Teaching with the Labs- The What & The Why

WHAT are they?

Lab Exercises, Re-imagined 

The Max Labs provide an innovative, engaging enhancement to the standard “Intro to Systems” course, using storification to engage iGen students. 

The episodic exercises are cast as blog postings from a fictional student at San Jose State University, a girl named Max, who stumbles into a Silicon Valley startup, applying the Salesforce tools she's learning in class to build apps for their venture capital campaign. 

As Max’s story unfolds, she shares what she learns, providing step-by-step instructions for her "followers" to share the experience vicariously.


Max-imize your teaching

Instructors love how the Max Labs can “concretize” course concepts in a fun & engaging way.

Students with no technology background amaze themselves by creating their own mobile app & web-integrated database with workflow triggers and automated email functionality:

“Great job keeping me engaged. Fun!”

“I like the backstories for each lab. Makes it more human & less of just instructions.”

WHAT do students do?

Students learn by doing these real tasks in just six 75-minute “episodes”

  • create a database & manually add data

  • build/configure/demo a mobile app (!)

  • import external data with record-matching

  • create/configure data views, reports/stats

  • visualization comparing VC funding deals

  • create a dashboard w/VC funding gauge

  • build/implement data verification rules

  • identify data redundancy issues & correct them thru 3rd normal form modeling

  • practice GUI schema manipulation

  • configure/implement/demo automated data-merge email templates

  • configure CRM for lead development

  • create/provision new enterprise users

  • collaborate using SF’s Slack-like Chatter

  • configure/implement business rules for lead assignment process automation

  • develop/demo an automated workflow

  • build database-connected webform to collect leads & trigger workflows 

  • create/issue a raw POST request to send data into a new record via API over HTTP


WHY the Max Labs?

  • Innovative “storified” approach engages iGen students w/humor & good story-telling (AIS Best Conference Paper on IS Education, 2016)

  • Concretizes core concepts: Database, Process Automation, Digital Transformation, Enterprise, User Experience, Analytics, Mobile, CRM, Social Business, Cloud,…

  • Non-tech students build apps with no coding on Salesforce’s leading enterprise platform (Forbes - #1 Most Innovative)

  • Students work in the cloud anywhere using any browser/device anytime

  • Six exercise/episodes: each fits into one class (75 min) or assign as homework

  • Easy to integrate: annotated instructor version calls out embedded teaching points, color-coded by concept

  • Easy to grade: students simply submit screen captures to confirm completion 

  • Easy to administer: self-contained PDFs include everything—students manage their own logins/passwords

  • Student support site MaxzPlace.com introduces, motivates, provides deeper dives & self-troubleshooting for any snags 

  • Almost free: students pay just $19.99 thru PayPal. All online. No bookstore hassle. 

Schools Using Max Labs!

  • Temple, University of Arkansas, York University, Friedrich–Alexander University Erlangen–Nürnberg, University of Hawaii, Fresno State, Lakehead, UC-Colorado Springs, Georgia College & State University, San Jose State, University of Michigan-Dearborn, UMass-Dartmouth…

Instructor Resources

Check out our Instructor Community, where you can find helpful resources such as: 

  • Sample Syllabi

  • Annotated Labs

  • Grading Rubrics

  • Student Orientation Slide Deck

  • And so much more!

Help us spread the word!​ We would appreciate it if you could let your colleagues know about us!


See our Brochure below.