The online MPS/SCM program courses, other than the professional paper, will include small group collaborative projects as a means of fostering interaction and building a learning community among the students. These projects also simulate business, military, government and non-profit environments in which individuals frequently must work in small interdisciplinary teams to solve problems or assess situations.
In addition to online threaded discussion forums, each course will have two to four small group projects, typically business case studies. For each of these projects, students collaborate in three to four person teams to develop responses to case study questions or problems. Message boards are created for each project and team to facilitate interaction, although groups are welcome to interact by any means they feel are most effective. In some of these projects, each individual becomes a subject matter expert on an instructor-selected topic by reading and preparing a short reaction paper from readings provided by the instructor. As with the threaded discussions, individuals are encouraged to incorporate relevant personal experiences in the reaction papers. Each individual’s paper is shared within the small group and portions are used to prepare the group’s presentation on the case study questions or problems. Each group’s final presentation is posted to a message board for the whole class to review and follow-up in a threaded discussion with questions posed by the instructor. Each small group project concludes with individuals completing peer reviews for each of their small group members.