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Indiana University Northwest marketing professor selected as Mack Fellow

Professor Subir Bandyopadhyay sharpens assessment practices at School of Business and Economics by researching student testing and comprehension standards

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IU Northwest Professor of Marketing Subir Bandyopadhyay

For Indiana University Northwest Professor of Marketing Subir Bandyopadhyay, Ph.D., it's not enough just to teach his students the material in their marketing textbooks. What drives and motivates him as an instructor is his strong desire to educate his students through real-world examples, and to conduct continual research that helps to improve the School of Business and Economics.

Bandyopadhyay's academic record of multiple teaching and research awards and international projects in India, China and Thailand is impressive. His latest honor is the Mack Fellowship, a multi-year prestigious fellowship awarded to select, and distinguished full-time Indiana University faculty. This fellowship is rooted in continuing research to advance the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL).

"IU Northwest's School of Business and Economics is proud to hold the prestigious AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International) accreditation," Bandyopadhyay said. "Only five percent of business schools worldwide hold this accreditation. But because of AACSB, there's a lot of assessment required by the School. With anything that is done, you have to quantify, assess and document."

With this in mind, Bandyopadhyay's Mack Fellowship research project, entitled Developing a Hybrid Model for Testing Core Area Knowledge of Business Students, will look at student testing and comprehension standards. He will address the current need to balance national standardized tests, such as the Educational Testing Services (ETS) Business Major Field Test, with Core Concept tests developed by individual universities. With Core Concept testing, questions are closely modeled after the taught curriculum.

"Standardized ETS tests don't fit exactly our curriculum; there are certain things we teach that are not covered," Bandyopadhyay said. "For example, a very critical one - ethics. They (ETS tests) don't include any questions on ethics. So it's not the best fit of testing a student's comprehension, which is why we also administer the Core Concept test."

Bandyopadhyay said that conducting both tests enriches the program because it gives the business school a stronger idea of students' comprehension on the subjects taught, and school officials are able to benchmark their program with all other business schools who field ETS tests.

While Bandyopadhyay's research is continuing, he has already seen a slight increase in students' results on the Core Concept test.

"Roughly, the average student scores a 43 percent on an ETS test," he said. "On the Core Concept test, an average student's score is around 52 percent, which is expected since those questions are directly derived from what is taught in our classrooms."

Fellowship collaboration

Bandyopadhyay feels fortunate to be inducted into the highly prestigious Mack Fellow group because of the connections he's made with other Fellows from around the IU network.

He discussed the mentor/mentee relationship that is built through this program.

"When inducted, I shared my research project with all Fellows," Bandyopadhyay said. "They provided me with feedback, and I was able to bounce ideas around with them. The program is meant to be collaborative."

Bandyopadhyay estimated that 10 or so individuals apply for the Mack Fellowship each year, and only one or two individuals are accepted. In fact, Bandyopadhyay is the only Fellow for the 2010 - 2011 year.

Bandyopadhyay joins several other IU Northwest faculty who previously were selected as Mack Fellows.

Don Coffin, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Economics, and David Malik, Ph.D., Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, are both Charter Fellows who oversee the program.

Two other Fellows from IU Northwest include: Mark Hoyert, Ph.D., Dean of Arts and Sciences, and Cynthia O'Dell, Ph.D., Associate Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

Real-world experiences

One of Bandyopadhyay's teaching philosophies is to provide his students with real-world applications for their classroom studies.

"Business is an applied field," he said. "And, at the end of the day, our graduates are going to go out and take business jobs. I feel the classroom is a window into the world, which is why I bring in so many external things into my class."

This fall Bandyopadhyay will be teaching Consumer Behavior, a class in which students will research local companies and offer solutions to meet their business problems. Through regular communication with a particular company's point person, students will learn and assess the business's strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats.

At the end of the course, each student group will present their business findings to the company. The companies have full rights to the student's solutions to help solve any organizational struggles.

"This is the second year for this course," Bandyopadhyay said. "And I feel this program benefits all. The company receives the material and research, and the students gain the experience."


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Emily Banas
Office of Marketing & Communications

Charles Sheid
Office of Marketing & Communications

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