Issue #24, Fall 2015

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eLearning Team

Featured Online Students

Jindal School of Management

Meet our Faculty

eLearning Team

The holiday season is nearly upon us and the spring semester isn’t far behind. I want to thank each of the 564 students who participated in last semester’s survey. I like to think of these surveys as a conversation between our students and the eLearning Team. Your feedback helps us to continually improve by identifying what we are doing right and also what we could be doing better.

Here are the questions and your responses to the survey on Online Course Satisfaction:

Question 1: How likely are you to recommend taking an online course at UT Dallas to a colleague or friend?

80% of respondents were likely to recommend online courses to a colleague or friend, while 11% were unlikely to do so.

Question 2: If you have taken online courses at another college or university, how would you compare the courses at UT Dallas?

88% of respondents reported online courses at UTD to be as good or better than those at other colleges or universities.

Question 3: If you have taken online courses at another college or university, what is something that you would like to see incorporated into online courses at UT Dallas that you experienced in those courses?

Many of your responses focused on more interaction and also convenience. Here is a sampling:

  • Video conference with professor.
  • I have taken courses at another college online, however, I really like the format used at UTD better.
  • One of the things I have done in other online courses is an optional webinar each week.  The prerecorded lectures are nice and handy to go back and review but this give students and the professor a chance to interact a little more.
  • Being able to take the tests at home.  Not in the testing center.

This semester we would like to hear your thoughts on the student technical resources and support for online courses. Please take a moment to answer a few VERY short questions.

Student Technical Resources and Support Survey

Wishing you the very best of luck on your finals and in the upcoming semester!

Darren Crone, Ed.D., Assistant Provost, Educational Technology Services


Featured Online Student

The eLearning Team invites you to meet our students by viewing different student profiles in each newsletter. This semester's featured student is Jinfan Yang.

Jinfan Yang

Where do you work?
I currently work at UT Dallas as a Teaching Assistant.

What do you want to do after you finish your degree?
After I graduate from UT Dallas, I would like to become a Certified Public Accountant.  I want to start my career off focusing on tax accounting.  My goal is to help clients with tax planning.  I would love to help my clients save on their taxes so that they will have more money in their pockets which will help them utilize their savings to ensure a successful and happy life.    

How many online courses have you taken?
I have taken four online courses. Generally, I take one online class each semester.

Why did you decide to take online courses?
Online courses have two obvious advantages.  First, online classes are really convenient because I do not have to come to campus for classes every day.  Secondly, online classes help me save time from driving to and from the campus and taking online classes help me save lots of money on gas!

How is the online experience different from the traditional classroom?
I believe online courses are more flexible than traditional classroom classes for these reasons:  I can control the study progress by myself; if for some reason I have to stop the online videos, I can do so at any time; and nobody will disturb me when I study online.  Also, if I have any questions or issues, I am able to have online conferences with my professors.  The online technology makes my life very simple!

What makes an online course effective?
It is so easy to match my schedule with taking an online course.  I do not have to worry about what I missed in the class and if I do not understand the contents of the lectures, I can just click the replay button to listen to it again.  If I have any questions, I can simply send an email to the professor and get his or her responses easily and quickly.  Also, our homework is submitted online without having to come on campus to present a hard copy to the instructor.

Who was your favorite professor and why?
My favorite professors for online classes are Professor John Barden and Professor Jennifer Johnson.  They both explained the accounting concepts clearly and provided some real life examples.  This made the course material easy to understand and master.  In addition, both professors replied to my questions very quickly, and they were always willing to help me resolve any CPA Exam and License issues that came up. 

Is there any advice you can give to other online students?
If you want to take online classes, you should first read the class syllabus to ensure you remember the due date for each assignment.  Online classes are not actually easier than traditional classes, so you must be self-motivated.  It would help if you would follow the instructions in the syllabus, plan to read the chapters as outlined and complete the quizzes on time.

If you would like to be featured in the eLearning Newsletter, email us!


Jindal School of Management

New Online Elective for Spring 2016 - BPS 6311

Since registration for spring 16 has started, I wanted to inform you about an elective online course I will be teaching in the spring - BPS 6311 – Strategy Implementation. This course is a follow on to BPS 6310 – Strategy. I will cover 2 chapters on entrepreneurship that may not have been covered in BPS6310 and also Clayton Christensen's popular book on innovation. I will waive the BPS 6310 prerequisite for students with suitable experience so tell any of your friends who may be interested in an online elective. 

BPS 6311 Strategy Implementation will be offered in the spring 2016. BPS 6311 is a follow-on course to BPS 6310 and focuses on how to effectively implement the concepts learned in BPS 6310. The main objective is to use innovation techniques to analyze and solve business problems. The course will use the low cost popular book “The Innovator’s Solution” plus a reprint of 2 chapters of the Dess strategy textbook.

For complete information, contact me as shown below:

Larry Chasteen, Director JSOM Online Programs | [email protected] | 972-883-5853

Academic Advising

Whether you are just starting your academic journey or are close to reaching your goal, planning your coursework each semester is vital.  You should start preparing for registration at the end of October for a spring term and in early March for the summer and fall terms.  Part of your preparation should involve the five steps outlined below.

