I have been teaching MSIS 4033 Project Management to upper level students since the fall of 2014, and while the material is somewhat traditional I have used a fairly innovative method called the Flipped Classroom for teaching the class. Instead of a traditional lecture, students watch lecture videos prior to coming to our in-class session. Because students have already spent time learning the material, we use class time instead to explore the material through case studies, group work, and hands-on exercises. This approach has led to increased engagement, more productive in-class groups, and very high student satisfaction with the course overall.
Assessments in my course are not tests, but presentations, along with weekly low-stakes quizzes to help students recall the information they learn in a timely manner. For the first six weeks my students, through small group collaboration, study real-life project management case studies from companies like Facebook, Nike, Boeing, and McDonald’s in order to learn more about how major corporations and government institutions solved complex problems through project management. Or, in many cases, how their ambitions were foiled through lack of good project management principles. This culminates in a presentation where students explain what they learned to me and to the class, which helps them by putting them in a situation similar to what they would experience in a real-life project setting. The final exam, as it were, is a similar presentation over a hypothetical IT project for the OSU community that students design in small groups. All the work in my class is designed to grow with students over the course of the semester, and engage them at all level’s of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning.
I show this slide to my students on the first day of class to help them understand where all the elements of my course fit into Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning. Quizzes and in-class work form the foundation for the course, and the Case Study a Analysis and OSU IT Project allow my students to demonstrate mastery of learning.
This document is not your traditional syllabus. I created it to be easy to read, visually engaging, and clearly organized so students can get the information they need right where they expect it. This syllabus not only explains course policies and procedures, but includes a Wellness Statement on the first page which sends a message to my students that I care about them and their performance in class.
For the lecture portion of my class I use a series of videos such as this one in which I go over the important concepts my students need to know in the form of short, targeted mini lectures. This format is highly flexible and allows students to learn at their own pace in a way that works for them, and also pause, rewind, or speed up the lecture as needed. After watching the lectures and reading the textbook outside of class, they are prepared to apply the material in class with me guiding them along the way.
This document contains all the slides I use for the in-class portion of my Chapter 5 lesson. Students first watch videos about Project Scope Management outside of class, and then in class we apply the material they already learned. I ask my students open-ended questions, show them examples of bad scope management such as the Kindle Fire Phone as well as good scope management like the Ford F-150 redesign. Then my students use their knowledge of scope management to create a plan for a hypothetical tablet for college students from the computer company Lenovo. This approach turns our class time from lecture and note-taking to engagement and application.
When we cover the concept of time management in class, students answer these open-ended critical thinking questions much in the way they might do on their own as homework. Due to the flipped nature of class, students are able to collaborate with each other and get help from the instructor in a way that is not possible using a more traditional style of instruction.
My approach to teaching, grounded in the same instructional design principles I use when working with faculty across campus, has been very well received by students. Those who take my class come away with a new appreciation for project management as a discipline, and many choose to pursue it as a career option. Students typically rate my teaching exceptionally high, as is illustrated by this excerpt from my teaching evaluations from the Fall 2019 semester.
In addition to raw numbers, students typically have very positive things to say about my teaching as well:
He is by far one of the best professors I have had during my college career. I love that he devotes so much into teaching and truly loves it. This love and effort is definitely shown in class. I love that he takes the time to read everything we turn in and give notes back.Spring 2020
I’m a senior and Professor Ringsmuth is one of the top 3 best professors I’ve had. He is devoted to teaching this course and preparing students for life outside of OSU. He transitioned seamlessly to an online course and tried to make all assignments fun to do.Spring 2020
Professor Ringsmuth has been the most intentional, hardworking and caring professors I have had in my 4 years at OSU. He memorized every students name, learned unique things about them just by talking to them and he made sure to make students feel known and valued. I wish more professors took the same approach to teaching like professor Ringsmuth. If there were more professors like him then I bet students attendance to class would skyrocket.Fall 2019
Professor Ringsmuth is one of my favorite MIS professors I have had. He puts an incredible amount of effort to teaching, and every single class period is always something new. He always makes class very interesting.Fall 2019
Positive energy, passionate about subject and does not over load students with busy work. The readings are meaningful and presentations are fun.Fall 2019
Had a great experience and Ringsmuth really cared about us.Fall 2019
A great instructor. I would recommend him to anyone because of his positive attitude toward students and dedication to answering any questions in or out of class.Spring 2019
One of the most dedicated professors I have had the pleasure of meeting. You could genuinely tell he cared about the success of his students and their well being.Spring 2019
During the Fall 2020 semester I had to adapt my normal teaching due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which meant changing the nature of my in-person lectures in order to accommodate students who did not feel comfortable coming to campus. In order to give remote students the same quality of education as in-person students I recorded my teaching with my iPhone using my AirPods as the microphone, which meant that my voice was crystal-clear and easy for students to understand while watching at home. I also made my PowerPoints available to students on our Canvas LMS platform so they could follow along even if there was glare on the screen.