Creating a seamless student learning experience: merchandising math

In DSGN 472, Merchandise Planning and Control, students learn retail merchandising math at computational and conceptual levels.  Currently, content is delivered through a series of lectures paired with in-class activities.  Students apply what they learn through math homework assignments and Excel-based assignments developed with assistance from merchandising professionals.  Current course learning outcomes include:

  • Solve and interpret mathematical problems related to merchandise planning and control.
  • Use appropriate mathematical techniques throughout the six-month planning process.
  • Apply qualitative, analytical, and technical skills to develop merchandise assortment plans that are in-line with specific target markets, geography, selling format, marketplace trends, and performance goals.
  • Communicate rationale for decision-making throughout the assortment plan development process.
  • Use industry-relevant technology to formulate and communicate merchandising decisions.

Non-hybrid format:  This 4-credit course meets twice a week (1 hour, 50 minute each session). Class size ranges from 25 to 50 students.

Hybrid format:

  • Face-to-Face instruction/interaction will occur at the beginning of each week (100 minutes).  This time will be used to have in-class discussions that stem from reading online group discussion which occurred during the previous week, a review activity and question/answer session addressing math concepts covered the previous week, a short introduction to math concepts that will be included in math problem sets for the current week (this introduction will include an in-class activity).  Class time will also be used to introduce the more complex Excel-based assignments (6-month plan, assortment plan).
  • Online instruction/interaction will occur after the face-to-face class session (100 minutes throughout the week.  Students will watch a series of tutorials that introduce each math concept and related computations.  Typically, one tutorial will cover only one math concept.  After watching each tutorial, students will complete a practice math problem set.  When they struggle with a specific problem, students can access an “on-demand” tutorial that shows a video of how to solve the problem.  In addition to watching tutorials and completing math problem sets, students will search online for current news articles that relate to the math concepts covered during the week.  Students will work in small groups set up on Canvas to share and synthesize what they learned from the news articles (note:  each group will share what they learned with the entire class in the next face-to-face setting).
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One Response to Creating a seamless student learning experience: merchandising math

  1. stiegers says:

    Hello Brigitte, This is a great description of your course. I really like your thoughts and outline for the online instruction/interaction aspect, specifically that student can access and “on demand” tutorial, that seems to be a really great way to tutor students online.

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