MBA Research
Not-for-profit, research-based support for all Business Administration educators: entrepreneurship, finance, hospitality, management/administration, and marketing.
Donate

Curriculum & Teaching

We do the research so that you don’t have to.

If you teach Business Administration, including Entrepreneurship, Finance, Hospitality/Tourism, Management/Administration, Marketing, or any specialty within these broad clusters, you’re at the right place.


Focus on what matters

What? Standards and research-based performance indicators to support most business careers, derived solely from the business community, become the basis for curriculum design.

Why? We have very limited time with our students in which to help them get started on their road to a career. These business-validated standards help ensure that our teaching time is focused on what matters most. They help us overcome the temptation to focus on what’s fun or what happens to be in any given book.

Free Access? The national Business Administration standards are available free to everyone:

 

Special Access? In addition to the master documents above, an interactive, online database is available to help you use the standards to design courses and programs of study to best meet your local needs. The Curriculum Builder software is available free in member states and for a nominal fee elsewhere.

Your Business Community! Feel like you need to get better connected with your own business community? Want your community’s business leaders involved in the research process? Wish your business leaders would advocate for your program? Learn more about how we can support your efforts locally. Visit the Business Community section of our website.

Free!

We are indebted to the Daniels Fund for its support of many curriculum and instructional tools throughout our store.

A generous grant from the Daniels Fund is supporting our initiatives to integrate ethical decision-making into our course guides and to build some 70 online instructional modules (LAPs) that will address ethics in the context of the national standards. In addition, the grant will support a new ethical leadership course as described below. These materials will be available free as they are released over the next five years.

Free Course Guides

The following guides are currently available at no cost: 

  • Business and Marketing Essentials
  • Entrepreneurship, Advanced
  • Entrepreneurship, Principles
  • Ethical Leadership
  • Finance, Introduction
  • Financial Analysis for Managers
  • Financial Management
  • Management, Introduction
  • Marketing Applications (Advanced)
  • Marketing Principles
  • Personal Finance
  • (Sports) Grand Slam: Advanced Sport/Event Marketing
  • (Sports) More Than a Game: Intro Sport/Event Marketing

 
More good news: These guides, available right now, will be updated over the next several years to better integrate ethics and ethical decision-making and to ensure that they continue to reflect the most recent thinking of the business community.  As they are updated, you will be eligible to receive the revised versions – also at no cost. Click here for a release schedule.

These Guides are 100% aligned with the national Business Administration Curriculum Standards validated by industry across the nation.  They provide a model that can be used as-is or modified to meet your specific needs.

Course Guides include:

  • Course description
  • Information on the individual course’s fit within one or more programs-of-study
  • Recommended performance indicators for the specific course
  • Recommended sequence for the course
  • Instructional objectives that specify desired learning outcomes
  • Recommendations regarding LAP modules
  • Crosswalk to major textbooks, as appropriate to the course
  • Additional resources, including www links
  • Projects for selected sections of the course
  • Activities to reinforce or explore key content
  • Ethical cases for students (in course guides ©2016 and later)
  • Briefings for selected, particularly challenging, performance indicators, including teacher-directed information and student handouts
  • Multiple-Choice exams

“Course Guides have provided new and veteran Wisconsin marketing/business educators with the strategic roadmap to be successful in their classroom.  Some educators have used the full Course Guide to expand their program offerings; whereas, other educators have strategically implemented the Course Guide’s project-based activities.” 

--Tim Fandek, WI state program leader and MBA Research Board Trustee

Course Guides in our online store: click here.

Free Program-of-Study Kits

Based on current and anticipated Perkins law, we strongly advise all business and marketing programs to implement a comprehensive program-of-study.  (A program-of-study, as defined by the U.S. Department of Education, is a logical, non-duplicate, sequence of courses that leads to a certification, degree, or other appropriate and documented end goal.)  To help make implementation easier, we’ve built a series of models based on the national Business Administration standards, with specialties in:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Finance
  • Management
  • Marketing

Click here for more about our Program-of-Study Kits

Free LAP Modules

Over the next several years, we’ll be rolling out 70 new and revised modules across most of our instructional areas.  A good number of these will be used in the design of our new Ethical Leadership course.  These modules will come online individually, beginning summer of 2016.  Many now available!

