In general, most modules taught in the business study programmes are theoretical, with some general case studies and discussions. What students lack is the direct link of the taught theory with practical application in both manufacturing and services sector. In addition to that students, also may lose interest in the module if it is solely theoretical with the use of either theoretical application or general (well used) and in most cases international case studies.
By introducing direct line of theory with practice, it will make the modules practical but could also increase the learning process by making the teaching more interesting and attractive.
The idea is to link the theoretical teaching with real practical experience as well as to analyse aspects of sustainable development in the organisations in question, especially with the use of renewable energy and reusable materials. This will be done by way of:
- Introducing guest lecturers from the business community
- A visit to the same business by the students to relate to the visiting lecturer with the practical application, a
- Provide an in-depth analysis of the topic in question and if a potential for improvement was identified to recommend it to the interviewed business
First Action – Visiting lecturer – will be done during the course of two weeks, with the topics of Supply and/or Value Chain Management. Representatives of two different companies will give a 30min lecture about their company as well as about the application of both aspects of operations in their respective organisation.
Second Action – Field Visit – two weeks after the lectures, the students will visit both companies and get to know the operations in these companies. The students will have the chance to ask questions that could help them understand the practical application of operations better, as well as help them with their assignment. During the field visit, the students will be given a worksheet with questions that could help them with their assignment. The worksheet should be submitted no later than one week after the field visit.
Third Action – Role play – following the field visit, the students will have the time to prepare their assignment (groups presentation) in the capacity of a consultant engaged by the company to analyse its operations and identify potential ways to improve specific aspects as assigned by the course leader.
During this assignment, students will have to analyse Supply Chain, in particular the company's transport and logistics, part of the operations and identify possible ways in which businesses can reduce their costs but at the same time have the environmental aspect in mind. Student will be encouraged to analyse elements like, use of biofuels, smart traveling by way of route changes, fleet changes, etc.
The assignment will be a group one, with no more than four students per group. Students will chose the topic themselves and the company they will analyse. The students will have to prepare a presentation, of approximately 30 minutes long. This is a group presentation, therefore, all members should present.
A company representative will be present during the presentations by the students, in the role of the consultant. This will be an opportunity for the company to benefit from a series of analysis and recommendations and perhaps reflect on the way in which they conduct their operations.