One thing that makes USC Marshall unique in comparison to other business schools is the ELC, or the Experiential Learning Center. The ELC is a facility that consists of multiple rooms, each of which are equipped with one desktop computer, a screen projector that is controlled by the ELC coordinator, and a camera that records everything that occurs in the room. Professors take their classes to the ELC in order to provide students with active learning opportunities where they can develop their leadership, teamwork, and problem solving skills.
How does an activity at the ELC work?
Activities at the ELC usually take the place of a class’s discussion section. Therefore, at the beginning of the class period, students head over to the ELC instead of their usual classrooms. As students file in, the ELC coordinator randomly assigns them to a room until the entire class is split up into groups (usually 5-6 students per group/room).
Next, over the intercom speaker, the ELC coordinator will announce a business scenario that students need to solve within their teams and distribute the necessary documents with background information for the situation. From this point forward, the team will formulate their solution plan and then use the desktop computer to create a PowerPoint presentation that summarizes their solution. The cool part about the ELC is that each group is recorded on camera as they work through the activity.
After time is up, the ELC coordinator collects each group’s final products and brings the entire class together in one room. This gives each group the opportunity to present their solutions and get feedback from other groups. The ELC coordinator also chooses a few video clips from each group’s interactions to highlight good examples of teamwork or to have the class analyze a group’s team strategy.
Is it weird or nerve-racking to be recorded throughout the ELC activity?
It’s actually not weird at all because you tend to forget that you are being recorded and it is interesting to watch how you interact with your group when the ELC coordinator plays recordings back to the class. It also gives you the opportunity to view your own leadership and teamwork from another perspective and improve your skills in those areas.
Overall, the ELC provides a very unique and effective way for students to engage in active learning and build upon their business skills. So far, I have used the ELC in every one of my business courses except for BUAD 310 (Business Statistics), which shows just how useful the center really is!
To learn more about the ELC, check out the following link: https://www.marshall.usc.edu/elc