Free Ethical Leadership Course

We’re particularly excited about our comprehensive, new leadership course targeted at ninth graders.  As Career-Tech programs increasingly reach into the middle schools, this ninth grade leadership course will provide a significant opportunity for business and marketing programs to expand their presence in the earlier grades.  We believe the course will encourage students to learn more about business and, ultimately, to enroll in upper division courses as outlined in our program-of-study kits.  The free leadership course is now available!

How to Access

In order to evaluate the impact of these free* materials, teachers are asked to complete a brief survey for each category of materials requested (e.g., Course Guides or Learning Modules). Each required survey will take 3 – 5 minutes to complete.

  • For LAP modules, you’ll need to complete ONE survey each year for access to all new funded modules as they are released.  (Many, but not all, modules are funded.)  
  • For course guides, also free, we’ll ask you to complete a separate survey each time you request a guide. 


The purpose of the surveys is to estimate the impact that the free materials have.  The Daniels Fund staff will consider aggregate data collected on these surveys to determine how effectively our profession is able to introduce ethical decision-making among secondary students.

 

*You’re right. Nothing’s really free. But in this case, we’re fortunate that the Daniels Fund has underwritten the cost of many of our materials. The Fund paid the bill so that you don’t have to! If you’d like to take a minute to extend your appreciation, simply email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and put in the subject line “Daniels.” We’ll get your note to the right people at the Daniels Fund. Who knows? Maybe your note will be the tipping point for future funding! Thanks for taking the time.

Building a new course has never been so easy!
Use the power of our new database tool to align with the national Business Administration standards to build almost any Business Administration course in:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Finance
  • Management
  • Marketing
     

It’s as easy as:

  1. Select the career clusters or pathways of interest
  2. Select the curriculum planning level (career, specialist, management, etc.)
  3. Select the instructional areas of interest (e.g., economics, promotion, finance)
  4. Add, delete, or re-sequence as needed
  5. Run the final report


You get:

  • Detailed, sequenced performance indicators
  • Detailed instructional objectives, by indicator
  • Recommended resources, including texts and web links


You pay: nothing (FREE to all educators in member states); $79 in non-member states (click here to order). Member state educators: email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we'll send your login info.

Already registered? To access the Curriculum Builder App, go to http://login.mbaresearch.org

Each performance indicator is assigned to one of six curriculum-planning levels that represent a continuum of instruction ranging from simple to complex. The levels can serve as building blocks for curriculum development in that students should know and be able to perform the performance indicators at one level before tackling more complex skills and knowledge at the next level. The levels can also be used as the basis for developing an unduplicated sequence of instruction for articulation between high school and postsecondary business courses. The six curriculum-planning levels are:

Prerequisite (PQ) Content develops employability and job-survival skills and concepts, including work ethics, personal appearance, and general business behavior.
Career-Sustaining (CS) Content develops skills and knowledge needed for continued employment in or study of business based on the application of basic academics and business skills.
Specialist (SP) Content provides in-depth, solid understanding and skill development in all business functions.
Supervisor (SU) Content provides the same in-depth, solid understanding and skill development in all business functions as in the specialist curriculum, and in addition, incorporates content that addresses the supervision of people.
Manager (MN) Content develops strategic decision-making skills in all business functions needed to manage a business or department within an organization.
Owner (ON) Content develops strategic decision-making skills in all aspects of business that are needed to own and operate a business.

 

Comprehensive Learning Modules
(Student and Instructor Elements)

Two ways to access MBA LAPs:

  1. Digital Download (PDF), delivered digitally; purchase PowerPoint for each LAP separately.
  2. MBA Learning Center: all digital, online, with print options; includes PowerPoints. MBA Learning Center includes all content from all current LAPs, plus additional material as it becomes available. 

 

To locate LAP Modules and PowerPoints in the online store, see the Learning Modules menu item. Click here for pricing, including quantity discounts.
For a list of our current LAPs, click here.
To download a sample LAP, click here.
To learn about our MBA Learning Center (online access to all LAPs and PowerPoints), click here.
Interested in field testing/field reviewing our LAPs?  Click here.
Click here for a webinar about LAP Modules.

Leadership Attitude Performance

Each LAP instructional module is a comprehensive, ready-to-use lesson plan designed to help make your preparation easy, fast, and relevant.  Each module supports and provides instruction for an industry-validated performance indicator or competency and focuses on developing leadership skills, positive career-oriented attitude, and both technical and academic performance.

