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How To Increase The Ability Of A Student To Learn

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Innovative IE Curricula and Courses

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.675.1 - 9.675.20



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Paper Authors

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Srinivas Chakravarthy

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

Session 2457

How to increase the ability of a student to learn

Srinivas R. Chakravarthy Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering and Business Kettering University, Flint, MI 48504-4898

An instructor is always challenged when covering the materials in a course (according to the syllabus) and at the same time making sure that all students have the opportunity to learn and understand the materials presented in the classroom. In this paper we will present some ideas and tools that enable one to try to achieve a balance. These are based on the author’s experience and perspective in teaching deterministic and stochastic operations research courses.

1. Introduction

Education, in our opinion, is one of the noblest professions (the second best with medical taking the top berth). A concerned educator gets the most satisfaction and takes pride when everyone in the class exhibits the required skills of learning and understanding the materials presented in the course. However, in any given class we always encounter a diverse background in the student body. By diverse student body we refer to students who have different study habits, different absorption skills, different perspectives, different attitudes, different background, etc. While such a diverse background is generally healthy for any learning environment, it also poses some challenging situations and problems for the instructors as well as the students. Some of these are: (a) students, not keeping pace with others who are performing well, get frustrated and lose motivation; (b) students who take more time to understand the concepts and ask (rightly so) questions in the class slow the progress of the class and hence decrease the motivation of the others who understand better; and (c) constant slowing down (for various other reasons) of the class hinders in the way of covering the objectives and goals of the course. Thus, the real challenge of a concerned and dedicated teacher is to bring the students who are slow at learning and understanding pretty much on par with the students whose pace is moderate to fast, within the scope of the course and in the allotted time frame.

While it is impossible to have one-on-one periodic meetings with the (slow paced) students due to time constraints of both the instructors and these students, it is imperative to find alternate ways that will at least give opportunities for these students to learn better and faster. Also, from years of teaching experience, we have found that no matter how many “outside class” opportunities the students are encouraged to utilize, only a handful (in any given quarter) use such opportunities and again these are the students who always find ways to seek help. Hence, this proves the need to provide “in-class” opportunities for needy students as discreetly and as quickly as possible.

“Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright ©2004, American Society for Engineering Education”

Chakravarthy, S. (2004, June), How To Increase The Ability Of A Student To Learn Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13762

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