The Focus of a GBS

The focus of a GBS specifies what general class of task the student will learn through the GBS. We have identified four different broad classes of focus tasks. Below we use the example of a trucking GBS to illustrate the four classes:

• Design: students might create their own truck company in the context of a simulation which places the company in a simulated economy.

• Diagnosis: students might be hired as new chief executives of a troubled trucking company and have the job of diagnosing and explaining the problems the company faces.

• Discovery: students might have the task of improving the operations of their trucking company by comparing it to other trucking companies and discovering what they do that their company might learn from.

• Control: students might run a simulated trucking company, making the day-to-day business decisions that arise.

It is important to note that using one of the above types within a GBS does not preclude using others. A GBS, depending on its level of complexity, might contain elements of all of these types of focus. It is not crucial to identify which is the main focus. It is useful, however, to identify which focuses are used in the design of a GBS because each one raises a particular set of issues that need to be considered. Additional focuses mean the designer needs to consider additional questions.

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