Orange Innovations, a student-run marketing agency consisting of Spears School of Business students at Oklahoma State University, has developed a marketing campaign to introduce the 2013 Honda Civic Sedan to the Stillwater campus.
The Honda Street Fest will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, April 8, on the southeast lawn of the Edmon Low library on the Stillwater campus.
Orange Innovations’ 32-member marketing team consists of undergraduate students from the Marketing Strategies and Marketing, taught by Marlys Mason, associate professor in the marketing department at the Spears School. Continue Reading
Orange Innovation Group, a student-run marketing agency consisting of Spears School of Business students, recently participated in a Chevrolet Campus Promotions campaign on the Stillwater campus. OSU is one of only 19 schools throughout the country participating in the program.
The campaign is part of the Chevrolet Campus Promotions, a program that gives OSU students a unique, real-world business experience through the design and implementation of an integrated marketing communications plan. The competition is organized by EdVenture Partners, a marketing education consultancy that brought together Oklahoma State University students and Chevrolet. Continue Reading
Oklahoma State University and long-time partner SAS, a leading provider of business analytics software, have once again teamed up to award more than 50 graduate students with data mining and business analytics certificates during the Annual SAS Analytics Day on the Stillwater campus.
The conference links OSU’s data mining and business analytics certificate programs and students who are trained in analytics using SAS with members of the local and regional business community.
The SAS Analytics Day, organized by the Center for Executive and Professional Development in the Spears School of Business, introduces OSU’s certificate programs to businesses and allows students and businesses to begin building their professional network.
The interdisciplinary program awarded certificates to the OSU graduate students from marketing, management science and information systems (MSIS), industrial engineering and management (IEM), statistics and other disciplines. Continue Reading
Goutam Chakraborty, a professor of marketing at Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business, is the recipient of the 2010-2011 Outreach Faculty Excellence Award. OSU’s Division of International Studies and Outreach will present the award to Chakraborty on Nov. 29 at the Conoco Phillips Alumni Center.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the award, which was created to recognize and honor the contributions made by faculty as part of the outreach mission of OSU.
Chakraborty has had many great accomplishments while teaching at OSU. On a national level, he received the Bronze Award for Excellence in Teaching through Distance Learning from the United State Distance Learning Association in April 2009 in St. Louis. On a regional level, in October he was chosen for the 2011 Excellence in Teaching and Faculty Service award from the University Professional Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) for the central region. Chakraborty has also received various awards from the Spears School and OSU for his commitment to his research, teaching and outreach efforts.
Dr. Goutam Chakraborty, professor of marketing in Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business, will receive the 2011 Excellence in Teaching and Faculty Service award presented by the University Professional Continuing Education Association on Oct. 13 in St. Louis, Mo.
Since beginning his career at Oklahoma State University in 1991, Chakraborty has been an innovator and leader by teaching credit courses via distance-learning, instructing non-credit seminars, supervising small business projects, overseeing corporate MBA thesis, teaching students in international locations (London and UAE), and starting and managing the OSU data mining certificate program (delivered online to distance learning students).
A team of four students representing Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business recently received one of the top honors while competing in the 2011 Direct Marketing Educational Foundation’s Collegiate ECHO Direct/Interactive Marketing Challenge.
OSU students Chase Blackstock, Jared Eichler, Jeremy French and Rachel Hoelscher were presented the Silver Award (second place) in the undergraduate division during the 2011 competition, which was conducted during the Fall 2010 and Spring 2011 semesters. Teams representing 133 schools participated in the challenge.
The four members of the Oklahoma State team will split a cash prize of $1,000, and a $2,500 scholarship will be awarded to OSU marketing department.
(STILLWATER, OK, June 28, 2011) – Oklahoma State University received rave reviews after serving as host this month for the 46th American Marketing Association/Sheth Foundation Doctoral Consortium, the nation’s premier gathering of up-and-coming marketing stars.
“It was our goal to deliver a doctoral consortium that was challenging and motivating to both young scholars as well as esteemed faculty attendees,” said Larry Crosby, Dean of the Oklahoma State University Spears School of Business.
Conducting work that matters was a reoccurring topic throughout the four-day consortium program. The sessions addressed such topics as qualitative and quantitative research, personal selling and management, strategy and innovation, consumer behavior, policy and corporate social responsibility, services marketing, customer and brand management, social networking, and pricing and promotion.
Since 1966, through an annual Doctoral Consortium, the American Marketing Association (AMA) and prestigious universities across the country have shown commitment to doctoral education in helping young scholars develop successful careers. In the mid-1990s, the Madhuri and Jagish N. Sheth Foundation made a major commitment to the consortium, joining with AMA to ensure a bright future for the event.
Josh Wiener, Consortium co-chair, Head and Professor of Marketing and Carson Professor of Business Administration, and Director of the Center for Social and Services Marketing in the OSU Spears School of Business, noted that this is the most prestigious academic event in marketing.
“Only the very best scholars are invited to serve as consortium faculty, and schools send only their very best doctoral students. The participants represented a national and international audience. There were 101 marketing faculty and 118 doctoral students in attendance,” said Wiener.
The participants had the opportunity to visit the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, enjoyed an afternoon of activities at the White Barn Estates, had an evening of entertainment at Boone Pickens Stadium, and wrapped up with a banquet at the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center.
“The consortium provided an excellent opportunity for doctoral students to interact with many of the leading researchers in our field,” said Tom Brown, Consortium co-chair and Professor of Marketing, himself a consortium fellow in 1991. “We also used this as a chance to emphasize to consortium faculty and fellows alike the importance of doing quality work that can make a real difference to the theory and practice of marketing.”
Crosby, also a former Sheth fellow, was excited about the opportunities the faculty and fellows encountered while at Oklahoma State University. “The consortium was a memorable life-changing event for me when I was a fellow. This is a worthwhile program still positively impacting the lives of all faculty and fellows to come,” said Crosby.
