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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Project Based Learning In ET Program

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.460.1 - 23.460.9



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Paper Authors

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Norm Clark Texas A&M University


Malini Natarajarathinam Texas A&M University Orcid 16x16

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Malini Natarajarathinam is an Assistant Professor of Industrial Distribution in the Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution at Texas A&M University. She received her Bachelor of Engineering from Anna University, her MS in Industrial Engineering from Auburn University, her MA in Management Science and MS in Applied Statistics from The University of Alabama and her PhD from The University of Alabama. Before coming to Academia, she worked with several automotive companies on transportation, material handling and decision analysis systems.
Malini’s research interests include coordinated decision making in stochastic supply chains, handling supply chains during times of crisis and optimizing global supply chains. Her current research involves empirical studies to show the effect of good supply chain practices on the financial health of a company. She is the author of many peer-reviewed journal articles and case studies. She serves as a referee for many journals and is a member of various editorial boards. Her research and teaching activities have been supported by various government organizations and companies. She is a member of INFORMS (Institute for Operations Research and Management Science) and CSCMP (Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals).

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EFFECT OF ACTIVE TEACHING IN A PROJECT BASED CLASSActive teaching is teaching with a focus on active learning activities. A facilitative teaching styleto teach a project-based class on Strategic relationships was adopted by the authors. This class ismainly taught to juniors majoring in Industrial Distribution and is part of the curriculum of theEngineering Technology and Industrial Distribution (ETID) department. In a previous paper,“Project-based Learning for a Class on Manufacturer-Distributor Relationships”(Natarajarathinam & Clark, 2012), the authors described how they incorporated a project basedlearning experience into this class. Students indicated that there was a good deal of confusionduring the semester regarding the project and what was expected of them. They also expressedthat the communication and support that they received from the faculty and industryrepresentatives were lacking. Industry representatives accessed the project and studentperformance as satisfactory while acknowledging that there was room for improvement. With the feedback from the students and the industry, the instructors redesigned thecourse to include several active teaching practices. The way students, instructors and the industryrepresentatives interacted was significantly changed to facilitate active learning. Teacher   •  In  Class  Exercises  specifically  designed  to  help   with  concepts  used  in  project   •  Breaking  the  project  down  into  several   milestones   •  Feedback  and/or  face-­‐to-­‐face  meeDng  with   groups  for  each  project  milestone     Industry   Student   •  Project  Champions   •  Defining  roles  for  each  group  member   •  Working  in  same  groups  for  all  class  acDviDes   •  In  Class  PresentaDons  for  each  project   milestone  Some of the changes to the class included: • Identifying an industry project champion for each of the five topics being researched by the student groups • Requiring each group to select one student to be designated to communicate with their industry project champion • Class exercises were made specific to the project • Presentations were made by each group to the class during the semester so that the instructors could better monitor and support student progress, plus allow students more exposure to what was being developed in groups other that their ownIn this article, the various active teaching activities designed will be discussed in detail.Assessments by students at the conclusion of the course to which the changes were made weremuch more positive and indicated that while the students were stilled challenged they found theproject experience more rewarding and less confusing. The assessment methodology and thereasons for the change in assessments both by industry and students will be discussed in thearticle as well.Natarajarathinam, M. and Clark, N. Project-based Learning for a Class on Manufacturer-Distributor Relationships(2012) ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings, 8 p.

Clark, N., & Natarajarathinam, M. (2013, June), EFFECT OF ACTIVE TEACHING IN A PROJECT BASED CLASS Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19474

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