A team of two Beacom School of Business faculty
members and a graduate student recently completed the
first phase of research involving the use of video podcasts
in the classroom. The Beacom Business Integration
Podcasts are five to seven minute videos of faculty
presentations specifically produced to communicate the
Richard Muller, instructor, and Rand Wergin, Ph.D.,
assistant professor, both in the Division of Management,
Marketing and Business Law, and Chris Boyd, an
M.B.A. student, collaborated on a 12-month long
research project that culminated in a presentation of their
preliminary findings at the International Conference on
Learning and Administration in Higher Education and
the Academic Business World International Conference
in Nashville, Tenn.
The research was designed to discover if the use
of supplemental instruction through the use of video
podcasts enhanced learning for students in a business
Previous experience in entry level Business 101 classes
suggested that topics regarding the integration of the
business disciplines have been difficult for the freshman
and sophomore learner,” Muller explained. “Our research
was designed to discover if the use of the podcasts
enhances learning for business school students.”
Muller, Wergin and Boyd, with the help of other
Business School faculty, developed a series of podcast
lectures to emphasize the importance of integrating all
the disciplines within the B School. The video podcasts
were produced by Beacom students and provided to
one section of 101 students. Another section acted
as the control group and did not have access to the
podcasts; however, the concept of integration was
taught to both groups.
From their research, the trio found a correlation
between student success and use of podcasts. During
the first half of the semester, students who used video
podcasts were more successful than those who did not.
The gap between the two student groups did close slightly
by the end of the semester, suggesting that podcasts are
most effective with new and different information, but
are still effective later in the course of learning.
Boyd said the experience in research was great
preparation in discipline and analytics for his new
career. “Every student should take advantage of the
opportunity to collaborate with faculty on their projects,”
he said. Likewise, Muller and Wergin said the student
participation was invaluable.
The group will continue their research thanks to a
grant from the Beacom Opportunity Fund.
Thomas M. Renner
L-R: Richard Muller, Chris Boyd and Rand Wergin
Beacom School of Business student Thomas M.
Renner was the recipient of the first place prize of
$5,000 for his invention at the 2012 Governor’s
Giant Vision Business and Student Competition.
Renner, of Hibbing, Minn., received top
honors for his “Remote Grain Moisture Sensor,”
a device that can measure moisture levels and
the temperature of stored grain. Farmers would
be able to access this information using wireless
technology via the device, which is placed in an
empty grain bin prior to filling.
The Small Business Development Center,
managed by the Beacom School of Business, assisted
six of the top seven contestants in the 2012 business
contest (non-student division). Both the student and
non-student divisions were sponsored by the State
Chamber of Commerce and the Governor’s Office
of Economic Development (GOED).