Jeffrey K. Mullins is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Information Systems (IS) at the University of Arkansas in the Sam M. Walton College of Business. He has been teaching in Data Science, Programming, and ERP classes since 2006.
His research areas include emotion, cognition, and ethics in information systems, and the IT-enabled convergence of work and play. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in the MIS Quarterly, the Journal of Business Ethics, the Journal of Business Research, and other outlets.
Using ERPsim in Class
Professor Mullins uses ERPsim in his MIS class throughout the semester. Using the solution, he ties the concepts he teaches in his class with those of the real world.
He starts the semester with the introduction version of the manufacturing game, after playing the first round he then uses his regular teaching material (slides and lab) to go through what the students have just learned.
By starting with the most basic version of the game he can gradually introduce his students to the more complex aspects of using an enterprise resource system in practice.
Teaching from complexity makes it so that students are constantly cognitively stretched, but never to a point where they can not continue. This approach allows the students to feel engaged by the simulation and learn to live with the consequences of their actions, but not be afraid to fail. He also teaches an introduction to ERP Workshop used for research projects.
Play the game yourself, at least twice. The first time as if you were a student. The second time, think about how to make your teaching more effective.
Take the time to carefully de-bug student issues. Then, once the issue is fixed, take the time to explain to your students what went wrong.
Don't blame the system when one student or a team is getting an error message or an incomprehensible result.
Using ERPsim in Research
In one of his papers, Professor Mullins shows how using ERPsim can significantly enhance students' knowledge of ERP systems and as a result also ultimately improve their attitude towards them.
He recommends the use of pre-and post-experience surveys when conducting research with ERPsim and warns of the overwhelming amount of data that can be extracted from ERPsim and SAP. You should take time to formulate the right questions and focus on the data that will be able to answer those questions.
Enterprise Systems Knowledge, Beliefs, and Attitude: A Model of Informed Technology AcceptanceInternational Journal of Information Management, 59, 102348
Getting Serious about Games: A Study of Work and Play through Information SystemsDoctoral Dissertation
How Much Information is Too Much? Effects of Computer Anxiety and Self-EfficacyIn Proceedings of the 35th International Conference on Information Systems
Just Enough Information? The Contingent Curvilinear Effect of Information Volume on Decision Performance in IS-Enabled Teams.MIS Quarterly