Operations Management
Fall 2018 - Online

rjMoodle, Course Calendar
Syllabus quick links: Course Objectives, Format, Texts, Course Technology, Grading Criteria, Course Policies

Course Information

Days & Times: The course officially begins on August 20.
Note: This course is online and "asynchronous." New topics will be released on Mondays, and most assignments will be due on Monday evenings, 11:55PM.
Location: Online and Asynchronous. You do not need to be at your computer at any specific time or day.
Credits: 3 hours
Prerequisites: STAT1030 (Statistics for Business)
Junior Standing
Instructor: Dr. Richard Jerz
Contact Information: Email:Rick@rjerz.com or richard-jerz@uiowa.edu
Phone: (563) 447-0180 (voice mail)
Office: S210 PBB
Course Site: www.rjerz.com/moodle

Program Goals

The administrative home of this course is the Tippie College of Business, which governs academic matters relating to the course. The Tippie Undergraduate Program has learning goals that drive decisions about curriculum and assignments within courses. These goals are: 1) using analytical, creative and collaborative approaches to solving complex, ambiguous problems; 2) effective written, spoken and visual communication; 3) global awareness and understanding; 4) ethical reasoning; and 5) professional preparation.

Catalog Description

Strategic, tactical, operational issues that arise in management of production and service operations; product and process design, facilities planning, quality management, materials management, operations planning and scheduling, emerging technologies in production and service management.

Course Objectives

The course objectives are:

1. To understand production and service systems: inputs, conversion systems, and outputs for both manufacturing and services.

2. To gain an insight into the role of the production and service functions in a variety of organizations and their relationships with other business functions such as marketing, accounting, finance, and human resource management.

3. To develop the ability to recognize, formulate, and analyze operations management decisions, and to use various modeling tools to help make decisions.

4. To understand the operations managers' job: the way they approach problems, the terminology they use, the challenges that they face, and their perspectives

Course Structure

This course is a 16-week accelerated “online” course utilizing the “asynchronous learning” model.  Each week (usually on Tuesays and Friday) new topics are provided. Through my use of a variety of technologies, such as lecture videos, a website, an organized and easy-to-use Learning Management System (LMS), Moodle, you will see that I am very dedicated to make your learning efficient.  You can be successful in this course if you study the materials, watch the videos (often more than once), do all assignments on time, and ask questions whenever something is not understood. There is a link in the ICON course to Moodle.

The "Course Calendar" webpage shows dates and topics for this course.

About a week before the class begins, I will send you a "Welcome" email that provides details and course access information, including how to access Moodle and a small pre-course assignment.  I send this email to your email addresses on record with the Registrar, so watch for this email and remember that you may need to check your “junk” mailbox.

Required Textbook

"Operations Management, Sustainability and Supply Chain Management," by Jay Heizer and Barry Render, 12th Edition, Prentice Hall, 2017. ISBN 978-0-13-413042-2.

Homework assignments are based upon this edition, and it is available at Iowa Book & Supply store and IMU Book Store. MyOMLab and online codes are not required.

Course Technology

This course assumes that the student has some computer skills and understands how to use products such as email, browsers, word processing, and spreadsheets. There may be times where you will need help from ITS or STSG (Stead), which are the university's and the College of Business' computer support departments, respectively.

A pre-course assignment (see Course Calendar) has been provided to make sure that all of these course requirements are working well before the start of the semester. This pre-course assignment is also explained in the "Course Introduction" video.

Computer and Internet: For this course, you can use either a PC or a Macintosh computer. However, "officially" since this course is within the Management Sciences Department of the College of Business and its policy states that students should have a PC. There may be a few software features that only work only on PCs. When this occurs, Mac users can either install a PC-emulator product, or they can run Excel from the UIowa Virtual Desktop.

Internet access, preferably broadband wired connections with upload and download speeds of at least 1 Mbps.

