Monthly Archives: October 2009

Dirt Bikes and Information Systems

dirt_bike

In the Management Information Systems course, the activity that combines a performance assessment with a social learning opportunity for students  involves a consulting firm and a dirt bike company.  Divided into teams, students take the part of either the company owners or the managerial consultants working for Dirt Bike USA.  In collaboration, the teams exchange information and perform an overall systems analysis for Dirt Bike USA, considering things like business continuity planning, customer privacy policies, legal constraints, and environmental policies.  The “consultants” then make managerial recommendations to the “owners” of Dirt Bike USA, and the company responds accordingly.

In this activity, neither team of students is right or wrong. The end result for all participants is a deeper understanding of the complexities of managerial responsibilities and long-term systems planning through the acquisition of problem-solving skills and opportunities for hands-on applications of those skills.

Animating Physics: Kinetic Energy

wind-energyThis course, Energy: the Issues and the Science, includes an overview of the physics of energy. A number of animations are created to graphically illustrate some of the scientific concepts of physics, many of which students might feel are abstract. Concrete explanations of potential, kinetic, and rotational energy are provided via graphic animations, with the goal of increasing students’ understanding of each concept and establishing relationships between course concepts. Upon starting each animation, the student hears narration that accompanies the action of the graphic. The animations can be viewed as many times as the student deems necessary.