“Faculty and fellows were able to see Oklahoma State University at its finest. The feedback we have received from participants has been fantastic. They speak to how lovely our campus is, how impressed they are by Oklahoma, how well the staff of the Center for Executive and Professional Development managed the four-day event, and how important it was to them to have the finest academic scholars in the world talking about the importance of doing work which can improve both business practice and the society we live in,” said Wiener.
The 2012 AMA/Sheth Foundation Doctoral Consortium will be hosted next summer by the University of Washington in Seattle, Wash.
Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business is proud to host the 46th annual American Marketing Association Sheth Foundation Doctoral Consortium, which kicks off Wednesday, June 15. The event will bring together more than 200 doctoral students and faculty members from leading business schools around the world.
Doctoral students attending represent many of the top marketing schools in the United States and the world, including Belgium, England, Germany, Hong Kong, the Netherlands and Scotland.
STILLWATER, Okla. – John Mowen, regents professor of marketing and noble foundation chair of marketing strategy, will be retiring from Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business on June 3 after 33 years of service.
While at OSU, Mowen made some major contributions to the university. He taught more than 10,000 students, and he changed the way the Spears School’s marketing department operated with his unique perspective, said L. Lee Manzer, another professor of marketing at OSU.
“I have known John for a very long time,” Manzer said. “He’s what I’d call a renaissance man. At a land grant university, we emphasize three areas: research, teaching and service. Most professors can only do one or two of them well. John can and does all three. He has changed our department and has had a great influence on us.” Continue Reading
This article originally was published by BusinessWire. Read the original article.
STILLWATER, Okla. — Oklahoma State University has formally released its internal findings on an iPad pilot conducted during the Fall 2010 semester, showing that the device had a positive impact in an academic environment.
“We put this powerful and creative tool in the hands of faculty and students and the end result reached beyond enhancing the academic experience of our students,” said OSU President Burns Hargis. “The report outlines a possible decrease to student and administrative expenses, increased productivity, and how the iPad crosses between academic and personal barriers.” Continue Reading
STILLWATER, Okla. – Chelsey Johnston of Oklahoma City was recently chosen as a Golden Key Award recipient and a 2011 Outstanding Senior by Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business. Johnston was chosen for her strong academic record, leadership, and campus and community involvement.
“It is such an honor to be recognized by the business college, and I am so grateful for all the opportunities it has provided me,” said Johnston, who will be graduating this May with honors and a bachelor’s degree in marketing and a minor in studio art. “The Spears School of Business has helped to mold me into a confident leader, a more self-assured public speaker, and a critical thinker.” Continue Reading
STILLWATER, Okla. – The Oklahoma State University Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs recently selected Lee Manzer, professor of marketing, as the Outstanding Faculty Member from the OSU Spears School of Business. Manzer was presented with the award at the annual Greek Awards Reception on March 30.
Each year, fraternity and sorority members give the award to one of the most helpful, energetic and supportive faculty members from each of OSU’s six colleges. Manzer also received this award in 2001. Continue Reading
Mowen, who holds the Noble Foundation Chair of Marketing Strategy, joined with OSU Professor Emeritus of Finance Janice Jadlow to collect 1,158 surveys from a consumer online panel in 2007.
By comparing those 15-minute surveys of agree/disagree questions, Mowen and Jadlow identified several traits shared between gamblers and investors, and a few that separated them.
“The results were fascinating,” said Mowen. “We anticipated there might be four groups of people one could identify, using a statistical technique called cluster analysis. And that’s exactly what we found.”
Tapping a statistical format he developed called the 3M Model, or the Meta-theoretic Model of Motivation, Mowen and Jadlow identified and compared high and low gamblers to high and low investors.
The intense gamblers and investors shared several key traits – a competitive will, a high value on materialism, liberal cash-flow policies, and high arousal needs linked to impulsive, less emotionally stable natures.
“That is directly related to risk-taking,” he said. “They are the risk-takers. They enjoy the pressure and the adrenaline and flow.”
Those on the opposite end represent those with a higher need for learning and getting information, said Mowen.
Some shared characteristics defined those people in-between, such as a love of odds calculation and numbers-crunching. But investors tend to be more forward-focused, said Mowen, while gamblers maintain a present time focus.
“Both the gamble-only group and the gambler/investor group, they’re both superstitious and they admit they are superstitious,” he said. “You can see this. They will have all sorts of personal superstitions that will help them superstitiously impact the odds.”
Mowen, who said he personally maintains several stock investments but rarely gambles, said the study provided a framework for better understanding and communicating with investors and gamblers.
With the data taken before Wall Street’s 2008 crash, Mowen could only speculate on how his findings fit into today’s market turmoil. But the outlined personality traits do reflect many trends identified in market swings the last two years, from the fear of further involvement to the perseverance of some long-term investors.
Tulsa securities analyst Fredric E. Russell saw flaws in the study’s failure to differentiate between day-traders and long-term investors, or between games of chance and those inviting detailed study, such as poker, horse racing or other types of wagers.
“He’s got a point here but it’s very theoretical,” said the head of Tulsa’s Fredric E. Russell Investment Management Co. “I think the study is a little weak. It’s too general.”
Mowen allowed that including those areas might have identified further consistencies and unity. For example, both Dollarhide and Russell equated day trading to gambling. Sifting for more traits might have identified more common ground between investing and gambling.
“Sometimes it’s one and the same,” said Dollarhide, considering such high-risk, high-reward securities as Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group.
Over the last two years that Tulsa-based stock sank to just a few pennies a share, only to soar under corporate improvements and merger speculation to $50 a share. Such dynamic shifts make not only the decision to invest a gutsy risk, but also choosing when to sell or hold the hot securities.
“It’s a gamble from an investment strategy standard,” he admitted.
But Dollarhide said having stocks like Dollar Thrifty in a diversified portfolio lessened that risk. Following an investment strategy also eliminated the gambling comparison.
