Problems in the teaching of international finance course
(A) Course orientation and teaching objectives are not clear
In the higher vocational stage, international finance courses are basically offered in finance and finance, international trade, international business and other majors, and most of the teaching in the past kept general education, based on the curriculum without differentiation.
However, different majors have different requirements for talent training, and the teaching objectives of the same course in different majors should reflect the differences, taking into account the characteristics of the majors, the connection with professional business knowledge, and the characteristics of students’ professional operation skills. Finance and finance majors train mainly financial practitioners, so the requirements for learning are higher and the theoretical depth achieved should be deeper, while international trade and international business majors train talents who are not specialized in financial industry in the future, but apply financial tools and carry out financial transactions in the process of foreign trade, so the focus of teaching should be on how to use international financial knowledge and skills to serve international trade.
(2) The course content is extensive and abstract, and students have certain difficulties in learning
International finance mainly studies the laws of international monetary relations and financial activities and their forms of realization. As a discipline, international finance involves a wide range of content, including balance of payments, exchange rates, foreign exchange operations, foreign exchange risk management, international financial markets, international monetary system, etc.. There are both economic theory and management practice, macro analysis and micro operation. These issues have considerable depth, requiring students to have a relatively solid foundation in economics, international trade, accounting and other related foundations before learning, and the foundation of senior students is generally weak, so it is difficult to learn and understand.
(3) There is a certain disconnection between the course content and the real development and actual business
Although the international finance textbooks on the market have been reformed, such as project-based design and engineering combination, the content selection is still based on the traditional international finance system. The topics are macro and abstract, and not closely related to foreign trade business and students’ life. For example, international reserve management, calculation of forward exchange rate, complex international financial derivatives, international monetary system, international financial organizations, etc. Although these contents are indispensable components of international finance, they are not practical for students of international trade in higher education, and it is difficult to understand them, but will deepen their resistance to the course. In addition, the international economic environment and financial markets are constantly changing, new situations and new problems emerge, and new national policies are constantly introduced, such as cross-border RMB settlement, foreign exchange management reform of trade in goods, etc. These are not in the traditional course content but are closely related to the future work of students, which requires teachers to have a very keen ability to collect and analyze information, and constantly update and add new teaching content.
(4) The teaching mode and teaching method of the course need to be innovative
The characteristics of higher vocational education determine that the traditional teaching mode and teaching method cannot achieve good teaching effect, so the international finance course also needs to introduce the “task-driven, project-oriented” teaching mode. However, due to the limited class time, students’ weak foundation and independent learning ability, students still need a lot of lectures from teachers when completing the tasks, students have limited time to practice in class, it is difficult to monitor the practice after class, and students’ practical operation is not enough. Therefore, how to design reasonable and feasible project tasks, innovative teaching methods, is the key to course reform, but also put forward higher requirements for the lecturers.
International finance course reform ideas
(A) combined with the actual, clear course positioning and teaching objectives
Since for international trade students, the international finance course is to help them improve their knowledge structure and enhance their professional skills, to assist them in the future to engage in international trade, we set the teaching objectives of the international finance course as follows: through the study of the course, students can master the financial activities closely related to international trade and professional skills, familiar with common international financial instruments, business characteristics and methods of application. To correctly understand and analyze international financial phenomena, understand new developments in international finance and national policies, enhance the ability to relate theory to practice and analyze and solve problems; in addition, they should improve their learning ability, innovation ability, employability and entrepreneurial ability, enhance financial awareness and financial management ability, so as to promote the enhancement of overall comprehensive quality and lay the foundation for future career expansion and personal life.
(2) In-depth, optimized and selected course content
To determine the course content, firstly, we should conduct in-depth research in foreign trade and economic enterprises to understand which jobs require international finance-related knowledge, skills and qualities, and what goals need to be achieved; secondly, we should analyze and refine the typical tasks in specific jobs, and take the tasks in international finance as the basis of the course project; finally, we should select the corresponding knowledge and skills points from the international finance discipline Finally, the corresponding knowledge and skills are selected from international finance disciplines to build the project-based teaching content of international finance course. The selection of course content is based on the actual company business and job competence needs, not bound to the traditional curriculum knowledge system, set typical work projects (tasks), if the knowledge and skills needed to complete the work tasks are not in the existing teaching content, to supplement it.
Conversely, if the content in existing teaching materials and disciplines is irrelevant to typical work tasks and not needed in actual business, appropriate deletion should be considered. In addition to emphasizing practicality, we also focus on cultivating students’ ability to analyze and solve problems, cultivating students’ sensitivity to changes in economic and financial situations, macro thinking and the ability to link theory to practice, which can dovetail with relevant career positions and also ensure the integrity of the international finance knowledge system. Finally, we set the course content into six projects, each project contains different tasks, as shown in Table 1.
1-2: Summarize and analyze the characteristics and reasons of China’s balance of payments according to the data in recent years, and discuss the current situation of China’s balance of payments and relevant government policies. 2-1: Export balance of payments declaration (fill in the foreign-related income declaration form) Project 3: Finding, interpreting, analyzing and applying the exchange rate quotation1 Task 1: Finding, interpreting and applying the foreign exchange quotation Task 2: Analysis of the exchange rate trend of major international settlement currencies Task 3: Seminar on the theme of RMB exchange rate and China’s economy 11-1: Locate and interpret the RMB exchange rate quotations published by the China Foreign Exchange Trade Center authorized by the People’s Bank of China.
1-2: Find the latest RMB foreign exchange quotes from major commercial banks and interpret them.
1-3: Find and interpret the exchange rate quotations of major foreign exchange currencies in the international foreign exchange market.
