Educational Research

Full Length Research Paper 

Engaging undergraduate business students in experiential learning through a required term project in operations management course 

Rui Kang1, Jiaqin Yang1, Wei June2

1Georgia College and State University, Milledgeville, GA 31061, USA

2University of West Florida, Pensacola, FL 32514 

*Corresponding author E-mail: jiaqin.yang@gcsu.edu ; Phone: (478) 445-2570 

Received 26 March, 2010; Accepted 25 April, 2010 

Abstract

This paper examines the effect of an experiential learning term project and a well-designed instructional guideline on students’ achievement of pre-established course learning objectives of a required core undergraduate business course—Operations Management (OM). The data are collected from reserved student project papers over the last 5-year period. The course learning objectives are based on the primary course standard well-received by AACSB for undergraduate OM courses, and students’ learning outcomes are assessed with a pre-designed assessment rubric. Over 100 student project papers are randomly selected and evaluated in this research.  Possible inter-rater inconsistency was controlled through a pilot testing with all participating raters. The objectives of this research are: (1) to examine the use of an experiential learning project at undergraduate level and the facilitating roles assumed by the instructor in the process, and, (2) to identify possible correlations between students’ ability to follow the provided guideline and the quality of their completed project paper. The results of this research show that there is a strong positive relationship between students’ achievement of pre-designed learning objectives and the degree to which they follow the instructor-provided guideline.                 

Keywords: Instructional innovation, learning objective assessment, course term project guideline, empirical study. 

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