Bemidji State University’s Production Planning and Control course has been certified by Quality Matters, a faculty-centered peer review process designed to certify the quality of online and blended-delivery courses.
The course, taught by Dr. Mahmoud Al-Odeh, assistant professor of technolgoy, art and design, in BSU’s College of Business, Technology and Communication, is a four-credit course introducing the concepts, tools and techniques used to plan and control the production of goods and services. It includes topics such as inventory management, resource planning, facilities planning and layout and supply chain management, with an emphasis on recent developments such as just-in-time inventory systems.
“When I developed the online course, I tried to connect the theories of production planning with real life examples to make the course more effective and more interesting,” Al-Odeh said. “I used several techniques such as using real case studies from local and international manufacturers to actively engage students in figuring out the production principles.”
Students in the course gain experience with industry-leading digital production planning and management simulation software and produce a final project exploring real-world issues faced by local companies.
About Quality Matters
Quality Matters is a research-based tool that measures courses against a list of eight general standards and 41 specific criteria describing best practices in online course design. The measurement criteria are updated every three years to reflect new techniques and technologies.
The process includes a course review done by a team of three trained, certified peer reviewers who have experience teaching online courses. The team does not issue pass/fail judgments, but rather provides specific guidance for course developers to modify courses to meet the Quality Matters standards. The process is designed to ensure that courses undergoing review will eventually meet expectations.
While there are many factors that play a role in providing a quality learning experience for students, Quality Matters focuses specifically on course design — the planning that goes into the course.
“Applying the Quality Matters standards helped me improve the quality of the course by providing multiple ways for students to demonstrate mastery and to accommodate multiple learning styles,” Al-Odeh said. “The standards also guided the creation of assignments providing students with multiple opportunities to measure their own learning progress.”
Al-Odeh said he benefitted from seeing a course from a student’s perspective, which made it easier to modify the course activities and goals to better meet student needs. Ultimately, he said the time and energy invested into the Quality Matters certification process resulted in an improved product that led to improved student performance.
“The final outcome of the review process is that you have a better course,” he said. “A course that engages students at advanced levels will translate into higher student performance and to better student satisfaction.”
Other Quality Matters-certified courses at BSU
• Computer Business Applications; developed by Dr. Kari Wood, professor of business administration
• Quality Matters