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How to dodge ChatGPT onslaught on business education

ChatGPT provides easy, sleek solutions to popular and well-established case studies incorporated in business education courses. A new approach of 'Clinical Business Case Studies' might stump the AI and force students to rely on logical thinking

Published: Mar 15, 2023 04:21:01 PM IST
Updated: Mar 15, 2023 04:58:34 PM IST

How to dodge ChatGPT onslaught on business educationWhile the gamut of technologies in the realm of Industrial Revolution 4.0 were already dissolving the education sector business models from all directions, now this ChatGPT looks like a match in the powder barrel. Image: Shutterstock

If there is one thing that has equally astonished and instigated a large number of official meetings, webinars, and discussions everywhere in the world over the past few months it is ChatGPT. No industry is aloof from it. From poems to drama scripts to medical and legal advice, ChatGPT is in the news despite everyone’s dismay. With its comprehensive generative capabilities, the education sector is a clear target as well.

Business education, as we knew it, has changed forever. While the gamut of technologies in the realm of Industrial Revolution 4.0 was already dissolving the education sector business models from all directions, now this ChatGPT looks like a match in the gunpowder barrel.

The bewilderment

MBA programs today rely heavily on assessment via projects, reports, reflective papers, case studies and so on. All that can be generated by ChatGPT in a few seconds—without any critical thinking and reasoning inputs by the students. One can understand that projects focused on specific industry topics or even reflective papers on business issues could be generated using AI. But try asking ChatGPT the solutions to the questions based on popular published business case studies, and you will be utterly surprised. ChatGPT answers those questions with immaculate detail and context.

Try searching for questions like, what led to Kodak's downfall? What are your views about the Digital Transformation at the DBS Bank? Or anything from GE to the Walt Disney company to Alibaba’s case, and you will get well-drafted articulate responses. Students are tempted to take this shortcut. So overnight, all the reflective papers, topical project reports, case studies and other assessments seem to have gone for a toss.

Within a few days of interaction, one would recognise that ChatGPT is well-prepared to handle all sorts of questions based on well-published topics, areas or popular issues. However, this allows us to envisage another possibility: Bringing in ‘clinical’ case studies in the business programs. With this yet another term borrowed from science, the clinical case here refers to a ‘living’ case compiled based on contemporary issues or business scenarios in progress.

The test

Tried and ran through the test of ChatGPT recently, here are the key steps in the prescribed approach for clinical case studies in business programs:

  1. Look for the most recent developments around, significant ongoing issues in the business world, contemporary practices, novel ideas, and anything that aligns well with the course learning objectives but is the latest. Ideally, not be older than six months.
  2. Compile a set of 4-5 latest articles, press releases, media reports, blogs and so on from good authentic sources, and videos of key stakeholders with proper attribution.
  3. Identify a lead article from this compilation and try sequencing the content in the order of priority, building a logical flow.
  4. Develop discussion points or questions to probe for insights, just like in the case method teaching.
  5. You are now ready to run a ‘clinical’ case in class.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Try this approach, and you will see that ChatGPT still responds by generating some high-level generalised content which is more conceptual. Specific context to your clinical case is missing. The approach works reasonably well.

Also read: ChatGPT: What is this new buzzword, and how it helps in academics

To make it impregnable by ChatGPT, add a layer of complexity to the clinical case discussion or questions by bringing in some regional angle or even relating it to living persons like business leaders (less known ones), intertwining two or three issues together in a question, and so on.

We tried asking questions about the food delivery app Zomato’s recent exit from UAE, the launch of Salik IPO and its business model—ChatGPT was off-track. But for slightly older content like, 'How the Human Resource Challenge at Expo 2020 was managed?', ChatGPT still answered reasonably well.

Going ahead, the business faculty need to be more agile and creative. They need to prepare their ‘clinical’ cases every other semester as ChatGPT is catching up fast. But for now, the clinical case works.