Operations Management
Summer 2020 - 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 June 15.
Note: This course is online and "asynchronous." New topics will be released Monday and Thursday, and Mondays and Thursdays will be the due dates for most of the assignments.
Location: There is no location. You can work from anywhere that is convenient to you.
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: Virtual
Course Site: www.rjerz.com/moodle. There is a link in the ICON course to 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's duration is either 8-weeks or 16-weeks, depending upon semester, and online utilizing the “asynchronous learning” model. The course content and assignments are the same as the in-class version of this course.

In this course, I use my Learning Management System (LMS) called Moodle, instead of the university's ICON LMS. Moodle, an industry-leading open-source LMS, offers features not yet available in ICON. Moodle supports my quality standards. I do have a link in ICON to Moodle, for the convenience of students who might be in Moodle, but you can get to Moodle without going through the university website. There is no cost for Moodle.

This online course follows an instructor-paced schedule, like in-class courses, has firm deadlines for assignments, but does not use weekly webinars because this course is asynchronous.

One week before each weekly module (a module is a collection of topics,) as shown on the Course Calendar web page, I turn on that module, notifying you by email that it is available. You will see it in Moodle. By turning on a module one week early, and then making its due date one week after a module is covered, my method provides you about two weeks to do every assignment, except for exams.

Each weekly module in Moodle begins with a Resources and Assignments web page, that provides a somewhat step-by-step listing of what you need to do. On this web page, you will also have access to many support materials, such as my PowerPoints, supplemental readings (when appropriate,) my Excel models, and most importantly, my lecture videos. My lecture videos, a significant component of this course that you will quickly come to appreciate, are broken down into "conceptual understanding" and "problem-solving" (typically Excel) episodes. Following the link to Resources and Assignments, on Moodle, you access assignments and self-assessments.

You should watch my lecture videos and do the readings, then attempt the assignments.

Every weekly module, near the bottom of each module in Moodle, has a discussion forum for students to post questions, or provide comments or observations. Posting in these forums is optional and meant to be helpful to all students, and everyone will see these questions, comments, and observations.

I have carefully designed my videos to improve your study time. I deliver these videos asynchronously, meaning that you do not have to be behind your computer at any specified time to hear my lectures. You can study when you are most productive! These videos are provided in "mp4" format and can be played directly from most browsers, and they can be downloaded to your computer, tablet, or smartphone. See my "Videos, Videos, and More Videos" web page for more information about the variety of ways to watch my videos. I think that you will enjoy my lecture videos, typically 15 to 25 minutes long.

Through my use of a variety of electronic technologies and a very organized easy-to-use LMS, Moodle, you will see that I am very dedicated to making your learning productive and 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.

The "Course Calendar" web page shows the topics and their dates for this course.

This course is in English and times are CST.

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, 13th Edition, Prentice Hall, 2020. ISBN: 9780135202661.

I have decided to use ICON Direct as one way to keep textbook cost low and acquisition easy. However, if you decide to get this textbook on your own at either a lower cost or a different format, make sure to "opt out" of ICON Direct (directions for opting out.) I will not be using any electronic-based content that requires you to have the ICON Direct textbook version.

Assignments are based upon this edition. MyOMLab and online codes are not required.

Course Technology

This course assumes that the student has some basic 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 Information Technology Services (ITS,) which is the university's computer support department.

Computer and Internet: A PC or Macintosh computer is required along with Internet access, upload and download speeds of at least 4 Mbps. I do want to point out that this course designed for either PCs or Macs, but "officially," since this course is in the Business Analytics department, the department has this policy stating that students should have a PC. In this policy, Mac users will see alternatives, free and low cost, for running PC-based software on the Mac. (I own a Mac, and use VMWare when I need a PC.) If you own a PC, Windows 10 is recommended. If you own a Mac, High Sierra (MacOS 10.13) or newer is recommended.

