Asee peer logo

Engaging Undergraduate Students Using Real-life Ergonomic Problems in the Introductory Ergonomics Course

Download Paper |


2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Experiences in Manufacturing Engineering Education

Tagged Division


Tagged Topic


Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Muhammad Pervej Jahan Miami University

visit author page

Dr. Muhammad Jahan is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at Miami University. His research interests include advanced manufacturing, lean manufacturing, micro- and nano-machining, SPM-based lithography and materials. Prior to joining at Miami, he worked as Assistant Professor at Western Kentucky University and as Research Associate at the Institute for Nanoscience and Engineering at University of Arkansas. He received his BS and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology and National University of Singapore respectively. He has published more than 60 papers in refereed journals and international conferences and contributed to books, and been involved in several internal and external funded research projects in these areas. He has received numerous research awards including 'Best Paper Award - ICAMT 2016', 'Best Paper Award - ATMAE 2014', ‘Outstanding Paper Award – NAMRC 2012,’ ‘A.M. Stickland Best Paper Award – IMechE, 2010,’ and ‘Most Downloaded Paper – Elsevier, 2010.’

visit author page

Download Paper |


Human factors and ergonomics (HF&E) has emerged as an important subject for engineering and technology disciplines, especially for Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering programs. However, most of the undergraduate engineering programs have just one introductory ergonomics class as a requirement for the degree. Therefore, it is challenging for the instructor to effectively engage the students in the course, as most of the students don’t have prior knowledge of human factors or ergonomics. This study presents some useful strategies of engaging undergraduate students in the introductory ergonomics class through specifically designed course assignments. The assignments have been designed based on the real life ergonomic problems in different areas of ergonomics. The students were challenged with five different assignments covering different sections of ergonomics, work design and safety. In addition, each student needs to submit a term paper or case study focusing on any specific application area of ergonomics towards the end of the semester. For each assignment, the students were asked to study and investigate the ergonomic issues from their daily life accessories, classrooms and laboratories and offer possible solutions for the non-ergonomic designs and issues. For each assignment, the students need to prepare a report including the image and brief description of the non-ergonomic design, explaining why the design is not ergonomic, and offering possible solution(s) to make the design/part ergonomic. Besides engaging the students, the assignment allowed the instructor to directly assess students’ learning of the concepts from the theory lectures. The students found the assignments interesting and were more engaged to the topic as those ergonomic examples relate to their daily life. The enthusiasm and interests of the students in those exercises were reflected in the course evaluation as well. It can be concluded that the exercises engaged students more intensively in the course and helped them to understand the applications of ergonomics. Finally, the assignments and final term paper/case study helped to achieve several learning outcomes defined for undergraduate engineering students by ABET.

Jahan, M. P. (2018, June), Engaging Undergraduate Students Using Real-life Ergonomic Problems in the Introductory Ergonomics Course Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30401

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2018 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015