Course Software: Excel (PC or Mac) 2013, 2016, 365. This course uses some software that is Windows-only software: Microsoft Project 2013 or 2016, and Microsoft Visio 2013 or 2016. UIowa students are eligible to get MS Office 365 for free from Microsoft. MS Project 2013 and MS Visio 2103 can be downloaded for free from the Microsoft "Imagine" website (see the Downloading Imagine Software video.) I have STSG send students their MS Imagine username and password when the course begins, and for whatever reason, this email from MS Imagine ends up in most students' junk box. Watch for this.

This is a Management Sciences course, and one where a Windows PC is needed. (See Management Sciences position about PC-only software.)

Macintosh users can: 1) Work from a university computer lab on a Windows PC. All software that we will use is available on any College of Business lab computer. 2) Install a Windows emulator on your Mac, such as Parallels or VMware, or VirtualBox. STSG (Stead) and ITS can help you install one of these virtual PCs. As an example, I use a Macintosh MacBook Pro laptop with VMware, and have a Windows 10 PC that I can run from my Mac whenever I need to be in PC environment.

Browser requirements: You will need a modern browser that is up to date (Internet Explorer 11, Edge, Firefox, Safari, Chrome X, or equivalent.)

Email: Email is the most common method of communication for this course. You should have an email account (UIowa or other). Students can expect to receive weekly communications from the instructor (via email) introducing assigned coursework and the topics to be presented in the lecture videos. Students are expected to check their email account several times a week. You will also be receiving emails periodically from Moodle's forum discussions.

Acrobat, iTunes (or other feed aggregator,) Video Player, Screen Capture

The latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader must be installed on your computer to access course materials posted as PDFs.

iTunes or a different "feed aggregator," such as Podcast Republic (for Androids), is optional but provides another alternative method to access videos. Videos can also be downloaded and played by many other video players, such as Windows Media Player or QuickTime player.

The posted videos play within most broswers. Optionally, you might want to download videos and use a more powerful video player on your computer. For example, some students like the VLC (PC or Mac) or the Elmedia player (Mac.)

I also recommend knowing how to do "screen captures," for those times when you want to show me a problem that you are having with your computer or software. See my FAQ webpage for help with screen capture software.

University Computer Lab Computers: Students can use the University labs' computers, which meet these course requirements, and are available for those students who are on-campus.

Mobile Devices: Most of this course's materials are designed to be easily viewed from most modern tablets, smartphones, and multimedia players. Mobile devices are handy for playing videos and accessing course materials "on the go."

Need Technical Support? Any questions about the course materials and Moodle should be directed to the professor.  The professor’s FAQ webpage might sometimes help. Questions about The University of Iowa specific items, such as your UIowa email, MS Imagine, UIowa software, UIowa computers, etc., should be directed to either STSG (our Tippie computer support group) or ITS (our UIowa computer support group.) If you happen to be working on this course from another country, you can use Skype (and other methods) to phone UIowa support.

Grading Criteria

Students will be assessed based on their performance in the following items:

Participation in Discussions: 20%
Self-Assessments (Concept Questions): 30%
Homework (Problem Questions): 20%
Two Exams: 30%

Final grades will be awarded based on the following ranges:

>= 99: A+ 94 - 99: A 90 - 94: A-
87 - 90: B+ 83 - 87: B 80 - 83: B-
77 - 80: C+ 73 - 77: C 70 - 73: C-
67 - 70: D+ 63 - 67: D 60 - 63: D-
below 60: F    

The Tippie College of Business guidelines suggest that an appropriate grade distribution would approximately consist 20% of the students in the A range, 40% of the students in the B range, 30% of the students in the C range, and 10% of the students with a grade of D or lower. This course is not graded on a "curve," therefore the exact grade distribution will depend on the class’s performance. The instructor reserves the right to adjust the grade distribution as appropriate.

Timing for Assignments: I typically turn on assignments about a week early, and make the due date one week after the week the topic is covered (shown on the Course Calendar webpage). I send you an email weekly as each new topic is turned on for you on Moodle. With this approach, just about every assignment, except for exams, is available to you for two weeks. All assignments have due dates (Tuesdays and Fridays), that show in Moodle's "Calendar" and in Moodle's "Upcoming Events." When the due date expires, the assignment is over.

