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Suffering or Having Fun - Importance of perceived workload in teaching with computer simulation. POON, Tat Hong (Ted). Department of Management The Hong Kong Polytechnic University mstpoon@polyu.edu.hk. Background.

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poon tat hong ted
POON, Tat Hong (Ted)

Department of ManagementThe Hong Kong Polytechnic University

mstpoon@polyu.edu.hk

background
Background
  • The project covers an experiment relating to 200 final year Business students in PolyU.
  • The subject involves is Strategic Management II - the second part of a one year Strategic Management course.
the old game
The old game
  • This course was traditionally taught with a lecture-case study approach and the students usually complain that the materials are too abstractive and not realistic enough.
the new game
The New game
  • A computer based management simulation, The Marketplace, was first introduced in 2000
objective of the project
Objective of the project
  • This project studies the management of the students’ learning experience when computer simulation is used in problem-based leaning approach
issue 1 discussed today
Issue 1 discussed today

Is workload of a subject (defined as the time a student is spending in that subject) correlated with Contact hours and assigned tasks?

issues 2 discussed today
Issues 2 discussed today

How perceived workload of a subject affect attitudes of students toward the subject?

research strategy and data collection techniques
Research strategy and data collection techniques
  • After the 4th session of the simulation, questionnaires were distributed to all the students in the simulation program
  • Interview at the end of the semester
data presentation and analysis
Data presentation and analysis
  • In both rounds, about 94% of the students who registered for the subject returned usable questionnaire forms
1 workload
1. Workload
  • In every week, how many hours do you spend in the Marketplace?
  • (Excluding lecture and seminar)
average hours spent in the simulation
Average Hours spent in the simulation
  • Range: 0.5 ~ 40 hours per week
  • Average: 6.1 hours per week
  • Standard Deviation: 5.1
how many hour do you spend in this game per week
How many hour do you spend in this game per week?
  • “Many, many hours. Sometimes I cannot sleep at night, I will switch on the computer (to take a look at the game). I believe I spend about 2 hours per day. It is just like playing a computer game.”
2 attitudes of the students
2. Attitudes of the students
  • The questionnaires used in Round 2 tested also the attitudes of the students by asking whether the students would recommend the subject to other students.
attitudes of the students
Attitudes of the students
  • 59% of the students selected either 'definitely yes' or 'yes',
  • 23% 'neutral' or 'don't know',
  • 17% 'no' or ' definitely no'.
  • 'heavy workload' was the typical disadvantage cited
attitudes of the students19
Attitudes of the students
  • Strong correlation between the amount of time a student spends in the game and how he/shefeels about the subject.
  • The Pearson Chi-square test shows an Asymptotic Significance (2-sided) of 0.008.
  • Most of the students who spend less than six hours per week in the game tend to favor the subject.
conclusion 1
Conclusion 1

Perceived Workload of a subject is a very personal thing:

  • it shows great variance among different students who should have the same contact hours and assigned tasks.
  • it may not correlated well with Contact hours and assigned tasks.
conclusion 2
Conclusion 2

Perceived workload shows strong correlation with the attitudes of students toward a subject

what can we do
What can we do?

To improve the attitude of the students toward the subject/teaching approach, the perceived workload of the students should be carefully managed by

  • Administrative arrangement
  • Perception shift
student s advice
Student’s advice

“You should be more committed to the subject. Do not treat it as an assignment or homework. Treat it more like a game and it will become more interesting/fun. You will be more devoted and be willing to spend more energy in it. You will not feel you are suffering because you have to do an assignment just to earn some marks.”

thank you
THANK YOU!

Any question?