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Case submission (31/07/2018):

Assistant Professor Graham and Ms. Macomber

In fulfilment of the assignment for Section A,

Prof. Pratik Modi


Group 8

Divyang Parmar (P39018)

G Surya Theja (P39019)
Meghna Kadam (P39028)
Nidhi Verma (P39031)
Pradhnya Bhakre (P39039)
Saurabh Hirekhan (P39049)
Assistant professor Graham and Ms Macomber

Executive Summary

Charles Graham is a professor at New Dominion with one year of experience. He has
recently started teaching Quantitative analysis and Operations Management (QAOM) to a
management class. He had developed a sincere commitment to the case discussion teaching
methods and philosophy. In one such lecture, while discussing a case study, the class could not
figure out the aspect of the case which Mr. Graham was expecting, even towards the end. Janet
Macomber, one of the students, pointed out the fact which was necessary to reach the
conclusion of the case.

Janet Macomber is a graduate from the California Institute of Technology. She has an
excellent academic record but has limited work experience. Most of the other students of the
class are relatively elder and have more work experience. Due to this, Janet feels shy in
answering the questions and putting up her views. Also, she is a soft spoken person and some
students of the class are trying to intimidate her by snickering, but she handles the situation well
and answers the questions posed by Mr. Graham towards the case discussion.

Situation Analysis

Prof. Graham had a new and interactive approach towards his students. He had a
conception that his students would be able to reach the main point of the case, which went
otherwise. With last 10 minutes remaining, he thought that the class would end without any
desirable learning outcome. He had been hoping for the students to move towards a particular
direction, which was rightly brought to the table by Janet. He wanted his class to align with the
observations put forward by Janet. While she was trying to answer, she was repeatedly
disrupted by the external factors like snickering, which made her feel timid and under pressure.
Janet was hesitant in presenting her observations, but unfurled the case under gradual
interrogations put forward by the professor. With this incident, Prof. Graham concluded the class
and thought that the correct approach has been found.


Prof. Graham’s behavior in class and its effects

In his second year of teaching Prof. Graham is handling a new course with new teaching
method. He expected the class to work in a particular direction but as a professor, it was his
duty to guide the students when they are unable to figure it out themselves. He likes to teach
through cases rather than lecturing which is a very good approach to unfold the students’
thoughts and this tells us about his passion towards teaching.
Prof. Graham wanted the students to crack the case themselves which he thought
would be the right way of learning. However, he was unable to maintain a class discipline. If he
would have been strict about maintaining the class decorum, probably Janet would have
brought her point of view in the first half itself and the outcome of the class would have differed.
As the class went till the final minutes implies that there was a lot of interaction in the
class. Students being interactive and not arriving at required consensus, tells us that Prof.
Graham was unable to converge them in, because he was not convinced with the inputs.
However, when Janet had right inputs she was not welcomed properly by some of the students

Situation as seen by Prof. Graham

Prof. Graham wanted to give the class every chance to discuss and move towards the
desired conclusion. However, he was disappointed because he had never foreseen that 80
intelligent people might entirely miss the main point of the case. He felt that the students leaving
the class with just an hour of adequate case analysis and not getting anywhere near the solution
was unapprovable. When Janet put her point at the end of the class, he thought that finally there
was someone who, albeit younger and less experienced than the rest of the class, could find
what others were not able to perceive, so that the case would move forward in the right
direction. However, he felt that Janet was hesitating in speaking up and wanted to help her be
confident in answering the questions.

Prof. Graham and Janet’s conversation

Prof. Graham was successfully able to unfold Janet’s point of view on the case through
a series of follow up questions. Janet, though initially shy and under confident, answers all the
questions properly and is able to explain her point of view. This was handled aptly by Prof.
Graham, as he asked her questions that allowed the right points to be made, while also
motivating Janet to answer the questions more confidently. While doing this, Janet also
managed to answer the questions posed by some of the snickering students.

Prof. Graham’s response at the end

At the end of the class, the professor says “Well,well”. He said this to capture the
attention of the class and to indicate that this was the correct approach towards the case.
However, he should have elaborated the point which Janet put forward, as well as appreciate
Janet for approaching the case from a different angle, which would have given the class a hint
as to how to proceed further.

Post class approach towards Janet’s desk

Prof. Graham, although impressed by Janet’s approach towards the case, should not
approach her desk after the class. By doing so, other students might think that he is being
biased towards her, which would portray a negative image of him. Moreover, the students might
not be interested in discussing the case after class hours, and by doing so, Prof. Graham could
be seen as intervening. It would also feel inappropriate if he would talk to only some of the
students, since other students have already left the class. In this situation, Prof. Graham could
inform the students that he is available for questions and the students can approach him with
queries or any kind of help needed, even after the session.