Operations Management
Fall 2017 - Online

rjMoodle, Course Calendar, Notes & Resources
Syllabus quick links: Course Objectives, Format, Texts, Course Technology, Grading Criteria, Student Support

Course Information

Days & Times: The course officially begins on August 21.
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

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 “online” course utilizing the “asynchronous learning” model.  Each week (usually on Mondays) 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.


"Operations Management, Sustainability and Supply Chain Management," by Jay Heizer and Barry Render, 11th Edition, Prentice Hall, 2014. ISBN 978-0132921145.

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.

Computer and Internet: This course will rely heavily on the instructor’s website and videos. Students need access to a MS Windows computer connected to the Internet (at least DSL).

Software: This course uses some software that is Windows-only software: Excel (2013/365, or 2016), Microsoft Project 2013 or 2016, and Microsoft Visio 2013 or 2016. UIowa students are eligible to get MS Office 365 for free from ITS. MS Project 2013 and MS Visio 2103 can be downloaded for free from the Microsoft "Imagine" website (see the Downloading Imagine Software video.)

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. 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.

Computer & System Software: You will need a modern browser (at least at IE9, Firefox 5, Safari 6, Chrome X, or equivalent or newer), an email account (UIowa or other) and Adobe’s Acrobat Reader in order to receive lectures, support materials, and to do homework. iTunes or Podcast Republic (for podcasted videos) are also optional, but can be helpful if you want to view videos on your iPhone or Android or from iTunes.  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 "Screen Captures" on my FAQ webpage for more information.)

If needed, students can use the University labs' computers, which meet these course requirements, and are available for those students who are on-campus.

Any questions about the course materials should be directed to the professor.  ITS and STEAD do not support Moodle or my website.  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 either STEAD or ITS.

Mobile Devices: Most of this course's materials are designed to be easily viewed from modern tablets and cell phones. Mobile devices, such as iPods or Android phones, and tablets are handy for playing videos and accessing course materials "on the go."

Lynda.com: We will also be using some of the instructional videos located on Lynda.com. As a Uiowa student, you have free access to this service at http://lynda.uiowa.edu.

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.

Grading Criteria

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

>= 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. Note that 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 Homework: I typically turn on assignments about a week early, and give you one week after the week the topic is covered (shown on the Assignments webpage). With this approach, just about every assignment, except 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." However, when the due date expires, the assignment is over. I encourage you to begin assignments early. Also, I try my hardest to help everyone who seeks my help prior to 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. 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.

Bonus Points: Occasionally, bonus exercises are provided. 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.

Course Policies

Due Dates & Missed Deadlines: All assignments are due on the date and time noted in the Moodle calendar. This is typically Tuesdays and Fridays at 11:55PM. Since many topics build upon previous topics, missed assignments should still be completed. However, late assignments are not accepted and the student earns a zero on these.

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

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

Student Support

Accommodations: Students seeking classroom and/or exam accommodations should first register with Student Disability Services (SDS): https://sds.studentlife.uiowa.edu/students/apply/.

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 Senior 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/.

Sexual Harassment: The University will not tolerate sexual harassment, nor will it tolerate unwelcomed behavior of a sexual nature toward members of the University community when that behavior creates an intimidating or hostile environment for employment, education, on-campus living, or participation in a University activity. Incidents of sexual harassment should be reported immediately.

See the UI Comprehensive Guide on Sexual Harassment for assistance, definitions, and the full University policy: https://opsmanual.uiowa.edu/community-policies/sexual-harassment. Concerns regarding sexual harassment should be directed to the Office of the Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator: https://osmrc.uiowa.edu/policy.

Grievance Policy: Student concerns regarding this course should first be discussed with me. If we can't resolve the complaint, you may contact the DEO of Management Sciences, Nick Street at (319) 335-0890 or nick-street@uiowa.edu. If you cannot resolve the complaint by speaking with the DEO, you may contact the Associate Dean of the Undergraduate Program, Ken Brown, (319) 335-0924, kenneth-g-brown@uiowa.edu.