Using a Supply Chain Game to Effect Problem-Based Learning in an Undergraduate Operations Management Program
Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education
Problem-based learning (PBL), first applied in the 1960s in the domain of medicine, is now underway in a number of leading U.S. business schools. We combine the case-oriented PBL approach with a competitive game in “Supply Chain Management Strategies” (OPS 480), a course for senior-level students. The PBL component constitutes roughly 40% of the semester schedule. It has been gradually refined over several years.
By itself, the PBL is a highly effective pedagogical technique, but what a game offers is this and more. Its competitive nature adds motivation—our undergraduates see the impact of their decisions instantaneously in cash flow balance and overall team standing. The course is completed with an array of other established activities. Proponents of PBL claim its advantage to be that as learning is goal oriented, the knowledge acquisition is enhanced and the learning is deeper (e.g., see Faria & Weffington, 2005).
Students get hands-on experience in various topics, some of which were covered in previous courses and others the students learn about in the current semester. In German-speaking countries, PBL is considered to be the most important pedagogical innovation (Markowitsch, Messerer, & Prokopp, 2004, p. 90). For a review of PBL in business education, see, for example, Milter and Stinson (1995), Savery and Duffy (1996), and Zumbach (2003). For an earlier example of PBL in Operations Management, see Kanet and Barut (2003).
Copyright © 2008, Decision Sciences Institute
John Wiley & Sons
Kanet, John J. and Stößlein, Martin, "Using a Supply Chain Game to Effect Problem-Based Learning in an Undergraduate Operations Management Program" (2008). MIS/OM/DS Faculty Publications. 17.