Tax Law Becomes Multimedia

, by Fabio Todesco
The new, blended prep course for the MSc in Economics and Corporate Law makes use of a rich set of tools to involve as many students as possible

Videos, interviews with experts, infographics, conceptual maps, comics, tests and exercises. BUILT (Bocconi University Innovation in Learning and Teaching) has crammed the new online prep course of Tax Law for the students of the MSc in Economia e legislazione d'impresa (Economics and Corporate Law, a course taught in Italian), with everything that can make a blended study experience more interesting and interactive, following the principle of the flipped classroom (i.e., classroom and individual work swap traditional times and functions, so much so that learning takes place first at home, through multimedia materials, and the classroom is then used for discussion, study, practice).

Until last year the course included 30 hours of classroom, from now on it will consist of 20 hours of classroom, interspersed with five online modules. The transformation makes it easier to attend and, when fully operational, will allow to move it from late August-early September, when not all students are yet in Milan, to the period immediately preceding the second semester.

«The prep course, which is equivalent to a basic course of Tax Law, is necessary because the MSc includes several required and elective courses in advanced Tax Law and some students may not have attended the basic course during their BSc», explains Stefania Boffano, the Tax Law lecturer responsible for the prep course. «I proposed the switch to the blended format in order to improve the prep course usability and, along with the other lecturers, I've had to face the challenge of maintaining the rigor of the content, adapting it to a communication style more suited to the experience of the students. The idea of comics, for example, frightened me at first, but even in this case I think that the two needs have been combined at our best».

«This experience has been an important pilot project for us at BUILT», says project manager Sabrina Santamaria. «Content experts, lecturers, graphic designers, instructional designers and the Egea publisher cooperated, with the common goal of bringing dynamism and interactivity to a kind of content not easy to synthesize, such as legislation».

Modules can be browsed both horizontally and vertically, and the student can decide at any time when to dive into a deeper layer of a topic and when, instead, move on to the next one. In tests, a wrong answer is always accompanied by the indication of the section in which to find the right one, while legislation pages are automatically updated when the law changes.

The prep course comes with a digital booklet, that students can also print. External content can be reached through links in the online version, through QR codes in the printed version.

«I have just started to interact with the first students who have used the online format and their reactions are positive», concludes Prof. Boffano.