Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Uses Smartsheet in the Classroom to Teach Effective Group Project Management Skills

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University leverages popular online collaboration tool to give students’ hands-on experience running projects, providing a unique advantage as they enter the professional workforce

Because Smartsheet is easy to use and flexible enough to support a wide range of group projects and collaboration initiatives, we’re seeing it take hold with our students and also pull in students from other departments.

College graduates who not only have the hard skills of managing group projects – defining scope, creating breakdown schedules, using Gantt charts – but the soft skills as well – the ability to handle conflict, empower teams, and influence behavior to get the desired outcomes – are better suited to hit the ground running when they enter the business world. Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) is at the forefront of this educational effort to ensure its students have a competitive advantage when they enter the workforce.

SIUE’s School of Business offers new coursework in its curriculum that combines project management theory with the use of cloud technology from Smartsheet's online collaboration tool was chosen by the faculty over more traditional project management software like Microsoft Project and has proven critical to the success of the program.

“Teaching students how to be effective managers of group projects is becoming a core component of university business curriculums,” said Mary Sue Love, Associate Professor for the School of Business and course coordinator at SIUE. “By introducing students to Smartsheet, not only will they have real project management experience under their belts, they’ll have first-hand knowledge of how popular cloud tools can be used to facilitate discussion, collaboration, transparency and accountability. In today’s ever-changing business landscape, this unique skill set will help SIUE graduates stand out in their job search.”

While the course Managing Group Projects (MGMT 331) is required for all 1,200 business students at SIUE, it’s also become a popular elective throughout the university. “Because Smartsheet is easy to use and flexible enough to support a wide range of group projects and collaboration initiatives, we’re seeing it take hold with our students and also pull in students from other departments,” said Katie Robberson, an instructor who teaches the course. Once students have completed the course, they have free access to Smartsheet through graduation from SIUE.

“As an employer continually looking for exceptional talent, I wholeheartedly agree that preparing the next generation of business professionals to collaborate effectively in groups is invaluable,” said Mark Mader, CEO and President of Smartsheet. “Using our collaboration platform as the foundational technology for students to grasp the hard and soft skills necessary to succeed as a professional is a great testament to the utility of Smartsheet in the classroom, and the workplace.”

More than 21,000 organizations in over 100 countries license Smartsheet’s cloud-based collaborative work platform to organize, plan and execute a broad spectrum of projects and processes ranging from marketing campaigns to product launches, business operations, sales pipelines, strategic planning and HR initiatives. Smartsheet is deployed in a broad range of customer environments, from large enterprises including HomeAway, DHL, Toshiba, ESPN, Sony Music, and MetLife to small and medium-sized companies such as Motion Federal Credit Union and Cypress Grove Chevre.

About Smartsheet
Smartsheet, a leading Software as a Service (SaaS) company, offers businesses an intuitive online collaboration tool. The ease of use of the familiar spreadsheet-like interface, coupled with file sharing, work automation and Gantt chart features have made it a popular and highly functional online collaboration tool for teams. Organizations worldwide rely on Smartsheet to help them manage their work. Customers include construction companies, consulting firms, schools and universities, utility firms, government entities, healthcare organizations, high-tech firms, non-profits, manufacturing and law firms, among others. Smartsheet also offers pre-built templates and integrations with leading cloud apps including Google Drive, Box and Salesforce to ensure users are up and running quickly. Visit for more details.

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Jodi Sorensen
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