“Again, we’re talking about professional versus the non-professional,” said Dollarhide, who saw a study flaw in the lack of separation between professionals on both sides – investors and gamblers – or between those who seek an entertainment value versus those who depend on it for real income.
“Theoretically an investor is to be dispassionate, cold, analytical, patient and never surrender,” Russell said. “That’s the best investor as far as the emotional makeup.”
“Gambling and investing in the stock market share some commonalities,” Mowen said. “There are critical differences, however, such as stock investors having a greater focus on the future.”
The researchers employed survey data and a hierarchical model of motivation and personality for organizing the trait predictors of gambling and stock market involvement. The model used in the study was developed by Mowen to account for how personality traits interact with the situation to influence consumer attitudes, beliefs and actions. The model is called the 3M Model, which stands for ‘Meta-theoretic Model of Motivation.’
Mowen and Jadlow identified several practical implications for the study findings, including using the information to develop communication strategies should be used to influence each group’s propensity to invest and/or to gamble.
“By identifying the traits of gamblers and investors, it is possible to develop persuasive messages. For example, messages designed to decrease impulsive behavior may impede gambling,” Mowen said. “Of course, if you’re at a casino, you’re going to be trying to increase the tendency to gamble and can use this information to help with that.”
In addition to this study, Mowen has previously used the 3M Model in more than 25 scholarly articles comparing characteristics of individuals who participate in other in activities, such as aggressive driving, distracted driving, cosmetic surgery, tattooing, volunteering, adventure traveling, superstitious behaviors and others.
Reed College in Oregon will also be running an iPad pilot. Reed’s program will be a repeat of an experiment the school ran in 2009 with Amazon’s Kindle DX. That experiment failed to produce a switch to the newer electronic medium, though the iPad’s more advanced multimedia functionality and multi-tasking capability may produce better results.
iPads aren’t the only hot sellers among portable tech devices. Netbooks remain popular as well. Infoweek reported last month that 60 million netbooks will ship this year, worldwide, a staggering number for a device that has only been in existence for less than three years.
Netbooks are especially popular with college students because of their portability. Smaller and lighter than traditional laptops, netbooks make it easier for students to carry a device from class to class.
With all the choices available this year, back to school technology shopping has never been more exciting or more confusing. How do you know what to get?Some tips for making the right technology purchasing decisions this back to school season:
Check with the school: Some schools provide students with a computer as a feature of their enrollment. George Fox University, for example, has provided students with a MacBook. This year, the school will give students a choice between a MacBook and an iPad. Not all schools provide actual hardware, but many do provide students with discounted purchasing options, potentially allowing you to purchase a computer for far less than you would in traditional retail outlets.
Know the requirements: Many colleges are similar to small cities – they have their own networks and online systems. As such, they have specific requirements for student computers. Some schools, such as Duke University, help students by providing access to dealers that sell computers specifically designed to work with the school’s network. At the very least, most schools provide students and parents with a list of minimum system requirements.
Review support options: Many colleges now offer far more extensive computer support than ever before. Some schools, such as Boise State University, offer computer repair services right on campus. Other schools provide students with a connection to local computer repair services that are authorized by and work in conjunction with the school.
Consider the courses: Some technology works better in specific courses. Netbooks are fine for taking notes in heavy lecture courses, but not as well in courses that require working out complex mathematical or scientific equations. The specific needs of each course on a student’s schedule should be considered in order to maximize the effectiveness and cost efficiency of a new tech purchase.
Durability and warranties: College is a unique environment, filled with potential dangers to computers and tech devices. Before investing significant money into a tech purchase, make sure you consider the durability of the product in question as well as the length and coverage of any warranties. It is possible – but not likely – that your tech device will make it through the semester unscathed. But a little preparation in the form of a durable device only increases your chances of making it through safely.It used to be that a few books, some pens and pencils, and a bunch of notebooks were all the school supplies anyone needed. Now, technology in all its many forms has jumped to the top of most back to school shopping lists. Following these simple tips can help you make the most out of your technology purchases this semester.
Compared with traditional textbooks, the iPad and other devices for reading digital bookshave the potential to save on textbook costs in the long term, to provide students with more and better information faster, and — no small matter — to lighten the typical college student’s backpack.
Yet the track record on campus so far for e-readers has been bumpy. Early trials of the Kindle DX, for example, drewcomplaints from students about clunky highlighting of text and slow refresh rates. Princeton and George Washington universities this spring found the iPad caused network problems. Federal officials in June cautioned colleges to hold off on using e-readers in the classroom unless the technology can accommodate disabled students.
Though many of those problems are being or have been addressed, some of the most tech-savvy students aren’t quite ready to endorse the devices for academic use. And some educational psychologists suggest the dizzying array of options and choices offered by the ever-evolving technology may be making it harder to learn rather than easier.
“The challenge for working in the electronic age is that we have so much access to information but we still have the same brain we always had,” says Richard Mayer, psychology professor at the University of California-Santa Barbara. He focuses on how multimedia can enhance learning. “The problem is not access to information. It is integrating that information and making sense out of it.”
A matter of distraction
There’s a lot to like about digital learning. Santa Clara University student Christopher Paschal, 19, for example, appreciated the search function in his economics e-textbook, and said the included video clips offered “an alternative method of learning,” and eliminated “the monotony of endless pages of reading.”
But ultimately, “I feel that I comprehend material better in regular textbooks,” Paschal says. Why? For starters, it’s more difficult to look at a computer screen when you’re tired, he says, and harder to concentrate when Facebook, YouTube and e-mail are just a click away.
Also, he and others say, it may simply be that the technology is still unfamiliar. Whereas e-readers have taken off in the leisure-reading market, publishers have been slower to jump into the education market. Reasons vary, but one challenge for publishers is that reading for the purpose of gaining knowledge is a more complex process than reading for pleasure.
