Identifying Best Practices of Logistics & Transportation Graduate Education
2015 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition Proceedings
Logistics and transportation has become one of the last frontiers that still remain to be conquered by most businesses in the twenty first century. Yet this cannot be done unless all logistics and transportation professionals, irrespective of their functional orientation and current job responsibilities, fundamentally understand the dynamics of how products move from one place to another. This is one of the disciplines that is growing at a faster pace. The issue is that the number of graduates
... umber of graduates in this field is not meeting the current industry demand. Many U.S. institutions have recently developed and planning to develop educational degree programs in this area. This research analyzed the need for best practices and identified best practices in logistics and transportation education. The term "Best Practice" has been used to describe "what works" best in a particular situation or environment. Best practices are an inherent part of education that exemplifies the connection and relevance identified in educational research. They interject rigor into the curriculum by developing thinking and problem-solving skills through integration and active learning. Best practices are applicable to all degree levels and provide the building blocks for instruction. Best practices motivate, engage and prompt students to learn and achieve. Students who receive a balanced curriculum and possess the knowledge, skills and abilities to transfer and connect ideas and concepts across disciplines are most likely succeed in their careers. We recently have launched a graduate program in Logistics, Trade and Transportation at our university. We found some practices that are really effective in building curriculum, program delivery, and program improvement. This paper shares those best practices in logistics and transportation education in the US. Page 26.872.2 Defining best practices A best practice is a strategy or method that has reliably demonstrated results better than those attained with different means, and that is utilized as a benchmark. Likewise, a "best" practice can develop to wind up better as upgrades are found. It is also considered as a business popular expression, used to depict the methodology of creating and after a standard method for doing things that various associations can utilize. Best practices are inherent part of education that represents the association and importance distinguished in instructive examination. They add special features into the educational module by creating speculation and critical thinking abilities through joining and dynamic learning . Grover J. Whitehurst, as assistant secretary for Educational Research and Improvement at the U.S. Department of Education, defined evidence-based education as "the integration of professional wisdom with the best available empirical evidence in making decisions about how to deliver instruction." . Thomas L. Friedman, author of The World Is Flat, refers "to a twenty-first century world that will be very different from the one in which we were educated. To survive in a new, globally competitive world, today's children will need creativity, problem-solving abilities, a passion for learning, a dedicated work ethic and lifelong learning opportunities. Students can develop these abilities through instruction based on Best Practice teaching strategies." . Best practice in graduate instruction focuses on dependable collaborations between graduate understudies and workforce, underpinned by staff . Best practices are not always the best depending on timing and locations. According to DiBella (2001), "a practice that is valued in one setting will be valued differently in another setting where there are different constraints, limitations, and circumstances". DiBella (2001) advises that "how we learn and what we learn must shift as the context for learning changes" . Draves (1997) concurs and adds that there are no best teaching techniques, only variety and experimentation as the primary tools of one's trade .