Cognitive Flexibility Hypertexts and the Development of Creative and Critical Thinking in Business Education: The Panteon Project

Marcos LIMA, Matthew J. kOEHLER, Rand SPIRO


Abstract  In this article, we discuss how the Harvard Method of case study, Interactive Communication Technologies and Cognitive Flexibility Theory may contribute to case-based learning about business decision-making. In particular, we are interested in designing learning environments that foster critical thinking, creativity, and reasoning that entertain multiple hypotheses from multiple perspectives. One such learning environment is the Panteon Interface, a web-based system for collaborative organizational analysis. We posit a framework for implementation and evaluation based upon Jonassen’s “Meaningful Learning” model and Iowa’s “Integrated Thinking Model.” Based upon this framework, we briefly describe the design of Panteon and the results of a study utilizing focus group interviews, observations, and questionnaires to investigate participants’ evaluation of the hypertextual methodology in comparison to the Harvard Case approach. The preliminary results indicate that both students and business experts favoured Panteon for its affordances to stimulate higher order cognitive skills. The implications and limitations of this study are discussed.

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