Groupwork with cases (NN6)

Study board HA (psyk.)
Course title HRM and psychological test
Course type/size Mandatory course (approx. 130 students overall divided into smaller exercise classes for casework and even smaller groups of around 4 students for workshops)
Teaching format Blended

Learning consultants’ reflection on the NN connection of this activity 
In this activity, we see an interesting example of NN6. To be constructive when collaborating is about drawing on each other’s strengths. Here students get to contribute to their group the knowledge they have acquired in prior studies (including the electives) and their student jobs. At the same time, this activity encourages critical thinking. Analytical frameworks presented in the course are not to be applied to casework at face value in search of one correct solution but to be reflected upon in the light of diverse solutions they could lead to.  

NN6 aims to develop competencies that prepare students for working on complex problems where it is important to be open-minded, attentive to different perspectives and aware of the resulting solutions. 

Teaching philosophy 
“The role of the teacher is to be open to students’ ideas. Walking around and listening in on what the groups are talking about. Both ‘nudging’ them towards theories and concepts, and towards testing their ideas, so they reflect on what they are doing. But also let them explore solutions, you as a teacher might not even have thought of. Students can sometimes be smarter than the teacher since they acquire and apply skills from both disciplines within the bachelor and their experience from their study jobs. They will sometimes surprise you and apply this knowledge to tackle different issues from multiple angles and come up with solutions, you as a teacher have not thought of”. 

Johan Simonsen Abildgaard 

Key objectives 
In this 6th semester course, students get to apply the knowledge they have acquired in their bachelor studies.   

Learning objective(s) aligned with this activity: 

  • Be able to analyse HRM issues using relevant theories, concepts, models and tests from the subject curriculum and be able to assess the options for action from both a business and holistic perspective. 
  • Be able to explain and critically discuss the strengths and weaknesses of HRM theories, concepts, models, and psychological tests 
  • Be able to reflect independently and critically on the use of psychological tests 
  • Be able to relate reflexively to the curriculum, HRM practice and your own and others’ analyses (including the analyses you produce in workshops) and navigate the dilemmas that can arise in HRM field practice. 

Description of the activity 
The students are asked to participate in two rounds of casework of an hour and a half each. In the first round, they are asked to analyze the case and try to gain in-depth insight into the problem. In the second round, they are asked to solve the issue presented in the case, being critical and reflective in their solutions. The groups present their findings to their peers. 

This activity is open-ended in its solution, which means that students can apply their prior knowledge from other courses on the bachelor program, their student jobs within HR, and the knowledge from this course rather than needing to figure out one correct solution. The case is ambiguous, fictitious, and inspired by true events. It serves as a prompt to explore different possibilities and solutions. Students are encouraged to formulate their own approaches and present their solutions to the class so everyone can learn about the multitude of possible perspectives. In their future work, students will seldom encounter one correct answer and one right solution to a problem. Problems are often complex and comprise a number of interrelated issues. The students need to be constructive in their group work but also critical when finding solutions. The teachers’ job is to facilitate a reflective discussion that accentuates the differences between the solutions. For students, the case is an exploration of how applying the analytical framework from different angles can lead to different solutions and different perspectives.