Prof Stephenson’s Keynote Address at the 7th International Conference on Case Writing

The presentation was a keynote address at the 7th International Conference on Case Writing.

Professor Stephenson began his keynote speech indicating that although perceptions of creative teaching often focus on the role of Information Technology (IT), it is crucial that we recognise the merits of an IT-oriented approach not necessarily an IT-centric one. Accordingly, the “practices of creative teaching should be imbued with the tried and tested holistic practices of the past”. He emphasised the such practices as note taking and critically-informed case studies underpinned by philosophical discussion, should not be misplaced due to a preoccupation with the daily use of teaching paraphernalia in educational institutions.

He emphasised that creative teaching needs a more imaginative approach to give students an element of surprise but still draw on the heritage of well-established teaching and learning methods. In his presentation, Professor Stephenson also mentioned the benefits of creative teaching and how case studies can be used in different aspects of academia and in the study of the service sector.

He suggested some ideas on how case studies can be developed. Some may take on an imitator’s approach, whereas others may utilise case studies on the basis of personalised reflexivity and experiences, as well as missed opportunities. He discussed how some tourism destinations have changed their names to create a new image and brand identity, in order to uplift the service sector in that particular area. Creative case study application in education can be thus represented through the use of industry examples where industry-based initiatives have been creative themselves, in purpose, design and application, especially to strengthen market presence and consumer demand.

Professor Stephenson also highlighted: “Creativity is not just about newness but also ‘enhancing the oldness’”. He mentioned informative examples on creative teaching approaches which entail the use of portmanteau for hotel education, or to what he referred as “hotelucation”. In his example, “hotelucation” covers many types of combinations of hotels with educational products, examples being hotels with libraries, art exhibitions, architectural spectacle, museums, environmental learning experiences, historical displays and artefacts, and educational conferences and events.

To conclude his presentation, Professor Stephenson signified that case study material should be inimitable, creative and profound. Most importantly, creative teaching and case study applications ought to entail innovative and exciting methods that broaden the viewpoints of audience.