טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
M.Sc Thesis
M.Sc StudentIvan Strygacz
SubjectCombining Simulation-Based Training and Flipped Classroom
in Project Management Learning
DepartmentDepartment of Industrial Engineering and Management
Supervisor Full Professor Shtub Avraham


Abstract

Every year, countless projects are finished late, go over budget or end up being cancelled, often because their project managers lack the necessary tools and techniques to support their decision-making.

Students of Project Management (PM) courses around the world have difficulty integrating the lesson learned.  After studying each concept individually, students may then struggle and even fail when it comes to applying these concepts in a real-life project.

On the one hand, Simulation-Based Training (SBT) can contribute to the solution of these problems by linking the concepts learned during a PM course and providing the experience of managing a simulated project that serves as preparation for reality.  On the other hand, the successful use of a simulator as well as Flipped Classroom Methodology (FCM) for teaching have been recorded in several studies and can improve the cognitive comprehension level of the student.

The motivation for this research is based on the hypothesis that learning is improved by doing and questioning.  Both methodologies are not completely autonomous, and both have their ways of being more or less efficient.

The objective of this research is to study the application of SBT together with FCM in comparison to Traditional Classroom (TC) in PM learning, taking into account an intercultural approach.

One hundred and ninety students from four PM courses in three different universities located on three continents participated in two SBT experiences.  In all the courses, the students had to run two different scenarios, one deterministic and the other stochastic, specially designed for this experiment.  In addition, all the students had to fill out an initial questionnaire at the beginning of the experiment with personal details about themselves and a final questionnaire at the end about their experience and satisfaction.

Testing the first hypothesis, we found a significant difference in the ratio (p<0.0014) when students are under FCM for the first scenario (S1) from the SBT experience.  We also found a significant difference (p<0.0001) in the completed runs when using FCM for S1.  Work experience of the students in PM statistically also affected the performance in SBT in S1 (p<0.0211). Lastly, for all the satisfaction questions, students from FCM were quantitatively and qualitatively “happier” with the experiment than those who studied under TC.  Surprisingly, a single “immigrant” student performed better than anyone not only in S1 but also in S2 which was a stochastic scenario.

Regarding the second hypothesis, although there are slight indications that there is a correlation between FCM performance and SBT results we could not statistically prove it since we found contradictory results.

The contribution of this research is twofold.  First, from a theoretical perspective, we enriched and broadened the literature regarding SBT and FCM by applying both teaching tool and methodology in a unique multicultural context.  Second, from a practical perspective, we found an improvement in results, satisfaction and lesson learned when using SBT under FCM in comparison to SBT under TC.