“Usually in a novel you’re going through it from start to finish. In a textbook you’re constantly flipping back and forth. You’re all over the book a lot more often,” says Matt Lilek, 22, a part-time computer science major at Joliet Junior College in Illinois. “Textbook publishers haven’t had a chance to tailor things for the iPad. If publishers really get behind the iPad, I can see a day where it’s the only thing I would bring to school.”
Even then, some evidence suggests students see a downside to 24/7 interactivity when it comes to preparing for exams or doing homework. During visits last fall to libraries, coffee shops and other campus hangouts to analyze how students study, a test-prep company noted that, when it was time to study, cellphones, laptops and Kindles were put away.
“In today’s ADD society, textbooks are pleasantly single-dimensional and finite,” says Jeff Olson, vice president of research for Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions, whose team conducted observational studies. “When I asked study participants why they didn’t use their laptops to look something up, I heard some version of ‘because that’s my distraction.’ ”
More may not be better
A host of research over the past decade has shown that even the option to click hyperlinks to related material can create confusion and weaken understanding. One study found reading comprehension declined as the number of clickable links increased. A 2005 review by researchers at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, of 38 studies found “very little support” for the idea that all those links to additional information enrich the reader’s experience. A 2007 study published in Media Psychology raised similar concerns about add-ons such as sound and animation.
The online environment “promotes cursory reading, hurried and distracted thinking, and superficial learning,” argues Nicholas Carr, who raises concerns about the long-term implications in The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brain, which was published in June. “The danger is you don’t encourage people to think critically and, ultimately, you don’t encourage them to think creatively.”
Some of the newer devices try to mimic traditional study behavior with features such as the ability to highlight text and take notes in the margins. Still, the gee-whiz technology doesn’t necessarily help students study better, suggests a study published this month in Journal of Educational Psychology. Students often highlight too much material, so building a highlighting function into the technology may simply enable students to continue an ineffective habit, the study found. “Worse, they may not even process or understand what they select,” says study author Ken Kiewra, a professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Despite reservations, expectations remain high for e-reader technology on campuses. Seton Hill University in Pennsylvania and George Fox University in Oregon plan to give or phase in iPads for most students starting this fall. At a ceremony Friday, each member of the UC Irvine School of Medicine’s incoming class of 2014 received not only the traditional white coat, but also a shiny new iPad, pre-loaded with everything necessary for the first year of course work.
Scores of others, including Reed College and North Carolina State University, plan to offer opportunities for students to test-drive iPads. And two-thirds of campus technology chiefs predicted last fall that e-books will become an “important platform for instructional resources” within five years, according to the Campus Computing Project.
Publishers, meanwhile, have big ideas for personalizing student learning. “That’s the great promise,” says Don Kilburn, president of Pearson Learning Solutions, a publisher of education materials.More glitches are perhaps inevitable. But the technological advances “represent very real potential to remake education for the better,” says Kaplan’s Olson. “The potential for the textbook to come alive with interactivity … will make the next several years of e-book innovation fascinating to watch.”
“We’re at a major crossroads in medical education reform,” said Dr. Charles Prober, an associate dean with the Stanford University School of Medicine, in a statement. “Part of the challenge facing medical students, and all doctors, is the overwhelming amount of information.”
By storing digital textbooks, syllabi and other course content on the lightweight devices, Prober said students will be able to better access “the enormous amount of medical knowledge that is being produced constantly,” which might involve virtual cadavers for dissection labs, lecture slides or journal articles.
School officials also noted they will be studying the cost benefits of switching to the digital tablet because medical textbooks can run as high as $200 each for paper editions while e-editions are typically offered for slightly less.
Across the state and country, other universities are embracing Apple’s tablet technology and outfitting students with iPads, which start at $499 for a basic model and cost up to $829 for high-end versions with increased storage capacity and additional wireless network options.
Incoming medical students at the University of California, Irvine are set to receive fully loaded iPads at a ceremony Friday for new students.
But iPads aren’t just being embraced by medical school staff.
A pilot program at Oklahoma State University will provide students in certain communications and business courses with the devices, and all 550 incoming freshmen at the Illinois Institute of Technology will receive iPads loaded with introductory course material this fall.
At Stanford, similar experiments with other electronic devices, such as the Kindle wireless reader, haven’t lived up to expectations. This time, school officials will determine how helpful the devices are to students by monitoring their use through regular surveys.
“We really don’t know yet how the incoming medical students will use them,” said Dr. Henry Lowe, the school’s senior associate dean for information resources and technology.
Lowe, who regularly uses an iPad, said he’s found the device extremely helpful and predicts it will catch on among doctors.
“Physicians are a mobile group,” he said in a statement. “They’re moving around from clinic to clinic, from patient to patient.”
The handheld devices aren’t the only way the school of medicine is making inroads in revamping its teaching style.
In September, the school will open the five-level, 120,000-square-foot Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge, which will include interactive, experiential and team-based learning technologies.
The center is the school’s first new education building in 50 years.Officials said the technology shift would help make “significant changes” to the medical school’s current education model.
Alycia Ferrett, a junior political science major who will be transferring to Seton Hill in the fall, said, “I’m ready to immerse my mind with learning and having to carry less of a load with books … e-books here we are.”
Seton Hill students will receive the iPads as part of a new program designed to incorporate more technology into daily campus life. Each semester students will pay a $500 fee that, in addition to paying for the iPads, provides incoming freshman with a MacBook Pro laptop, and access to wireless Internet anywhere on campus.
At Oklahoma State University, another school planning to integrate the iPad this fall, professors hope the gadget will help students transition into life after college.
“When you look at an educational process, we are at a point where we want to maximize learning potential for students and prepare them the best we can for the professional world,” said Tracey Suter, associate professor of marketing in the Spears School of Business.
