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Creating Sharable Learning Activities: Examples From A Manufacturing Engineering Curriculum

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Contemporary Issues in Manufacturing Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.337.1 - 8.337.10

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Paper Authors

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Mary Jo Cartwright

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Allie Knowlton

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Donald Falkenburg

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1363

Creating Sharable Learning Activities Examples from a Manufacturing Engineering Curriculum

Donald R. Falkenburg, Allie Knowlton, Mary Jo Cartwright, Wayne State University Wayne State University CNC Connection Corp.

Abstract Many engineering faculty have been involved in projects to improve teaching and learning using web-based resources. Information-based learning materials have proven to be adaptable and dynamic; they have enhanced the educational process. As the number of people involved in the development of IT-based educational materials expands, the engineering education landscape has become dotted with islands of innovation—isolated areas where IT-based materials are available. However, these materials are not available to a large number of users, thereby reducing opportunities for synergy, discourse, and exchange. The NSF-funded Greenfield Coalition has developed a technology strategy to facilitate an ability to re-purpose web-based learning activities for a new context, enabling reuse and exchange. This paper describes Greenfield’s approach to share learning activities, and describes a suite of material that is available from the Coalition website.

A Unique Educational Environment The Greenfield Coalition [1] is a coalition of five universities, three university affiliates1, six manufacturing companies2, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, and Focus:HOPE. Focus:HOPE supports an amazing web of programs to underpin its educational objectives. Founded in 1968 after the urban riots in Detroit, it pledges intelligent and practical action to overcome racism, poverty and injustice—to make a difference within the city and its suburbs. Focus:HOPE began by feeding the undernourished needy (women with children and then adding senior citizens), but quickly added programs to enable inner city youth to acquire knowledge to seize opportunities for highly skilled and well paying jobs. Today, an individual may begin the journey by enrolling in First Step or FastTrack. These four and seven week programs use computer-based learning to build fundamental skills in mathematics and English. When the student graduates from FastTrack, they have skills certified at the ninth and tenth grade level in reading and math. This provides the appropriate prerequisite skills for entering the Machinist Training Institute (MTI). MTI is a thirty-one week program in which students earn certification in the operation of material processing equipment (machining), metrology, computer-aided design, computer numerical control, and the associated math, computer, and communication skills. Alternatively, students may also choose to pursue a career pathway through Focus: HOPE's Information Technologies Center.

Greenfield presents an opportunity for graduates of MTI to cap their practical experience with further studies toward advanced university degrees. Those students who qualify, enter a 24 week pre-engineering program after completing MTI’s basic machining program. After a series of diagnostic tests and interviews they become Candidates in the Center for Advanced

1 Coalition Members: Lawrence Technological University, Lehigh University, Michigan State University, University of Detroit Mercy, Wayne State University; Affiliate Partners: Ohio State University, University of Mich igan, Walsh College. 2 Cincinnati Machine, DaimlerChrysler, Detroit Diesel, Electronic Data Systems, Ford Motor Company, and General Motors Corporation.

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Cartwright, M. J., & Knowlton, A., & Falkenburg, D. (2003, June), Creating Sharable Learning Activities: Examples From A Manufacturing Engineering Curriculum Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee.

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