Why no Exam?

(Rev Sep 14, 2014)

This course does not have a final exam. Why not?

  1. The 2013 and 2012 IBEE blogs were very well received by students, according to the course evaluations.
  2. A number of thought provoking concepts or original analyses may emerge which we would not otherwise learn about or explore. They can be shared here (even anonymously).
  3. Experience shows that the fact of the final exam provides an indication of understanding of the concepts, BUT it means that a) all of you write about the same essay and do about the same spreadsheet, b) there is no chance to discuss the case, c) there is little feedback, d) you don’t learn much from the exercise and e) I don’t learn much from the exercise.
  4. This class is large and only meets a few times and contains about 20% students from other schools, as well as HBS students who do not know each other. The blog provides a way for you to get to know each other better and to present a side of your interests or approach that you select and control, with more richness than can happen during class discussions.
  5. The class covers a lot of concepts quickly, and leaves behind some interesting big picture questions and areas of analysis. This is a chance to infill and explore.
  6. The tag cloud and category activity will indicate in real time what topics to emphasize in the final several classes.
  7. You are free to include financial analyses, drawings, diagrams, or other material that helps to underscore your interpretation of issues and frameworks or your careful analysis of a situation.

Why required comments?   So that you have an incentive to read and respond to colleagues’ posts; either all of them or by category, tag cloud, or search term.

– John


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