Suter is one of two professors at OSU who will lead the iPad pilot program this fall. The program will involve 125 students in five different courses. The courses that will be using the iPad have not been publicly announced, students won’t find out if they are getting a free iPad until the first day of class. Suter is excited to see how the iPad’s ability to work in real-time will speed up data collection and summary results for research data.
Bill Handy, visiting assistant professor in the School of Media and Strategic Communications at OSU, will also incorporate the iPad into his students’ classroom routine. Instead of a typical lecture, students will be able to watch Handy’s prerecorded lectures on their iPad prior to coming to class, so what was formerly lecture time will now be used for class discussions. Students will also download their books for his class onto the device, a savings Handy guesses will be close to $150.
“This isn’t about proving that the iPad is awesome. We want to see if it makes sense to integrate the iPad into the classroom,” said Handy.
Incoming freshmen at George Fox University, in Oregon, will have the option of purchase either an iPad or a MacBook. Greg Smith, the university’s chief information officer, said that close to 10 percent, or 70, incoming freshmen selected the iPad. Smith admitted there are still unknowns as to how beneficial iPads will really be in the classroom.
All the universities we spoke with indicated that their first semester using the iPad in the classroom will be an experiment, but they hope to collect data during the process to see what this technology can do for students’ education.The question remains: will the students use the device to complement their studies, or could it become just another classroom distraction?
Though an iPad starts at $499 and can cost as much as $829 for the top-end model, there is potential for cost savings, as well. The university has already identified one class where the textbook in ePub format costs $100 less than the dead-tree version. With a typical class load of five courses, it could be possible to completely offset the cost of a device like an iPad in textbook savings alone. (At least, this is true if you’re comparing the iPad against a stack of brand new textbooks; the savings may disappear if used books are brought into the comparison.)
The Illinois Institute of Technology has even more ambitious plans to integrate iPads into academics. A technology initiative will give all incoming freshman undergraduates—about 550 students—an iPad to use as a technological enhancement to the curriculum. Because all freshman are required to take several introductory courses, such as “Introduction to the Professions,” software, e-texts, and other resources will be uniform for those courses.
“We can ensure everyone has the same hardware and software, and it makes it easier to integrate into the curriculum,” Evan Venie, associate director of media relations for IIT, told Ars. “But we also want to open it up to other faculty that want to integrate iPad support into their courses—most of the faculty are very interested in leveraging the potential the iPad offers in the academic environment.”
The Kindle already underwent similar pilot testing at seven universities last fall, as many schools are interested in replacing textbooks and mounds of printouts of journal articles and other assigned readings with eReaders. Amazon provided Kindle DXs to Arizona State University, Case Western Reserve University, Pace University, Princeton University, Reed College, the University of Washington, and Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia for the evaluation program.
Though students were very receptive to participating in the tests, both faculty and students found numerous technological hurdles that in the end outweighed the potential benefits. Students at Reed College complained of the slow refresh rate of e-Ink displays, problematic input, inability to load PDFs over the network, and inability to view more than one text at a time as major sticking points. Reed faculty found converting documents to work well on the Kindle to be particularly difficult in most cases.
Students participating in the test at Darden School of Business, while loving the Kindle for personal reading, overwhelmingly felt the Kindle didn’t pass muster in its current state for academic use—about 4 out of 5 would not recommend a Kindle DX to incoming MBA students. The test also faced a lawsuit from the National Federation of the Blind and the American Council of the Blind over the Kindle’s lack of accessibility features, though Amazon has pledged to address that shortcoming sometime this year.
Despite the disappointing results of the tests with the Kindle DX, schools have high hopes for the iPad. OSU and IIT aren’t alone in exploring ways to use an iPad to enhance education—other programs around the country include:
* Seton Hill University’s “An iPad for Everyone” is part of the university’s Griffin Technology Advantage Program. Announced just as the first iPads were beginning to ship, the program will put an iPad in the hands of every full-time student starting this fall.
* Students at George Fox University, which has given a MacBook to incoming freshman for several years, will now offer students a choice between a MacBook or an iPad. “With this, we’re basically asking students ‘What computing system will work best for you?’” the university’s chief information officer, Grag Smith, said at the time the program was announced.
* North Carolina State University Libraries announced this past spring that it acquired 30 iPads to offer students and faculty for four-hour loans as part of the school’s Technology Lending Service. That service offers a variety of devices for loan to students, including laptops, digital cameras, eBook readers, graphing calculators, and more. In addition to browsing the web and “evaluating whether this latest platform is something you want to invest in for the future,” the iPads can be used to read some of the 9,000 eBooks NC State recently acquired.
* Students in a master’s course in global health research at Duke University’s Global Health Institute will be given iPads to use for field work. “Our primary goal is to equip our students with a toolset that allows them to make the most of their time in the field,” said Associate Professor of Sociology Jen’nan Read, who will be teaching the class. The students will have models with 3G networking as well as pre-installed apps for collecting data, importing media files, and graphing results.
* The University of Maryland will be giving 75 honors students enrolled in the Digital Cultures and Creativity “living and learning program” an iPad this fall. Students will use the iPads for pulling down multimedia content related to their coursework, and will also be developing their own apps for the device. The iPad program is part of a larger Mobility Initiative designed to integrate mobile devices into the curriculum at UM.
* Reed College will repeat an experiment that tested student preference of textbooks loaded on a Kindle versus traditional paper textbooks this fall, this time using iPads. Students in the previous experiment preferred the dead-tree edition to using a Kindle DX, despite the obvious advantage of not hauling heavy books all over campus. Expectations are that the iPad will fare better with students than the Kindle did. “If I were to predict, I would say that the results are going to be dramatically different and much better,” Martin D. Ringle, chief technology officer at Reed College, told The Chronicle of Higher Education, “and they’re going to point the way to what role this technology is going to play in higher education.”The iPad can certainly address the speed and input issues that students complained about, and offers accessibility features for vision-impaired users. However, the device may suffer from similar problems with loading documents over the air and viewing more than one text at a time. But by combining its speed with the multitasking capabilities that will come in a fall update to iOS 4, the iPad may still prove to be a workable solution. If it works as well as expected, carrying an iPad would sure beat lugging 40lbs of books and a laptop all over campus.
