Hospitality and Tourism Management students learn to use a Point of Sale (POS) system with the help of an ITEE grant.

Bill Quain, Associate Professor of Hospitality and Tourism Management Studies, and Jane Bokunewicz, Assistant Professor of Hospitality and Tourism Management Studies, are committed to providing their students with genuine workplace experiences in the classroom.

Kounta's Point of Sale (POS) Software

Kounta’s Point of Sale (POS) Software

Many businesses in the Hospitality and Tourism industry use Point of Sale (POS) software to build and manage their checkout and purchasing systems. These systems allow for employee scheduling, sales trends, inventory tracking, rewards programs, and other data, becoming as Bill states, “the physical backbone structure” for information.

Hands on experience with these systems in the classroom has always been a challenge, a challenge that Bill Quain wanted to help solve. After cold calls to many POS solution vendors, Bill was able to acquire access to software and hardware from industry leader, Kounta.

Kounta offers a cloud-based point of sale system that can be used securely in both on and offline modes with smartphones, tablets, laptops and traditional POS equipment that business may already have.

In deciding how best to teach the students how to use this hardware and software, Bill Quain and Jane Bokunewicz applied for an ITEE grant to fund the production of instructional videos for students.

Their successful grant resulted in the creation of multiple support videos. These videos provide the students with step by step instructions on configuring the Kounta POS system for real world situations.

 

Bill Quain and Jane Bokunewicz

Bill Quain and Jane Bokunewicz discuss their project with video clips demonstrating Kounta’s Point of Sale system.

In class, the students created the fictional “On Deck” restaurant at the Stockton Seaview, and learned firsthand how to manage POS systems from start to finish.

Jane Bokunewicz states, “We always talk in the classroom about these various systems but our students never get the hands-on practice. Bill was able to actually get a system that the students can touch and feel and practice on, which is way more effective than what we we’ve been doing in previous years.”

Bill isn’t aware of any other college or university which is teaching students about the use and functionality of a POS system and believes this is an important advantage for Stockton students. As Bill explains, “Our students today, they’re going out and competing. And we need to give them this cutting-edge stuff that they can just take out there”.

For more information about the ITEE program please visit the E-Learning website.

Teaching Online: A Reflection

by Audrey Wolfson Latourette, M.A., J.D.
Photo of Audrey Wolfson Latourette

Audrey Wolfson Latourette, M.A., J.D

During my tenure at Stockton University, I have taught a broad array of courses that include basic requisites of the Business curriculum such as Legal, Social & Ethical Environment of Business and Business Law, MBA requirements that encompass Employment Law and Health Law, General Studies courses such as Law and Literature and Perspectives on Women, and courses such as Environmental Law and Computer Law that support other majors.  All of the aforementioned courses were taught face to face, which is, in my view, the vehicle that best represents the quintessence of learning and engagement.  To me, no other mode of pedagogy can replicate the immediacy of the interchange between professor and students, the allowance for spontaneity of thought and humor, the ability to know and understand one’s students, and the sheer pleasure and sense of accomplishment achieved by a cohesive group intent on learning.  Yet I was not unaware, of course, of the technological advances wrought via the variety of learning management systems, and indeed, authored a law review article for 32 Journal of College and University Law 613-654 (2006), published by The University of Notre Dame Law School and the National Association of College and University Attorneys, entitled “Copyright Implications for Online Distance Education.”  In that article, I discuss at length the manner in which the faculty member and his or her institution must comport with both the Copyright Act and the Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act of 2002 (TEACH Act) with respect to the use of copyrighted works and audiovisual media in distance education courses.

Photo of the course home screen

Photo of the course home screen

What prompted me to personally engage in online education was twofold in nature:  I wished to explore the possibilities and opportunities for learning that could be obtained by using a learning management system and I wished to teach a GIS course of which I was co-creator, Women in Law, History and Literature, that I viewed as a wonderful interdisciplinary vehicle for learning, but that no longer attracted a summer following among students who now were desirous of online education during that time period.

In preparing the course for online pedagogy, (an effort, as anyone who has instructed via an online course will concur, that consumes a very substantial amount of time!), I conferred with other faculty regarding approaches they deemed of merit, and met several times with Dan Gambert, Lead Instructional Designer of the Office of E-Learning.  Dan provided essential input with regard to the construction of the course:  explaining the numerous technical possibilities for posting video and articles; the means to offer immediate and responsive feedback to student submissions; the various techniques for communication and exchange between faculty and students or simply among students; and what approaches had been successfully utilized by other faculty in the creation of their online courses, among others.

