In my efforts at continuous quality improvement, I have gone over the mid-semester evaluation forms with the class rep. Overall, you seem to like the class (with one exception) but there are always ways to make it better. Here is a list of the upgrades so far:
1. Change the channel. Some of you complained that the run time for the videos was too long for the information provided. Therefore, all new videos now come with exec summaries for busy people who do not have time to watch.
2. Dates not class numbers: Some of you complained that using class numbers to refer to classes in the syllabus and in my discussion of past concepts is confusing. Therefore, I've now retrofitted the syllabus with dates. I've also tied the take aways on the blog (which are listed by class number) to the syllabus, so that you can more readily correlate the class number with the date. If you turn to the syllabus, you'll now see hyperlinks to the takeways to make this connection easier.
3. Too many problem sets: Several of you complained about the workload of the course, particularly the problem sets. Apparently the three problem sets required over the first 8 weeks of class were unduly burdensome. You also wondered what the point of the problem sets was. The point of the problem sets is to get you to see the math behind the games (something that several of you wanted more of). Nonetheless, I aim to please. Since problem sets are a pain for me to grade and you don't want them...they're gone. PS3 is the last problem set for the course.
4. Why do I have to post the results? This is the first year that I had you post the results of experiments. This change in the course, which was suggested by last year's MBAs, has received mixed reviews. Several of you thought that you really shouldn't have to post your own results and that I should take care of all the logistics. When I handled all scoring, I would send numerous nag emails to remind you to send me the results of experiments so I could input them. This process just ends up wasting (mostly my) time though some teams complained about the nag emails. You still have to send me an email with the results (which is about the same as inputting them to the online spreadsheet), while I have to nag you and then transcribe the results from the email. I'm not changing this since it really won't save you any time.
Now for the one exception: One of you wrote that the games I designed for the class were "stupid and useless." You were clearly very unhappy in the course. Since the games are the main things I have to offer, I'm happy to give you a refund as best I can. I don't want dissatisfied customers. Therefore, I'll sign whatever forms are needed to allow you to exit the course. Please come see me offline.
For the record, I believe that the games are some of the most effective tools for learning about strategy and leadership you'll encounter as an MBA.
Please note that if any of these upgrades are, in fact, perceived as downgrades, if I hear enough dissension, I'll switch back.
I'll post more as I come up with additional upgrades. I'll also discuss the results of the evals in more detail in class #17 (3/28/11)