Guest Post: Teaching OM With Mobile Technologies at the U. of Dayton
At University of Dayton, high quality teaching is a foremost performance measure for each faculty member. I teach an introductory OM course, with Jay and Barry’s 11th edition. (Click here to see my U. Dayton Syllabus). We cover 14 Chapters with 25 meetings. To deliver a lecture with clarity with such a limited amount of time, I adopt mobile technology because mobile devices are highly accessible to nearly all the students and the time can be very flexible.
I have thus far created 50 YouTube videos ranging from 2 to 20 minutes to show the re-do of selected book examples and sample homework problems. There are 2 reasons for this: (1) I realize that the course presentation may create some learning gaps between the lecture and the homework problems. These gaps can be fixed by practicing more live examples; and (2) the textbook examples are largely about manual calculations with great detail. However, the learning objective of this course is to let most students stay focused on big picture of OM. Thus, the goal of these video clips is to stimulate student learning activities and to establish the linkage between course contents and practice.
Students love it! More than 80% of students watch all the videos and they seem to be motivated. The peak number of visits happens from 8-11pm. In my opinion, the reason the videos are so popular is that homework seems to be a set of real-world examples and greatly valued in practice. Furthermore, their interactions provide great stimulation. In addition to the active Q&A exchanges during lectures, more students show up during office hours, often with comments on how much they value the videos.
Regardless of their nice words, there are many things that need to be done. First, I try to make every video less than 7 minutes because lengthy videos, just like hour-long presentations, lose students’ attention quickly. Second, I need to add tags with brief description on each video clip that students can use to quickly identify the learning objective.
To me, teaching future executives is not only an honorable profession, but also a creative activity– just like research. I really enjoy it!