I strongly desired to create videos for the course wherein I would provide the rationale for the course, what types of materials would be utilized and how those materials should be examined by students, with specific instruction as to methodology such as briefing a law case. I felt it imperative, given the online context which afforded no face to face contact, that the course be infused with some sense of the personality and priorities of the professor.  I hoped that this “infusion” would provide clarity to issues addressed in class and would also serve to encourage questions and communication from students.  The recording was conducted by Dan in a comfortable space in close proximity to his office, the technology was not intrusive, and I was offered the opportunity to assess and/or amend the videos prior to their posting on the Blackboard site.

Video introduction provided to students

A video introduction is provided to students

The online endeavor proved to be a learning experience both for my students and for me!  Although I will always favor the irreplaceable joy of the immediacy of face to face contact in the classroom, I more fully appreciate the type of individualized learning that can be afforded via the online mode of learning and I do intend to offer another online course in the next academic year.  Further, the exposure to the online technology has provided me substantial preparation in the construction of future hybrid courses which can serve to enhance the curriculum.  Finally, the experience exposed me to, and deepened my appreciation of, the broad variety of skills, knowledge and support proffered by the Office of E-Learning.

As a scholar in residence at New York University this past summer, I became aware, from fellow scholars emanating from universities throughout the country, that such pedagogical and technical support is not evidenced in all institutions of higher education.  We faculty at Stockton University are indeed fortunate to benefit from the expertise provided by this Office.

Turnitin - New Feedback Studio Interface and Training

Turnitin Feedback Studio LogoTurnitin is an academic originality checking and plagiarism service which can be utilized by instructors and students. Submitted work is compared against the world’s largest comparison database to check for originality. This service is integrated directly into Stockton’s Blackboard system.

This past summer, the Turnitin user interface was updated to the new “Feedback Studio” interface. During the fall semester, both faculty and students will be able to switch back to the “Classic” interface, if desired. On December 23, 2016, the Feedback Studio interface will become permanent. The Office of E-Learning Turnitin support page has been updated with step by step tutorials and links to support documents and web pages, as well as group training seminar dates. All seminar dates will cover the same information. There is no need to register in advance.

If none of the training dates work for you, one-to-one sessions can also be scheduled. Please call the Office of E-Learning to set up an appointment.

The student Turnitin support page has also been updated to reflect the new Feedback Studio interface.

E-Learning creates an Online Learning Readiness Quiz

Screenshot of E-Learning Readiness QuizTaking a course online can be a very different experience from taking a course face to face.  The Office of E-Learning has developed an online quiz to assess a student’s readiness for taking an online or hybrid course at Stockton.

This quiz is completely anonymous and doesn’t require a log in or password. It consists of basic questions regarding time management skills, technology availability, software familiarity, and written communications skills.  At the end of the quiz, students will receive feedback based on the questions answered.  This feedback includes links to campus resources such as the Tutoring Center, and IT Support Services.

Faculty may opt to provide the readiness quiz as part of their syllabus or via a link within their Blackboard courses.

Since the start of the semester, over 130 users have taken the quiz.  Below is a sample of the data gathered based on a few of the questions.

A sampling of the anonymous data results:

I tend to do course work shortly before it is due.

  • Yes
  • No

I have a part time or full time job that requires 25 or more hours per week.

  • Yes
  • No

I am comfortable using online databases offered by the Stockton University Library.

  • Yes
  • No

The quotes below are anonymous student feedback shared with us by a professor who asked students to take and comment on the readiness quiz:

“Answering these questions will affect my approach to this class drastically. I will spend more time learning, practicing, and becoming more familiar with Stockton’s Library database. I will also spend time watching the available tutorial videos, as well as making sure to know where available help is for these topics.”

“Overall I think the quiz makes you aware of the responsibility of taking an online course. I think the question regarding time management stood out to me. This question caused me to put each of the assignments, including due dates and times, in a planner.”

“There have been occasions where I needed help but I chose to put my pride before my success and work harder independently. Applying the concept of seeking help or assistance from the tutoring center would definitely benefit me.”

“A question that stood out to me was if I have a part time job, which I do. I’m going to have to pay close attention to how I balance both work and time for class over the semester.”

The Online/Hybrid Readiness Quiz can be accessed at the E-Learning support site.