Last week, after serving as the UNCG Business Librarian for 11 years, I finally guest-taught for an accounting class: ACC 450, Ethics and International Accounting. The professor asked me to lead a workshop for the two sections on finding scholarly articles on ethics from interdisciplinary databases. But even though this was my first guest-teaching for an Accounting class, most of the students did at least know me through MGT 309: Business Communications.
MGT 309 is a required upper-level speaking- and writing-intensive class for all business school majors. Each fall and spring semester there are usually 10 traditional sections plus 2 or 3 online sections; the summer semesters have a couple of online sections each. Each section has some sort of research project to generate content for the students’ writing and speaking. So MGT 309 is not a research-intensive class like International Marketing or the core entrepreneurship classes. For my first few years with MGT 309, the research project for all the sections was “should we invest in this company?” I had 2 concurrent class periods of research instruction for the 50 minute sections, and one period for the 75 minute sections. Thus MGT 309 is my core “research instruction across the curriculum” class. I have sat in on MGT 309 final presentations for assessment and expanded outreach.
More recently the standard research assignment has fractured: the instructors each semester now assign different research projects like:
- Analyzing public companies’ management practices;
- Identifying cultural differences in international work teams, depending on the countries involved;
- Investing in a franchise of a public restaurant company;
- Creating a basic business plan and making a pitch to angel investors.
Given the varying research topics section by section, I can no longer assume that every business school senior has (for example) experience mining 10-K’s for strategic information. I’ve relaxed on the 2 research sessions for the short sections since then; some of the research assignments didn’t really need 100 minutes of workshopping.
So MGT 309 for me now involves one-shot (on campus or online through Blackboard Collaborate) research instruction on public companies, basic business planning, or perhaps countries and their cultures. Not exactly embedded librarianship, eh? But before I became so involved with MKT 426, CARS, and our growing Entrepreneurship program (which just won the USASBE Outstanding Emerging Entrepreneurship Program Award, woohoo!), the majority of my teaching stats came from the many MGT 309 sections. And besides being able to introduce myself to students I wouldn’t normally meet, like accounting students, I do sometimes hear from undergraduates that they first used library databases in MGT 309. It’s a one-shot program I’m still proud of. Our work as liaisons doesn’t have to be “embedded” to be worth doing.