ON DEMAND: Teaching/Learning New Product Development from Active Learning Classroom to Online (5 mins)
Active Learning Classrooms (ALC) support collaborative group learning. Teaching an undergraduate level new product development course designed for Marketing/Entrepreneurship students in an ALC has transformed the student experience. Resources in the ALC (Collaborative Fixed Classroom) include fixed tables that seat small groups at locations around the sides of the rooms, fixed and rolling whiteboards, and flat screens at each table that allow the instructor to share visual materials or that can be switched over so that students at each table can connect their own technology for viewing by others. The course, in line with best practices for teaching design thinking and new product development (Chen, Benedicktus, Kim and Shih (2018); Pun, Yam and Sun 2003) requires active and experiential learning. Two-thirds of the flipped class time involves students working together on team exercises that help them learn and apply new product development concepts, and prepare them to complete a team project of developing a new product idea, creating a non-functional prototype, and planning the launch of the product. In the ALC, students are able to work together more effectively. For example, when creating word clouds out of customer information, students are able to share their screens at their individual tables to facilitate discussion about important insights gleaned from the word cloud instead of struggling to share information with each other using the small screens of their individual computers/tablets. The student work has improved since moving to the ALC from a regular classroom, and from ALC to online during the pandemic.