Data Response and Case Studies for Advanced Level Business
Data Response and Case Studies for Advanced Level Business, Andrew Gillespie, Hodder & Stoughton, 2001, ring-bound paperback, 287 pages, L44.99, ISBN 0-340– 80178-6,Tel. 01235 827720. www.hodderheadline.co.uk
Andrew Gillespie’s work will be familiar to most Business Studies teachers through his work with AQA Business Studies and his various textbooks. This latest offering comes in the form of a ring bound set of photocopiable case studies designed to cover the specifications of the new AS, A2 and AVCE examinations in Business Studies.
The topics follow the structure of the exam specifications, starting with ‘Marketing’ and running through to ‘Objectives and Strategies’. The coverage is quite comprehensive, with a total of 196 case studies of various length and complexity over the seven topics. The case studies are clearly numbered, and reference the relevant sections of the AQA, OCR and Edexcel specifications, including whether they are aimed primarily at AS or A2 students. This makes it relatively easy to build them into an individual scheme of work. Most of the case studies are accompanied by brief notes on the content, giving the student some context in which to see the information on which they are working. Some also give explanations of ‘key terms’ found within the text. These are useful additions which will prove helpful to students, particularly those taking the AS exams.
The content of the case studies varies, so that they can be used with a range of students. I have tried them out on students taking AS and A2 Business Studies and also with a group of Advanced AVCE Business students. Each group handled them well. They commented on the mark allocation as a useful device for indicating the amount of content they should be putting into their answers – good examination practice! In this respect, it might have been helpful to give an indication of the time that should be allowed for each case study. However, this is generally fairly evident from the exercise itself.
At the end of the book some sample marking schemes are given. Although of necessity these are general in nature, they do provide a helpful outline of the way in which marks are awarded and as such are as useful to students as to the teacher who is marking their work. The final section gives the answers to each of the questions in each case study. Again, useful for the teacher and for students, who can see what is expected of them in compiling their own answers.
The case studies in this book are not ‘examination questions’. Generally they are shorter than the case studies on, for example, the AQA exam papers, and are much more like the exercises found in most textbooks. They are intended to be used as a supplement to the work which students are given on each of the exam topics, and will prove invaluable when used in this way. They can be quickly photocopied for class use as and when needed, but would also be of value if photocopied and used as a bank of case studies for each topic which students can access for themselves either within the classroom or the library. They can be used as a quick diagnostic test at the end of a topic and might prove useful as the starting point for individual or group research projects.
The author points out that the AS case studies can also be used as a useful resource for students embarking on A2 topics, since they will provide a quick reminder of the salient features covered in the AS course, and I am sure that many teachers will want to use them in this way.
Andrew Gillespie says in the introduction to his book that the case studies are intended as ‘an invaluable resource which will make your teaching life easier’an excellent, if predictable sales pitch these days! He has a good point, however. Whilst his book is not cheap, and will give those of us managing miniscule budgets in these straitened times pause for thought, it needs to be seen for what it is – a resource which can be used extremely flexibly across a range of Business Studies courses and in a wide variety of ways. In an ideal world we would all be scouring the business papers each day to produce our own resources for use with our students, but in the real world (or at least in my version of it) this is not always possible, and to have a large set of case studies such as these to hand places the cost firmly in perspective.
Geoff Moran, Roade School, Northampton.
Copyright Economics and Business Education Association Spring 2002
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