Master Business Cases: Business Law Activities

Lisa Elliott, Cengage Business Law Subject Expert and Adjunct Professor

We often face many obstacles when preparing course materials as adjunct instructors. Although students may enjoy hearing the “war stories,” which are part of our daily lives as lawyers, the actual course preparation and assessment questions must be academically sound. For those of us who teach at more than one school, this means that we often have to double the preparation effort.
Cengage has given me the unique opportunity to be an adjunct instructor, lawyer and subject matter expert. I understand the instructors’ need for academically rigorous course materials, the desire to bring “real world” into the classroom and the challenges of creating Business Law activities that meet those expectations. With all these needs in mind, I created the Master Business Case.

Master Business Cases
Master Business Cases combine a solid fact pattern with five different activities that can be used in the classroom, whether it is online, traditional, or hybrid. There are currently 25 cases available, each one covering a different topic. But, more are being added all the time. Log in to MindTap and view a Master Business Case in MindTapv2 Business Law Text and Exercises, 15e. Part 1 of the case on Negligence is a favorite.
The following activities are included in the Master Business Cases:

Multiple-choice questions
Five multiple-choice questions are used to ask students to review the facts and dig into the law. Then they can perform an analysis that shows they not only understand but have mastered the concepts. These questions give the instructor feedback on the student’s analysis, and they also provide written feedback. (Seat time: 10 minutes)

Discussion Questions
There are three to five open-ended questions that can be used to engage students with the content. They don’t require advanced preparation (because lets face it, pre-class preparation often falls short), but they do create an investment in the storyline as well as the legal outcomes. These questions can be used to increase engagement and take only a few minutes from class time. (Seat time: 10 minutes)

Role Play/Group Work
This activity is great for using class time in a way which encourages active participation, develops communication skills, and teaches how to manage time and plan. Students take on different business roles and make complex business decisions after considering all possible legal, business, ethical, and ethical implications. (Seat time: 20 minutes)

Short Answer Essay
This is IRAC at its best. It is a simplified version of the law school exam. It only requires students to write ten sentences, as grading four-page essays for every student is a nightmare. However, there will be no hiding in concept mastery. Students must be able to reevaluate and combine all information from the larger context and present their argument in a clear and concise manner. (Seat time: 15 minutes)

Many universities require that ethics be taught as part their course work. This activity is intended to reinforce the idea that ethics are not just a chapter in a book, but that ethical decisions are always present in the business world. There are always ethical issues to navigate, whether you’re studying administrative or intellectual property law. This shorter scenario, often building on the larger fact patterns, allows the open-ended question to be used in class discussions or as an independent writing assignment. (Seat time: 10 minutes)
MindTap contains the Master Business Case readings. MindTap contains the Master Business Case readings.

Replicating the Real World
The best thing about Master Business Cases as adjuncts to a course is that they can be used in any situation. It is possible to use the same business case multiple times to reinforce different concepts. This allows students with different learning styles to reach their highest potential. The scenarios are real-world examples that make learning fun and draw students in.

You want more tips on teaching Business Law? Max Chao’s article