June 28, 1998
June 28, 1998
July 1, 1998
3.66.1 - 3.66.7
ACTIVE LEARNING EXERCISES FOR UNDERSTANDING STATISTICAL PROCESS CONTROL John E. Shea Oregon State University
Statistical Process Control (SPC) is a statistical based methodology for distinguishing a real shift in a manufacturing process (assignable cause variation) from random fluctuations (common cause variation). Historical data are used to generate upper and lower control limits. Production samples are selected and measured and the results plotted on a control chart. If the process is unchanged, new sample data should fall between the control limits. If a process shift occurs it becomes more likely that a new data point will be outside of the control limits. The process is improved by eliminating assignable causes and reducing the common cause variation.
It is important that students in the Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering (IME) department at Oregon State University (OSU) obtain a solid understanding of statistics and SPC. Many of the IME students participate in the Multiple Engineering Cooperative Program (MECOP) and are frequently expected to utilize SPC during one of their internships.
To apply SPC, students must gain a solid understanding of its statistical foundation and be exposed to some of the issues associated with its application. In practice, statistics is hard to learn. The concepts are not intuitive and students have few “hooks” to attach the material. Most SPC textbooks do a good job of presenting and explaining its theoretical foundation but do not provide hands-on exercises.
This paper describes a series of nine active learning exercises that have been developed to assist students in understanding SPC and basic statistical concepts and to present some SPC application issues. Used during a two-hour class period, the exercises provide students with laboratory like learning experiences including data collection and analysis using little or no equipment.
REASONS FOR CREATING ACTIVE LEARNING EXERCISES
Active learning has been defined as activities that “involve students in doing things and thinking about the things they are doing”1. This definition caught my eye as I struggled to deal with a frustrating situation. It seemed that no matter how much explanation and how many examples were provided in class, many students were unable to correctly conduct a basic statistical analysis. It got even worse when students were presented with a new situation that didn’t match earlier problems. Lecture was just not enough.
Shea, J. E. (1998, June), Active Learning Exercises For Understanding Statistical Process Control Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington. https://peer.asee.org/6905
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