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Guest Post: Comparing Blended vs. On-Line OM Classes at St. Petersburg College

October 24, 2015

Wende BrownOur Guest Post comes from Wende Huehn-Brown, who is Professor of Business at St. Petersburg College in Florida.

Last year I shared some of my experiences and efforts to increase student success in online courses for operations management at Jay and Barry’s OM Blog. At my college, we define student success as the portion of students earning a C or better as their final grade. Here are the past 3 years of data:

Modality Spring 2013 Spring 2014 Spring 2015
Online 57% 73% 78%
Blended 92% 88% 75%


Overall we have sustained further improvements in online student success. The same pencasts have been used (see example in this 2013 Guest Post) since Spring 2014 (unfortunately my smartpen died, but I just obtained a new one to work on adding pencasts).  Several updates have occurred in the screen captured videos.  These improvements added and updated some problems, but more importantly were uploaded to YouTube so students can access from mobile devices and all videos were closed captioned to be ADA compliant.

While blended student success rates remain strong, we have seen a decrease. Basically, more students are attempting online classes, then moving to blended courses if unsuccessful online.  Enrollment has actually grown almost 50% over this three year time period (the college doubled the number of sections offered both online and blended).  Some weaker students appear to be recognizing their learning need to take tougher quantitative business classes in a blended format. Yet other students find recorded learning objects an effective supplement to the textbook and MyOMLab to further support online learning. Pencasts and videos were only used in a tailored study plan. Students are expected to practice in the study plan first and then critically think further about applying the analytical methods in other graded homework, quizzes or exams, or projects (which do not have these recorded resources).

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