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UCR Business Professor is Awarded $110,000 by the UC Innovative Learning Technology Initiative

By Heather Jackson

Dr. Ashish Sood, UCR School of Business Assistant 
Professor of Marketing

Dr. Ashish Sood, a UCR School of Business assistant professor of marketing, is awarded $110,000 from the University of California Innovative Learning Technology Initiative (ILTI), to enhance the learning and engagement experience of students at the business school.

In May, Dr. Sood was selected to receive the funds to carry out his innovative proposal for the development and enhancement of his Pricing Strategy and Management course (BUS 116). The course of pricing management is an applied course that draws from many fields (e.g., consumer psychology, sociology, behavioral economics, and econometrics). He plans to use the funds to convert his course into a hybrid class that maximizes instructional time and cuts down the cost of higher education through a two-fold strategy: creating online courses and using interactive programs that reinforce online teachings each week throughout the quarter.

Dr. Sood plans to extract content from the digital public library called Open Educational Resources (OER) to create unique online courses. He believes this will reduce the cost of the course to students because the project will create a collection of free or low-cost content to support the learning objectives. In the final form, he expects the improved hybrid course to yield higher student enrollment across campuses and alleviate space constraints.

The second technique in his proposal is to incorporate a variant of active learning called Learning by Playing, with the goal of fostering appreciation and understanding of the environment faced by a manager. Dr. Sood will use technology from the Moblab team, the EdTech startup that provides the interactive game and survey platform, to allow students to apply what they have learned online in a managerial decision-making environment provided in class.

“Online education has tremendous potential to transform the quality of student learning and engagement,” Dr. Sood explains. “The recent strategic initiative by the UCR School of Business identified engagement as one of our key strategic goals, and pairs nicely with the vision of the ILTI. Our school is working towards deepening student engagement, by creating a challenging learning environment. I saw an opportunity to contribute to these goals with the resources made available by the Innovative Learning Technology Initiative.”

The University of California Innovative Learning Technology Initiative (ILTI) was established in 2013, to meet the UC campus educational need for high-quality online courses that will help UC undergraduates get the courses they need, satisfy degree requirements, and graduate on time. The ILTI uses four components to accomplish its goal: provide funds to UC faculty to create new online courses and enhance existing online courses, provide department and campus support to ensure sustainability of the courses created by faculty through the awards granted by ILTI, create a cross-campus enrollment searchable database of online courses so that students can find the classes they need and gauge initiative performance to maintain accountability.

“As part of the University of California, the business school harnesses the powerful resources of a leading research institution to study and develop information, business practices and innovations that are felt amongst our student body,” says Yunzeng Wang, dean of UCR School of Business. “Dr. Sood's award exemplifies the caliber of our faculty and their dedication to teaching innovation.”

Media Contact: Heather Jackson|| (951)-827-3623 

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