Students Collaborate with Startups in 'New Product Development' Course

May 15, 2023

In October 2023, Professor Emeritus Avraham Shtub of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, will offer his course "New Product Development" as a Global Network online course for the ninth time. While the content is similar, the course has evolved over the years. In 2014, "New Product Development" was among the first small network online courses (SNOCs) offered through the Global Network for Advanced Management. In 2019, a version of the course was added to Coursera, and Shtub shifted to a "flipped classroom model" for the SNOC, assigning lectures on Coursera for homework, and then using the virtual class time for discussion. Then in 2021 and 2022, the course added an additional experiential component. Shtub assigned students to projects with early-stage startup founders with whom they collaborated, giving them hands-on experience in product development.

We asked Professor Shtub about his motivation for offering the course as a SNOC and what students can expect from the course.

Avraham Shtub
Emeritus Professor Avraham Shtub, Technion

What made you decide to teach this particular course as a SNOC?
As the head of the project management research center at the Technion I was asked to develop a course focusing on the management of New Product Development (NPD) projects, as part of the new Startup MBA program at the Technion. Today I teach this course at several universities in Europe and the USA using zoom. In particular I teach a course on new product development at the food industry as part of the EIT food initiative . I also teach it as part of the Cornell Tech Runway program .
During a meeting of GNAM universities in China I presented this course as part of the Technion presentation. Several universities - members of GNAM - were interested in the course. I agreed to teach it as a SNOC as it was a great opportunity to collaborate with other GNAM universities and to teach students how to manage international NPD projects.  
Who should take this course?
The course is designed for students who want to learn how to manage NPD projects and would like to apply this knowledge in the framework of an international team of GNAM students. Specifically, students who consider the idea of founding a new startup can use this course to simulate the development process, including the preparation of a project plan and its execution in a simulated environment.
What does the global virtual environment of a SNOC provide for students in terms of cross-cultural learning, and how can this also help you?
Many NPD projects are performed by international teams. The concept of a Glocal product (Global product with a local adaptation) is based on the understanding of customers' needs and expectations in different countries. Working with a team of GNAM students from different countries facilitates cross-cultural learning and helps in the development of ideas for Glocal products and services.
What do you hope students take away from your class that they can apply to their careers, regardless of the path they choose?
I hope that the tools and techniques discussed and used in this course will help the students in focusing on the most important issues in the New Product Development process. The opportunity to work with a team of GNAM students from other countries will expose the participants to other cultures and a variety of decision-making processes.
Is there anything I haven’t asked you about that is worth considering or mentioning? 
A paper recently published:
Solan, D., & Shtub, A. (2023). Development and implementation of a new product development course combining experiential learning, simulation, and a flipped classroom in remote learning. The International Journal of Management Education, 21(2).
Can help students understand the course content, structure and learning outcomes.