Chap005A - Chapter 05A - Learning Curves CHAPTER 5A...

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Chapter 05A - Learning Curves CHAPTER 5A LEARNING CURVES Review and Discussion Questions 1. If you kept any of your old exam grades from last semester, get them out and write down the grades. Use Exhibits 5A.4 and 5A.5, log-log graph paper, or a spreadsheet to find whether the exponential curve fits showing that you experienced learning over the semester (insofar as your exam performance is concerned). If not, can you give some reasons why not? For example, if your scores were; Exam 1 = 85 Exam 2 = 75 The learning percentage = 75 ÷ 85 = 88% Since 88% lies between 85 and 90% on the learning curve exhibit (5A.4), we must interpolate to find the improvement ratio for the third exam. It would be .8169 Therefore, exam 3 = .8169 x 85 = 69.4 Suppose, that the reverse was true, that is, the student’s grade is improving. Exam 1 = 75 Exam 2 = 85 Because improvement curves are usually associated with decreases in some variable over time, we convert this to a decrease in lost points, i.e., exam 1 = 25, exam 2 = 15. The learning percentage is 15/25 = .60. The number of lost points for exam 3 = 25 x .4450 = 11.1 The grade for exam 3 = 100 – 11.1 = 88.9 Generally, learning curves are used for repetitive tasks. In other words, doing the same exact task over and over again. In this case, new material is covered from one exam to the next. This change in material might impact on the learning curve. 56
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Chapter 05A - Learning Curves 2. How might the following business specialists use learning curves: accountants, marketers, financial analysts, personnel managers, and computer programmers? Accountants: estimating costs Marketers: setting-selling prices Financial analysts: performing a breakeven analysis for purposes of investment decision making Personnel managers: estimating the number of workers required Computer programmers: estimating times to write programs 3. As a manager, which learning percentage would you prefer (other things being equal), 110 percent or 60 percent? Explain. Students tend at first glance to erroneously associate higher learning percentages with faster learning. Relative to the 110 percent learning rate, strict interpretation of this would mean that every time output doubles, production time per unit increases by 10 percent. With a 60 percent learning rate, every time output doubles, production time per unit decreases by 40 percent. These statements can be verified by simple arithmetic. 4.
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This note was uploaded on 07/17/2011 for the course MBA 587 taught by Professor None during the Spring '11 term at Missouri (Mizzou).

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Chap005A - Chapter 05A - Learning Curves CHAPTER 5A...

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