International Journal of Teaching and Case Studies (15 papers in press)
Cost Analysis of a Manufacturing Company Encountering a Failing Financial Situation: A Pedagogical Teaching Case Using Learning Activities Model
by Ahmed Abdel-Maksoud, Walid Cheffi
Abstract: The case focuses on Automatic Factory (AF), a small-sized manufacturing company operating in United Arab Emirates. It produces and sells multiple construction products. For years, AF made operating profits, however, it recorded operating losses during 2011-2013, which made the company management anxious to analyze possible reasons for such financial results. AF main concern was to acquire actionable knowledge and diffuse it throughout the companys hierarchy. Organizational learning activities model was adopted in order to overcome the failing situation and put the company on a sustainable footing in order to save it from dismantlement. The aim of this case is to discuss and analyze this situation, using relevant management accounting techniques as means of organizational learning. Participants are encouraged to discuss and analyze the AFs cost structure, breakeven analysis and sales mix while emphasizing that such techniques overlap with the learning activities undertaken by the company.
Keywords: Cost analysis; financial failing; organizational learning; manufacturing organization; product mix; UAE.
The use of computer games in classroom environment
by Stamatios Papadakis
Abstract: Digital games are an important part of most childrens leisure lives today and increasingly an important part of our culture as a whole. As part of the educational use of ICT, digital games can be learning tools, motivators and generators of curiosity and as a result an effective means of optimizing student learning and performance in daily educational practice. As a result, digital learning games have become a medium of reference in the education field over the past few years. The positive relationship between learning and students engagement while using digital games has been confirmed by various independent studies over the years. Digital games motivate students to get involved in the learning process with more intensity and a positive mood, compared with conventional educational methods. Thus, the integration of digital games at different levels of education for teaching multiple learning objects comes as no surprise. Despite the many studies on the learning and motivational effects of digital games, teaching with digital games is not yet widespread in secondary education. Current research emphasizes that most of these factors appear to stem from difficulties with the implementation of games in classroom settings. Problems with technology, the cost/expense of games/equipment, the lack of technical support are defined as some of the barriers to the addition of games and simulations in education.
Keywords: digital game; primary & secondary education; learning through play.
Cybersecurity policies and supporting regulations for Maritime Transportation System in the United States
by Ian Finley, Nicholas Harkiolakis
Abstract: A commonly accepted framework for the development of policies and supporting regulations that address cybersecurity vulnerabilities and threats seems to be missing both domestically in the US and in terms of international collaboration amongst maritime stakeholders. This research aimed at establishing the actions that would allow commonly accepted and established cybersecurity policies and regulations for the Maritime Transportation System (MTS) and the critical infrastructure connected to it. A multiple case-study design was adopted and in-depth interviews were conducted until data saturation was achieved with 12 US Coast Guard operational commanders. The results of the study suggest the need for greater collaborations among interested parties at the national (US Coast Guard, port authorities, etc.) and international level (International Maritime Organization, United Nations, etc.) for the establishment of mutually accepted cybersecurity as well as among private industries for sharing cyber intrusion data and protection best practices.
Keywords: Maritime security; U.S. Coast Guard; Cybersecurity; Critical Infrastructure; Maritime Transportation System.
Should I stay or should I go? A case of CSR in the Occupied
by Jean McGrath, Clemens Bechter
Abstract: Companies investing in the Occupied Palestinian Territories are faced with a dilemma. Undoubtedly the creation of jobs helps to put young Palestinians to work. Experience shows that especially young males are less likely to radicalise and commit crimes when having an occupation. However, negative press coverage due to the disputed status of the territory can force companies to withdraw. CSR activities can help to demonstrate that a company has a genuine interest in its employees and community at large. Our article looks into one particular case of an Israeli company that had to withdraw their operation due to public pressure, mainly Western media. We give recommendations how such failure could have been avoided by using the right kind of CSR activities that address the needs of the Palestinians.
Keywords: Occupied Palestinian Territories; CSR; individual social responsibility.
Gender difference, self-efficacy, active learning strategies and academic achievement of undergraduate students in the Department of Mathematical Sciences, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria
by Animasaun Isaac Lare, Abegunrin Aramide O.
Abstract: There are many external and internal factors which may be referred to as the agents influencing the academic performance of undergraduate students in A-level mathematics courses. For the development of an outstanding thinking and reasoning skills, it becomes necessary to acquire a deep understanding of some factors in order to improve teaching and learning of these courses in the department of mathematical sciences ($mts$), The Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), Nigeria and also in other universities in the world. In this article, gender difference, the likeness of mathematics courses, offering of further mathematics in secondary school, self-efficacy, active learning strategies, and academic performance of randomly selected 290 students from the population was measured/collected and investigated statistically. A questionnaire was developed for data collection and subjected to all the randomly selected students from 100level through 500level. Expert validation and Cronbach alpha were used to check the validity and reliability of the questionnaire respectively. The Cronbach alpha for the items on self-efficacy and active learning strategies are $0.542$ and $0.716$. Independent $t-$test, One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), and nonparametric Kruskal-Wallis packages on SPSS were used to analyze the extracted data. Students in $mts$ department, FUTA, with a high level of likeness in mathematics possesses high self-efficacy, active learning strategies, and also, an outstanding academic performance of these students is guaranteed. Moreover, male and female students in the department possess almost equal self-efficacy and active learning strategies. There exist no difference in the active learning strategies of students who offered further mathematics in secondary school and who didn't offer the subject; this is not true about their self-efficacy and academic performance because a significant difference exists between the two groups.
