In this talk, Dr Nick Quinn and Alison Gibb presented the design and implementation of an innovative experiential learning approach in an MBA course, aimed at bridging the gap between academia and industry. The course involves real-world consultancy projects with clients. Emphasising student agency, the course minimises traditional taught content, instead focusing on hands-on consulting techniques and frameworks commonly used in the industry. Students form teams, bid for projects, and independently devise solutions under minimal instructor intervention.

Nick and Alison explain how the key to the course’s success is the integration of active feedback mechanisms, addressing issues of student preparedness and confidence during client interactions. Drawing on dialogue and comparison, the approach extends beyond traditional feedback models, incorporating diverse resources to foster deeper learning and skill acquisition. By empowering students to navigate projects autonomously while facilitating continuous feedback loops, the course not only enhances student learning outcomes but also strengthens institutional and teacher reputations. Moreover, it ensures alignment with accreditation criteria and meets industry demands for graduates equipped with practical experience and soft skills essential for success in today’s competitive business landscape.

[This summary was generated by AI and checked for accuracy and edited by a human.]


This case study introduces the active feedback framework using a capstone MBA course as an example. By embedding active feedback within class activities we show a shift in students focus on assessment outcomes to also being focussed on skills development. We demonstrate how staff can employ active feedback, using the DO-COMPARE-(make) EXPLICIT framework, whilst highlighting the importance of resources as comparisons.

About the speakers

Dr Nick Quinn is a Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship and Associate Director for Connections with Practice with responsibility for Learning and Teaching and Professional Education at the University of Glasgow. Nick joined academia following a successful career in industry, consulting and learning development. His research is focused on experiential learning, the development of graduate attributes and professional skills, centered on creating new approaches to helping students develop their graduate attributes and employability whilst preserving their agency in the experiential setting.

Alison Gibb is a Senior Lecturer in Marketing and Associate Director Learning & Teaching with responsibility for Learner Experience in the Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow. Alison joined the Adam Smith Business School following a successful career in industry where she held several senior international marketing positions. She teaches at the Undergraduate, Masters and MBA levels and her research interests focus on professional practice, experiential learning and developing graduate attributes.