About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 7584-7594
Publication year: 2012
ISBN: 978-84-695-3491-5
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2012
Location: Barcelona, Spain

INNOVATION IN THE PRODUCTION OF DATES: A CLASSROOM ACTION LEARNING PROJECT

This paper describes the operationalization of a deeper approach to learning during the development and delivery of the Masters in Business Administration (MBA) course, Managing Information Systems. The pedagogy and curriculum for the unit was informed by the principles of action learning and experiential learning. Specifically, the unit was designed to foster deep learning through the planning and implementing of a research project based on finding opportunities to innovate in operations management related issues.
Saudi Arabia is the third largest date producer in the world. Date production has been on the rise for several years and has reached around one million metric tons annually. Seeds are not removed prior to sale and therefore consumers discard huge amounts of seeds each year. If these seeds were properly exploited, it could play an important role in the GDP and economy diversification.
The project developed by the action learning set, was the use of state of the art simulation software to simulate the introduction of an innovative process in the date manufacturing industry. Innovation is defined as the process of providing organizations with new, improved capabilities or increased utility. In rapidly changing market conditions, organizations need both engagement in innovation and implementation of learning methods to build capability to reconfigure and transform their practices.
The selected simulation software has the capability of easy interactions with 3D graphs and ease of use. Simulation can directly identify areas of opportunities for cost savings or efficiency. Action learning was used to link the world of learning with the world of action through a reflective process within the action learning set. The set met regularly to work on the four stages for innovation (scanning, searching, selecting and implementing) to describe the ways innovation could occur in the production of dates. Experiential learning was used through the continuous four-stage learning process of concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization and active experimentation.
The dates are usually received by factories to start the process of primary cleaning, fumigation, washing, conditioning and packaging. This project proposes maintaining the former processes and adding a new step before packaging, which is to separate the seed from the dates.
The first stage of this research was the observation of the existing manufacturing process and measurement of current times in each activity. Next, the necessity and the demand for this type of service were ascertained through interviews with relevant people from the industry. Flow chart diagrams were developed to better understand how the new process will operate in comparison with the operations of the actual process. With the use of the simulation software, the existing and new process have been modeled, in addition to the tasks performed by operators of the new processor for seed extraction.
Date seeds are currently used in the production of the following: dental painkillers, cosmetics, an alternative to decaffeinated coffee, an alternative to cocoa, the production of "Alforvural" that is used in important areas such as oil refineries and as a solvent in the production of pesticides. As a consequence it is expected that the organizations implementing this new innovative extraction process will have an increase in revenue.
@InProceedings{ALKAHTANI2012INN,
author = {Al-Kahtani, A. and Al-Shathry, H. and Al-Abdulwahed, D. and Al-Towairgi, N. and Ferrer, M. and Santa, R.},
title = {INNOVATION IN THE PRODUCTION OF DATES: A CLASSROOM ACTION LEARNING PROJECT},
series = {4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN12 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-695-3491-5},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {2-4 July, 2012},
year = {2012},
pages = {7584-7594}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. Al-Kahtani AU - H. Al-Shathry AU - D. Al-Abdulwahed AU - N. Al-Towairgi AU - M. Ferrer AU - R. Santa
TI - INNOVATION IN THE PRODUCTION OF DATES: A CLASSROOM ACTION LEARNING PROJECT
SN - 978-84-695-3491-5/2340-1117
PY - 2012
Y1 - 2-4 July, 2012
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN12 Proceedings
SP - 7584
EP - 7594
ER -
A. Al-Kahtani, H. Al-Shathry, D. Al-Abdulwahed, N. Al-Towairgi, M. Ferrer, R. Santa (2012) INNOVATION IN THE PRODUCTION OF DATES: A CLASSROOM ACTION LEARNING PROJECT, EDULEARN12 Proceedings, pp. 7584-7594.
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