Each LAP provides easy and direct access to the content reflected in the national standards for marketing, management, finance, and business administration.  LAPs are beneficial for your students because they deliver what's important with the depth needed to make a difference.  Providing significantly more depth than a typical textbook, each LAP module will:

  • Save time in lesson preparation
  • Offer current up-to-date examples
  • Make you the expert with easy-to-use anecdotes and examples
  • Help you focus on what’s important
  • Ensure quality, aligned curriculum
  • Provide valid, reliable, ready-to-use tests
  • Offer easy-to-use, hands-on activities
  • Relate directly to competencies
  • Connect directly to work-based learning
  • Support competitive events


Each LAP is ready to use--no special preparation and no lesson plans to write!  We provide you with everything needed, including:

  • Student Guide Narrative (in lieu of textbook)
  • Instructor Guide
    • Instructional objectives
    • Core narrative
    • So What! rationale
    • Gray Zone ethics case
    • Discussion guide
    • Ready-to-use activities & projects
    • Practice test/Practice Test key
    • Posttest/Posttest Key
    • Glossary
  • Presentation Software (PowerPoint) optional

Advantages of Using LAPs

  • Each module is a complete, ready-to-use lesson plan that makes preparation of a quality lesson fast and easy.
  • Each title focuses specifically on an industry-validated competency.
  • Content is based on real-life businesses.
  • Each LAP is performance-oriented, with the specific intent of providing rigorous and relevant knowledge and skills that will provide value for both college and careers.
  • Each LAP is designed from the national standards up as opposed to building crosswalks after the fact.
  • Each module is field-tested and/or field-reviewed by real instructors and real students.
  • The content drills deeper than most textbooks, putting an emphasis on learning to “do” something rather than simply learning “about” lots of different things.
  • LAPs and their collateral materials are an instructional system with each part, each activity, working toward the same instructional objective.
  • Each LAP is designed to support learning for mastery.
  • The modular approach makes it easier for instructors to pick and choose the material most appropriate for a given class or student.
  • Each module is leveled by a curriculum planning level to help match curriculum with the needs of local students.
  • They directly support competitive events (e.g., DECA, BPA, FBLA).
  • They directly support preparation for A*S*K Institute certification.
  • They provide a strong tool for competitve event preparation because of their performance orientation, strong assessment tools, and in-depth treatment of content. 

CopyIt! (Free!)

Our unique CopyIT! release allows you to make additional copies for use in your school building, of any or all portions of any LAP Module purchased.  Click here for more info. 

Free LAP Modules


We extend our deep appreciation to the Daniels Fund for its support of our work.  A generous grant from the fund is supporting our initiatives to integrate ethical decision-making into our course guides and to build some 70 online instructional modules (LAPs) that will address ethics in the context of the national standards.  These materials will be available free as they are released over the next five years. Many now available!

We’re particularly excited about our comprehensive, new leadership course targeted at ninth graders. As Career-Tech programs increasingly reach into the middle schools, this ninth grade leadership course will provide a significant opportunity for business and marketing programs to expand their presence in the earlier grades. We believe the course will encourage students to learn more about business and, ultimately, to enroll in upper division courses as outlined in our program-of-study kits. The free Ethical Leadership course is now available!

How to Access

In order to evaluate the impact of these free* materials, teachers are asked to complete a brief survey for each category of materials requested (e.g., Course Guides or Learning Modules). Each required survey will take 3 – 5 minutes to complete.

  • For LAP modules, you’ll need to complete ONE survey each year for access to all new funded modules as they are released.  (Many, but not all, modules are funded.)  
  • For course guides, also free, we’ll ask you to complete a separate survey each time you request a guide. 


The purpose of the surveys is to estimate the impact that the free materials have.  The Daniels Fund staff will consider aggregate data collected on these surveys to determine how effectively our profession is able to introduce ethical decision-making among secondary students. 

*You’re right. Nothing’s really free.  But in this case, we’re fortunate that the Daniels Fund has underwritten the cost of many of our materials.  The Fund paid the bill so that you don’t have to!  If you’d like to take a minute to extend your appreciation, simply email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and put in the subject line “Daniels.”   We’ll get your note to the right people at the fund.  Who knows?  Maybe your note will be the tipping point for future funding!  Thanks for taking the time.

