The purpose of this paper is to describe a computer‐assisted learning experience in operations management (OM) higher education that entailed the development of interactive learning software, its evaluation in an experimental environment and the formal analysis of the teaching method's influence on student perceptions.
The software design follows the constructivist focus based on widely‐accepted educational technology principles. Objective tests of knowledge and subjective appraisal of the learning process were used in the experiment to compare two educational scenarios (computer‐assisted learning and on‐site class). Students' perceptions of the software's technical and teaching features are also analyzed.
The study shows that the teaching method can significantly affect students' perceptions of the learning process. The findings also confirm the pedagogical effectiveness of the software that was designed and that information communication technologies (ICT)‐based methods are an alternative to traditional methods used in OM education.
The experiment involved strict control over various potential threats to validity. From a statistical point‐of‐view, the conclusions can only be generalized in the population analyzed. Nevertheless, the features of the software and the student profile allow the main conclusions to be generalized to other OM environments.
The use and evaluation of interactive software in OM educational environments are reflected on, with emphasis on the influence that the teaching methodology has on students' attitudes to the learning process. It is of interest for researchers interested in improving teaching through the use of ICT.
There are very few studies on interactive self‐learning software for OM and its effects on student perceptions. This paper is a new contribution to this field.
Arenas‐Márquez, F., Machuca, J. and Medina‐López, C. (2012), "Interactive learning in operations management higher education: Software design and experimental evaluation", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 32 No. 12, pp. 1395-1426. https://doi.org/10.1108/01443571211284160Download as .RIS
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