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A Total Quality Management Tool for Experiential Engineering Education

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


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Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Mechanical Engineering Technical Session: The Art of Education

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

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Paper Authors


Nicholas DiZinno New York University

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Nicholas DiZinno holds a B.S.M.E. from the University of Central Florida, an M.S.M.E from Polytechnic University and a Ph.D. from New York University. He has taught at the community college and senior college levels prior to his current appointment as an Industry Associate Professor at NYU. He is active in AIAA and holds a NYS Professional Engineers license.

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Yona Jean-Pierre New York University

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Yona Jean-Pierre is the Director of Faculty Innovations for Teaching and Learning (FITL) at NYU Tandon School of Engineering. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Philosophy from the University of Rochester and her Master of Science in Mathematics from NYU Tandon School of Engineering. She manages the FITL Center, which encourages and promotes innovative teaching strategies and technologies for learning. The Center provides faculty with training on new classroom technologies, access to technologies and resources, opportunities for research and design, and collaboration on educational and technological projects. Ms. Jean-Pierre has taught Mathematics, Problem- Solving and Academic Success Seminars at Polytechnic University and Columbia University. In addition to her experience in academia, Ms. Jean-Pierre has practical experience in developing online technology and multimedia products having worked in corporate positions at Google Inc. and iVillage Inc.

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The development and deployment of a web-based software tool, the Automated Grading Platform (AGP), will be presented. A collaborative effort between the Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering department and Faculty Innovations in Teaching & Learning (FITL) Center, the AGP allows for the real-time grading of assignments and provides immediate feedback to students in Mechanical Engineering courses. The platform is designed to work within the Total Quality Management (TQM) paradigm. With this system, only perfect work is accepted. However, students are free to repeat an assignment an unlimited number of times until they produce acceptable work. Grade thresholds are established based on the volume of acceptable work submitted. This threshold is distributed to students at the beginning of the semester. The student can determine the grade they wish to achieve, and stop working when they have reached the desired grade threshold.

Applying a Total Quality Management (TQM) Tool in an educational setting will provide a quantum leap forward in providing both flexibility and support to our students. It draws on existing educational paradigms such as constructivism and the experiential theory of learning, yet offers a new and exciting approach to covering course material. Students get increased flexibility to tailor their workflow to achieve specific course objectives while the instructor is freed from routine calculations and allowed to focus on student support. Additionally, it breaks down barriers often encountered by students working remotely and on other campuses. It is expected that TQM and AGP will fundamentally change the way that Engineering is taught for the foreseeable future.

The paper will discuss the development of the Automated Grading Platform and its deployment and testing in an undergraduate Computer Aided Design (CAD) course. This course is typically taken by freshman in the Mechanical Engineering program. We will discuss the need for such an application, its development, and the results of our pilot study. Emphasis will be placed on the effect that the AGP has on student outcomes and important metrics. The role of the AGP within the broader context of student resources will also be considered. Lessons learned from our pilot study will be reviewed in preparation for a full implementation and evaluation of the AGP.

DiZinno, N., & Jean-Pierre, Y. (2020, June), A Total Quality Management Tool for Experiential Engineering Education Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34078

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