1 – Review the Academic Calendar for important deadlines, including the first day of class and last day to add courses.
2 – Clear your holds in Galaxy – on the right side of your Student Center.
3 – Check your degree plan, update it, and determine which courses should be next.
4 – Research the courses you want to take in Course Lookup.
5 – Plan your class schedule and be ready to register on your enrollment date.

Additional details and informational videos about preparing for registration are found on our website.  As always, please feel free to reach out to our office for guidance or clarifications: JSOM Advising Contacts.

Corina Cantua, Director | JSOM Academic Advising | [email protected] | 972-883-5963

Want to see an Advisor? Join the line from anywhere! Text JSOM to 626-414-3210 or Call: 855-883-5766


Operations Management - Leveling the Playing Field

Eugene Deluke

I have two online classes I teach and I also teach these same classes as on-campus classes. Instructional Designers will tell you theoretically there should not be any significant difference in class performance between a properly designed online class and an instructor-led class. When I designed the online classes, I paid particular attention to using the same lecture slides and also recording the lectures as close as possible to the way I deliver the equivalent instructor-led section. However, I have noticed in some semesters when the class is offered both as online and classroom, some differences in grade performance between the two sections have occurred. Usually the classroom section scores better than the online section. When this occurs, I review the performance for each exam question to see which questions have significant differences in performance. What I have discovered is the classroom section has the benefit of certain in-class exercises or impromptu white-board demonstrations that gives them a slight advantage during exams over the online class.

So, this semester, I have adopted a strategy of using the Blackboard Collaborate web conference tool as a way of leveling the playing field. I have recorded 5-6 short videos of in-class exercises or white board demos and placed these on the course home page for the online students to view. The students must download and install the Blackboard Collaborate Launcher application before they can view the recordings. This is a one-time installation process. The Blackboard Collaborate web conference tool takes a little getting used to, but once you become familiar with it, you can record short videos very quickly and you can put it out for the students to view in a matter of minutes.

This semester I have a student who is enrolled in the online section, but has been attending the classroom section lectures as well. I have asked this student to be my tester. Since she has access to the regular recorded lectures plus the new Blackboard Collaborate videos and also sees the classroom lectures, I have asked her to tell me if she sees any difference in instruction between the two sections. She has reported seeing no differences. But, the proof is in the pudding as they say. I am happy to report for the midterm exam the average grade, median grade, highest grade and the grade distribution between the two sections was essentially identical. I view these Blackboard Collaborate videos as temporary tools and intend to record equivalent formal lectures to replace them.

Eugene Deluke, Senior Lecturer | Jindal School Of Management | [email protected] | 972-883-4808


Meet Our Faculty

Alexey Root

Alexey Root is a senior lecturer in the School of Interdisciplinary Studies at The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas). She has been a member of the faculty since 1999. She is the instructor for the Chess Online courses, Chess I (ED 4358) and Chess II (ED 4359).

Alexey Root has a Ph.D. in education from UCLA. Her most notable chess accomplishment was winning the U.S. Women’s chess championship in 1989. She holds the Woman International Master title from the World Chess Federation (FIDE).

Dr. Root has written seven books on chess in education: Prepare With Chess Strategy (2015); Thinking With Chess: Teaching Children Ages 5-14 (2012); The Living Chess Game: Fine Arts Activities for Kids 9-14 (2011); People, Places, Checkmates: Teaching Social Studies With Chess (2010); Read, Write, Checkmate: Enrich Literacy With Chess Activities (2009); Science, Math, Checkmate: 32 Chess Activities for Inquiry and Problem Solving (2008); and Children and Chess: A Guide for Educators (2006).
No prior knowledge of chess is required to take the Chess Online courses. UT Dallas students from all majors have taken these courses since they were first offered in 2001. Non-UT Dallas students from as far away as Qatar have also taken Chess I and Chess II. Procedures for registering, for both UT Dallas and non-UT Dallas students, are available at

Although the courses are officially offered in the second 8 weeks of the fall and spring semesters, Dr. Root runs two schedules within each semester. The 16-week schedule is for students who register early enough to start in August (for fall semester) or January (for spring semester). That 16-week schedule allows students to spend about two weeks on each of the eight units of each course. Students that register later follow a second 8-week schedule, finishing about one unit per week. Students interested in either ED 4358 or ED 4359 must write to [email protected] for permission to register. Students may take ED 4358 and ED 4359 in either order, or take both courses during one semester.

Chess Online course descriptions:

ED 4358: Chess I — Using Chess in Elementary Schools (Undergraduate) (3 semester hours) – Using chess to teach critical thinking, math and reading skills in elementary and secondary classrooms. This course is also appropriate for chess instructors who wish to incorporate additional academic and humanistic goals into their programs.

ED 4359: Chess II — Using Institutional & Cultural Contexts of Chess (Undergraduate). (3 semester hours) – Examination of the roles of chess in history and in contemporary culture and analysis of chess in education. Each student’s culminating paper proposes improving an existing chess program or developing a new chess program.
After completing Chess I and Chess II, students have:

  1. Played chess,
  2. Notated and annotated their games,
  3. Read, analyzed, and discussed course texts,
  4. Cited and referenced using APA (Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association) style
  5. Written, taught, and reflected on lessons, and
  6. Proposed a chess program for a specific institution.


Newsletter edited by Rita Cubie, Administrative Assistant, UT Dallas eLearning Team