Increasing student engagement and learning outcomes with technology enhanced team-based learning (“TBL”) in a Mergers & Acquisitions guest lecture at the National University of Singapore

Brian O ’Dwyer, Commercial Founder and Executive Chairman, CognaLearn
Miguel Soriano, Adjunct Professor, NUS Business School



One co-author was approached to conduct a guest lecture for a Mergers & Acquisitions (“M&A”) class that was 2.5 hours long, which aimed to cover deal rationale, company valuation, deal structuring, letter of intent and due diligence priorities. Students had gone through the topics in different lectures but had not applied the content together. The author was interested in conducting class like a “hackathon”, with students working in teams to apply knowledge and come up with solutions, instead of having it be a passive guest lecture.



The use of a technology enhanced Team-Based-Learning pedagogy to conduct the lecture would lead to an engaging experience for students.



Students were sent pre-work materials to review students what they learned in the course. The co-author gave the class a 20-minute briefing on the company in the application case, then three broad stroke team application exercises each covering a different phase of the M&A process. After each exercise, team responses were reported simultaneously with technology to provide an enhanced debate and discussion amongst the teams. After the exercise, students were surveyed to gauge the effectiveness of meeting the learning objectives, the teaching format and use of technology.



Student survey results showed students were confident in their ability to meet the learning objectives outlined with a rating of 8.2 on a scale of 0 to 10. End of session “net promoter” scores were calculated which showed a net promoter score for the format of the lecture was 68, and an overall net promoter score for the lesson was 78. For reference, as net promoter score of over 50 is consider good and 70 is considered world class. Stated differently, on a scale of 0 to 10, students rated on average the teaching format an 8.9 out of 10.0, the use of technology an 8.8 out of 10.0 and the overall session 9.2 out of 10.0.



The use of modified Team-Based-Learning methodology with technology could be an effective way to review and apply content of a whole course in a realistic guest lecture format.

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