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Designing Customizable Content Delivery Systems Using Lean-Agile Principles for Improved International Student Success

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2014 ASEE International Forum


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 14, 2014

Start Date

June 14, 2014

End Date

June 14, 2014

Conference Session

Track 1 - Session 2

Tagged Topic

Curriculum and Lab Development

Page Count


Page Numbers

20.11.1 - 20.11.17



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Paper Authors


Henry Griffith Wright State University

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Henry Griffith serves as an adjunct instructor in the College of Engineering at Wright State University. He has over 7 years of experience teaching and developing coursework in engineering and mathematics. In addition, he has 10 years experience in applying electromagnetic principles to the design of high frequency components and sensing systems.

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Riad Ajami Director, Center for Global Business, WSU

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Riad A. Ajami is currently professor of International Business and Global Strategy and Director, Center for Global Business at Wright State University. Professor Ajami previously held the position of Professor of International Business (with tenure) and Director, International Business Program at the Fisher College of Business at Ohio State University. Prior to joining Raj Soin College of Business, Professor Ajami held the position of Charles A. Hayes Distinguished Professor of Business and Director, Center for Global Business Education and Research at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro (UNCG). Before joining UNCG Professor Ajami held the position of Benjamin Forman Chair Professor of International Business and Director, Center for International Business and Economic Growth at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He has had visiting appointments as the Dr. M. Lee Pearce Distinguished Professor of International Business and Economic Cooperation, School of International Studies at the University of Miami; School of Business Administration at the University of California, Berkeley; the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; and the Harvard Center for International Affairs at Harvard University; Hautes Etudes Commercials – HEC (Grande Ecole of Management), France; American University of Beirut; Istanbul University; and a distinguished faculty affiliate at Audencia (School of Management), France.

Dr. Ajami received his Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University in International Business, Strategic Management and Oil Economics.

Currently, Dr. Ajami is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Asia-Pacific Business and serves as an editorial board member of Competitiveness Review, Journal of Global Marketing, Journal of Transnational Management Development, and other leading international, academic business journals.

Dr. Ajami has also co-authored International Business: Theory and Applications, (M. E. Sharpe), third edition 2013. In addition, he is the co-author of The Psychology of Marketing: Cross-Cultural Perspectives (Gower Publishing, 2010), Customer Relationship Management: A Global Perspective (Gower Publishing, 2008), and The Global Enterprise: Entrepreneurship and Value Creation (2007, The Haworth Press). He is also a frequent contributor to a number of books on the subject of International Business. He has had articles published on International Business in the Wall Street Journal, Journal of International Business Studies, Management International Review, Strategic Management Journal, Journal of International Management, and other leading international, academic business journals. Professor Ajami has appeared on national television and radio, including, among others, Nightline, the PBS News Hour, NBC News, CNN, National Public Radio and CBS Radio. Dr. Ajami is a co-founder and principal of Management International Consultants and Advisors (MICA), Luxembourg and New York City.

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Angela Griffith

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Development of Lean-Agile Content Delivery Systems for Improved International Student SuccessIncreasing economic and technological interdependence has provided global incentive forcountries to further investments in engineering education. In certain Middle Eastern nations,domestic capacity for such education lags demand, thereby necessitating that students besupported in their pursuit of such studies abroad. While such mobilization presents significantopportunities for the host school and its students, institutions are often underprepared to providesufficient support structures capable of addressing the unique challenges faced by internationalstudents. Development of such systems is often hindered by highly volatile enrollment forecasts,as well as a lack of dedicated financial support for such initiatives. The latter challenge isexacerbated for U.S. state-funded institutions, where international education efforts oftentimesfall outside of the institution’s primary mission.In order to address these challenges and leverage the associated opportunities in hostinginternationally mobile students, it is essential that U.S. engineering colleges develop dedicatedprocesses and systems which are optimized with respect to the unique needs of the targetpopulation. In light of the aforementioned financial and forecasting challenges, these processesmust be both lean and agile. One approach for achieving such functionality is to leverage andcustomize existing content delivery systems through the use of supplemental technology-drivenprocesses as well as data-driven optimization of core system parameters.At Wright State University, proven processes exist for addressing the significant variation in themathematical preparation of students intending to enroll in engineering. Namely, through theEngineering Mathematics curriculum redesign, students have been able to accelerate entry intothe core program curriculum, which has been demonstrated to improve the likelihood ofretention throughout the degree program. While prepared students may complete this sequence inone semester, a pathway consisting of an additional preparatory course exists for underpreparedstudents. Over the past year, accelerated growth in the enrollment of internationally mobileundergraduate students has significantly expanded the number of enrollees entering the pathwayat the preparatory stage. In addition, the diversity of mathematics preparation amongst studentsenrolling in the preparatory course continues to expand. Both of these factors present challengeswhich must be addressed in order to maximize the likelihood of underprepared student success.In light of these challenges, a pilot effort aimed at modifying the content delivery system of theEngineering Mathematics preparatory course is currently underway. At the heart of this effort isthe integration of ALEKS software into the core content delivery system. By supplementingcustomized computer based instruction with traditional lecture delivery, it is anticipated that therange of preparation levels serviceable by the course will increase dramatically. The redesign ofthis core delivery system represents an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the lean systemdevelopment and customization strategy described above. Namely, by improving the assessmentand understanding of the unique learning factors of international students, the system may beoptimized using supplemental technology and parameter optimization to deliver substantial userquality at minimum cost. This paper summarizes current efforts and results associated with theimplementation of this design process.

Griffith, H., & Ajami, R., & Griffith, A. (2014, June), Designing Customizable Content Delivery Systems Using Lean-Agile Principles for Improved International Student Success Paper presented at 2014 ASEE International Forum, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--17174

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