Graphic novels and rap videos are among the different ways Jeremy Short will deliver subject matter in his “Introduction to Management” online class at the University of Oklahoma.
The class will be presented using the new JANUX platform at OU. Short said this program “provides a much more interactive experience.”
Both free and for-credit versions are available.
“I’m also really excited about the graphic quality of some of the learning material created by Twinprov — an Oklahoma City based improv group,” Short said. “They created a series of rap videos and this year we have some excellent animation to really make that material pop.”
Twinprov consists of twin brothers and improv comics Buck and Clint Vrazel.
“We’ve loved smart, clever and funny songs since Weird Al (our first cassette!), Tom Lehrer, and Monty Python, so this project was a perfect fit,” Clint Vrazel said. “Doctor Short said he was going for ‘Schoolhouse Rap,’ and if you're an educator, a student learning business, or a fan of Epic Rap Battles of History, you’ll enjoy it.”
For example, one video discusses mission, vision and values. “It has a nice graphic touch that compliments the graphic novel textbook,” Short said.
Clint Vrazel said the songs feature a variety of takes.
“We threw in lots of styles from Eminem, Macklemore, to Cake and Snoop Dogg,” he said. “Buck did most of the lyrics and voices, I did most of the music and mixing. It was insanely hard and fun. It’s so catchy you have to learn something.”
A graphic novel co-authored by Short is used as one of the class’ main texts.
A recent study from OU shows that graphic novels may improve memory and be more effective in teaching students than a traditional textbook.
“Our study found that verbatim recall was superior using graphic novels compared to traditional textbooks,” Short said.
The research was well-received, spurring discussion on news sites, television and academic journals.
“In terms of the research, I was honored when it was featured in Scientific American Mind and an interview online for CNBC, so it’s been something that a lot of folks found interesting,” Short said.
Short said the main lessons to take from the research are that students enjoy content that engages them visually, and that students like to see a story unfold.
“Right now, I’m in the process of developing a graphic novel case that I hope to integrate into the course next year so that will give us more data points to learn more about how students can learn through this medium,” Short said.
The sign-up deadline for the class is June 8, and class begins June 9.
Short said introducing management principles is important for students and nonstudents.
“We all manage our time, goals, and relationships on a daily basis — and we all manage our lives and careers over longer time horizons,” Short said. “This class helps individuals manage all of these items better so they can live happier, more productive and more meaningful lives.”
•Class information and sign-up: janux.ou.edu/course.mgt2013.html
•See the full Q&A with Jeremy Short at NewsOK.com/blogs/nerdage