Adapting Operations Management Education for Online Delivery: Lessons Learned From the Pandemic

Published on 16 October 2023


In the Lessons Learned From the Pandemic article, we explore three key sections: Emergency Online Teaching, Student Feedback, and Implications for Operations Management Educators. In the Emergency Online Teaching section, we delve into the adjustments made to the operations management module due to the shift to online delivery caused by the pandemic. We also highlight Edumundo's simulation game and introduce the framework for educators transitioning from face-to-face to online teaching.

Adapting an Operations Management Undergraduate Core Module for Emergency Online Delivery

During the pandemic, the Liverpool Business School adapted their operations management module for online delivery, incorporating a mix of traditional and flipped classroom techniques. Live online lectures were recorded for students unable to attend, with case studies and supplementary videos used to highlight specific topics each week. Additionally, guest lectures and a simulation game were included in the module assessment, while factory visits were replaced with virtual tours and guest lectures in the online version.

Simulation Game

The ProSim Advanced simulation by Edumundo has proven to be an invaluable tool for learning and assessment in the module. It is a popular web-based business simulation tool. Developed in 2011, it has been regularly updated to incorporate the latest business theories. It is used by over 40 universities in the UK and more than 300 universities worldwide. 

In the simulation, students act as managers in a sporting goods retail business, aiming to maximize profitability and earn points in finance, customer satisfaction, internal objectives, and learning and growth. They are ranked based on their performance and decision-making skills, defining their unique operations strategy to stand out from competitors.

In the online simulation game, teams have the flexibility to play at their convenience, while instructors are available to answer questions during a designated time slot. Results for each round are calculated and released on a specific date, allowing students to schedule their online meetings accordingly.

An Edumundo representative presents and explains the game to students, who then participate in a trial round before fully engaging in the immersive experience during a scheduled online session. Students are assessed based on their decision-making process and justifications, promoting effective teamwork and engagement.

Emergency Online Teaching Framework

A teaching framework was created based on firsthand experiences to adapt the operations management module for emergency online delivery. The article highlights differences between face-to-face and online teaching, including the need for modified assessments and the use of written communication in the Learning Management System. Also, the teaching strategy depends on the digital infrastructure and the accessibility of digital devices for students which is shown in the article. 

Finally, the framework also incorporates two essential components: student mentoring and assessment and feedback. These elements significantly contribute to creating an effective learning environment, regardless of the teaching mode.


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