Examining the effectiveness of experiential teaching in small and large OM modules

Niall Piercy, Alistair Brandon-Jones, Emma Brandon-Jones, C Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (SciVal)
239 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose – This paper aims to examine the preferences of students towards different teaching methods and the perceived effectiveness of experiential teaching methods in different operations management (OM) modules.

Design/methodology/approach – Student perceptions of different teaching methods and various aspects of an experiential teaching method, in the form of a business simulation game, are examined using survey data from 274 respondents in four small post-experience and two large pre-experience OM modules.

Findings – The paper's analysis suggests that traditional and experiential teaching methods are both popular with OM students, whilst independent teaching methods are less well liked. Analysis also shows that students on both kinds of OM modules perceive most aspects of the experiential teaching method used in this study (The Operations Game) very positively.

Research limitations/implications – This research study was confined to a particular type of experiential teaching method – a business simulation game. There is a need for further research to investigate the perceived effectiveness of other experiential teaching methods, such as role-plays and live cases. Furthermore, the paper does not examine the use of experiential teaching methods that do not require the physical presence of students.

Practical implications – For OM educators, the paper clarifies how they might incorporate experiential teaching methods in different class settings. Whilst experiential teaching methods are typically used for small post-experience modules, these data indicate that the method can also be used on larger pre-experience modules with great success. The paper also notes a number of challenges involved in using experiential teaching methods on both kinds of module.

Originality/value – This is the first known study to directly examine the perceived effectiveness of an experiential teaching method in both small post-experience and larger pre-experience OM modules.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1473-1492
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Operations and Production Management
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012


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