Business Education | Digital Curriculum | Business&ITCenter21
Can I Teach an Intro to Business Course with AES?
With past experience in teaching, a couple of degrees in writing, and an upbringing immersed in medical jargon, Mike is positioned well to hear out the most common questions teachers ask about the AES curriculum. His goal is to write content that quickly and effectively answers these questions so you can back to what matters - teaching your students.
When you choose a curriculum for your intro to business course, you face many uncertainties. Will this curriculum be a good fit for your teaching style? Which will suit your students, or your course standards?
After all, not every business curriculum will suit an intro to business class. Some resources may be focused on marketing, while others may favor management, or business administration. And navigating all of those options can be a pain.
To that end, many business education teachers approach AES wondering if our Business&ITCenter21 would be a good fit as a digital resource to help teach introductory business classes.
After all, for an introductory business course, you’re going to need a curriculum that will cover all your bases and give your students the broad understanding they need. And if that’s what you want, then Business&ITCenter21 might be the right choice for you.
In this article, we’ll explore why and how Business&ITCenter21 could be the right digital curriculum for your intro to business class.
Why Is Business&ITCenter21 a Good Fit for Introductory Business Classes?
Business&ITCenter21 was developed based on National Business Education Association (NBEA) standards, which cover 10 subject areas:
- Business Law
- Career Development
- Economics & Personal Finance
- Information Technology
- International Business
The NBEA is a national leader in business education, providing resources, guidelines, and information that thousands of business teachers across the country use to teach their classes.
In many ways, the NBEA standards serve as a baseline for what introductory business classes need to teach to give students the most comprehensive education possible.
By basing its structure on NBEA standards, Business&ITCenter21 ensures it will provide that strong core curriculum you need to teach your foundational business courses.
Which Modules Are Recommended for Your Intro to Business Class?
Business&ITCenter21 is full of varied course modules--both core curriculum and electives--covering topics ranging from business to computer essentials.
However, for an early business course, stick with the modules more closely aligned with NBEA standards. After all, modules like Keyboarding or Microsoft Access Fundamentals--while valuable--teach more specific skills, and can be saved for elective courses down the line.
For your intro to business course, you should focus on these core modules. With around 113 hours of curriculum spread across them, they’ll give your students a comprehensive, encompassing business education:
- Customer Service
- Marketing Project
- Business Law
- International Business
- Banking and Finance
- Personal Financial Literacy
- Job Seeking Skills
These modules do an excellent job of providing the foundational knowledge your students need to start them on their business pathway.
After all, most semester-long intro to business courses run about 67 hours, while year-long courses are about double that, at 135 hours. The 113 curriculum hours present across these modules are therefore a great fit for either course length.
In many states--like Florida or Georgia--a core intro to business curriculum would even look almost identical to this module list.
If you want more information on these recommended core modules--or want to see what other topics are available--check out the Business&ITCenter21 module list.
Best Practices for Using Business&ITCenter21 in Your Introductory Business Course
Now that you know which modules teachers typically use in introductory business classes, you’re probably wondering how you would even go about implementing Business&ITCenter21 in your course.
In this section, we’ll go over 3 of the best strategies you can use to ensure you’re getting the most out of Business&ITCenter21.
1. Use the Four Phases
The AES curriculum is structured around Four Phases that provide a well-rounded educational experience that maximizes student engagement and retention, while saving you time and effort.
Each phase helps accomplish this by focusing on a particular aspect of the student learning experience. Some phases specialize in engaging students, others in honing skills, and some in helping students retain information.
The Four Phases of the AES curriculum are:
- Explore: This phase is composed of teacher-led activities designed to fuel engagement and hook student interest.
- Learn & Practice: Where most learning occurs, this phase is composed of student-directed eLearning within the system to learn new concepts and skills.
- Reflect: Placing its focus on retention, this phase has students review module lessons and complete activities to make sure they remember material for the long term.