“We’re going to be evaluating what we need to do to fully integrate the tool into the classroom,” he said.
Oklahoma State joins several other colleges that have announced plans to distribute iPads to students in the fall.
Seton Hill University and Northwest Kansas Technical College both plan to provide their entire undergraduate populations with iPads (approximately 2,100 and 8,000 students, respectively).
George Fox University, which has given laptops to incoming students for more than 20 years, is offering fall freshmen a choice between an iPad and a MacBook.
Other colleges, such as Duke University and the University of Maryland, will give iPads to students in select programs. Master’s students at the Duke Global Health Institute will experiment with the iPad’s usefulness in field research. Meanwhile, students in Maryland’s Digital Cultures and Creativity living-and-learning program will learn to develop their own applications.
Reed College plans to test the device’s academic value by giving students iPads loaded with course readings. The experiment is similar to one performed with the Kindle, to which students there largely gave a failing grade.
Mr. Handy said that OSU students will be able to keep their iPads after the semester-long experiment, with the expectation that they will integrate the tool into their academic, personal, and professional lives.“It is their device to use however they see fit,” he said.
iTunesU is part Apple’s iTunes Store, featuring more than 200,000 lectures, presentations, videos, readings and podcasts from all over the world.
Suter initially used iTunesU as a means to showcase work from students enrolled in his creative marketing course. Suter developed the course, which is referred to as the TAS-sel Project, in 2009 as a way to stretch the boundaries of traditional classroom instruction and complement the university’s broader Creativity Initiative.
The TAS-sel Project asks students to select and develop examples of what they consider creative in areas including logos, product designs, advertising campaigns, product distribution systems, websites and consumer-generated video content. Students then campaign for their selections with a six-word nomination speech, and Suter posts their campaign videos on iTunesU.
The course has been well-received. The project’s official website, www.tas-sel.org, has received 416,000 hits to date, including a staggering 60,000 in the first three weeks. In addition, Suter said students in his 2009 class traveled from as far away as Dallas to come back and watch their 2010 peers’ presentations.
“I’m just really trying to continue to raise the bar and help make my courses be as good as they can be,” Suter said. “In some cases, that includes the latest technologies.”
Now, with the help of the iPad, Suter said he plans to integrate various other courses into iTunesU through posting lectures, examples, illustrations, and course exercises – all of which will be at the students’ fingertips while sitting behind their desks.
“The greatest benefit of having a web-enabled, mobile device in the classroom is that it is going to allow us to function in real time,” Suter said.
Suter explained often times, in a traditional classroom context, the instructor is responsible either for bringing the most up-to-date information or telling students to go and research it themselves before the next class. He said the iPad will eliminate this natural time lag by allowing students to investigate the answer to his questions on the spot.
“I’m challenged not only to think about how to use the iPad in class, but also to think about how best does this compliment what I’ve been doing with iTunesU so that we can share with the public what it is we’re doing in the Spears School and at OSU,” Suter said.
Visit Oklahoma State on iTunesU at itunesu.okstate.edu.Photo by Salvatore Vuono
You don’t want my business? OK, you won’t get it.
You don’t need an MBA to know that customer service is the backbone to any business.
But you do need a bevy of researchers to publish a paper about customer service.
Researchers found a definitive link exists between the profitability of service firms and the hiring of employees who are driven to please and satisfy customer needs.
“Although this relationship seems straightforward, it’s a little more complicated than you might expect,” said Tom Brown, Oklahoma State University professor of marketing and one of the authors of a study recently published in the Journal of Applied Psychology.
Brown collaborated with colleagues at OSU, New Mexico Military Institute and the University of Tampa.
They found that service providers must hire workers who are intrinsically motivated to customer service and must create a climate supporting that motivation.
“Hiring the right people is not enough to improve profitability,” said OSU professor Alex Kablah.
“Investing in a customer-oriented climate is not enough to improve profitability. Both the right people and the right climate are needed for service firms to benefit from investments aimed at enhancing customer satisfaction and ultimately profitability.”
I asked Brown how companies can attract and retain customer-oriented employees in low-wage jobs.
“My advice to service managers is to screen for customer orientation, either formally or informally, as best they can,” he said. “And when you find the right people, do whatever it takes to keep them… you can’t take them for granted.”
The clothing store that snubbed me is still in business. It’s a national chain so I suppose I could try another store in my area to see if the employees are friendlier.But I won’t set myself up for that again. Not even for 50 percent off.
“The study results revealed that the profitability of service firms is enhanced when they are able to recruit and retain customer service employees who are intrinsically motivated to satisfy customer needs, but only when the service firm itself is characterized by a climate which supports that intrinsic motivation,” Zablah said. “Likewise, service firms which implement policies and procedures intended to improve customer satisfaction will achieve higher profit levels only when they hire employees who are internally driven to satisfy customers.”
The study began several years ago as an effort to understand when customer-oriented service workers lead to positive outcomes for companies. Brown said the study examined the “personality variable” of employees, which suggests something innate exists within a person’s psyche making them want to provide service and help others.
“What we hadn’t found prior to the project was a really strong link between this inherent customer orientation and actual worker performance as rated by supervisors,” Brown said.
The colleagues conducted research in 38 sites of a mid-sized casual dining restaurant chain to search for the missing link.
Brown said the company’s employees were unlikely to exhibit high degrees of customer-oriented behaviors if the service climate wasn’t customer-oriented and positive, an atmosphere which varied from site to site. He said workers embodying customer-oriented behaviors were constrained or stifled if service climate was lacking at the store level, no matter how strongly they possessed those traits.
After unearthing the root problem to their questions, the colleagues went a step further by producing the study’s previously untested, bottom-line finding.
“We were able to go from a service worker and his or her degree of customer orientation and track it all the way through to the profitability of the organization,” Brown said. “Not surprisingly, what we found was that stores with workers performing more customer-oriented behaviors were more profitable.”
Zablah said that while the study’s implications for service organizations are clear, they are more easily said than done.“Hiring the right people is not enough to improve profitability,” Zablah said. “Investing in a customer-oriented climate is not enough to improve profitability. Both the right people and the right climate are needed for service firms to benefit from investments aimed at enhancing customer satisfaction and ultimately profitability.”
OSU President Burns Hargis announced the initiative.
“This pilot will provide valuable insight into the research benefits of the Apple iPad in the classroom,” he said. “The iPad has had an amazing impact since being introduced, and we are excited to be able to put this powerful and creative tool in the hands of students and faculty and see what happens.”
Handy and Suter were chosen for the initiative in part because they have already integrated different types of new technology into their classrooms, Handy said.
“It’s not a matter of giving students an iPad and keep teaching the same way,” Handy said. “It’s forcing us to re-evaluate and modify the way we’re teaching these courses.”
Handy said he plans to use the tool to make better use of the students’ time in the classroom. He’s spent the summer prerecording his lectures, which his students may listen to, as well as read their textbooks, on their iPads.
“This allows students to really hit the ground running when they walk into class,” he said. “As a faculty member, you’ll finish a lecture, and the conversation is just getting started. Then the next class rolls around. This allows us to start the conversation at the beginning of class.”
Handy said his classes will have more hands-on content and in-depth conversation. He’ll also integrate the iPad into his classes’ real-world client work.
Likewise, Suter will teach his students how the iPad may be utilized in their professional careers. His students will use the tools to conduct research in real time: One group of students will collect data while another team evaluates it as it comes in.
“What would normally take several weeks can be accomplished in several hours,” Handy said.
Handy and Suter will analyze the effectiveness of the iPad in their classrooms on an ongoing basis throughout the semester, providing it to the public.
“Want to share this knowledge, this experience, and not in the way it takes two years for the rest of the world to hear about it,” Handy said. “We want feedback from other people. At any given moment, we can start making decisions about the future (of the iPad in the OSU classroom).”
While the iPad initiative has garnered some national attention, Handy said it’s not the only innovation happening in OSU’s classes.“What I’m amazed at are all the different innovative teaching efforts happening at the university,” Handy said. “This (project) in itself doesn’t revolutionize education. It’s the shift in style and method at all the different levels of teaching — that is what revolutionizes education, and that’s what we’re focused on.”
“I really think they’ll be the future,” Hargis said.
The classes will be from the Spears School of Business and School of Media and Strategic Communications, formerly the School of Journalism and Broadcasting, on both the Stillwater and Tulsa campuses.
Electrical engineering sophomore Todd Harrison said he thinks the iPad trial sounds like an interesting idea.
“If it’s a new type of equipment that is presented in class that can be used to better education, why not try it,” Harrison said.
The professors assisting the trial by leading these classes will be visiting assistant professor Bill Handy in the School of Media and Strategic Communications and associate professor of marketing Tracy Suter in the Spears School of Business.
In a press release released last week Suter said he sees the iPad allowing students to work on certain projects in real time.
“For example, data collection and analysis in a research context can be a multi-day to multi-week process,” Suter said. “By using the iPad we can replace pencil-and-paper research with the immediate process of data collection, review and summary over a Web interface.”
The iPad also had the potential to save students some money on textbooks. According to the press release, students in one of the trial classes offered this fall can save more than $100 on the textbook for that class by purchasing the electronic version instead of the physical copy.
Although good for students’ pockets, Hargis acknowledged that a rise in digital book sales could cause trouble for bookstores.
“Textbooks are the big item at a university,” Hargis said.
In addition to the students taking these select courses the members of the OSU/Oklahoma A&M Board of Regents will be receiving iPads.
Hargis said one of the primary reasons for the regents receiving the devices is to cut down on paperwork the regents receive.
“There’s a lot of correspondences and materials and volumes of paper that go between the regents office, regents and the universities,” Hargis said. “So if we could somehow minimize those paper, mailing and printing costs then it will be a real positive.”
The iPad also has the potential to save students some money on textbooks.
According to the press release, students in one of the trial classes offered this fall can save more than $100 on the textbook for that class by purchasing the electronic version instead of the physical copy.
Although good for students’ pockets, Hargis acknowledged that a rise in digital book sales could cause trouble for bookstores.
“Textbooks are the big item at a university,” Hargis said.
In addition to the students taking these select courses the members of the OSU/Oklahoma A&M Board of Regents will be receiving iPads.
Hargis said one of the primary reasons for the regents receiving the devices is to cut down on paperwork the regents receive.“There’s a lot of correspondences and materials and volumes of paper that go between the regents office, regents and the universities,” Hargis said. “So if we could somehow minimize those paper, mailing and printing costs then it will be a real positive.”
“I certainly have ideas of how I would like to use an iPad,” said Tracy Suter, associate professor of marketing in the Spears School of Business and one of the professors involved in the pilot. “But collectively we will discover new uses a single individual might not have conceived independently. Putting the newest technology in the hands of students allows them to stretch the limits of how it can be used.”Cost savings for students will also be evaluated. In one case, students using the iPad in a single course will save more than $100 on one textbook, which can be downloaded in the digital ePub format. Students will be allowed to keep the iPads at the end of the semester; the university will be purchasing those at a slight discount through the institution’s operating funds.
Students can store electronic textbooks on the iPad, as well as take notes during class, watch lectures or presentations and check on grades and assignments.
Instead of information being in hefty texts and numerous notebooks, it will be a finger-tap away on the 1 1/2 pound device that is about 10 inches tall, 8 inches wide and a half-inch thick.
The learning curve isn’t likely to be very steep for the texting high school graduates who are used to spending time online and on a computing device.
