MBA Operations Management Course Survey
The course monitoring feedback for this course was very disappointing, with the responses falling below programme quality guideline on every question.
The key points to be taken from the course survey requiring action are:
- Dissatisfaction with the clarity of learning objectives;
- A belief that the course should be more practical and less academic;
- A perception that the feedback on the course exercises is insufficient.
In previous years the provision of detailed readings and case feedback on the course website was interpreted as a benefit, but this has not been the case since the course went form a long semester long block to a short block of four days. Access statistics have shown that viewing of online feedback and resources is still very low, despite reminders that the material was there.
It is particularly disappointing that there are no positive comments about any of the visiting speakers considering the time and effort that all three speakers invested in their discussions with the class.
Of these issues uncovered, the one which is both most significant, but also most challenging, is to evolve the course from a focus on understanding/knowledge (i.e. understanding what the terms mean) to a focus on practical skills. Historically the course was taught towards being assessed by examination which led to a focus on understanding terms . The case studies are intended to allow students to think about the application of techniques, but all the case studies that were identified covering operations issues do not focus on operational implementation skills: they tend to be strategic management cases involving operations issues. Up to two years ago the course included a practical operations simulation to address application of management techniques, which many students engaged with well, but was very difficult for students with no practical operations management background. This feedback has been very helpful in hammering home the realisation that we should be developing practical skill exercises for the course. Having this epiphany is the easy part; the harder part is to identify the practical operations management skills that MBA students need across sectors and designing them to suit a student body which includes students with no relevant practical skillbase but other students with the practical experience to apply the techniques in their sleep.
If students criticisms of their lecturer’s accent can be published in feedback, does this mean that lecturers can now criticise students’ accents in their feedback?