It is that time of year again! Not only is it time for THE Performance Improvement Conference, but it is also the exciting culmination of the fifth Annual Case Study Competition (CSC)!

The CSC is a friendly and competitive learning opportunity for students to apply the skills they are learning in their graduate programs in a simulated, yet authentic, performance improvement scenario. During the competition, student teams work through a consulting case and receive valuable feedback from experts in the field. This year’s participating teams are from University of New Mexico and Concordia University.

To keep the judging process as fair as possible, team participants and their university affiliations are kept anonymous throughout the competition process. Instead, teams are referred to by the name chosen for their consulting group. This year’s consulting teams are Team TILO and Team Catalyst.

Participating students find the realistic application of performance improvement principles and practices in the CSC to be an outstanding learning opportunity. “Our involvement in the 2013 ISPI University Case Study Competition has been a rich collaborative learning exercise,” says Team Catalyst. “It has challenged each of us to think critically and has motivated us to work together and apply what we have been learning in our MA in Educational Technology.” According to Team TILO, “This incredible process has allowed us to see how the theoretical framework, from an academic perspective, supports the practitioner to navigate and solve real problems within the field of performance improvement consulting.”

Each student consulting group created a detailed intervention proposal to address a performance issue for their fictitious client, Epic Adventures Extreme Sports, an adventure and extreme sports facility and retailer. Throughout the competition, the teams performed industry research, analyzed data, reviewed the company’s intranet, and conducted live interviews with employees of the company, orchestrated by the competition’s volunteer development team.

The competition kicked off January 31 and final proposals were due March 27. Teams present their proposals before a panel of expert judges during THE Performance Improvement Conference on April 15 and 16. The judges will participate in a question-and-answer session with the students, exploring human performance technology (HPT) and consulting challenges based on the judges’ experience. The competition evaluation criteria focus on the ISPI 10 Standards of Performance Technology.

Judges for this year’s competition are:

  • Roger Addison, CPT, EdD, Addison Consulting
  • Anne Apking, CPT, High Impact Learning Solutions
  • Ray Svenson, CPT, Ray Svenson Consulting, Inc.
  • Eileen Banchoff, CPT, PhD, Banchoff Associates, Inc.

The competition facilitator is Matt Donovan, executive director, Learning Solutions, GP Strategies Corporation.

The winning university team will be announced at the conclusion of the final keynote presentation on Wednesday, April 17. A $2,000 prize will be awarded to the winning team. The University Case Study Competition is sponsored by GP Strategies Corporation.