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Guest Post: Taking OM Online at Canisius College

May 21, 2020

Our Guest Post today comes from Dr. Lynn A. Fish, who is Professor of Management at Canisius College

The second week of March 2020 was a transitional week for my undergraduate Operations Management class at Canisius College, a private, Jesuit Catholic University in Buffalo, NY. I met face-to-face with my class on Thursday for the last time. The class used the Heizer/Render/Munson Operations Management textbook and Pearson’s MyOMlab for homework. I informed the class that if we needed to transition online, I would keep the ‘class as close to what they were accustomed to as possible and distributed the remaining handouts for the semester. Within days, the President of Canisius College announced that we would be going online immediately.

I kept my word as the class format remained as close to what the students had prior to the transition as possible. The class lectures were made into short videos and posted to our Desire2Learn platform. I reminded students that they needed to: (1) read the textbook, (2) use the class notes that I provided them along with the corresponding videos, (3) complete the corresponding MyOMlab homework that was assigned, and (4) study for the regular quizzes and exams.

The textbook and MyOMlab sites provided a stable framework for the students. I’ve always found that this is a sound undergraduate text which provides my students with current information.

My end-of-the-semester survey revealed that students had very few issues with using the MyOMLab site and rated the overall experience as “very good”. As an instructor, the randomization of the problems on MyOMlab enabled students to complete the same problems, but with different numbers. This feature allayed some of my fears regarding cheating on online quizzes and exams as I incorporated MyOMlab problems into these instead of stagnant problems on Desire2Learn. When final student grades were calculated, I was relieved to see that my students passed the course (65% average).

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