Endorsements

Click here to hear what teachers and students are saying about LAP Modules.

Click image to view digital brochure

Already signed up?

An interactive, digital learning management system for teaching business administration.

Based on a Canvas platform, the MBA Learning Center is the one-stop learning management system for all your curriculum and instructional needs! Deliver content, manage instruction, and give assessments, all in one place. Use our standards-based, outcome-driven content and modules, or easily upload and customize your own content to suit your classroom needs! Try it and you'll agree: The MBA Learning Center is the best tool to prepare your students for success - in school, in competitions, in their careers, and beyond. Get the research advantage: Subscribe now!

Key Features:

  • 300+ comprehensive, research-based lessons
  • Engaging activities, projects, videos, and articles
  • Assessments – use built-in exams or create your own!
  • Customizable presentations, discussion guides, and more!
  • Simple online gradebook, calendar, and other organizational tools
  • 100% standards-aligned content
  • Interactive tools for students to engage in learning

 

 Content  Tools  Assessments  Pricing  Endorsements



Content and Courses You Can Trust

Our standards-based content, activities, and assessments are developed based on extensive, real-world industry research. To learn about our learning modules, click here. To see a full list of modules currently available on the Learning Center, click here

You’ll find new or fully revised learning modules on the Learning Center every week. Your research partners at MBA Research are on a mission:  Keep the Learning Center up to date and build a module for every key performance indicator needed to deliver on the national standards. You can rest assured that the content is up-to-date, relevant, and covers the latest trends in business. 

The MBA Learning Center lets you organize content into courses any way you want. It supports 100% online learning so you can forget handwritten student papers, tests, and assignments. Our online how-to instructions get you up and running quickly, but that’s only the beginning. Webinars, how-to videos, and your own day-to-day experiences will help you explore and find new ways to make your classroom one of the best in the building. (Our up-to-date, real-world content doesn’t hurt either!)

Not sure how to get started with the learning modules? Consider starting with our preloaded, ready-to-use courses that coincide with our course guides. Click here to learn how to import these courses into your classes. Click here for a video on creating your own courses from scratch with LAPs.

Instructional Tools to Simplify Your Life

The Learning Center is full of classroom management tools that save you time and enrich your students’ learning experiences.

Tools for Teachers

  • Exams administered directly in the system
  • Canvas Speedgrader tool for rapid grading
  • Customizable, interactive rubrics to conduct performance-based assessment
  • Question banks with thousands of multiple-choices test items
  • Pre-loaded, ready-to-use courses
  • Customizable competitive event preparation tools
  • A simple online gradebook and comprehensive analytics
  • Calendar, attendance, and other organizational tools
  • Discussions and Chat features to communicate with students

Tools for Students

  • Online collaboration and communication
  • Multimedia capabilities to best suit individual learning styles
  • Learning Mastery for students to track their own progress
  • Customizable competitive event preparation tools
  • Badges and ePortfolios to showcase achievement


Simple, User-Friendly System

  • Easy integration with Google Classroom, Moodle, and other systems and apps
  • One login to access everything
  • Cloud-based system
  • Mobile device enabled
  • Streamlined user interface – master it within minutes!


Comprehensive Assessment Tools

Lesson Module Post-tests. Each instructional module contains a post-test and a descriptive key.

  • Administer exams for each module with the click of a button.
  • Save time using auto-grading features. 
  • Assess students’ achievement of learning objectives. 

Question banks: Building your own exams in the Learning Center just got a lot easier! Thousands of multiple-choice test items are available, so you can:

  • Build new tests from scratch
  • Make multiple versions of tests
  • Use the bank to add additional questions to an existing assessment

The Question Bank saves time and effort and is perfect for building pretests, end-of-course or end-of-unit exams, and more!

Learn how to build an exam using question banks.

Instructional Area Exams: These ready-to-use exams cover a wide variety of instructional areas.

  • Topics include marketing, economics, project management, and many more!
  • Students who perform well on these exams prove they have mastered the basics of an entire content area.

Learn how to use these instructional area exam.


Pricing

A single annual subscription to the MBA Learning Center may be shared (with separate logins) by up to five different teachers. Full 12-month subscription for 5 teachers: $595 (Member states) or $850 (Non-member). 5-year pricing available. Priced lower than a textbook and no dusty books to deal with!
 
