WHAT PEOPLE SAY
Max Labs are a great avenue for students to gain hands-on experience on important MIS topics such as data management, business processes, and customer relationship management. The labs are developed in an interesting and engaging way. Unlike many hands-on assignments, Max Labs describe the rationale behind every step; thus enabling students to learn “why” they do what they are asked to do. The timely responses of the support team and especially Dr. Hill is exemplary. During the semester, I never feel that I am left alone to deal with students’ questions about the labs as the support team always provides useful and timely responses to our queries.
The Salesforce Labs have been a great addition to my Information Systems & Business Intelligence course. At UCCS, we have many non-traditional students such as retired military students and transfers. The lab instructions allow them to follow a basic structure while reinforcing course concepts. Even during semesters when we do not cover all six labs, students request that I send them the additional labs so they can complete the labs on their own time.
University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
I used Max Labs last year and will be using them again this year. The labs are an excellent and unique approach to learning. I have had several students tell me they have received job offers based on their knowledge of the Salesforce platform.
The labs follow the story of a college student (Max) who is creating a workable database app for a "client". We follow Max as she "talks through" not only what she is doing, but why she is doing it. We learn with her as she discovers her mistakes, new features, and better ways of doing things. For example, in one lab we enter meetings with "prospects" and in a later lab, we learn the same "prospects" have been entered multiple times. How do we fix this data redundancy problem? Step by step Max walks us through how she discovered the problem, what exactly the problem is, and how she fixes it. Each lab builds on the previous one, with Max both adding new features to her real database app and fixing problems as she finds them.
I've found it important to introduce the labs by using the "3b afterlab". This one-page document not only tells students everything they will learn while completing the labs but also provides them with items they can put on their resume.
I would be remiss if I did not mention Tim's excellent support team. He seems to be available 24/7 and provides exemplary support to both you and your students. I will close this enthusiastic endorsement with an email I received over the summer.
"I was a student in your MIS class this past Spring, I am unsure if you remember me, but regardless I just wanted to send a quick note to say 'thank you' for teaching us Salesforce with the MaxLabs. I put Salesforce on my resume, which helped me stand out to get an interview, and I just got a job offer today for a company that uses Salesforce as their main CRM.
When doing the labs, I paid attention to them and understood how the software worked well enough, but truthfully did not realize the prevalence of Salesforce in today's business world. Feel free to use this email as a testimony to future classes you instruct and stress the importance of paying attention to the Salesforce lessons because you never know when this or any assignment in a class could open doors to lead to a job or potential career. "
University of Central Arkansas
San Jose State University
As a first-year faculty and a first-time instructor just joining a new university, teaching a new course could be overwhelming. For a practical course like MIS, our business students are not always expecting to just learn about concepts and take standard quizzes and exams. Rather, they want to have some solid technical experience so that they not only understand MIS better, but also can tell in their job interviews that actually enhance their career. This would never have been possible for me without the help of the Max labs.
After integrating Max labs in my MIS class in the first semester, my students already told me how much they appreciated learning Salesforce and tell what they have learned during their job interviews. Inspired by such comments, I have added a micro-component called "Interview script" after each Salesforce lab. Students will write an interview script -- what you plan to tell in a job interview what you have done in this lab, at least 50 words :) Here is an example of my student's interview script (with the permission of my student):
Through this reflection process, students already have a script of their own version before going to an interview and also help them think about what and why they are doing in each lab.
Even in the first half of this semester, I have two students telling me that recruiters were very interested in their Salesforce experience during their job interviews. At the end of the semester, I have another four testimonials (cards/notes/emails) telling me how Salesforce helped them stand out or land in an internship. These are the most rewarding moments for a teacher.
Whenever I ask students in informal feedback about what went on well in the class, one of the things on the top of the list is "Salesforce labs." Well, I have to say, I spent the least amount of time that one could possibly imagine to integrate and grade the labs, but taking all the credits from my students, which should go to the creator and support team of this project!
I’ve made the Max Labs project a requirement in my Management Information Systems course for the past year and have to say it has been a gift to students and a blessing to me as an instructor! I no longer devote several sessions lecturing on dry concepts such as Entity Relationship Diagrams and one-to-many relationships, or explaining why a CRM system is important to a business--it’s all taught to the students as they work their way through developing the app. In addition, the fact that the labs are built on the Salesforce.com platform gives the students a tangible resume item that gets the attention in their job searches. One of my students came to office hours just to tell me a friend at another university was envious of because Salesforce skills had come up in several of her interviews. Also, here’s a direct quote from one of my course evaluations:
“I feel much more prepared for the workplace after this course. CONTINUE TEACHING SALESFORCE, loads of companies use it!”
I highly recommend incorporating Max Labs into your Management Information Systems courses!