Course Software: Excel (PC or Mac) 2013, 2016, 2019, or 365. UIowa students are eligible to get MS Office 365 for free from Microsoft. This course uses some software that is Windows-only software: Microsoft Project and Microsoft Visio. MS Project and MS Visio can be downloaded for free from the Microsoft "Azure" website. On Azure, log in using Hawkid@uiowa.edu, and then search for the specific software product (Visio and Project.)

University Computer Lab Computers: Students can use the Tippie lab or public computers, which meet these course hardware and software requirements. Visio and Project are not typically installed on general University computers, so Tippie computers should be used.

The UIowa Virtual Desktop has Microsoft Excel, but not Visio and Project.

Browser requirements: You will need a modern browser that is up to date (Edge, Firefox, Safari, Chrome, or equivalent. Note: Internet Explorer 11 is not supported.)

Acrobat, Video Player, and Screen Capture:

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

The posted videos play within most browsers, and they can also be downloaded and played with Windows Media Player or the QuickTime player, or you can use a more powerful video player such as VLC (PC or Mac) or the Elmedia player (Mac.) The videos are standard mp4 videos.

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.

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." Moodle appears just fine from most smartphone browsers, and there is an optional Moodle Mobile app, if desired. (I always work from my smartphone browser.)

Pre-Course Assignment: 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, and to introduce you to the course and to Moodle. This pre-course assignment is also explained in the "Course Introduction" video.

Need Technical or University 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, UIowa computers, etc., should be directed to ITS, its-helpdesk@uiowa.edu, 319-384-HELP (4357). General university academic support and resources are found on the university's Helping Students Find their Way web page.

Accessibility: You will find this course designed with accessibility in mind, including students with our without special needs. Here is additional information about accessibility of products that might be used in this course.
- Moodle's Accessibility Statement
- Microsoft Office Accessibility
- Vimeo's Accessibility

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 (usually on Mondays and Thursdays), 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 (Mondays and Thursday), 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. These exams are timed, 1-hour long, but you will have a period of at least 24 hours to decide when to begin. You must take exams 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. Exams are open-book and open-notes. Also, at my discretion, I can ask you to find an instructor or administrator from a university to proctor your exam

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, Posting, and Email: I send an email each week when a topic is released, sent to the email address(s) you provided in the pre-course Student Survey. When you have a question, I prefer that you post your question in Moodle since your question, and my response often benefits other students. Moodle will email these posts to everyone using your Moodle profile's email address. However, if you have a more personal question, email it to me. I typically reply to posts and emails in less than two days. If you do not get a response from me within two days, try emailing me to both my private (Rick@rjerz.com) and university (Richard-Jerz@Uiowa.edu) email addressed, just in case your email is detected as spam.

Make Up Exams: Make up exams will only be given for extreme situations.

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, online discussions, assignments, and other interactions, a courteous tone, politeness, and professionalism tone is expected. Here are some tips on "Netiquette."

Rectifying Scores: During the semester, I will post all your scores in Moodle's grade book 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.

Privacy Statements for software products that students might use in this course:
- The University of Iowa Online Privacy Statement
- The University of Iowa FERPA Guidelines. I keep your personal email addresses and phone numbers private. The data that Moodle collects is not shared with others as I honor FERPA guidelines.
- Moodle Data Privacy Statement: Moodle is a private Learning Management System. Keep your password private and do not share it with others. I am my Moodle's Privacy Officer.
- Microsoft Office Privacy Statement
- Vimeo's Privacy Statement

Collegiate Policies and Guidelines

Tippie Collegiate Policies and Guidelines

University Policies and Guidelines

Accommodations for Disabilities: UIowa Accommodations Policy.

Mental Health: UIowa Mental Health Policy.

Sexual Harassment: UIowa Sexual Harassment Policy.

Multicultural Holidays: UIowa Multicultural Holidays Policy.

Sustainability: UIowa Sustainability Policy.

Distance and Online Education: Distance and Online Education Policies