Add to your teacher subscription: Give your individual students online access for the entire year.

  Member Non-Member
10-100 $5.50 $7.85
101+ $3.85 $5.50

See the online store to purchase. 

Endorsements

“Our business students are better prepared than ever to pursue business as a major or enter into the working world.”  -Mark Sibley, Monarch High School, CO

"By putting everything in Canvas, students have a one-stop spot to get all the resources that they can access from anywhere with Internet. Students can utilize it to communicate with me. They can use the calendar on it to track due dates and upcoming quizzes. I have students submit just about everything electronically. Students can upload files, give URLs, connect to Google applications, and enter text in [the Learning Center]." -Allie Holtzer, West Bend High School, WI
 
"When I have students complete assessments in Canvas, I love the fact that it automatically grades, and short-answer questions can be easily graded in Speedgrader." -Kim Guest, Kearsley High School, MI
 
"I use the MBA Learning Center in all aspects of my teaching. I use it to introduce the material to the students, I use it to assess the students, I use it to give the students a little bit of variety, and I use it to differentiate the different levels of my classroom." -Alicia Weeks, Wake County Public Schools, NC
 
"I love to use MBA Research materials in my classroom because when I do, I know the students are getting relevant and current information that has been verified by industry professionals. They make it easy for me to pick and choose content that either accentuates what I am already doing or can be a whole unit or course. The choice is up to me." -Phil Huff, Badger High School, WI
 
"The activities are engaging for students and give a great variety for teachers to use depending on how in-depth you want to go into the subject and how you need to differentiate." -Teresa Brooks, Southington High School, CT
 
"I appreciate the website links for examples and videos." -Deanna Peck, Butler High School, NC

Preview:

Programs of study are getting a lot of press in the CTE world right now—and likely will well into the future. After all, to receive funding via Perkins IV, recipients (e.g., local education agencies and postsecondary schools) must have at least one program of study in place.

What does that mean exactly? It means that schools must take a structured approach to delivering education that prepares students for postsecondary education and success. It means that students should begin their high-school course work with a plan in mind and then follow that plan so that they take a logical sequence of standards-based courses (both academic and career courses) that build on (not duplicate) each other—through grades 14 and/or 16. Finally, it means giving secondary students the opportunity to acquire postsecondary credit, industry certification, and/or a postsecondary degree.

MBA Research Programs of Study

To help you in the development of programs of study at your school and/or in your state, MBA Research has developed a number of different Program-of-Study (PoS) Resource Kits. These PoS Resource Kits (available free to all educators in member states via State’s Connection and to all others via our online store at nominal costs) can serve as starting points when creating Business Management and Administration, Entrepreneurship, Finance, and/or Marketing programs of study.

Each kit takes a holistic approach to each of the clusters, thereby providing students a broad foundation in business administration as well as a concentration in the cluster’s content.

The MBA Research Program-of-Study Resource Kits contain:

  • A “Program of Study At a Glance” grid indicating the academic and career courses suggested for grades nine through fourteen of a business student’s education
  • Course descriptions for the program of study’s career courses
  • Rigorous, non-duplicated career-course learning outcomes based on validated national standards
  • Recommendations for CTSO and business involvement
  • Relevant professional associations and organizations
  • Possible certifications that students can acquire
  • Potential job opportunities at multiple educational exit points
  • Articulated courses
  • Performance indicators containing academic integration
  • A guide to share with secondary and middle-school guidance counselors
  • A promotional brochure for students
  • Promotional flyers for each course
  • A promotional poster

We’re working overtime to help you develop purposeful projects – projects that will help your students explore and gain competence in critical aspects of the national MBA Curriculum Standards.  We’re adding free project ideas to MBA State’s Connection, incorporating projects in our for-sale course guides, and sharing additional ideas right here.  And, we’ve designed an entire project-based model Business Administration program for college-bound students. Learn about MBA High School of Business.

If you teach in any of our member states, be sure to visit State’s Connection. You’ll find an ever-expanding collection of free materials that will help you connect with our learning systems.  The materials are free because your state has paid an annual membership fee to help underwrite the cost of our research.  If your state is not a member, contact your state education department for additional information. In State’s Connection, you’ll find Programs of Study, rubrics, case problems, vetted and bookmarked websites, print-your-own posters, a master glossary of terms, and more.  Keep checking as we add new stuff!