Assignment: Functional Areas of Business

Open Pedagogy Assignments are assignments in which students use their agency and creativity to create knowledge artifacts that can support their own learning, their classmates’ learning, and the learning of students around the world. (See this peer-reviewed article for more details.) The assignment on this page is aligned to the learning outcomes of Introduction to Business and we’ve identified the module where the reading appears. All of the assignments can be created with a cell phone camera or any video recording device, Google or Word documents, and your learning management system. 

Learning Outcome

  • Identify the primary functional areas within a business

In the first module of the course, we introduce the functional areas within a business and we refer to these concepts throughout the course. For this assignment, you are going to create a short video of less than two minutes explaining these primary functional areas using a business of your choice.

Using your cell phone or any other recording device, create a short video. You don’t have to edit or create a professional-grade film. You’ve most likely have done this type of recording already on social media, so feel free to use the same informal conversational tone. Think of your audience as other students who are eager to learn about these functional areas in a business setting. In your video, you’ll want to practice using the concepts (in bold listed below).

The five functional areas of business are management, operations, marketing/sales, finance, and research and development.

Choose a business and describe one of the five functional areas in your own words. You could select a company that you currently work for or one that you worked for in the past. You could also choose a company that you hope to work for someday.
If you need some questions to guide your response, here is a short list.

  • Which company did you choose? Why did you select this company?
  • Why does this functional area seem important to you?
  • Which two functional areas did you select? In your own words describe what these functional areas do to support the success of the business you selected.
  • What are the responsibilities of the people who work in the area you selected? For instance, if you choose to focus on Operations, what are some of the jobs those people do for the company? You can read their company bio or details on their website.

A Note To Teachers: Your students in the first term will create videos, and with their permission you can upload them into your course in order to show examples for the next term. The idea will be to have students generate content that other students can listen to and learn from with this assignment. Encourage them to focus on companies they are interested in either as employees or as consumers.

In our analysis of student performance, we found that students struggle with this learning outcome, so having a focus on each of these areas may help them with the summative quizzes. We recommend utilizing this assignment as a formative assessment where you can use the misunderstanding and errors of students as learning experiences about these concepts.