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Guest Post: Teaching OM to 2,500 Students a Year at UCF

June 19, 2018

Dr. Andy Johnson is a Lecturer in Supply Chain Management at the University of Central Florida, the largest single campus college in the U.S. with over 66,000 students. He holds a PhD from the Rutgers Business School.

The University of Central Florida’s (UCF) College of Business Administration has undergone a dramatic change in teaching it’s 13 core and non-core courses to over 8,500 students each semester. In the Fall of 2017, the college developed a unique way of engaging a large student body using a variant of the mixed-mode method called “Reduced Seat Time, Active Learning”. This is a blended method combining face-to-face and online requirements. The intent of the five face-to-face sessions is to provide a group type activity verifying learning for a particular course subject.

In the Spring of 2018, I taught six sections of the Supply Chain and Operations Management course using the Heizer/Render/Munson text to 647 students using the newly adopted modality. Students received the course content in a series of short online videos (138 in total) that I created, with deadlines for each chapter’s MyOMLab homework sets, quizzes, study modules and simulation programs. For the 5 classroom sessions, I developed scenarios similar to the computer simulations using printed exercises and Microsoft Excel worksheets. Upon completion of the group activities, the material provided in these sessions could then be used to help prepare the students to pass the 5 simulations in Forecasting, Inventory Management, Quality Management, Supply Chain Management, and Project Management provided by the text authors and Pearson.

Overall, my experience teaching this large student body for the first time, in this newly developed modality, was a success, but of course not without some challenges. However, there were two significant benefits using this new course design: 1) the face-to-face live sessions solidified learning in what I deem as the 5 pillars of supply chain and operations management and 2) having the opportunity to individually engage with over 600 students. I believe the college exceeded its expectations of the new format and will be a benchmark for other universities with a large student body.

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