- Reinforce: This phase is composed of student-led projects designed to enhance student understanding of concepts and skills they acquired in the prior phases.
By leaning into the Four Phases when teaching your class, you’ll be using Business&ITCenter21 to its fullest potential, saving yourself time, and ensuring your students learn the course material on an in-depth, fundamental level.
How You Can Use the Four Phases in Your Introductory Business Class
Because each course module is structured into the Four Phases, the best way to incorporate the Four Phases into your class is to employ every resource available within each module. By following the framework of each module, you will very naturally ensure each Phase is touched upon.
In other words, avoid using only material from one or two of the phases in each module. For example, if you only use the Learn & Practice Phase material--like videos and eLearning lessons--then your students miss out on valuable Reinforce Phase material--like projects--that will help them retain information for the long term.
When you shirk any of the Four Phases, your students miss out on critical aspects of the learning experience.
Try instead to meet each of the Four Phases--employing the full blended learning environment--to ensure your students get as much out of the class as they can.
2. Take Advantage of AES’ Flexibility
Business&ITCenter21 was designed to have a high level of flexibility regarding how you can use it in your classroom.
Though it’s important to make sure you include each of the Four Phases, much of the material present in each module can otherwise be played with, expanded upon, or even removed from your class if you don’t think it will be valuable to your students.
When you adapt the course modules of Business&ITCenter21 to fit your class better, you ensure you’re getting as much value as you can from its content.
How You Can Use AES’ Flexibility in Your Introductory Business Class
There are several strategies you can use to adapt Business&ITCenter21 to your class.
One strategy may be to drop assignments from the curriculum that you don’t think will benefit your students. Maybe try replacing them with a project from another unit or module that you think would be more valuable in helping your students develop creative skills.
Another may be to expand upon certain assignments to both make them your own and grant them greater importance to the course. If you feel like a specific project isn’t used to its full potential in the base module, maybe try extending its length to encompass the entire latter half of your class and give your students a goal to work toward all semester.
For example, one project teachers often have fun with is the Juice Box Package Design project in the Marketing module of Business&ITCenter21. Though the project is only supposed to serve as an end-of-phase assignment, teachers often find it so enjoyable that they expand upon the project to take up half their marketing unit or more.
3. Vary Your Instructional Material
In addition to using blended learning in your classroom, incorporating a variety of educational material in your class can also work to keep your students engaged and gain some outside perspective in the classroom.
After all, students don’t want to be subjected to five eLearning lessons in a row. By varying your material--even drawing from resources outside of AES--you can go a long way toward gaining student attention.
How You Can Vary Instructional Material in Your Introductory Business Class
One great strategy you can use to diversify your material is to draw from external resources.
There are many valuable business education resources out there--both supplemental and core--, with some prominent examples including EVERFI, TeachersPayTeachers, or Next Gen Personal Finance. And the flexibility of Business&ITCenter21 means it could fit well alongside any of these resources.
These resources take many forms, from activities, to games, to assignments, to lesson plans, and more. Next time you need educational material to reinforce your curriculum, just know that it’s easier than you think to find some online.
Need More Guidance on Teaching Business Fundamentals with AES?
Choosing the right curriculum to teach your introductory business class can be overwhelming. You have to consider your course standards, length, classroom teaching style, and more. It’s no wonder teachers often feel so frustrated and don’t know where to begin.
Even in this article you saw only a bit of what it means to teach business classes with Business&ITCenter21. Though we went over the broad strokes of how to use our curriculum in your classroom--including leaning into the Four Phases and AES’ flexibility--we still only touched upon the basic steps you should take to be successful with Business&ITCenter21.
However, if you want a more in-depth look into the specifics of some of our business modules, check out our course guide on Business Fundamentals.
This course guide provides important information for any teachers looking to teach an intro to business course, including descriptions for each module, the total hours they take to complete, and how each fits into the Four Phases: