Case Study: Operations Management - Indiana University Kelley School of Business

Digital Product in Use:

Connect® Operations Management

Course Name:

P371 Operations & Supply Chain Management

Course Type:


Credit Hours:


Textbook in Use:

Operations and Supply Chain Management with Service Management and Connect by F. Robert Jacobs, 14e

Instructor Name:

Peggy Daniels Lee


60 students per section

500 students/year (university total)

Case Study Term:

Fall 2012/Spring 2013 (without Connect)

Fall 2013/Spring 2014 (with Connect)

“I no longer have to cover material that everyone seems to already understand.”

-Peggy Daniels Lee

Connect/SmartBook Requires Students to Read and Engage with Course Content

Connect/SmartBook helps Professor Lee engage more students with in-class learning activities and provide feedback more quickly on homework assignments. Because students are required to complete SmartBook modules that cover the assigned textbook readings, students are better prepared during classroom lecture to engage with the material. This student preparation allows Lee the opportunity to delve more deeply into the course content because she no longer has to lecture about what students were supposed to have read in their textbooks. Now, she is able to review students’ completed homework assignments in Connect/SmartBook and incorporate areas where students may have struggled with concepts into her classroom activities. Connect/SmartBook’s automatic grading tools help Lee save time on administrative duties so she does have time to develop more concept driven learning opportunities in class.

Institution Profile

The Kelley School of Business at Indiana University has more than 100 years of excellence in business education and is one of the top ranked universities for business graduates in the country. Over 7,500 students enroll in undergraduate, MBA, graduate, and doctoral programs to engage in an innovative curriculum that teaches personal development and teamwork with an emphasis on global and social responsibility


Course Description:

Operations and Supply Chain Management is concerned with the design, planning, and control of productive activities of any business. This course examines the fundamentals of operations management in both manufacturing and service industries.

Course Grade

The grade is determined by: Exams (45%)
Connect Homework (7%);
SmartBook (14%);
Offline Homework (2%);
In-Class Exercises/Quizzes (12%);
Semester Team Project (20%).

Implementation of McGraw-Hill Connect

Professor Lee’s primary challenges were twofold: for the students, getting the students to read the textbook and prepare with the material prior to coming to class; and, for herself, providing quick feedback on homework assignments for a growing number of students.

Connect helped solve both challenges. “We adopted Connect primarily for the SmartBook modules: 14 SmartBook modules are assigned to coincide with the students’ readings, and Connect allows me to automate my homework assignments so that students receive feedback immediately.”

Students who complete the SmartBook modules receive 10 points, while five points are deducted if the modules are not completed. This point incentive impresses upon the students how important the readings are to understanding the material.

Lee also uses Connect for homework assignments. She assigns two homework assignments each week, covering one to two chapters with a maximum of 10 questions taken from the test bank for the textbook.

Through Connect, students may check their progress in the course, access the SmartBook, and contact the instructor with questions.

To help students understand how the class was structured, Lee explains Connect/SmartBook modules on the first day of class. She also posts a page on the LMS with “Hints” that students can refer to frequently because the students tended not to go back and look at the instructional powerpoint slides.

Lee uses the Connect reports – Assignment Results, Student Performance, and Item Analysis – to help her understand the problems the students are having so that she can adjust her lecture for the next class. She uses the Student Performance report specifically to see how much time students devote in SmartBook to complete the homework; this data is especially useful for settling grade disputes.

Results Achieved

Since implementing Connect/SmartBook, Lee is pleased that “more students are actually reading the material and come to class prepared. I have fewer ‘blank stares.’” As a result, she enjoys being able to delve deeper into topics during her lectures and looks forward to including more interactive exercises in class. Prior to using Connect/SmartBook, Lee spent 4 hours prepping for lecture and about three-quarters an hour a week on active learning opportunities for her students (Figure 1). Since implementing Connect/ SmartBook, Lee is able to spend six hours a week prepping for lecture and three hours a week creating active learning opportunities for her classes. She reviews the students’ homework prior to class and then adapts the lecture and in-class work to topics and concepts with which the students are struggling. “I no longer cover material that everyone seems to already understand.”

Lee comments, “Prior to using Connect and SmartBook, I was usually forced to reiterate material because most students hadn’t read it. With Connect and SmartBook, I spend time in class briefly reviewing the topic, working problems, and doing in-class exercises that help students to apply the material.” She gets to spend less time lecturing and more time going over problems and answering questions about the homework. She appreciates that she and her students have more time to apply and engage with the concepts in class.

Further, the more time-consuming administrative tasks of teaching have been reduced by using Connect/SmartBook. Previously, Lee spent 5 hours a week reviewing homework and 20 hours a week grading (Figure 2). With Connect, Lee has reduced the number of hours she spends reviewing homework by two hours a week and has cut the number of hours she spends grading in half! Lee says, “Using Connect has reduced the time I spend grading dramatically.” Lee says she and her students like Connect and she plans to use more of its instructional tools and time-saving features in the future. “I’ve only scratched the surface of what I can do with Connect.”

“Time spent grading homework has reduced significantly because my homework assignments (except one) is on Connect.” “More students appear to come to class prepared because most of them have done the SmartBook modules.”


Overall, Lee is pleased with Connect/SmartBook. She wanted to see more students come to class prepared and better scores on the homework assignments and those goals were met. Lee believes “more students are engaged with the material because the students have either completed the SmartBook modules or they’ve started the homework in Connect and have questions about the assignment.” The required interactivity with the material allows Lee to focus on more in-class learning activities and leads to more engaged students. Lee concludes, “Connect/SmartBook is designed to help students to learn and is worth it. Use it!”