SCM870, Introduction to Supply Chain Management, is the introductory course in our Masters of Science in Supply Chain Management (MS-SCM) program. The program is designed for full-time, working individuals who want to continue to advance their professional careers while obtaining a graduate degree from the #1 ranked supply chain management (SCM) program. Our students have a wide variety of backgrounds - some with a previous degree in SCM and some with less formal education; some with extensive work experience in multiple industries and some with more narrowly focused experience (e.g., only purchasing) or experience in only one industry (e.g., military). As such, this course has to ensure all students gain the necessary foundation to be successful in future courses while keeping more advanced students engaged.
The MS-SCM program, and, subsequently this course, has evolved significantly over the past few years. Originally, the program was a predominately on-campus program, admitting one cohort/year of generally 20-25 students who took multiple courses in 4 12-day intensive sessions. As the program was expanded to 2 cohorts/year of roughly 40 students/cohort, it was redesigned to be more flexible to attract our student population. As such, courses went from 100% on-campus to 100% 2-credits online or to hybrid courses (like SCM870) offering 1-credit on-campus and 2-credits online. In SCM 870, we meet on-campus for 3 days before moving to 8 weeks of online content facilitated on D2L. Online content includes mix-media to keep students engaged, including short videos that I narrate, audio I recorded, or short text explanations as well as other content (e.g., company videos, links to online articles).
In redesigning to a hybrid option, I wanted to ensure students were able to develop a close network and long-lasting bonds as they master course material as this is one of the key benefits of the program. As such, students are placed in diverse teams (based on education, SCM experience, industry, AND time zone) during the on-campus experience to work on 3 cases over the length of the course. I utilize weekly discussion boards that elicit best practice sharing among students and cohort-facilitated learning. My course objectives and additional information on course activities (e.g., cases, discussion boards, quizzes) are provided as supplementary external documentation. In addition, I conduct weekly “Live Sessions” on Zoom to continue to develop a relationship with the students, ensure the course touches on current events, and enable students to ask questions/facilitate discussion.