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Teaching Tip: Preparing for Your On-Line Operations Course

March 7, 2014


online teaching
A few simple rules that can help you set up your first online operations management course just appeared in Faculty Focus (March 3, 2014). Do you have some tips of your own you would like to add in a comment?

1: Provide Extra Detail in Your Online Syllabus Most of us spend much of the first day of class going through the syllabus, taking time to elaborate on different points, and answering questions as we go along. Online classrooms lack this time, and so the syllabus must be more detailed.
2: Design for the Web
The online environment is fundamentally visual, built on videos, interaction, and exploration. All effective communication requires an understanding of the rules of that environment. Don’t view the online environment through the paradigm of the face-to-face environment. Use the 35 company videos Jay and I have developed to match the chapters in the text. Insert the Virtual Office Hours we have created for the 80 Solved Problems as well. 
3: If Someone Can Say it Better Than You, Then Let Them
Faculty often think they must develop every piece of content from scratch, but nearly all of the information in their head is available somewhere else. Use the web to your advantage by curating, rather than creating, content whenever possible.
4: Use a Consistent Format Create a template of what you will want from students in each module and follow it. It might be that your modules start with a video overview of the material, links to various content, three discussion questions, etc.
5: Remember the Workload Parameters
Faculty commonly assign too much content in an online class. If you assign too much, students will only view part of it, and the part they choose may not be what you think is most important. Better to define a workload range and stay within it. MyOMLab can certainly help with this.
 6: It Takes Longer Than You Think  Most faculty underestimate how long it will take to develop online content. So try to develop your content during the semester prior to the course going live.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Dr. Mark Jacobs permalink
    March 7, 2014 6:59 pm

    Barry –

    This post is timely as I am currently finishing up the development of the on-line version of the core OPS class taught at UD. Your points are right on it seems.

    One thing I plan to do is to integrate the myOMLab platform into the delivery of the course. In particular, I plan to point students to your short videos of how to solve problems. Given they will be buying the myOMLab license, I assume this is OK. However your blog sparked the thought that I should check with you. Please advise.

    Much thanks, Mark

    *Mark A. Jacobs, Ph.D.* University Research Fellow Assistant Professor, Operations Management University of Dayton College of Business 101 Anderson Center 300 College Park Dayton, OH 45469 937 229 2204 ofc

  2. March 7, 2014 7:20 pm

    Thanks for the feedback, Mark. Yes, by all means, encourage the students to use the videos. And we now have 4 multiple choice questions tied to each video inside of MyOMLab that you can assign as homework. These are graded by MyOMLab.

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