Title

A Teaching Supplement on Sensitivity Analysis for Linear Programming in Undergraduate Business Programs

Department

Economics, Finance, & Quantitative Analysis

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-29-2015

Abstract

Sensitivity analysis, a key linear programming (LP) concept, is often explained in text books using complex problem scenarios to which students have difficulty relating. Consequently, many students do not fully comprehend or appreciate the significance of shadow prices or range of optimality for objective coefficients. This adds to the challenges instructors face in promoting critical thinking, a key goal in operations research and management science courses. Limited student-faculty interactions further exacerbate the problem in online learning environments. These issues can be effectively addressed through use of simple real world examples for instruction, followed by discussion of insights and intuition behind results from these mathematical models. This is the motivation of this study, with a special focus on sensitivity analysis concepts and LP formulations. We then demonstrate its effectiveness by comparing student performance before and after exposure to this innovative teaching supplement and as well as results from a student feedback survey.

Journal

INFORMS: Transactions on Education

Journal ISSN

1532-0545

Volume

16

Issue

1

First Page

6

Last Page

14

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1287/ited.2015.0145