MBAs learn to 'make a difference'WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- The Krannert Graduate School of Management at Purdue University and other business schools around the country are using community service activities to teach leadership and a sense of community to students.
For the third time in as many years, the approximately 100 graduate students involved in Krannert's Management Volunteer Program, or MVP, have won the national "MBAs make a difference day" award.
"Each fall we send out a challenge to the business schools in the Big 12 and the Big 10 to organize community outreach activities during the October make a difference day weekend," Franz says. "The schools have to document what they have done and submit an entry for judging by a panel here at the University of Missouri. We announce the national winner in the spring. Our hope is that participating in these projects gives the students a chance to connect with the community around them and to exercise their leadership skills by helping others."
At Purdue, the Management Volunteer Program was established in 1991 by graduate students with an interest in community service work. The organization is funded by corporate donations earmarked for leadership development activities.
Rose Kelly, a second-year graduate student in operations management and co-president of the Krannert volunteer group, says that in addition to feeling good about themselves, members of MVP benefit in practical ways.
"Getting out and helping others in a soup kitchen or day care center gets students out from under the books and pressures of graduate school for a while," she says. "It's a wonderful way to learn to deal with all types of people, and it might generate a lifelong love for community service."
Kelly, who has volunteered as a literacy instructor at the Hanna Community Center in Lafayette, says she plans to continue to support adult literacy in her new position with Ford Motor Co. in Detroit.
The 1997-98 winning projects by the Krannert MVPs include:
The Krannert group also was awarded the 1998 Dean Betty Nelson Service Award, sponsored by Purdue's chapter of Mortar Board. The award was established in 1996 to honor Purdue students and organizations that have excelled in community service.
CONTACTS: Lori Franz, (573) 882-2750; e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org
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More than 350 universities and companies from all over the world were involved in the testing of the software, and now there is a growing demand from corporations interested in using it for industrial, managerial and clerical training.
"It really opens up the use of computers for instruction," says Test Pilot author Malcolm Duncan, the associate director of Purdue's BioMedia Center of Instructional Computing. "The program not only generates the test or tutorial, it also grades it so students can get immediate feedback as to how they did. And Test Pilot's combination of simplicity and affordability make it unique among the educational software currently available."
On-line instruction is not new, but the instructors using it have had to be able to create a Web page and then write a program to handle the data, or pay an experienced webmaster to do it for them. Test Pilot Test runs on both Macintosh and PC systems and may require a webmaster for a one-time installation on a school's Web server, but after that even the most computer-phobic teacher can begin creating tests.
"Once the data base portion of the program is installed, instructors use simple pull-down menus and forms to write questions and set the format," Duncan explains. "The software also allows for the import of graphics and video and audio snippets, so it can be used for virtually any discipline or subject."
Duncan says the most common use so far is for the creation of tutorials, which give teachers a way to track how well students are grasping material before actually testing them on it. And because the tutorial is on the Web, students can take it from their offices, homes, or a library -- virtually anyplace that has a computer with Internet access.
Test Pilot costs $120 for educational institutions and $495 for businesses. Some Web servers may require a server extension to run the program, which costs an additional $50 or $195, depending on the type of customer. A demonstration of the software can be found at http://biomedia.bio.purdue.edu/TestPilot/ .
CONTACT: Duncan, (765) 494-6610; e-mail, email@example.com; Web, http://biomedia.bio.purdue.edu/
Krannert School of Management graduate students Cory Carter of Greenfield, Ind., Jason
Stickles of Athens, Ala., and Randy Hountz of Sunman, Ind., (left to right, facing
camera) help clear a construction site for Habitat for Humanity. Their volunteer
work is part of a business school program that teaches leadership and community service.
(Photo courtesy Krannert School of Management.)
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Program author Malcolm Duncan demonstrates Test Pilot on the computers in Purdue's
BioMedia Center for Instructional Computing. The software allows teachers to design
tests and tutorials that students can take on any computer that is connected to the
Internet. (Purdue News Service photo by David Umberger)
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