Professor Nellie El Enany collaborated with students in the MGMT 404/4202 - Managing the Human Capital class for an interactive play on human resource (HR) practices.
In an attempt to introduce a more dynamic approach to the tried-and-tested HR equation, El Enany reinforced key topics that students learned within the class and manifested them in a role-playing activity that channeled students’ creative sides into expressively practical education.
Over the course’s first half she, along with visiting industry experts from established companies throughout the country, taught students organizational behavior management to establish a real-life base for understanding. El Enany shifted students’ attentions to a few more cut-and-dry concepts within HR – such as recruitment, policies and salary structures – in the class’s second half. Then, the 34 enrolled students had a four-week window to organize the play from A to Z – dividing themselves up into actors, directors, script writers as well as marketing and logistics teams – before presenting the final product.
“The idea of the play was to assess students’ knowledge in a practical and improvisational way that allows them to express themselves creatively,” El Enany explained. “There’s a lot of positive research being done about integrating business into drama performances. Rather than just having presentations, exams or essays, I was trying to actually enable the students to think about concepts from the real world of HR and put this into a live performance to get a feel of reality.”
The results were certainly impressive. With a small budget provided by the School and an hour to work with, students were able to throw a full-fledged three-scene play that received the plaudits of all attendees. While the acting and directing naturally took center stage, the production was noticeably first class in all the logistical facets as well.
“Taking part in the HR play was a memorable experience,” participating student Nadine Wahdan reflected. “Not only did it strengthen our understanding of the course materials in a fun and engaging way, but it taught us how to work well in a team, respect other opinions and create an encouraging environment to reach a collective goal.”
Judging by the AUC School of Business’s track record for inventive teaching, similarly engaging activities will not be far away in the future. Indeed, integrating creative techniques into the world of business education is a main hallmark of the School, with these initiatives frequently allowing students to learn in new innovative ways that have them working side by side with one another to discover individual talents that they might not have recognized they had.
As El Enany puts it, “University is a process of becoming, of character development and building, and of experiences and experiencing. Milestones are not gained through memorizing; they are achieved through self-discovery, imagination, relationships and individuality.”