Keywords: Gender difference; Academic Performance; Active Learning Strategies; Self-efficacy; Undergraduate students; MTS department; FUTA.
A Modern Approach to Discrete Structures
by Russ Miller
Abstract: In this paper, we present a new paradigm for a Freshman course in Discrete Structures. Historically, a Freshman course in Discrete Structures is taught by presenting a variety of topics in a modular fashion. Topics include logic, sets, functions, induction, recursion, algorithms, graphs, probability, counting, proofs, and Boolean Algebra, to name a few. Students are expected to follow, digest, and retain such knowledge, often for several years before applying it in Junior- and/or Senior-level courses. In the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the State University of New York at Buffalo, the success of a traditional course in Discrete Structures has been marginal, at best. The alternative approach that we present provides a focused educational experience covering key components of discrete structures. Specifically, we present a unifying thread of modern computer architectures and their algorithms, where critical components of discrete structures are presented in context. In addition, we provide Freshman students with an opportunity to take ownership of the educational process. To date, results of this new paradigm have been extremely promising.
Keywords: Discrete Mathematics; Asymptotic Analysis; Parallel Algorithms; Models of Computation; Divide-and-Conquer; Parallel Prefix; Summations; Recursion; Induction; Sorting; Graph Theory.
The Greenlife Company: A Teaching Case Study in Management
by Joseph Scott, William H. Ross
Abstract: The Greenlife Company is a U.S. family-owned business specializing in home improvement projects. One division sells and installs energy-efficient replacement windows. The small business owner must address problems relating to the work habits of two sales representatives. One is experienced, but his lack of communication with window installers creates scheduling problems. The other is new and has trouble estimating when materials will arrive and how long installation will take. Additionally, the telephone messaging and scheduling systems are antiquated, yet the experienced sales representative opposes changes. The owner also decides that the compensation system does not adequately motivate the sales representatives. The case offers students an excellent opportunity to apply Organizational Behavior and Information Systems concepts when grappling with these problems.
Keywords: motivation; leadership; power; communication; technology acceptance; conflict management; decision making; teaching; case study; management.
Towards an IT-centric internship process in undergraduate studies: The Case of ESI, Algiers
by Abdessamed Réda Ghomari, Leila Zemmouchi-Ghomari, Dahbia Ait Ali Yahia
Abstract: This case illustrates and discusses the issues and challenges faced by ESI, Algiers when it established an IT-centric internship process. Increasing and diversifying internships requires the implementation of a transverse device involving a maximum of internal and external stakeholders, in order to ensure genuine profitability for future engineers who must adapt quickly and efficiently to the professional world. The case study describes an e-management approach that has the particularity of being based on human levers (maximum involvement of internal and external actors) coupled with technological opportunities (use and development of supporting software tools). The case study focuses on early stages (prospecting, validation, and monitoring).
Keywords: internship; IT-centric process; e-management; information system; knowledge.
Gender stereotypes in Greek Computer Science school textbooks
by Stamatios Papadakis
Abstract: The formation of stereotypes and prejudices at an early age decisively contributes to gender discrimination, with a direct effect on accentuating inequalities between women and men throughout their entire life. As school textbooks are the main means of instruction, gender role portrayals in these teaching materials affect how learners think, feel, and behave regarding the two genders. The present study performs a qualitative study using content analysis to identify the elements of sexism and gender role stereotyping in a selected group of textbooks, which are used by teachers and students for Computer Science instruction in the three grades of General Lyceum in Greece. Each textbook was carefully examined for the stereotypical presentation of gender roles of men and women. The findings show that the three textbooks, to a greater or lesser extent, perpetuate stereotyped prejudices regarding gender roles in relation to the new technologies.
Keywords: School textbooks; content analysis; General Lyceum; gender roles; gender stereotypes.
Maruti Suzuki : Re-inventing for the Big League
by Daly Paulose
Abstract: The study discusses the case of Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., India's leading passenger car company, which has always maintained a tag of being a warhorse in the mass segment, now wanting to tap its strong base of 15 million customers when they upgrade to the next level. Wary of its failure to foray into premium domains in previous attempts, MSIL is going the extra mile in its branding exercise this time. With the launch of stand-alone showrooms under the NEXA brand name that showcase the new array of premium passenger cars in Marutis stable, the company is making unprecedented break-throughs into erstwhile unexplored terrains. By extensively funding the bold initiative, the company has put together a portfolio that appeals to customers in a retail packaging that appeals to discerning consumers.Given that Maruti Suzuki has maintained its traditional stronghold image of making affordable, low maintenance, readily serviced cars, the question is whether the car maker best known for its VFM offerings will be able to make the shift to the premium space?
