TEACHING DERIVATIVES USING BLOOMBERG: AN EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING APPROACH

The Bloomberg Terminal is a software system that enables professionals in the financial service sector to access Bloomberg Professional Services through which users can analyze real-time financial market data.

By Balthazar Malevolent

TEACHING DERIVATIVES USING BLOOMBERG: AN EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING APPROACH

While the interplay between social media and technology continues to redefine the forms of contact between individuals and organisations, there has never been a more pressing need to access real-time information. The finance sector is no exception to this paradigm change as cutting edge technology convergence has reshaped well-established trading and investment strategies. A vital vehicle for this change is the widespread use by the industry of Bloomberg Terminals, the computers enabling access to Bloomberg Professional Services (BPS). More than 325,000 terminals are currently used by finance professionals worldwide, according to the Bloomberg L.P.

Bloomberg Terminal.

Also recently, the use of Bloomberg Terminals has grown in popularity in the teaching of finance and economics, where its prevalence as a pedagogical tool has fuelled significant growth of financial laboratories or trade rooms in business schools. There are 803 finance laboratories currently fitted with Bloomberg Terminals, most of which are at U.S. universities.

Bloomberg's incorporation into classroomы has both short-term and long-term implications: it increases learning opportunities for students in the short run. Around 30 percent of the learning results respondents met the criteria of the course, and all students reported knowing of how to use at least two Bloomberg functions.

The introduction of experiential learning in teaching finance courses is credited with a major rise in financial program attendance as well as a boost in professional preparation for graduates.

The use of computer games in business education goes to nearly seven decades ago when Chamberlin was introducing the first classroom market game in economics history. Recent technological developments and the increase in software-based instruction popularity have largely contributed to the adoption of simulation games as an experiential learning tool in finance teaching. An example would be a semester-long project in which students at the beginning of the semester evaluate an investment portfolio, then review its results and generate a final report at the end of the semester. The use of the stock market as a classroom simulation game has been validated in finance teaching, with a positive impact on student comprehension and learning as well as increased interest in the field.

The overwhelming majority of earlier studies only identified Bloomberg's class adoption without any evaluation being made. Recent papers propose some assessment methods, such as a survey to determine the attitudes of undergraduates to various class practices, and the performance of the investment fund and overall class grades as a measure of the expertise of the students.

In autumn 2013, Manhattan College purchased and built 12 Bloomberg Terminals at the School of Business' first floor in the new computer lab. In the summer of 2017, by growing the number of dual monitors to 34 from 24 previously, the school modernized and expanded its finance room. In addition, the school added three flat screens, a dual teacher display, and a projector. The laboratory was fitted with 10 Bloomberg Terminals for student use, and one license for instructor use. This major investment reflected the goal of Excellence in Teaching at Manhattan College, and a strong emphasis on better preparing students for the job market.

To support colleges and academic institutions Bloomberg L.P. has implemented Bloomberg Terminals. More than 40 years ago, a website dedicated to educational institutions has been launched. The Bloomberg for Education website monitors how universities use the Terminal by offering a forum where they can post their syllabus integrations. Although the degree to which Bloomberg Terminals play an experiential learning function in such courses differs from the academic institution to academic institution, a consensus has emerged on the value of familiarizing students with Bloomberg. As part of the curriculum creation campaign, Bloomberg was part of the spring 2014 syllabus of the course "Options and Futures Markets." The introduction of this modern method of teaching was gradual, lasting four years. This incremental approach primarily addressed the challenges students face when studying how stocks, government bonds, options, and futures are exchanged and priced through Bloomberg Terminals on financial markets.

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