Practical Training 2: Selection and conversion of transaction prices in different contexts. 2-1: Find the exchange rate charts of major international settlement currencies and foreign exchange commentaries, and make some analysis of their recent and future trends in the light of what they have learned. 3-1: Complete a paper on the theme of RMB exchange rate and China’s economy in small groups. 3-2: Group representatives will speak and classmates will communicate. Project 4: Foreign exchange business operation and application1 Task 1: Settlement and sale of foreign exchange business for 11-1: Finding and interpreting RMB forward exchange rate quotes.
1-2: Forward settlement and sale of foreign exchange business processing. Practical training 3: Application of forward exchange settlement. Task 2: Simulation of arbitrage and swap transactions 12-1: Choose the capital application scheme for the enterprise and calculate the corresponding profit and loss. Task 3: i.e. Forward import quotation conversion 13-1: Check the Bank of China of the account opening bank i.e. forward exchange rate quotation and analyze the exchange rate trend.
3-2: According to the exchange rate quotation for import price conversion, choose a more favorable offer, or to return the plate. Task 4: i.e. forward export quotation conversion 14-1: query account opening bank Bank of China i.e. forward exchange rate quotation, analysis of exchange rate trend. 4-2: according to the exchange rate quotation for export quotation conversion. Practical training 4: export quotation conversion. Project V: Foreign Exchange Risk Management 1 Task 1: Foreign Exchange Risk Management Case Study Task 2: Foreign Exchange Risk Management Using Financial Transactions 11-1: Analyze what methods are used by companies in foreign exchange risk management based on the materials.
1-2: Analyze the pros and cons of different foreign exchange risk management methods. 2-1: Before signing a trade contract, analyze the currency, maturity, and settlement methods involved in the contract, and identify, measure, and analyze the possible foreign exchange risks in conjunction with the forecast of exchange rate trends.
2-2: Design foreign exchange risk management programs using various financial transactions according to specific situations. Project Name 1 Task Name 1 Specific Content Project 6: International Trade Finance Operation 1 Task 1: Export Trade Finance Operation Task 2: Import Trade Finance Operation Task 3: Factoring Business Operation Task 4: Forfaiting Business Operation 11-1: Handling Package Release: specific process, filling out the application form and signing the Package Release Contract.
1-2: Handling Export Charge: specific procedures, filling out the application form for charge, and signing the Export Charge Contract.
1-3: Handle export credit insurance. 2-1: Handle import charge: specific procedure, fill in the application form for import charge, and sign the import charge contract. 3-1: Handle factoring business: specific procedure, fill in the application form. 4-1: Handle forfaiting business: specific procedure, fill in the application form. (3) Teaching and doing as one, improving teaching mode and teaching methods
Under the “task-driven, project-oriented” teaching mode, each task is carried out in accordance with the steps of task introduction, clear learning objectives, task assignment, knowledge preparation, operation demonstration, project implementation, result evaluation, and practical training practice. Through these teaching links to achieve the effect of learning by doing and learning to do. The teaching methods should be used flexibly to stimulate students’ learning interest and enthusiasm. First, fully use a variety of teaching tools and teaching materials, teachers should accumulate more teaching materials in daily lesson preparation, try to use videos, charts, pictures, real business cases and other materials to enhance students’ perceptual understanding. Second, set up work situations, through the setting of jobs and work tasks, so that students have a sense of professional immersion, to stimulate their desire to complete the work, analyze problems and solve them, thus promoting their independent learning. Third, fully use the heuristic and discussion teaching, teachers no longer just teach the knowledge points, but leave more time to students, through questions, class discussion, inspire students to think about the problems, express their views, and improve the degree of student participation.
(4) Multiple evaluation and perfect assessment methods
Strengthen the assessment of practical teaching links, adopt the assessment method based on process assessment, and score according to the completion of the project. Teaching-doing project-based teaching pays special attention to students’ learning in the usual way, focusing on the examination of students’ ability to analyze and solve problems in the process of project completion, as well as the completion of the project. The process-based assessment method encourages students to use their efforts in the usual way, avoiding the traditional lectures in the final review of students, and more able to exercise the students’ hands-on ability.
The practical training projects designed for this course can be divided into individual practical training projects and group practical training projects. The individual training project requires each student to complete independently, mainly suitable for some documents, forms filling, calculations, etc. The standards of such projects are clearer, the answers are uniform, and the teacher will review and score according to the work submitted by students. The group practical training projects, on the other hand, are completed by several students, involving many links and various project results, without uniform standards, so the score composition of group practical training projects adopts the following way.
100% group project grade 70% teacher evaluation 70% result evaluation
30% Student evaluation
30% mutual evaluation of group members
The evaluation of project results includes both teacher evaluation and student evaluation, so that students can learn the merits of other groups, discover problems and better consolidate their own abilities in the process of grading other groups. The mutual evaluation of the group members reflects the degree of recognition of the work done by the group members in the process of task completion, so as to avoid the phenomenon of “taking advantage” of individual students. The evaluation mechanism is designed to enhance the students’ sense of responsibility and to encourage them to better understand and complete the project tasks. We also designed the “Group Work Project Results Evaluation Form” and the “Group Work Project Record Sheet”, so that the whole evaluation process can be based on evidence.
After years of teaching and reform practice of international finance course of international trade majors in higher education, we have concluded this set of teaching and doing integration program, which has achieved better results in practical teaching, but of course, it still needs continuous improvement. Curriculum construction and reform is the core of improving the level of talent training, but also the focus and difficulties of teaching reform, as a front-line teachers need to continue to learn advanced teaching concepts, and use them to improve the quality of teaching and learning.