Bill Handy, visiting assistant professor at Oklahoma State University, is leading a pilot project that will give iPads to about 120 business and communications students. He is spending the summer recording all of his lectures, so students can watch them any time and come to class ready to take advantage of the time they have with the instructor and other students.
“If they’re ready to listen to a lecture at 10 o’clock at night, they can do so,” he said. “And they can do it in an environment where they’re ready to learn.”
Handy tried the technique once last semester, and every student watched the video. Most came back asking him to do that more often, adding that their friends thought the idea was great, too.
The textbooks chosen for the courses will be available on the iPad, and most will cost about $100 less than the traditional version. Users can perform searches within the text, highlight portions, take notes and jump to any chapter immediately, Handy said.
He’s had his iPad for a couple of months and has gotten used to it quickly. He had no problems typing a six-page memo on the virtual keyboard, and he has found reading on the device to be a delight, he said.
“What it does is it allows a lot more mobility and a lot more functionality,” he said.
And if students find — as Handy has — that they don’t print nearly as much as they used to, the university could save a substantial amount of money on paper and ink.
At Tulsa Community College, Gornie Williams is looking forward to the same benefits. As associate dean of business and information technology, he is leading a pilot project that will put iPads in the classrooms for about 20 students in project management.
Using the technology in the classroom will prepare them for the business world, when an e-mail or text message could change the parameters of a project immediately and immensely, Williams said.
“I tell my students, how many times have you gone to work and your boss says, ‘OK, clean off your desk and get out a clean sheet of paper.’ It doesn’t happen,” he said.
The learning resource centers at two TCC campuses will have iPads available for loan, and employees said they are already giving demonstrations daily on how to use them for research.
“We really want to engage all the senses,” Williams said. “We want to appeal to audible learners and kinetic learners. We can’t pick out students. They pick us.”
The University of Oklahoma’s IT Store has sold about 350 iPads since they went on sale in April, and store employees guess that that number will double before fall classes start, officials said.
The colleges will closely evaluate their pilot programs. Student and faculty reaction will help determine how iPads continue to be used in the classroom.
Handy said keeping up with technology and using platforms students know best will be important in the coming years.“I don’t know that the iPad is the future of education,” he said, “but I do think the future of education lies in technology.”
Handy said OSU officials chose to test the project in public relations classes because they have components that work well with the technology. The classes require a lot of creative work and online collaboration, he said, especially for end-of-semester projects. The iPad could facilitate communication among students outside of class, he said.
Handy said the idea grew out of a number of conversations about the use of technology in the classroom. Hargis has stressed the importance of being on the leading edge of innovation, Handy said.
Handy pre-ordered his iPad before it was released in stores. That was an unusual step for him, he said. He describes himself as a “technological agnostic,” and doesn’t tend to get wrapped up in the newest electronics. But he recognized the wide range of uses for the tablet.
“As you kind of work with it and mess with it, you realize all the different opportunities it offers,” he said.
Tracy Suter, a professor in OSU’s business school, said he had been involved in a number of other technology-related projects, including one using iTunes U, a program that allows students to download academic lectures. He said he became involved in the project because of that background in technology.
“It was sort of a natural extension,” he said.
Although the project is still in the planning stages, Suter said one of the ways classes will be using the iPad is to conduct surveys. An application for the iPad allows the user to use the tablet as a data entry device. Surveys are conducted on the iPad itself rather than on paper, and the iPad provides data from the survey immediately. Using traditional methods, Suter said it generally takes weeks to get data into a useful form.
“This is really going to expedite the process for us,” he said.
Suter said he and Handy would be evaulating the project from time to time throughout the semester. Although the evaluation criteria aren’t set in stone yet, one way to evaluate the process will be whether it saves money for the university.Handy said part of the evaluation will most likely come from student input. Students will complete a survey at the beginning of the semester about their expectations for the class, and then another at the end of the semester about the outcome of the course. Another way to evaluate the project is by the pace of the class. If the iPad allows the class to move at a faster pace than traditional media, then it’s served part of its purpose, he said.
“My guess is it won’t be too long before these things are just ubiquitous.”
The approximately $62,500 program is only a small part of the budget approved by the Oklahoma A&M Board of Regents. Despite cuts to travel costs, no raises for university employees and reduced utility costs through an energy conservation plan, the budget is about $52 million bigger than last year.
Hargis said each of OSU’s regents will also get an iPad as an alternative to printing and mailing stacks of paperwork on a regular basis.
Tuition and fees will go up 4.4 percent for undergraduate students from Oklahoma, resulting in an average increase of $285 per student for the upcoming school year. There was no increase in tuition last year, when the budget was $964.2 million.
“We really, really tried to avoid it,” Hargis said. “We expect to have over $2 million in increased health-care costs in just that. And then there’s a number of other costs that you just can’t avoid that increased. We just couldn’t make the round peg fit in the square hole.”
OSU received $4.5 million less from the state because of the recession and a smaller chunk of federal stimulus funds for the 2011 fiscal year. Hargis said this budget is designed to brace the university to receive no stimulus money for 2012.
“If the economy doesn’t really come back in a robust way, we’re going to be looking at a real problem next year and I don’t want to be in a position where you have to have some great big increase in tuition,” Hargis said. “So, it’s better to kind of try to ease into this and if you end up not needing it, that’s great. If you do need it, you won’t have to raise it nearly as much.”
The university won’t be making money as a result of the budget, but it will be able to avoid cutting academic programs sheerly because of a lack of funding, Hargis said.
Hargis also held out hope that he could find someone to provide a donation to pay for the iPad program.
“It’s a learning tool and a lot of our students have tools in the classroom,” spokesman Gary Shutt said. “Look at engineering classes, look at all the tools that we have to buy for them. I think it’s a tool that for these students is going to help us find out the benefits of the iPad.”He also noted that textbooks downloaded to an iPad are cheaper than a book.