I try my hardest to help everyone who seeks my help before due dates, but the probability of getting my help goes down dramatically as the due date approaches (i.e., if you ask me a question two hours before an assignment is due, I may not respond.)

Participation: Participation is required. Each week, there will be required discussions for the weekly topics. Some of the topics are worth one point, and some are worth two points. You can earn up to eight (8) points by making four or more posts. Approximately half of your posts must address the discussion topics, and half of these must be "replies" to other students' posts. I will provide you your points after I read you posts, as long as it meets quality expectations. A good post is thoughtful and relevant to the topic. Posts that are too simple, such as "I agree" or "Nice comment" will not count. You must state why you agree, and so forth. You will see me provide additional prompting whenever these short posts occur.

Self-Assessments (Concept Questions): For every chapter, you must complete self-assessments to see how well you understand the assigned readings. These self-assessments are on Moodle, and they must be completed by the due date -- no exceptions. If you do not like your grade, you can redo your homework and your highest grade is what counts. It is extremely important that you understand the homework problems and not simply guessing at answers until you get a good grade, otherwise, you will not do well on the exams.  Since you can redo your homework, I encourage you to begin early and complete at least one attempt so that you hopefully will not end up with a zero.

Problems (Problem Questions): Weekly projects will be assigned using various quantitative computer models. These projects must be completed by the due date, and you can redo project homework only two times (this means three total attempts.)

Exams: There will be two exams, equally weighted and delivered electronically. Each exam will cover only the materials that we have covered in each half of the semester.

Bonus Points: Occasionally, bonus exercises are provided, and these will be identified as "Bonus" on Moodle. Bonus exercises are always optional, and they are additional points within its own grade category. In the spirit of quality and continuous improvement, whenever you are the first student to identify an administrative error about any component of this course, you will receive one (1) bonus point. These bonus points can amount to up to 2% improvement in your overall grade.

Course Policies

Communications: Students can expect to receive weekly communications from the instructor. Students can expect to receive responses to email inquiries within 24-48 hours. Privacy considerations, such as federal law, may apply when using an address other than the standard University e-mail address.

Makeup Exams: Makeup exams will only be given for extreme situations. Exams must be taken individually, and there will be severe consequences for those who do not follow this rule. The best way to make sure that you don't appear to be "cheating" is to make sure that no other student is in sight of you. Also, at my discretion, I can ask you to find an instructor or administrator from a university to proctor your exam.

Late Work: Late work is not accepted.

Academic Integrity and Misconduct: It is my sincere hope that no student in this class submits work which is not his or her own. However, it seems prudent to clarify in advance the policy on cheating. If I determine that any assignment was not completed solely by the student whose identification number appears on the project, the student will receive a zero (0) for the assignment and may receive an "F" for the class. All incidents of cheating will be reported to the Associate Dean of the Tippie College of Business and the student may be placed on disciplinary probation for the remainder of his or her undergraduate work at the University of Iowa. In general, the decision of the Professor may be appealed to a Judicial Board, then to the appropriate Associate Dean. The Honor Code for the Tippie College of Business will determine the appropriate appeal process.

Classroom Etiquette (Netiquette): In emails and online discussions a courteous tone and politeness is expected. For tips on "Netiquette" technique, go to: http://www.albion.com/netiquette/.

Rectifying Scores: During the semester, I will post all your scores on Moodle for you to view. After you get your assignment or exam grade, you have a week to dispute your score. Beyond this period, I will not entertain any disputes.

Collegiate Policies and Guidelines

Show the Tippie Collegiate Policies and Guidelines

University Policies and Guidelines

Accommodations for Disabilities: Show the UIowa Accommodations Policy.

Mental Health: Show the UIowa Mental Health Policy.

Sexual Harassment: Show the UIowa Sexual Harassment Policy.

Multicultural Holidays: Show the UIowa Multicultural Holidays Policy.

Sustainability: Show the UIowa Sustainability Policy.