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Guest Post: Teaching Operations Management On-line at St. Petersburg College

September 25, 2014

Wende BrownDr. Wende Huehn-Brown is Professor of Business at St. Petersburg College in Florida

Last year I was a guest on Jay and Barry’s OM Blog who shared some tips from my experiences teaching operations management from the Heizer/Render text in on-line courses. Now, a year later, I wanted follow up this discussion with further evidence on the value that pencasts (my Guest Post on January 12, 2013) and screen captured videos (my Guest Post on July 2, 2013) had on student success rates.

To emphasize the impact that these visual and recorded methods had on my students, let me share my student success rates this year in comparison with last year. Student successes are defined here as the portion of students earning a C or better as their final grade.  Please understand as you consider these percentages, I do have a fairly large withdrawal rate in online courses and students that withdraw are in the denominator.

Modality Spring 2013 Spring 2014
Online 56.5% 73.1%
Blended 92.0% 88.0%

Obviously, the value of physical meetings to explain concepts and demonstrate the analytics in the active learning activities I do in blended classes is very vital to student success. However, technology today does enable us to replicate some aspects from the classroom.   Since 2013, my use of these recorded media options in my Operations Management course has grown to a total well over 100 pencasts and videos. I am able to reuse these across courses and I focus on study plan problems that are not used on further graded homework, quizzes, or exams.  At the same time, student evaluations have become more positive on the course.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. September 25, 2014 7:27 am

    It would be interesting to follow your statistics over a few more semesters. Thoughts on why the numbers appear to be converging?
    Any pressure on you to toughen the grading standard, to reach a target grade distribution?

  2. Wende Huehn-Brown permalink
    September 25, 2014 12:20 pm

    Sure I will update this forum on these results after next spring. Please understand though during this time period I shared here, I also expanded the lessons on what is covered for the learning objectives in the course (the level of expectations each semester continues to evolve). In this manner I can continue to manage tough grading standards, but really expand student learning that is vital for this discipline. To share further grade distributions, understand five courses are in this summary which ranged from 20-35% of students in this W/F/D range. Other grade ranges were 12-20% A, 26-35% B, and 30-37% C.

    • Wende Huehn-Brown permalink
      September 25, 2014 12:56 pm

      Let me add … Please understand a key goal to developing and using this recorded content was to better enable online students to be successful. But also to be able to better manage time and complete other active learning activities in the blended classes.

  3. September 25, 2014 6:02 pm

    I think your 100 pencasts and videos creates an amazing set of tools for all your future students! Is there a way you could share some (or all) of these, so we can see how you created them and what approach you use?

    • Wende Huehn-Brown permalink
      September 29, 2014 12:00 pm

      In that January 12th blog there is an example of an OM problem pencast I did for Chapter 1. As well as a link to Livescribe (I use the Echo smart pen). For videos I used Camtasia to record my desktop (they have a free version Jing too or Google Hangout on Air supports this now free). The college copyrights these for our courses so I really can’t share, but easy to create and students value for their studying!

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