heads even outside of Darden. Stuart
Feldman, director of the Electronic Commerce Institute at IBM, recently
said the case demonstrated the best use of multimedia that he had
seen. And Farris's case, along with others compiled by Darden faculty,
have been used by students at Harvard University's Business School
and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Darden likewise
may sell access to these copyrighted cases to other interested business
schools in the future.
marketing class is one of 20 Darden classes that now use multi-media
case studies, according to Lehmbeck. The most enthusiastic users
of the new technology so far have been professors teaching marketing,
finance and organizational behavior. Marketing, with the availability
of short videos, advertising campaign materials for print, television
and radio, is particularly suited to the medium.
multimedia case studies are just the tip of the electronic iceberg
school has electronic capabilities built into all of its large lecture
halls, with outlets for students to plug in their computers at their
desks. Display screens can be lowered from the ceiling when needed.
operated videotape system allows a single tape to be projected into
one or more classrooms simultaneously -- and if an individual VCR
is out of service, the central operator merely switches to another
also has a state-of-the-art television studio that enables the school
both to tape discussions for later viewing or participate in a national
or international videoconference on a real time basis.
systems are part of Darden's 10-year investment in video production,
which accelerated with the construction of Darden's new campus in
1995-96. The electronic infrastructure is part of Darden's "Next
Generation Internet," or NGI, a data delivery system scheduled to
be finished early next year.
completion, the NGI system will deliver video on demand to 48 group
study rooms, 14 classrooms and four mobile videoconferencing rooms.
First Virtual Corp., of Santa Clara, Calif., is supplying the products
and services needed for the NGI system, which delivers voice, video
and data over the Internet.
discuss the multi-media cases and their use in the classroom, call
Paul Farris at (804) 924-0524, or write him at firstname.lastname@example.org
more information about the delivery of electronic services to Darden,
call Chris Lehmbeck at (804) 982-3029 or write him by email at email@example.com;
or, call Randy Smith, telecommunications engineering supervisor,
at (804) 243-6173, or write him at firstname.lastname@example.org