June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
11.252.1 - 11.252.11
Assessment of Hands-On Introductions to Industrial Engineering
This paper focuses on two Introduction to Industrial Engineering courses offered at different institutions. The instructors of these courses have independently developed and incorporated numerous hands-on and experiential learning exercises to convey core topics in the field of Industrial Engineering. While it is evident that the courses are more entertaining with these exercises, it is less clear that they affect student learning in positive ways. Thus, this paper describes similarities and differences between the approaches used to address the common topics covered in the two courses. We then present data from student surveys on what they perceive they have learned about major topics covered in the course, and their engagement level with the instruction used for the various topics. This assessment enables us to evaluate the efficacy of the hands-on, active learning approaches versus more traditional approaches.
Industrial Engineers do not build bridges, design devices, analyze chemicals, or test for earthquakes. Much of the engineering that Industrial Engineers accomplish is not as visible as in other engineering fields. Yet IE’s are vital to many industries and have a variety of field concentrations with excellent career and job advancement opportunities. Introductory courses serve to expose student to the breadth of the field and help recruit students to a little known major. Ideally, these courses prepare students for follow-on courses and future Industrial Engineering (IE) jobs.
The IE programs at Northeastern University (NU) and Montana State University (MSU) have recently developed introductory courses to attract students to the IE major, expose them to the breadth of the field, and prepare them for future coursework. The instructors of these courses (and authors of this paper) independently developed hands-on and other interactive activities to introduce core IE topics. It is well documented that active learning techniques enhance learning and the student experience.1-4 It is also apparent that not all active learning exercises are equally effective. Thus, while the anecdotal evidence strongly suggests that students enjoy the hands-on activities more than traditional classroom delivery (i.e., via lecture), we saw a need to confirm the pedagogical merit of the specific activities employed.
In this paper, after a brief description of the courses and institutions where they are taught, we provide descriptions of some of the exercises. We then present data and analysis from a survey of students regarding their engagement and level of learning across the spectrum of activities. We conclude with a summary of responses to open ended questions related to their overall perceptions of the field to which they’ve just been introduced.
Sobek, D., & Freeman, S. (2006, June), Assessment Of Hands On Introductions To Industrial Engineering Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1196
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