MBA Classroom Procedures

At CIMBA, our classes are small and personal by design. We are able to maintain a strong academic environment by utilizing specific classroom procedures to maximize success. Please use this section as a reference while planning your course. These procedures have been developed after many years of feedback from both our faculty and students. For logistical correspondence such as ordering your text books, please contact the MBA coordinator, Margherita Lago; for questions regarding the class, please contact CIMBA executive director, Cristina Turchet.


Mandatory Attendance

Classes begin promptly at 9 am unless other arrangements are made by the professor. We expect all students to arrive to class on time and to remain in class until scheduled breaks or the class is completed at the end of the day. We encourage you to set forth your expectations regarding attendance and student behavior at the beginning of your first class, and we support any actions you may take.

Syllabi

Send your syllabus to Margherita Lago at least six weeks in advance of your first class meeting. We are particularly adamant about students being prepared for the first day of class, which is of great importance given the program’s intensity and overlapping coursework. To credibly encourage students to manage their time and prioritize their responsibilities, they must be able to schedule their activities. This requires a reasonably detailed syllabus upon which they can rely and that is delivered well in advance of the start of class. 

In contrast to a standard course syllabus, it is important to be very specific about what material is to be covered and when it will be covered. Many students are also working professionals who need to allocate their time wisely. In this regard, we require that your syllabus be broken down on a quarter-day basis with the quarter breaks being defined by the mid-morning break, the mid-day lunch break, and the mid-afternoon break. Further, we strongly suggest that you be very detailed about the material to be covered during each of those quarters, including chapters to be covered, problems to be prepared, and where lecture emphasis will be placed. Obtaining syllabi from other courses may help you minimize overlap or better integrate your class with those of other professors in the program. You can review archived course syllabi here.

Textbooks

To provide us with adequate time to place orders, textbook titles should be communicated at least two months before your course. Failure to do this may make it necessary for you to hand carry the books for the entire class to Italy from the U.S. Please send your textbook order via email to Margherita Lago.

Course Materials

If you have materials like PowerPoints or case studies, there are two ways to make those available to students. You can post the content onto ICON, the University of Iowa’s course management system equivalent to Blackboard. Students will have access to all content posted there. How to use ICON can be found on the University of Iowa Policies and Resources page. Another option is having the materials sent to Italy and preprinted so students have a course pack upon arrival to take notes in. Course packs need to be submitted at least one month before the program begins to ensure the staff has enough time to print all the packs.

Exams and Projects

Exams: Professors are required to provide final exams. There are no exceptions to this requirement. CIMBA policy prohibits both take-home exams and multiple-choice questions. Because the students have different levels of English proficiency, we prefer that exams be based on application and be open book and open note.

Additionally, absolutely no exams can be given during the weekend class hours. Staff personnel at CIMBA will proctor the exams outside the weekend hours. Instead, there will be a final exam day schedule for your course. Final exams will be given at 2 pm or 7 pm on exam day. To help answer questions that arise during the exam, you will need to provide a telephone number at which you can be reached during the hours of the examination (7 am to 11 am or noon to 4 pm Central time)

Projects: The use of study groups is encouraged. If you plan to use teams in your class and would like us to organize them, please let us know well in advance of your course to allow time for us to establish the groups and for the groups to organize themselves.

If you prefer to organize the groups, please do not organize them in such a way that the groups consist of only US or Italian students; please take the time to mix them. One of the advantages of the CIMBA program is cultural diversity and the failure to mix groups by nationality diminishes this advantage.

Also, take into account the geographic separation of the students. Be attentive to the fact that group assignments need to be of such a nature that group meetings and individual responsibilities to the group can be undertaken effectively via e-mail.

You should anticipate that much of the presentation work will be placed on those students with strong English language skills. In the interest of providing all students with opportunities to make presentations, we encourage you to develop a format where the presentation responsibilities are shared. However, please inform presenters at least of 2 days before the class meeting. For students for whom English is a second language, this will help them prepare and avoid an ad lib presentation in a language they are less comfortable with.

Class Structure Recommendations

Active and interactive class sessions: Classes typically run from 9 am until 6 pm with a break for lunch. These are long days that require a varied and active learning environment. It is essential to energize the class and maintain a feeling of intellectual involvement throughout the day.

Effective managerial thinking or KT approach: CIMBA is committed to teaching Kepner-Tregoe (KT) thinking in the MBA program. KT is the primary decision-making vehicle influencing the way acquired knowledge (traditional course content) is used. Materials describing the four essential KT elements (situational analysis, decision analysis, problem analysis, and potential problem analysis) are available from CIMBA and can be used to help you introduce these components into your course. 

Practical, real-world, international examples: In accordance with CIMBA’s educational philosophy, we find that students prefer faculty to simulate real-world experiences through relevant cases and exercises. They are not only looking for well-known company examples, but also small- and medium-sized company examples to which they can readily relate. We have found that they respond more favorably when examples are brought in from a variety of international settings.

Class and personal preparation: Planning course coverage is particularly important for CIMBA students. Students expect assigned cases and readings to be addressed and sometimes express displeasure if slides from the professor’s course pack are skipped due to lack of time. Similarly, they tend to resent having additional information introduced as filler once the assigned material has been covered. Of course, no one can program his or her course perfectly, but the intense time pressures under which CIMBA students operate causes them to be particularly sensitive to the amount of material covered in their classes. Finally, most students like to have all assignments and materials in their hands at least two weeks before classes begin. This particularly helps students who wish to read ahead (especially those for whom English is not their first language). Remember, your first weekend will cover nearly one half of a normal class and the accompanying reading material. Students will normally have access to you during the week between classes and also via email. However, once classes are completed, the demands of subsequent courses and activities tend to minimize additional student-faculty contact and therefore will limit your ability to provide additional information that was omitted during scheduled classes.

Daily assignments and quizzes: Managing time is an ongoing challenge for CIMBA students due to the structure and demands of our program. Therefore, giving assignments and short quizzes is one way to increase the likelihood that assigned materials will be read or completed for class. The purpose here is to give students an added incentive to come to class fully prepared. (This suggestion actually was made by our students.)