Keywords: Passenger cars; Competition; Premium; Value for money; Brand image; India.
From being one-sided to being diverse: the use of e-portofolio as a tool in distance learning of environmental issues for young children
by Michail Kalogiannakis, Panagiotis Kakadiaris
Abstract: The prospects of the dynamic interactive environment that was established with distance education can be broadened by the development of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). The digital folder (e-portofolio) constitutes an educational breakthrough which fulfills the the criterion of polymorphism . Our goal, in this study is the research concerning the contribution of the e-portofolio in the promotion of the cooperative freedom during Flexible Zone to second grade Primary School students. As a basic research tool we created an e-portofolio utilizing the Mahara software. In this research, took part 12 second grade students from an urban area of Athens. The introduction of the e-portofolio was created in two phases during the school year 2014-15. Initially, became the pilot application in the program''All the Earth, an embrace'' and the main one was realised with the program ''The water''. Through the methodological approach of the qualitative action research we concluded that cooperation and autonomy can be achieved within the context of the educational community in a distance learning environment with the use of guided educational dialogue.
Keywords: cross thematic approach; e-portofolio; science education; distance education; guided didactic conversation; cooperative freedom;.
Tailoring case study research: a strengths approach.
by Angela Fenton, Laura McFarland
Abstract: This paper presents findings from the process of conducting a qualitative case study of a strengths-based parenting program designed for parents with a mental illness. An overall evaluation of the program was conducted that generated the intended recommendations for enhancing such complex parenting education programs. However, unexpected methodological findings also emerged from the case study method. This article reflects on the strengths-based method used in the research and the understandings gained from using this adaptive process. It was found that using a strengths approach to case study design was not only generative regarding the outcomes of the program but also enabled a sensitive and tailored research experience for the participants. Few targeted parenting support programs exist for parents with a mental illness and even fewer evidence-based research studies exist that offer suggestions on how to conduct strengths-based case study research with participants that are experiencing complex and sensitive needs.
Keywords: Case study; strengths approaches; parenting program; mental illness; tailoring research; research methods; vulnerable research participants.
Determining factors in the European classroom with eTwinning when inquiry-based learning
by Manuela Heindl
Abstract: The European Commission supports online school projects such as eTwinning to master the challenges of diversity in a classroom. A survey carried out in Austria answers the question "Which management competencies do teachers use in order to cope challenges during an online project with eTwinning in the classroom" The interviews were analysed in a qualitative research by using the methods of the Grounded Theory. eTwinning online projects are an invaluable access for teachers to gain management competencies such as endurance, flexibility, time management and evaluation skills. They learn how to integrate new media and ideas in their inquiry-based learning lessons. Furthermore, they also need a good self-assessment and support from their colleagues, the headmaster or headmistress and the surrounding.
Keywords: eTwinning; digital competencies; digital technologies; inquiry-based learning; primary schools; case study; online project.
Women in Computer Science. The case study of the Computer Science Department of the University of Crete, Greece.
by Stamatios Papadakis, Christina Tousia, Kalliopi Polychronaki
Abstract: Various international researches lay emphasis on the fact that women are being un-derrepresented in the fields of technology, especially in the computer science. A recent investigation in the USA mentions that female participation in information science at aca-demic level decreased from 28% in 2001 to 18% in 2012. Likewise, in the job market of information science, it dramatically shrunk from 36% in 1991 to 25% in 2015. Having considered the above, we wanted to investigate if, at an academic level, the same trend has been correspondingly affirmed in Greece. The analysis of the data relevant to the alumni of the Computer Science Department of the University of Crete, from 1985 since the recent academic year (2016-2017), has been discouraging since it shows a continuous and pejorative underrepresentation of women in the field of information science.
Keywords: Gender digital divide; Computer Science; information science; gender stereotypes.
Enterprise risk management for financial services firms: A brief literature review
by John Welch
Abstract: Financial services firms have pushed for application of enterprise risk management (ERM) within their firms as a response to flawed risk management and in-house governance systems. The problem is that while enterprise risks continue to be managed with a fragmented strategy among risk managers in the financial services industry, aggregation of risk strategies remains problematic due to inconsistent views on effective ERM strategy among practitioners. This literature review explores a wide range of issues as well as different practices and strategies related to ERM, highlighting the knowledge needed for financial services firms to effectively aggregate differing concepts of risk among their managers in order to develop an effective ERM strategy.
Keywords: Enterprise risk management; financial services; strategic management; strategic risk management; sustainability risk management.