Flipped Instructional Technology: Developing MIS Competencies Applying Enterprise Resource Planning Software

Flipped Instructional Technology: Developing MIS Competencies Applying Enterprise Resource Planning Software

Kevin Paul Barrons (Grand Valley State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0824-3.ch008


Most recently, the Flipped Classroom model has drawn the attention of many educators as an effective means of organizing and developing individual competencies. The goal in the university setting at Grand Valley State University, College of Business (GVSU) is to improve cognitive practice and increase learning in the value creation process and the zone of proximal development (ZPD) environment. Seeing one experiences this newest pedagogy in “flipped classroom” design, it has changed various educational disciplines in business education due to increased success that this model helps to create in the areas of learner motivation and comprehension - based on the objectives required for course work. Educational technology has played a key role providing a catalyst in this achievement. For example: The ZPD and experiential learning are applied in the growth of specialist in the field of management information systems (MIS).
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This paper is organized in four parts to thoroughly address the complexity of the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) and experiential learning theory. The first part introduces the topic, and selected definitions of the terms used in the discourse. In order to guide the discourse, two questions will be proposed in the second part. (1) How does the ZPD create value for the learner and the organization? (2) How does the shared experience enable learning? In the last part, a conclusion is drawn, mentioning the limitations of the arguments provided in the debate and a suggestion is also made for future research in “flipped” instructional pedagogy.

Figure 1 provides an overview of selected learning in the flipped classroom.

Figure 1.

Zone of proximal development

(Mupepi 2014)

The “Flipped Classroom” approach is applied during the instructional delivery of the BUS 351 Management Information Systems at GVSU located Pew Campus in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Much success with the course in the past has applied a traditional instructional method of class lecture and computer lab time. Presently, the “flipped classroom” model allows more time for students to problem solve in teams, review class lectures outside of class with pre-recorded slides, sound and videos, and use valuable class-time completing class exercises. Seeing more than 50% of the focus of the class requires weekly hands-on exercises applying the integrated business processes with enterprise resource planning (ERP/SAP) software, students are allowed more in-class time for problem based learning (PBL) activities related to each weekly activity. Students have required reading assignments, quizzes, and instructor prepared recordings that are reviewed prior to class and applied to each weekly exercise. This “flipped classroom” model allows students to work both independently to complete outside class assignments to allow the students to achieve mastery at their learning pace. Further, when students come to class, they spend more time working with the instructor (subject matter expert) applying their outside class activities with higher level learning activities. Therefore, the “flipped classroom” model can be effectively applied to the theoretical approach to “The Zone of Proximal Development.”

The Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) inside the classroom setting or cyberspace continuous learning environments has barrowed practices and techniques from Vygotsky (1978), Bandura (1977), Senge (1990), Lave and Wenger (1991), Brown and Duguid (1991), Jenkins (2009), Mupepi (2014) and SAP.com (2015), among many others.

Vygotsky (1978) suggests that the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) can be adopted to develop the skillfulness of learners in different learning environments such as MIS. In the ZPD, Vygotsky propounds that competencies can be enhanced by the expert(s) demonstrating the “how to” in developing competencies. In the ZPD, Vygotsky demonstrates three stages of skills development by the novice. The lower limit of ZPD is the level of skill reached by the learner working independently. The upper limit is the level of potential skill that the learner is able to reach with the assistance of a subject matter expert.

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