Advancing the skill set of SCM graduates – an active learning approach

Kirstin Scholten (Department of Operations, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands)
Anna Dubois (Department of Technology Management and Economics, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden)

International Journal of Operations & Production Management

ISSN: 0144-3577

Publication date: 6 November 2017



Drawing on a novel approach to active learning in supply chain management, the purpose of this paper is to describe and analyze how the students’ learning process as well as their learning outcomes are influenced by the learning and teaching contexts.


A case study of a master’s level purchasing course carried out at two universities in which students work in projects resulting in jointly authored books.


The findings show how the teaching context influenced the learning process and the learning outcomes. Active involvement, self-directed learning, collaborative learning and learning from practice enabled by the set-up of the course are identified as key mechanisms for the learning outcomes in relation to skills and content.


Increasingly, supply chain management graduates have to develop professional, practical, research as well as metacognitive and life-long learning skills during their university education. This paper identifies mechanisms and illustrates how educators can use the set-up of a course to enable students to engage in a learning process resulting in a variety of skills as well as specific content-based aspects of knowledge.



The authors would like to acknowledge Dr Ing. Henk Faber for his dedication and valuable role as a second educator in the course in the University of Groningen from a practice point of view and Dr Nojan Najafi who contributed a lot to the course at Chalmers, first as a student in the first editorial team and then as a teaching assistant, and to the paper by reflecting on the course in retrospect in his two roles.


Scholten, K. and Dubois, A. (2017), "Advancing the skill set of SCM graduates – an active learning approach", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 37 No. 11, pp. 1683-1699.

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