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Guest Post: My Semester with MyOMLab at U. Illinois-Chicago

June 11, 2014


 liotine2Our guest post today comes from Prof. Matt Liotine in the Dept. of Information and Decision Sciences, University  of Illinois-Chicago.

I teach OM using Jay and Barry’s book in my classes. My students use MyOMLab, which has numerous student and instructor on-line resources, including an e-book. The resources include the book’s end-of-chapter problems. I assign a subset as homework problems for my students to work on line. The problems are algorithmic, meaning that students can work on the same problem, but with different numeric values, thereby ensuring academic honesty. I give students 3 tries at a problem. During each try, MyOMLab tells a student whether their answer is correct and gives them hints for another try. If the student fails to get a correct answer after three tries, MyOMLab will present the student with the same problem but with new values. This process repeats until the student gets it right. Instructors can specify how many times the process can repeat. I set it at a high number, so I would expect every student to get 100%!


While instructors can create their own problems, I use the problems that are already available. I do, on occasion, edit problems to make the wording more understandable to foreign students. MyOMLab also has an “Ask My Instructor” feature, which allows students to email their instructor with questions while working on a problem and enable the instructor to actually see the problem they are working on. Many of my students take advantage of this feature.


Blackboard is our UI-C learning environment. Since MyOMLab does not have algorithmic versions of the book’s multiple choice test items, I create large pools of questions on Blackboard, using the book’s test items. Blackboard can randomize questions and answer choices, enabling many students to simultaneously take a test on line while ensuring academic honesty.


MyOMLab also serves as a virtual teaching assistant, automatically grading homework assignments. It can export grades into Blackboard via spreadsheet format. MyOMLab can be directly accessed from Blackboard without an additional sign-on, making it more convenient for students and instructors. I recommend that instructors encourage students to use the many resources available, including the multimedia videos and the tutoring sessions with Jay and Barry.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 17, 2014 6:57 pm

    It sounds like you’ve been using a lot of MyOMLab features. You mentioned the MyOMLab videos…ever since the authors added multiple choice homework questions for the videos, I have been including one or two on each of my homework assignments. In this way, I can “force” the students to watch more of these videos than I would normally have time to show in class. And it works especially well for online classes. These videos are marvelous examples of the actual use of operations techniques described in the book, and I think that most students don’t mind watching an extra 5-8 minute video in order to get another point correct on the homework assignment.

  2. June 17, 2014 7:05 pm

    Jay Heizer commented
    Matt, Glad you are finding Myomlab a beneficial teaching / learning aid. My experience is similar and I still ask why everyone has not yet moved to the digital world. But I thank you for your endorsement of the technology and encouraging comments. Yours for good teaching. Jay

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