Dr. Sylvia Robles
About Dr. Robles
Dr. Sylvia Robles is a visionary entrepreneur, educator, researcher, and advocate of Humane-Innovation-Sustainable-based Entrepreneurship and Community Engagement by EMPOWERING her students and RGV entrepreneurs through her Adopt a Startup at UTRGV Program to develop sustainable businesses. Dr. Robles has experience with working with engineering students as an Instructor and Mentor for I-Corps teams. Also, all her courses (traditional, ITV, online asynchronous or synchronous) hold the Service Learning designation, so all her students actively impact the business community and develop soft skills. She is currently the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Sustainability Faculty Fellow, the Collegiate Entrepreneurs' Organization at UTRGV Brownsville Faculty Advisor, and a lecturer of Entrepreneurship & Innovation at the Robert C. Vackar College of Business and Entrepreneurship/Department of International Business and Entrepreneurship.
She redesigned the course Principles of Management MGMT 3361-92S which includes a 35 hours service-learning (SL) project "Management Report" and was taught online asynchronous during summer 2020. She had the opportunity to blueprint this course and incorporated the open textbook Principles of Management from OpenStax. She hopes that more instructors will adopt this open textbook which is included in the blueprinted course.
Course Redesign Experience
Redesigning her course consisted of challenges including reviewing the new content and redesigning the Management cases so they could match the SL Management report's deliverables and the weekly materials. The textbook chapters were in a different order, and presentations needed to be modified and updated for accuracy. COLTT assisted her in creating accessible slides for students and inputting test banks for her students which required revisions of the answers throughout the semester.
In the student’s reflections and course feedback, they thanked her for switching to an affordable textbook. Also, the students found the OER material and cases very interesting. The students even mentioned it would be really important to promote this so more instructors would adopt affordable teaching materials. Even though she had issues with the tests and begged students for their patience as she was using this OER material for the first time, they still gave very positive feedback.
Overall, it was a very productive experience for Dr. Robles even though she encountered many issues before implementation and during the semester. The students' final feedback revealed how important it was for her to use quality affordable teaching materials in her course. The students learned and enjoyed the new material while saving also saving a lot of money. She was thankful for the opportunity to serve her students better.