Top Blogging Platforms for Teaching and Learning International Business

Long S. Le

In the field of international business, blogs are becoming an established part of the public conversation. One of the leading sources for international business knowledge is Michigan State University’s globalEdge Blog, and its search will find you almost anything. Compared to academic research, blogs — based on the idea that blogging and research make a difference in the world — can be shorter, better, faster, and free. In particular, in multi-author blogs, authors tend not to write posts beyond their expertise and whose posts are professionally edited. Moreover, blogging platforms that aim for an “authentic audience” can be more effective in facilitating teaching and public engagement, especially those that are linked to a university or a media outlet.

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I have utilized New York Times‘s Room for Debate in which students are required to write response essays. Students are expected to take a position with implications from more than one worldview frameworks or recognizing the interconnectedness of the local and global.

 

Admittedly, I do have a hard time motivating students to do their pre-class work. Although business students tend not to prefer reading/writing as a learning style relative to students in the humanities, others have noted that getting students to do their readings before coming to class is a common challenge, regardless of what we teach or where we teach it. Consequently, I am in the process of “rightsizing” the amount of reading that I require in my international business course.

One of the things that I am doing is assigning students to read more from professional and media blogging platforms, of which I think could work for students. At least for me, it makes academic sense to assign more readings that reflect the sort of reading I do for pleasure and for my work. For example, when I consult Americans doing business abroad, I would recommend them to check out the official blog of the International Trade Administration, rather than any text book or peer-review articles. In general, the representation of knowledge for an audience that drives blogging might make learning more engaging for students. By some account, studies have found that today’s students prefer, and say they learn more in, classes with online components.

To this end, I have searched and selected various academic, professional, and media blogging platforms that align with the learning objectives in my international business course. That the blogging platforms serve to inform the week’s lectures, as well as well as providing the background on class discussion and online discussion assignments. Below is my “Top Blogging Platforms” for what to read, how to read it, and why be engaged on important topics and issues related to international business:

  1. http://customsandinternationaltradelaw.com provides insights on the complex laws, regulations, policies, and procedures related to U.S. export-import of goods and services.
  2. https://scm.ncsu.edu/blog/ aims to prepare business students in handling supply change management issues within and cross industries and in various institutional environments.
  3. http://blogs.ft.com/beyond-brics/ presents variety of scholarly debates on the challenges and opportunities in the emerging world, of which contribute to about 45% of the global GDP.
  4. http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/topics/business generates public debate platforms with numerous viewpoints on diverse issues related to international business that could easily be implemented in a course’s response essays.
  5. http://www.ethic-intelligence.com/blog/ provides insights and practices for companies to strengthen and promote efforts to prevent corruption.
  6. http://sm4good.com provides practices on effective use of media for non-profit organizations and social entrepreneurship organizations that operates in the developing world.
  7. https://geert-hofstede.com/tools.html is a great resource for business students to be introduced in comparing national cultures and managing organizational cultures.
  8. http://www.chinalawblog.com focuses on how businesses (those already in or those planning to go China) can navigate the complex business environment of the world’s second largest economy.
  9. http://digitalcommons.fairfield.edu/jogc/ is an undergraduate student journal promoting global citizenship — building bridges where markets fail to do — could be embedded in an international business course in which students are encouraged to be published writers.

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