Technology in the Simon Classrooms

By: Crissi

The Simon School provides an Economics-based and analytical approach to business education.  This format can be intimidating to someone without a quantitative background; however, one thing I have noticed is the positive impact of technology in the classroom for teaching quantitative and theoretical concepts.

I would like to first preface this with the fact that tenured and accomplished faculty teach at the Simon School.  Many have authored and contributed to the core textbooks used to teach M.B.A.s at top schools across the country, and these same people are the professors students interact with daily.  I say this because often times it is assumed that there is a generational gap in regards to the use of technology.  This is simply not true in the Simon classrooms. 

Faculty use tablet notebooks in lectures, writing directly into their presentations to elaborate on concepts and go through practice problems.  Gone are the days of chalk and dry-erase.  The best part of this setup is that through the Simon student website, after class you can download a full lecture with the professor’s notes.  This saves tons of time instead of trying to write down everything during the lecture.

One Simon Professor in Operations Management also happens to be a whiz at writing programs for Excel.  I have taken two business statistics courses with this professor; in both classes, the professor created programs to calculate many complicated statistical outcomes with the input of a few simple values.  Lecture is spent explaining what the outcomes mean and how to calculate them by hand, and when you get to the homework, you can speed right through it by merely imputing the correct numbers (which were identified in class) into the program.  This intellectual property is free to all students at Simon, and has helped me countless times for homework and exams.  I also recently learned the same professor created another Excel program for the calculation of queuing concepts in the Operations classes.  Again, this professor specializes in Operations, not Information Technology.

An Excel add-in program or the ability to reference the professor’s notes makes a big difference when tackling new quantitative material.  I know this has helped smooth the learning curve for all students, particularly those who are not innately gifted in understanding mathematical and theoretical constructs.

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